Use Open Site Explorer to Evaluate Your Site's Incoming Links
Quality incoming links to your website has always been a key factor in ranking highly in the search engines, but as time has gone on, Google and Bing have refined their search algorithms to place even more emphasis on incoming links.
A quality incoming link is one coming from a site that is relevant to your own site and is well-regarded in the eyes of the search engines. For instance, if you sell shoes, a great link would be from a shoe distributor, such as Clarks Shoes (www.clarks.com). It would be even better if the Clarks.com link to your site went directly to a page about Clarks shoes. This type of high-quality linking is admittedly difficult to accomplish, which is why business owners have sought links of any kind, hoping that many low quality links would make up for the lack of high quality links. As search engines get more sophisticated, obtaining high quality links becomes more important.
A great free tool to evaluate your incoming links is Open Site Explorer. Put out by SEOmoz, Open Site Explorer is a powerful and free tool that can give you a wealth of link-related information about your website as well as your competitors' sites. Open Site Explorer reveals data about page authority, domain authority, number of total links, and the source of your links. Social media information is available to Pro-level members only. Donít worry if you donít know what terms like page authority (a predictor of ranking potential) means. Simply hover over the unfamiliar term and a window appears explaining what it is.
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