More links = more search traffic = more customers – this is one of the simplest and most important equations you need to remember when doing SEO. Links have a direct correlation to how much traffic a website receives as well as the quality of such visits. In fact, when Google first started ranking websites in searches, their algorithm gave much weight on the number of links that pages had. SEO, therefore, operated with the basic concept that the more links a webpage has, the more traffic it can generate. During this time, the number of links a page has is indicative of the quality of content it offers. Links used to serve as popularity votes and the more your website gets, the more popular you become with Google.
Today however, much has changed in the way search engines, especially Google view links. Because of the fact that links can now be easily (and artificially) generated and manipulated, their value greatly diminished. In fact, sites can be penalized by having too many unauthorized, bad, dead, or low-quality links in their profiles. The old equation where more links = more search traffic = more customers, therefore, should be modified to fit today’s standards where certain types of links hold greater value and others can serve as bad seed that can pull rankings down.
A new equation where quality (organic, relevant) links – bad links = more relevant traffic = more converting customers, should therefore be used instead of treating all links equal. Depending on what your website offers, some links are more valuable than others as they help build relevance, trust, authority, and diversity. While links have lost some of their value over several years of search algorithm updates, they remain an important factor in determining website relevance, credibility, and authority in searches.