What are inbound links?
Inbound links are links from other websites that have linked to a page on your website.
Why the link?
The providing website figures your website has something relevant to say about the topic being discussed.
How does this help my SEO?
Google and all search engine algorithms see inbound links as ‘votes’ for a site, and consider the site on the receiving end of the link to have some level of authority on a topic. This boosts the receiving site’s authority, which contributes to its overall rank with the search engines.
How much authority?
The level of authority, sometimes referred to as the amount of ‘link juice’, depends on the authority of the site that provides the link and how many good links that site has linking to it.
Put it this way – it’s great to get a link from Johnny Agent’s blog, but it’s a whole lot better to get a link in the text of a real estate story on cnn.com. And everything between is relative.
Simplified, this is how the search engine algorithms put the search results in the hands of the users. Humans decide who to link to by the trust they put in a source, aka website. Search engines consider these votes by the people when algorithmically deciding which pages surface before others.
How important are inbound links?
About 50% of your SEO opportunity is in off-page SEO, which can best be described as the quantity and quality of other websites that link into yours.
Much more about how to secure inbound links and other SEO factors in future posts.