It’s no secret Google use the number and quality of incoming links to help rank web pages in its search algorithm. In fact, this is a significant factor in goggles’ bizarrely accurate search results and something that other search engines are keenly developing. What is less well known though is that Google also uses the quality and quantity of outgoing links to learn even more about each website it visits. What is your website saying about itself with each outgoing link?
You can do a little experiment to demonstrate the power of this Google feature. Set up a page on an obscure new domain, but don’t advertise it. Instead, put a single HTML file with a plain list of links to a group of similar sites. The first thing to note is how quickly the bots notice your website, and then how surprisingly high your Google page rank will be for a website with no incoming links or SEO content.
So how can you take advantage of this new SEO device? Be creative with it! No one is really sure exactly what does and doesn’t work yet, even more surprising results might be possible than have been discovered yet. A good place to start though is in considering how you want your website to be classified and linking out to similarly classified websites. This will help to re-enforce the purpose of your website, increasing goggles’ confidence in its content.
Then there’s the regional trick. If you are running a local book store, make sure Google knows that it’s a physical store, and its location. Now use lots of outbound links to websites like Amazon and even to national book retail franchises. When someone searches for a book store in your local area, Google will return yours with significantly more confidence in the quality and size of the store, because of its inferred association with the big retailers.
It’s a fun and simple SEO method, which might result in significant gains for particular websites. Let us know if you discover something amazing!