7 Illustrations of How Topical Links Impact Rankings, in Theory and Practice - Moz: "search engineers have long worked to extract a large number of signals from the simple link, including:
Trustworthiness – Links from trusted sites may count as an endorsement
Spamminess – Links from known spam sites may count against you
Link Manipulation – Looking at signals such as over-optimization and link velocity, search engines may be able to tell when webmasters are trying to "game" the system
One of the most important signals engineers have worked to extract from links is topical relevance. This allows search engines to answer questions such as "What is this website about?" by examining incoming links."
To read more go to: https://moz.com/blog/7-link-seo
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