Do Local Links Really Matter More Than Non-local Links
I recently read a report about international SEO which showed that the country of a link doesn’t matter. For example, if your website is a .de made for the German community, a link from another German website will be worth the same as an (equally authoritative) backlink from a .com website for the US community.
If this is true, then why are local SEO experts always telling businesses to get local links?
Authority Matters Most
First off, it is important to realize that the authority of the link still counts the most towards your SEO. If your local business in Wichita gets a backlink from The Guardian in the UK, it is going to be worth more than a backlink from your cheesy hometown paper’s website.
Local SEO Links vs. SEO Links
The internet is borderless, so Google doesn’t really care where you are getting your links from. In this sense, an unspams backlink to your website will be valuable even if it is from a website hosted in Kosovo and written in Albanian – even if your website is in English for the American market. There is an exception to this though: search engines can recognize local search intent. Basically, they know that if a person types in “best coffee shop My City” then the searcher is looking for results related to My City. If your website has backlinks from other websites related to My City, then those backlinks will matter more in terms of local SEO.
Local Links Aren’t Hard to Get
You don’t have to just sit around waiting for backlinks from local websites. First off, you want to make sure that you are listed in every local directory your city has, like the Yellow Pages and community directories. Another way to get local links quickly is to make donations to local charities. Just ask the local charity to link to your website in exchange for the donation. The next way of getting local links takes a bit more work but it will pay off. Contact local bloggers and journalists and let them know what you are up to. There is surely something unique about your business which they would love to write about (your store runs on solar power, you give free workshops on weekends, etc.).