For retail store owners and retail employees the idea of the holiday season means longer hours at work, more customers, and the occasional strong drink after work. It took at least the last 3 months to plan for the next 30 days. All your marketing is in place and ready to fly, drop, or launch.
My work here is done. Over the next 30 days or so I'm going to switch my Daily Golden Nugget series back over to the "Grain of SEO Gold" series that I introduced last year this time. In the "Grain" series I'll try to cover small search engine optimization topics in a few short paragraphs.
Today's topic is about linking from one website to another. The original idea of the World Wide Web was that many websites would link their pages to one another to create a virtual spider web of links in cyberspace. Back in the early days of the internet the popularity of a website was measured by counting the number of links a single web page had. The counting of links is still an important part of how websites are ranked.
Early websites used to have a page dedicated to "Links." Many times the links on these pages had nothing to do with the website they were listed on. Typically a webmaster would arbitrarily list descriptions and hyperlinks to other website they found interesting. Hyperlinks were always blue and underlined back then, and those blue/underlined words became known as "anchor text" or "link text."
Businesses quickly learned that website popularity could be manipulated by adding more and more links to random websites. It was also learned that you could dominate search engine results by using the same anchor text on hundreds or thousands of other websites. This practice eventually became known as Black Hat SEO.
As of the writing of this Grain of SEO Gold, Google has achieved great strides to filter out almost all of the Black Hat linking I've described above. The hope is that business can't manipulate their popularity any more using this method.
Google still counts the total number of links they find and they will give you "credit" for 1 link when they find it on a blog. If that same blog has 50 links to your site you will still only get "credit" for a single link. You're asking for trouble if you have more than 50 links because that's where Black Hat techniques are noticed.
Additionally, Google gives a weighted value to the words used in the anchor text. The first word of the anchor is more important than the second word. The second word is more important than the third word. The forth word probably does not carry enough value to help your ranking.
It's still important to build a collection of links to your website, but Google's link filtering has effectively sent us all back to 1995 when linking was done because you wanted to share something you were honestly excited about.