An inbound link is any link on the internet that points to a page on your site.On most web pages, the cursor will change shape when your mouse hovers over the link,
to give you a visual indication that you can click on the link. On some websites, the color of the link will change. But it's still a link.When the search engines crawl the web, they take notice of the links they find. They will
use links to discover new pages that they need to crawl. They will also use the links to decide on the importance of the linked pages and to give them an idea of the subject
matter of the page.Search engines aren't as intelligent as humans by a long way. This means that they have to rely on these approximations of intelligence.
For instance, for a long time now you have been able to search for the phrase "click here"on Google and chances are that the Adobe Reader download page will come up as the
number one site. This is because a lot of sites have Adobe files on them and will put a link up for people without the Adobe Reader. This link will almost certainly say "click
here". what it means is that the "anchor text" is very important for determining the topic of a website or web page.The anchor text is the bit that's usually blue underlined on a web page and that is
clickable to go to the new site.Sometimes you have some control over the anchor text, sometimes you don't. A lot depends on who puts the link on their page and whether or not you are able to influence
what they put.
For instance, if someone is linking to your site from their blog, chances are that they will put whatever text comes to mind on their musings and then highlight a few words before
pressing the Link button and putting on the link.On the other hand, if you are commenting on their blog then you have the option to choose the anchor text.
Similarly if you have put an article on a site like EzineArticles then you can control what the anchor text will be.Google doesn't like all links to have the same anchor text it uses this as one of it's
triggers to check whether or not a site is trying to spam the Google index. It also doesn't like all links to point to the index (main) page of a site. Again, it doesn't think that this is
the natural way that links are built. Google also likes to see links build up over time,rather than all appear at once like a rash. We'll cover this a bit more when we talk about
getting links from online directories a bit later.
Google and the other search engines use very complex mathematical formulas (algorithms) to determine how high up a site should come in the search results when a
phrase is typed in. The search results vary over time, by search engine and by whereabouts in the world you are searching. Some experiments are also going on in the
search engine world to use your previous searches as a clue to what you are likely to be looking for.Inbound links to your site will generally help you in the search results but all inbound
links are certainly not equal.If you are lucky enough to get a link from, say, the front page of CNN's site then this will count for a lot more weight in the search engine's view that a link from your
grandmother's blog, for instance. You can get a very rough approximation of Google's view of the importance, or otherwise, of a site by installing the Google toolbar and
looking at a site's page rank. Don't get too hung up about page rank the publicly displayed page ranks are very, very, very approximate and are only updated every few
months. The ones that Google uses are updated pretty much all the time. Plus Google are the only search engine to even give you a clue as to how important they think a site is.
Yahoo and Microsoft play their cards even closer to their chests.