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Chapter 13. Attract Links to Your Site

Suppose that you open an e-mail that has a link in it to a news story on the Web. You click it, and read the headline of the story: “Senator Possibly Implicated in Voter Fraud.” You read the story, assessing its credibility. Would the story be credible if it were from the Web site of NBC News? The Washington Post? The Drudge Report? The National Enquirer? Some blogger you have never heard of? You are unlikely to give the same credence to that report regardless of the source, because not all sources have the same reputation in your mind. Now understand, some people might have a higher opinion of some sources of information than you do, and regardless of anyone's opinion, even the source held in the lowest regard can be correct on a particular story while the most-respected can be wrong.

Despite occasional surprises, reputation is an effective shortcut for evaluating the quality of information presented to us. Organic search engines use a similar shortcut. Search engines judge the reputation of every Web site so that they can present the highest-quality content—the content with the best reputation. Search engines have a few ways of judging the quality of content, discussed as page ranking factors in Chapter 12, “Optimize Your Content.” By far the biggest element of a search engine's view of your page's reputation is driven by links.


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