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Chapter 13. Attract Links to Your Site > Why Search Engines Value Links

Why Search Engines Value Links

“Content is king”—or at least it reigned during the Internet boom years of the late 1990s. But content is not the real change ushered in by the Web. The Web content itself is not remarkably different from what you can read in books, magazines, or newspapers. What does differ is the ease with which surfers can move from one piece of content to the next—that's the power of links. Links changed the way people consume content; they can now navigate easily across different sources that once required meandering amid library stacks—after schlepping to the library in the first place.

Just as links transformed readers' content consumption, links changed the game for search engines, too. With the advent of Google in 1998, search engines began to use links to judge the quality of every page on the Web. Although Google was the first to apply this insight to Web searches, precursors to hypertext links have historically been employed to judge the value of information.


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