One of the things that Google ranks websites on is linking. Linking in, linking out, and linking within. Basically, Google loves link juice.
This is great news for us as bloggers, as linking is a big part of probably every blog post you write. My personal policy is to make sure that every single blog post I put up has 1. and image and 2. at least one embedded hyperlink.
Let’s look at the different kinds of links you can put into your blog:
1. Links out. These are probably the most popular. For my cooking blog, I will link out to source recipes, or to gear to help to make the recipe, or unique and interesting ingredients. For this blog, I often link to blog posts that either helped to inspire the post, definitions (see above–“link juice”), or resource material for backing up my point.
2. Internal Links: This is when you link to another blog post inside your blog. These are really important, because they help to draw the reader deeper into your blog. You want them to stay on your blog as long as possible, go down the rabbit hole, get lost. The longer they are on your blog, the lower your bounce rate is, and the lower your bounce rate, the higher your Google ranking.
3. Links back. This is when someone on another blog links to your blog, usually in reference to a specific post. These are the hardest to get, so they get the highest weight in Google rankings. The higher the page rank of the site that is linking back to you, the more link juice, and the higher search engine ranking you get.
Things have changed when it comes to Linkbacks quite significantly with the most recent algorithm update (Google Hummingbird). You see, people trying to game the system. They would create other sites and then link back to the original site, or pay people to embed their links on their blogs. Google has gotten hip to these tricks, however, so I’d not suggest you participate in any of these kinds of schemes, or it might actually have the opposite effect from what you were hoping.
One legitimate way of building up your linkbacks is by offering to write guest posts on legitimate, well-respected blogs in your subject area. This not only exposes you to a whole new audience, but it also allows you to link back to your own site.
Also, don’t forget that social media is a kind of linkback, as well. Any links that you or your fans and followers post to Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or G+ all count as linkbacks, and affect your Google ranking, so don’t forget to share all of your blog posts, and encourage your fans to, as well.
Read the rest of the series on SEO for Bloggers. (that’s an internal link).