If there is one area of misunderstanding on the subject of good SEO practices, it is that of linking. Getting links to your website is not difficult. But getting the right links to accomplish your goals is what really matters. After all, what good are links if they aren't actually going to do what you expect them to? With a few considerations in mind, you can accomplish your goals fairly easily and achieve the results you expect.
Search Engine Optimization is a very broad term. Generally it is accepted to mean, optimized for the best possible rank on a given search engine for a particular keyword or phrase. So when we talk about linking, we are not only talking about the links, we are also considering how relevant those links are to our own keywords or phrases.
Inbound Links Versus Outbound Links
An inbound link is one that points TO your website from another website or location. An outbound link is one that points FROM your website to another website or location. Inbound links send "relevance" to your website. Outbound links send "relevance" to another website from yours. For good ranking, you want to be the recipient of more relevance than you give. Getting relevance then is what it's all about. The best way to do this is to create as many inbound links to your website as possible and to create as few links from your website as possible. Nuff said?
Try to avoid them. If you must link elsewhere, try to use your keywords in the link. If you cannot avoid them and cannot use your keywords, then try to avoid putting more than 3 outbound links on any given page, especially your homepage.
These are the links you want. Inbound links send relevance to your website. This means that search engines will see that another website has effectively "voted" for your website, and that makes your website more relevant. For the best results, though, it is important to consider the types of inbound links, how they vary, and what is best.
Simple Inbound link (okay)This is a text link without any keyword text associated with it: www.mywebsite.com
These links are fine, and they will help your website, but they are not optimal.
Text Link (better)This is a text link from actual text instead of your web URL: Best Products Available
This type of link is better because it is linked from text that associates your website with "best" and "products" and because it receives more relevance and consideration from search engines than a link without words.
Keyword Links (Best)These are links that directly associate your website with your keywords: Maui Resort Condos
A link which is directly associated with the products or services you are trying to promote will be the most effective. Search Engines see these links as a direct vote for what your website is mostly about, and, therefore, they have the most positive effect.