Every link tells the Google algorithm a story. It tells information about where the link is coming from and where it is going. The text around the links and on the sites on both ends have meaning. Links are an important part of the Google algorithm puzzle, and actually a big part of how they differentiated themselves from other search engines and became the search behemoth that they are today.
However, often links are over-simplified. Especially by companies that don’t know what they are doing or are trying to sell some generic plan to help you. When it comes down to it, now more than ever before, it is not about the number of links or linking sites for SEO, it is about the quality and relevance of those links. Google’s John Mueller made this more official by stating it last week. Straight from Google.
Link Counts for Small Business Owners
So the count of links doesn’t matter. It is all about quality. Yet often I see small businesses being sold on packages that push the number of low to no value links they will be getting for signing up. When you are focusing on your own business, sometimes you only get to read the headlines when it comes to things like SEO or other aspects of your marketing. The headlines tell you how important links are for SEO and always have been, but there is a lot more nuanced than that. A good SEO works hard on trying to generate the right links for your business. Working with you and your business to get true, relevant, and helpful links. It isn’t about the count, though it is important to keep them coming in as beast as you can. As John Mueller mentioned, one good link can be more helpful than thousands of garbage links that companies provide in an attempt to wow you with volume. We work hard to get you good links and make sure to help our clients understand the difference.
It is an important distinction. Bad links can actually get you in trouble, though for the most part Google just ignores them these days. A thousand links generated from a “link farm” in India isn’t going to do much to help a local business in New Jersey. On the other hand, a link from a local chamber of commerce in the town you are targeting, or the regional newspaper, can do wonders to tell Google you are actively working in and taking part in commerce in that target market. Links matter. A budget should be in place to improve your link profile, but don’t waste it on massive numbers of garbage links. Work with someone who knows the difference. Good links are hard to get, but good links move the needle in the world of small business SEO.