Why are text links better than graphic links?
Dave, the sites that are linking back to me are using a graphical "badge" rather than a textual link. This is a graphics link back, which according to your Google book, doesn't rank as highly as a text link. Yet, my audience loves these. Now what?
Glad you're finding useful information in my Google book. You ask about something that a lot of people are surprised to hear about but is actually quite important in terms of your overall findability, so let me explain it in detail.
There are essentially two different ways that a Web page can point to another Web page, either with a text link, where one or more words are 'clickable' and whisk you to another site, or with a graphical element, where a picture, figure, illustration or other graphical device is 'clickable' and takes you to the new page.
Why is text better, though? Because when you use a graphic, you lose the powerful value of the words that people use to link to you .
Let me show you an example: If I link to my new site ConnectSafely.com as a domain name, as I just did, then if someone searches for the domain name, the destination page is considered more relevant. Not particularly useful because if they're searching for a domain name, they probably already know my site.
If I link to the site using a keyword or key phrase that someone might search for, however, like this: wireless security ebook then I'm taking a big step towards improving my findability for that particular phrase.
If you offer a graphical link like a badge, you get the benefit of the inbound link, but even the alt text on the graphic or the graphic filename still carry less weight in the relevance algorithm than a simple text link does. Hence my preference for people linking to my site with text, not graphical, links.
There is a possible middle ground, however, where you might offer a snippet of HTML to cut and paste that includes both a graphic and a small text link below it. That'd be the best of both worlds!
Hope that helps you out!
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