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Chapter 13. Attract Links to Your Site > Your Linking Philosophy - Pg. 283

Attract Links to Your Site 283 Your Linking Philosophy What if all search engines got together and decided that links were no longer important? Suppose, in a blink, they all changed their ranking algorithms so that link popularity meant nothing to your page factors. Would that mean that you should not care about getting links to your site? Of course not! Links are hugely important in and of themselves. The best links are always contextually relevant to the visitor. Those are the links you want--they drive qualified traffic to your site. And that should be your linking philosophy. It sounds crazy, perhaps, but you should practically forget about search engines. If you chase what you think search engines want when it otherwise makes no sense, it will not make any sense to the search engine either. You want the links that drive the highest number of qualified visitors to your site, so that you can convert them. If you relentlessly pursue that strategy, you will find that the search engines reward you, too. How Not to Get Links to Your Site To prove the point that your best policy is to ignore what search engines think about your links, it is worth exploring the alternative. How have sites fared by chasing the algorithm to build up links? Well, it has been an interesting ride. We begin our story back in the B.G. times--Before Google--because at that time no search engine ranked sites based on links. Sites linked to other sites purely because their visitors would benefit, so the number of links to a site was a good sign of how good its information was. From its inception, Google, in its wisdom, used the link information to determine which sites were of higher quality (that determination made up a huge part of its page ranking factors) and was able to rank the better sites at the top of its search results. This technique worked so well that many people began to use Google.