Essentially, your website will attract more search engine traffic if ‘high reputation’ websites link to it. This is likely to be of even more value if the web page that links to yours contains content which is related to the content on your web page. I’ll go into more detail in later posts, but broadly speaking ‘high reputation’ websites are those websites which themselves are linked-to by other high reputation websites!
You may have heard of a term called Pagerank (PR). This is used by Google to determine the reputation of a web page – the higher the page rank, the better. The more sites with a high pagerank that you can get to link to your own site, the more likely you are to appear in a SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
So, onto the main topic of this post – Does it matter how people link to my site? By this, I really mean does it matter whether they link to mysite.com, www.mysite.com, www.mysite.com/index.html, etc?
Well, according to Matt Cutts, a well-known Google software engineer, in his excellent WordCamp 2007 talk, it does matter. To google, www.mysite.com is not the same page as www.mysite.com/index.html, even though they are highly likely to be the same page on your website. So, google will give each of them a Pagerank, depending on the sites linking to each of those urls. The pagerank for each url is likely to be lower than the pagerank that would have been attributed to the page if all links went to the same url… and as we have learned above, the higher the pagerank for your web page, the more likely it is to feature in the SERP’s.
So, when developing inbound links to your website it sounds like it is better if all links point to exactly the same version of your url. There are various ways to find out which sites link to your pages, and with what url’s, and we will cover this in a later post.