Quantity and quality
In addition to the number of links, we must be aware that quality also counts. On the one hand, the higher quality links will give us more PageRank. On the other hand, there are links that convey authority, credibility, trust, because they have a high TrustRank. When we receive a link from a website with a high digital reputation, this also transfers part of that positive reputation to us.
Anchor text is essential
Google will associate a web page with the anchor text of the links that web page receives.
For example, if we search Google.es right now
The website appears prominently in the results:
Which is a website of free courses related to video game programming.
A priori, that web page has little relevance to the search, and it is not optimized, in any of the criteria we have seen, for that keyword.
Why is it in the first positions?
Because many web pages that link to that web page, and on those links it says “click here”. Google processes those links, and associates the page with their text. This is what explains the concept of “Google bombs”.
¿Qué es una bomba Google o Google bomb?
It is a concerted action by a number of computer scientists that allows certain web pages to be placed first in the results of a search on Google using a certain keyword. It is achieved by including links to the web page that is the object of the “Google bomb” on as many different pages as possible, so that the text of the link is the desired search criteria -word-keyword.
Like so many other things inherent in Google, the company claims to have solved the problem in January 2007. But it is not. There are Google bombs and there will be, although it is now more difficult to achieve them.
There is evidence of many Google bombs after January 2007. Among the recent ones, it should be noted that in July 2018, the search for “idiot” included images of the current President of the United States, Donald Trump. In November 2018 and August 2019, for the search bhikhari (word that means tramp in the Hindi and Urdu languages, images of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan appeared. In February 2019, for the search “best toilet paper in the world ”appeared the flag of Pakistan.
We therefore see that however much Google refines its algorithm, there are inherent elements that cannot be changed. Bombs still exist and will exist.
Nowadays, Google can detect illogical or unnatural patterns of anchor text, if for example it suddenly processes a large number of links that have exactly the same anchor text.
It is therefore necessary, when we are trying to achieve links to our website, that we manage the anchor texts of these links correctly.
Location of the link within the page
On the other hand, the location of a link within a web page is increasingly important. Links located in prominent parts of a web page do not count the same as links located in the final part, at the foot of the page.
Phases, deadlines and scales
Likewise, Google analyzes the time factor in the increase in links to a website, so that it will suspect – and penalize – those web pages that suddenly receive a large number of links. In this way it tries to prevent the massive sale of links. In addition to buying links is prohibited by Google, buying a large number of links at once is a particularly bad idea, because Google is likely to detect it.
If Google observes a sudden decrease in the number of links to a website, it will suspect that it is someone who is playing dirty, and will act accordingly.
Age of the links
Another important factor is the age of the links. Spammers, which are those websites that want to trick Google, create lots of web pages and sudden links. As a consequence, Google is suspicious of web pages hosted on new websites – we have already seen this – but it is also suspicious of new links. On the contrary, it favors links that are older than one month, especially those that are more than six months old.
We must avoid the practice known as linkchurning –which would translate as link flipping or beating- which consists of making and undoing links automatically. In this way, the links do not acquire antiquity, and therefore they do not like Google.
Pagerank distribution of links
In order to improve search engine positioning, it is also necessary that the links that a web page receives obey a logical PageRank distribution pattern. What does this mean? Well, on the Internet there is a natural distribution of PageRank among the different web pages. For example, there are many more web pages that have a PageRank of 0 or 1 than there are web pages that have a PageRank of 2 or 3. And so on, with very few of 7, 8, 9, or 10. If, for example, one web page receives a large number of links with high PageRank -5 onwards-, and very few from low PageRank web pages, so it is probable that the links –or a considerable part of them- have been purchased. Google will “smell this cake.” And it will do everything but grace
It is therefore necessary to generate links that follow a logical pattern, from the point of view of PageRank, and to avoid generating an excessive number of links with a high PageRank without a counterweight of links with a low PageRank.
If we want to evaluate the convenience of getting a link from a specific web page to one of ours, several factors are convenient, among them, the PageRank of the web page where the link to our web page will be, the number of outgoing links from the web page that would link to us, the authority and reliability of the main web site of the web page from which they will link to our web page, the relevance of the website in general and the specific content of the website that would link to us, with respect to the topic of our website, the part of the page where the link to our website would appear, the quality of the links near that place, and finally the contextual text that will be linked to the link.
To manage all this correctly, it helps the tools we use in Top Position, which indicate the confidence and authority of each page and domain.