Many lawyers and law firms have a hard time understanding the concept of linking for search engine optimization purposes. A link is any time another webpage on the internet point back to your law firm’s webpage domain address.
To rank high online, law firms would historically gets lots of links. Lots of links meant that the search engine would assume that the webpage had worth and would rank it high on the search engines.
Law firms that got this would pay an internet marketing company money to get them lots of links. These links, when added together, would then equal a high-ranking online in the search engines.
Of course, as mentioned in another blog entry, search engine algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda have resulted in the number of links a webpage has being minimized. Instead, webpage ranking has a lot more to do with the number of quality links a webpage has versus the number of links they have. Organic links are also generally given more worth than paid links.
Quality links are links that have worth according to the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). The quality of a link can be measured in various different ways online, including through the relevance of the link to the webpage and the trust flow and page rank of the webpage providing the link.
Another important facet of linking is anchor text. Anchor test is the visible characteristics and words that hyperlinks display when linking to other webpage. For example, a personal injury who might want to rank high might have anchor text on a webpage that says something like “Minneapolis personal injury attorney.” That phrase would then be clickable and link to their webpage. Then, when individuals search this phrase online, this webpage would theoretically show up higher due, in part, to the link and the anchor text.
In other words, webpage linking is not about simply dropping the URL of a webpage in a webpage directory or blog. Instead, for search engine optimization, anchor text can/should be used in a smart way as well where allowed for optimization purposes.
Having said that, the search engines have cleaned up the use of anchor text as well through algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda. Good practice is that anchor text be varied and that natural phrases be linked from as anchor text instead of over-using/stuffing the same exact phrases repetitively.
For law firms who want to rank high online, the reality is that linking and anchor text are two important concepts to understand.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.