Introducing the concept of links in relation to web marketing
You need them.
Lots of them too.
Links on a web page enable the visitor to move around within and without a website easily. At least it should be easy and logical from your visitors point of view.
Search engines are critical to web marketing success as we know. It is believed that 50% of any websites visitors will probably arrive at the site or page from a direct search query. By this I mean if a searcher types in good cheddar cheese he will be taken directly to a page about good cheddar cheese. On the other hand the searcher may have come from a link elsewhere maybe the searcher had been looking at a completely different site about English cheeses and saw a link to the site about good cheddar cheese.
When I review my own websites logs I find that about 50% of all page views come from search engines directly, 30% from links outside my site, about 20% from bookmarks and other means.
Assuming these results are typical then by focusing solely upon keyword usage to drive traffic to your site will limit the amount of traffic to your site. It is obvious that to maximize traffic a strategy of getting links to your web pages/websites must be incorporated into your web marketing work.
It just so happens that this is how the search engines also think. Indeed their thinking appears to be leaning towards the quality web page linking approach for determining high rankings.
Incoming links to a website, using the words of Google developers Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page indicate relevance and to a lesser degree quality of the web page. PageRank on the other hand indicates the popularity of a web page. Googles main aim has always been to deliver quality results and has used popularity as a means of identifying this.
These two concepts are very important in our attempts to rank highly on a SERP.
In general on-page factors have an unknown but finite limit to their ranking value in terms of SERPs whilst PageRank does not. For this reason the best optimized page in the world will generally lose out to a high PageRank page with only basic attempts at optimization for keyword use. This we know from reading the research paper published by Brin and Page in 1998.
We will leave PageRank until later and just discuss anchor links and anchor links text for the time being. Just bear in mind PageRanks critical importance especially for highly competitive searches as you read on. PageRank is a trade mark term of Google.