For search engines that crawl the web, links are the streets between pages. Using sophisticated link analysis, the engines discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways.
Links pointing to your site do several things for you:
- Links make it easier for search engines to find the page. As the search bots travel around the Web, they follow links. They index a page, follow the links on that page to other pages, index those pages, follow the links on those pages, and so on. The more links to page, the more likely the page is picked up and indexed search engines, and the more quickly it happens
- Search engines use the number of links pointing to a page as an indication of the page’s value. If lots of pages link to your page, search engines place a greater value on your page than pages with few links pointing to them. If you have lots of links from sites that are themselves linked to many other sites, search engines could conclude that your site must be really important. Google calls this value the page’s PageRank, but Google isn’t the only search engine to use links as an indication of value; Yahoo! calls it Web Rank, and Bing calls it Page Score
- Links provide information to search engines about the page they’re pointing to. The link text often contains keywords that search engines can use to glean additional information about your page. The theme of the site linking to your site may also give search engines an indication of your site’s theme. For that reason it is important to acquire links that have relevant keywords to point to your site
- Links not only bring search bots to a page, but may also bring people to a page. The whole purpose of a search engine campaign is to bring people to your website. The goal is for people to click on these links that will take them to the site.
Link building can prove to be quite a difficult task at times but, if your team plans wisely and creates a well thought strategy, the benefits are tremendous in terms of page and domain authority. This process is one that involves PR work and can take quite some time to see said benefits but it is definitely a necessary process of SEO.