Do you know the difference between a direct link to your website and a re-direct link – also known as a jump link or indirect link? If you don’t then please read on.
Firstly for those in the know please note that I am not talking about a 301 Re-direct. Secondly this blog has been published before by myself on Whatswhat.ie but I believe it’s an important point so worth repeating for those who may have missed it before.
I previously spoke to a client who said she’d been on a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) course and was advised to advertise with a certain directory that would be great for SEO. However I knew that they didn’t actually offer a direct link.
It worried me that this was being advised on an SEO course. Now I am not professing to be an SEO expert at all. I’d like to think I am learning. However, I have picked up some great advice from Ali at Webmentor.ie who has given me some help with writing this as I wanted to make sure I had all the facts correct.
Firstly I need to explain the reason for the importance between a direct and re-direct link. It is good to get legitimate direct links to your website from other websites – especially if they’re relevant to your business. Let’s call it “link juice”. Google counts relevant direct links to your website as a measure of your popularity on the web and this can help with your SEO by raising your rankings.
A re-direct link isn’t much good for SEO because Google doesn’t count a re-direct link as part of the link juice!
Remember – both types of link still go through to your website immediately, and both will give you visitors you can track on your analytics. However, only a direct link has the potential added benefit of “link juice” which can help with your own website’s rankings.
It’s very simple to spot the difference. Just hover your cursor over the actual link – don’t click on it. Then look at the bottom left of your screen – immediately above the start button to see if your actual web address is being used or not. See the diagrams below to explain simply:
The link may even look real with the http://www prefix but it isn’t necessarily a direct link.
Please Note: SEO is highly complex. Google rankings depend on many factors. The purpose of this article is to show a user how to distinguish a direct link from an indirect link, not to recommend how to do SEO.
I hope this is of some help for people to understand the difference so please let me know if it does.