So if you had a lot of good quality websites linking to you, then you were marked up. If you had poor quality websites or no websites linking to you, then you were marked down.
Google has obviously developed the backlinks model over the past few years, however good quality links are still very valuable to your website.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks and link exchange involve another website linking through to your website. Often, you swap or reciprocate a link with the other site. But the best links are quality, one way links into your site. Jacko can help with this - and understands how it works.
So what's the benefit?
'Inward links' to your website tell search engines that your site is important. They tell search engines that not only do other sites like you and your content, but they are willing to tell others about you and link to you.
So with a few good inward links what will happen?
1) Your website is more important and may be ranked higher on internet searches and get found more than before
2) The links themselves bring traffic. A link from a busy site has more people looking around, they might look at your link and come for a visit. That means you can sell them something or promote your product!
Paul can help with quality backlinks.
Are all Inward links equal?
No. The best links are relevant links to the content on your website. If you have a website for cats, links to other cat websites are relevant. Maybe even pets, dogs, cat toys etc.
But a cat website link from an auto-mechanic is not. Some search engines may even mark your site down in importance if you link to every 'Tom, Dick and Harry' instead of 'Tom, Tommy and Thomas'...if you get my drift.
TIP! Only get links from relevant sites.
What else makes a good inward link? Page Rank, often called simply PR.
Google has a page rank system (PR) that evaluates nearly all pages on the internet. PR of 1 is the lowest, Google (and internet visitors) see the page but are not overly impressed. PR of 10 is the maximum. A site like www.anz.com has a PR7.
SO, if you get a link to your site from another webpage that has PR4, that will benefit your site more than a link from a PR1.
Publicly available PR information via the Google toolbar was discontinued in March 2016. However, most industry experts agree that Google continues to evaluate and assign Page Rank to all websites and pages on the net. The benefit of Paul's experience, is that he knows what pages need to achieve good Page Rank.
I get offered links all the time. They want me to link back. What should I do?
Maybe you should let them link to you! Think about it, is there something it in for you? Will you benefit from this link? If the answer is yes, what are you waiting for?
TIP! Avoid link farms. These are these weird looking sites that offer you links all the time. They seem packed with unrelated links everywhere and often have way too many links on a page. Google is likely to mark you down if you have links from unrelated link farms. If it looks like a link farm and smells like a link farm, then just stay away from it all together. India is often used by global businesses to outsource their link exchange program.
TIP! Link farms and link exchanges that lie. Link exchange is common. You are a florist - you are asked to swap a link with another florist in USA. All looks good - all seems OK. BUT THEN you (may and should) go to check that link a week or a month later - and your link has gone. What happened? That business has used a technique where they swapped links with you - but then deleted their link. This means you have given them a 1 way link - increasing the importance of their site - and getting nothing in return.
For this reason, in 2016, Paul suggests backlinking only with businesses you know or trust. Think family or long time business partners, suppliers or other businesses you have established relationships with. These businesses are more trustworthy. It can be a very time consuming job to constantly check if a business on the other side of the world has kept your link up. Links are important but you don't want to spend all day every day checking these. It's not worth it. In 2016, Paul hardly ever exchanges links outside of established, trusted or trustworthy looking businesses.
What are my assets when it comes to inward links? PR and traffic.
If you have a link page with a good PR (estimated), you are in demand and should be picky about who you swap links with. You may get lower PR sites/ pages wanting to link to you. Think about it, is there something it in for you? Will you benefit from this link? Does the page have a good PR? Is it relevant?
Also, if you have good traffic flows, like 10 000+ per month, this is an asset. Obviously smaller sites with very little traffic want to get in on your action. This gives you bargining power about where and how your link could be exchanged. EG. If a small site wanted to swap links, ask for a link direct from their homepage. In return, give them a link that matches that PR page. This might be one of your 2nd or 3rd tier pages.
The internet is an inexact and constantly evolving 'thing' which does not play to the rules and indeed changes the rules without warning and notice. But the basic rule of thumb is 'good quality links pointing to your site is good, bad quality links pointing to your site is bad' To be successful on the web, you need constant attention and up to date information.