Inbound links have always been important for search engine optimization (SEO). An inbound link is simply a hyperlink pointing to your website (or a page on your website) from another website. Regarding SEO, inbound links can boost the page rank and the seo for the page or website receiving the inbound link.
SEO and Inbound Links
Search engines take note of inbound links. If other web sites think highly enough of a website to link to it, the search engines tend to think more highly of the linked web site too. So, if a particular website or page has a lot of inbound links, the search engines will often give preference to those pages in their search results. The more inbound links, the better for both SEO, authority, and traffic.
To make things a bit more complicated, search engines (Google, in particular) also weight the rank and importance of the website giving the link into the equation of how important a particular inbound link is. For example, an inbound link from a web page with a page rank of 8 is often (much) better for your SEO than an inbound link from a web page with a page rank of 3.
Inbound Links & Link Juice
The SEO weight an inbound link carries with it is often referred to by SEO folks as “link juice”. The higher the ranking of the site linking to yours, the more ‘link juice’ it can provide to your website. Having high ranked, important, and popular websites linking to a website is better than low ranking ones and the more link juice, the better.
However, not all links pass their “link juice” along…
Follow vs NoFollow Inbound Links
Follow inbound links are followed and indexed by search engines bring with them the full link juice from the linking website. Follow links can help to boost a website’s search & page rankings.
A NoFollow inbound link is one that, although it links to your website, is not followed by search engines and therefore contains no link juice. A NoFollow link won’t help boost your search engine rankings, although it is possible that you will still get traffic from NoFollow links.