Impacts of inbound and outbound links in SEO

Whenever you search something on a search engine, say Google, you will get hundreds of links as a search result. These results are spread across many pages. You can skim through all of these pages to get the information you are looking for OR you can focus on the first page with a limited number of links. Usually, you would get all the necessary information from the links displayed on the 1st page.

This means that the 1st page on the search engine result pages (SERPs) have the most relevant information. How does a search engine like Google determine which pages belong to the 1st page of SERP?

There are hundreds of factors that determine the positioning of a page. One of the most important criteria is the Domain Authority.

What is Domain Authority (DA)?

Simply put, Domain Authority is a ranking system developed by Moz that determines the pecking order of pages on SERPs. The scores range from 1-100 with 100 being the score at the higher end of the ranking system.

Search engines use DA to validate websites providing comprehensive information on a particular topic. This directly translates into a top-ranking website being an authority giving you all the information you need, right at the top of your SERPs. If your page has a good DA, it will automatically appear at the top of the SERPs, and pages with low DA appear lower. 

DA is calculated keeping in mind multiple factors; the most important being linking root domains, the total number of links associated with the page and much more.

What is considered a ‘good’ Domain Authority?

Let’s explain this with the help of a common example. Suppose you have a query and you type it out in Google, chances are that a Wikipedia page of that query will appear at the top. Why Wikipedia?

Wikipedia pages have many inbound links, i.e., a direct connection to other Wikipedia pages which can provide additional information related to your query, within the pages of Wikipedia. This means that all the information you need is available on Wikipedia. Also, it has several external links which will lead to other pages that will provide you with related information.

Search engines view such pages as the ultimate compilation of all the information that a user may seek. This immensely contributes to the DA of a page, resulting in higher ranking.

This means that sites with higher inbound and external links are bound to appear at the top of the SERPs. The contrary of this is new websites or business with fewer inbound and external links, will rank lower on DA and hence, appear at the bottom of the SERPs.

An important concept to remember is that Domain Authority is a comparative scale. Your aim should be to rank higher than your competitors rather than having an overall high rank. This means that you should try to create pages that appear as the ultimate authority within your respective topic. This is important because your page with a particular topic appears on SERPs if a user searches Google for that particular topic. That is why, getting a good DA requires one to focus on their field on expertise, having related content in the form of inbound and external links, rather than related to irrelevant information.