Over the past few weeks I have received a few questions regarding my 3 part series on How to Optimize for Google. This post will answer a few of the questions I have received.

Do hyperlinked images count as back links? Which scores higher, text or image links?

Yes, Google does count hyperlinked images, however, to get the most out of imaged based links it is best to have relevant, preferably keyword-rich, alt text tagged onto the image.

As far as which scores higher, for the most part they are equal, assuming that the image has the appropriate alt text. In some cases a text based link may actually pass on a little more value if it is located within a highly relevant paragraph as an in-line link.

What about Business Link Directories?

Some link directories can offer significant value to your site. While many may be virtually useless, a well targeted business directory of related websites can help boost your link density and ultimately your organic rankings.

When submitting your site to a link directory, make sure it is somewhat reputable. Check out how well they are indexed in Google, what the Google PR is on internal pages, and generally how many links does the directory contain. If you find that the most relevant category for your site listing has literally hundreds of links, this could raise a flag to pass on this one.

Avoid the FFA (Free for all) directories. These tend to be loaded with SPAM websites that could drag you down. Hand edited and even some paid directories are often the best bet. Make sure that the page that will house your link is indexed in Google, preferably has some Google PR showing up, and that it does not use the rel=nofollow attribute, or another form of blocking the spiders from seeing your site. Also make sure that the link doesn’t direct through some tracking script as these will often pass no value.

When it comes to deciding on if a directory is worth submitting to if you use your common sense, you should be okay. Remember the key here is relevance.

What are your thoughts on Siloing?

While siloing may not be perfect for all websites, it can help focus certain areas of your site on a specific theme, which in turn can help your rankings for phrases related to that theme. By driving spiders and passing PR only among a specific silo, it helps to keep the relevance up, and ultimately can help with your search rankings.

If you do have your site setup using a silo structure, also try to get inbound links directed to each of the specific silos as this will further help boost the PR value of the pages within each section.


If you have any questions regarding my recent “How to Optimize for Google” series or anything SEO related for that matter, please feel free to send them to us here at StepForth!