If keyword is the word you hear most often with SEO, then links or linking is the word you hear second-most often. Links are the foundation of topical communities, and as such they have as much, if not more, weight with search engine crawlers than keywords do.
A web page without links is like a desert island. Itâ€™s sitting there, right in the middle of the ocean, but no one really knows itâ€™s there. The island could be littered with diamonds. The plants that grow on the island might heal every disease known to man. But if man doesnâ€™t know the island is there, none of that matters.
Itâ€™s the same with your web site. It doesnâ€™t matter how great the information or the products on the site might be. If people canâ€™t find it, itâ€™s as good as a desert island.
The purpose of links, then, is to first link your web site to others that are relevant to the information included on your site. In addition, links provide a method by which traffic to your site is increased. And isnâ€™t that the reason youâ€™re playing the SEO game?
Your desire is to increase the traffic to your site, which in turn increases the number of products that you sell, the number of sales leads you collect, or the number of appointments that you set with highly qualified clients. In short, links lead to increased profit and growth. So of course youâ€™d want to use them on your site.
Another reason links are so important is that links into your site from other web sites serve as â€œvotesâ€ for the value of your site. The more links that lead to your site, the more weight a search engine crawler will give the site, which in turn equates to a better search engine ranking, especially for search engines like Google that use a quality ranking factor, like PageRank.
To say that links are an important part of SEO for your web site is probably an understatement. If you want your site to be found, you must have links in from other sites. Without those links, you may as well be an island sitting in the middle of an ocean full of other web sites.