Incoming Links are the King’s Ransom

Incoming Links are the King's Ransom
Let’s start with defining what a “king’s ransom” is.

I started saying this several years ago and I sometimes get asked “what is a king’s ransom anyway and how does it relate to SEO and optimizing websites?”

From Yahoo Answers, gizmo52242 says “In feudal times in England, it wasn’t uncommon for nobles to be kidnapped and held for ransom, rather than killed. It was a part of the code of conduct, and the higher the noble, the more money the ransom would be. Thus, a “king’s ransom” is the high price paid for a country to recover its king.” This is plausible and why something that costs a lot is often referred to as choosing a “king’s ransom”. Modern definitions refer to a king’s ransom as “a lot of money”.

Since quality incoming links will help a website be findable for the search terms deemed important, they equate to a king’s ransom. Thus, content is king and incoming links are the king’s ransom.

Google and Links

Google especially, has always been about serving quality results and Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google, realized early on that incoming links worked as attributions toward the content they were linking to, would validate the topic. And so linking became a ranking factor when Google entered the scene in the late 90’s. Wikipedia reports that its mission statement from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” and its unofficial slogan still is “Don’t be evil.”

The Early Days of Search

Back in the early days ranking were based on the words entered into the keyword and description meta tags. Just imagine the results! Spammers as a general rule are very smart people and early spammers realized that they could influence search engine results by using fun words that people were using to search and getting the search engines to serve up their websites instead. The three industries that have led the way to getting the search engines to optimize their algorithms are referred to as the 3 P’s, pills, porn and poker.

As the search engines became more savvy and updated their algorithms, the use of the title tag became the influencing factor in addition to the body copy and how the body copy was marked up with headlines, bold etc. The search engines want the body copy to be user friendly as well as search engine friendly.

LLS: Likeable, Linkable, Shareable

Since likeable content of any type, written, visual and audio, is what attracts the links to be shared, content is still king in my book, however links are definitely the king’s ransom because they boost the quality of the content and give it more value. And of course every Kingdom needs people or there would be no Kingdom, and that is where social media factors in to create buzz, engagement and sharing of the content attract the links.

Blogs are part of that content. Some are adding content to websites, others play a part in the social media community. Other players include the likes of Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube and thousands others. Getting to know your “tribe” and where they hang out is essential to your marketing plan. Find where the people are who will engage with your content. In the online world we live in today, it’s not necessary for all of your people to be in one space, they can be anywhere. Finding them can be tricky sometimes and basically like any marketing campaign it comes down to testing. Trial and error. See what works and what doesn’t. This is where your analytics come in. Monitor your analytics during campaign launches to see where traffic is coming from and see what is converting for you.

Build Your Community

Also, if you aren’t already, gather those who are interested in getting more from you together in an email database so you can let them know when you have new content or something they might be interested in.

I hope now you can see why I’ve always said that “Content is king and links are the king’s ransom.” And now for a new search marketing acronym. Is your content LLS? Likeable, linkable and shareable?

Posted in Links.