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Does a link on a page add any value to the page that it is on or does it only add value to the page that it is linked to?

For example, let's say I have a page targeted towards a certain industry like "Manufacturing". On this page I have a link and a paragraph of text describing a product. So the link will have the text "Blue Widgets" and link to a page about "Blue Widgets".

Will the search engines then say, Oh this pages talks about "Manufacturing Blue Widgets".

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Simple answer. Both! Let me explain.

Semantics is a rather complex topic to get into, however, link text on a page is still viewed as content and therefore contains semantic value in determining what content is about. It simply melds into the content.

The link text is also viewed as content that describes the target page. It is weighted heavily in semantic value for the target page.

The best goal for link text is that it makes sense and has value within the content and yet also fully describes the target page which is why links within content are so powerful. SEOs often recommend using just a few keywords in the link text, however, since the beginning of Google, this has always been counter productive. The best tactic is to link a portion of the content within a sentence that describes the target page. There is little or no semantic value for just two or three keywords words as SEOs recommend. Semantics cannot make much use of just a few words. However, a full sentence or major portion of a sentence can have semantic value to fully understand the target page.

Also consider semantics between pages. A content page with a link will be related to the target page of that link even if they are not related. Hence the logic of making sure that linked pages are related by topic. In this case, the content block where the link resides, being defined as paragraphs and blocks of content between header tags, should normally relate to the link target page. In this way, a link for blue widgets in a paragraph about manufacturing widgets would indeed pass-on the value of the term manufacturing though with less weight than the link text. In this case, blue widgets would have significantly more value since in the search world links are a primary source of valuable semantic clues.

Why is this important?

Since day one of Google, links and title tags held special value in that the quality and accuracy of the match using these values proved to be a few percentage points greater than a match against the content itself. This cannot always be true if the link or title tag is short. Hence why Google does not like short title tags. Google does not match search directly against the link tag itself as it exists on a page. This is because Google believes that the link values the target page. However, Google does take into account the link text of the links pointing to any page in matching search intent. Hence why it is important.

Clear as mud?

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I am a content blogger and I have asked similar questions to seo pros on Fiverr and the summation of what everyone has said is simply this,

  1. Is the link a necessity, profitable or relative to your long tail keywords.
  2. How does it affect your bounce rate. Will it take readers off your site?
  3. Does it support your thesis or show an example?
  4. is it repeated in your metatag?
  5. If you read all your highlighted words and try to put them together without any other text, can you get the gist of what the article is about or is it just random?

For example, let's say I have a page targeted towards a certain industry like "Manufacturing". On this page I have a link and a paragraph of text describing a product. So the link will have the text "Blue Widgets" and link to a page about "Blue Widgets".

Will the search engines then say, Oh this pages talks about "Manufacturing Blue Widgets". It depends on the rest of the content in your post, [if you added them then equally in account are,] your meta tags, and your keywords. Using your example if the page is a landing page and it titled Manufacturing, followed by a body that reads; "Therefore product a is compatible with project b, however not with project c. For an example of how to incorporate project c into your design please see the blue widget on page one or simply click the highlighted link." Then adding illustrations and descriptions to the photos you continue and add mete and keywords about projects a.b and c.

The spiders will likely pick up your illustrations of A B & C and the names of the projects. Later when I search "Is project b supposed to work with project c or did i get the wrong ones?' Google will likely show your page in the top search if "project" is original to you and your company.

If you shove your post full of affiliate links and wiki links, none of which really describe projects a. b. or c. then what you are left with is a very unlikely chance the google or any other search engine will find the product page when they search for projects ab&c.

I hope I explained that in a way that answered the question and also might have helped give you an outline of what links should stay and what should go. Ask me to clarify any point above and I will gladly answer. Good luck to you.

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