Incoming links are important to the rankings of your website. Having a quantity of relevant incoming links increases your sites relevancy and boosts rankings within Google and the other search engines.
Traditional SEO wisdom use to state – the more incoming links the better. However the new belief is that there is a preference for quality over quantity.
There is a growing consensus that within Google a 'Sandbox' exists for new links. This is similar to the aging filter believed to exist for new sites – what has traditionally been known as the Google 'Sandbox.'
There is strong evidence that that Google now employs a link filter as part of its algorithm. The belief is that new links do not get full credit when they first appear but that they receive partial credit until they have been established for a 'holding' time period. Once this holding period is complete they are given full credit and they then go on to benefit the site and influence Page Rank. There is further evidence that having a large quantity of new links actually harms your rankings and can trigger a penalty filter.
The other influencing factor is how strongly the link relates to your site. Is the link related to and of a similar theme to your website? If not, it could be of less value to your site.
How does this information affect your website? Well, let's look at the reasons why Google introduced the filter. Too many links in a short period of time is viewed as artificial. This may be the result of an unnatural link strategy such as a 'cheap and nasty' SEO links campaign, link sales or the result of signing up with a link farm. Google are obviously looking for natural links. The holding period gives Google time to discover just how relevant the new link is.
As in all areas of business a sound and ethical approach is always the best tactic for long term success. A natural linking strategy will build natural and quality relevant links. These links should be applied over a period of time. The links should be of a similar theme to your website's content. The drawback is that this can be a slow and time consuming process.
There are a few options that may be worth considering:
* You can add one way directory links which are typically high quality and offer you link that are relevant and theme related
* Do not ask for links from unrelated sites
* Make sure that all links you ask for are theme related
* Spread your linking over a period of time.
By following good SEO practices and or by hiring an SEO company that follows these practices and works within the search engine guidelines you minimize the risk that your site and your business will be adversely affected by the Google filters.