These kids linking arms is a good example of how links work on the "Web" –– notice how the linked arms kind of look like a web! To Google, those you are linking to and those who are linking to you matter.
Don, our in-house newspaper SEO expert, recently sent us another email update. Here it is:
"I have recently made an SEO change to a number of websites. In the gray background footer area for all web pages, if an open slot was available, I added “Sister Publication” links to related news websites. Related linking by either state or by location area for larger states. For SEO, this will give a small boost in page rank to have another external site linking to another related news site."
Why did Don insert related links to sister publications on sites' footers?
We've talked about the power of links and how it affects page rank. In a nut shell, the more links pointing to your page, the more SEO authority, or trust, you have with Google.
But getting a link from a like-minded website is better and more powerful than a link from just anywhere.
For example, if you are a newspaper website, you would prefer links coming in from other newspaper websites. The kind of links that point to you further explains to Google what your website is about and what topics you cover. The more Google knows about your website, the better chances you have of ranking highly when someone is searching for something that you offer.
For example, if you have a blog or website about swimming –– swimming gear, techniques, forums –– then you would want links pointing to you that are coming from website that are also about swimming. A link pointing to your from a website about gardening will not affect your page rank as strongly.
So who your friends are matters, and who you associated with on the Internet certainly matters to Google.