Think about the downstream chain of links

We all know that links to our websites mean better ranking in Google. If they’re from a decent website, they should bring in commercially worthwhile traffic too. What many people forget is that links are a chain.

If you manage to get a link from another site, it’s well worth taking every opportunity you can to promote the page which is linking to you. The traffic will flow through, obviously, but so will the ‘link equity’ in Google if you link to the page from a good site.

As an example, suppose an online magazine publishes an article about you, with a nice link to your website. Do you have any opportunities to link to that article? If so, you’ll drive traffic directly, and help the page rank more strongly in Google. That – in turn – makes its link more valuable.

I’m not talking here about linking from your own site, of course. As far as traffic is concerned, there’s not much to be gained from sending people away to an off-site article about you (although it can be used as a nice testimonial). And as far as Google link equity is concerned, if you link to an article about your own site, that’s just a reciprocal link which isn’t going to help much.

What I’m talking about is third-party opportunities. The obvious ones are social media – a link to the magazine article from Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn ticks the boxes above. In addition, people who see this are more likely to spread a link to an article on a magazine site than they are to spread a link to a manufacturer’s site. You may also have opportunities, such as blogs or even articles you might be writing for other sites. Again, a link to an article on a magazine site might be more appropriate than one to your own site.

So when you get a nice link, think about the downstream chain and how you can build things. You’d be surprised at the impact you can have.