web-artThere's extra value when a company is referenced on a website. It's great that potential readers & customers are finding out about services or products. But there's another value as well: with search engines such as Google.

Google uses complex methods to rank all the things on the Internet. The more a company is mentioned on legitimate, content-specific websites, the more seriously Google ranks it. Being mentioned in a legitimate, content-rich article raises its rankings in search results. Using this tool to your advantage is commonly referred to as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

Another value is when a company's web address appears on a legitimate website. These are referred to as "backlinks." The more backlinks you have - that is, the more links to your site from real websites - the higher your ranking with Google.

In February 2011, Google released an update to its algorithm referred to as Panda. In the post-Panda world, content-rich articles would be more valuable than ever, and so would the natural links found within them.

Panda hit low-valued “content farms” hard. Content farms were made of scavenged content from other sites or assembled poor quality content themselves. Also devalued were vast directories of links that focused on link swapping with other sites. The post-Panda algorithms would now detect link swapping and devalue them.

If you take being found on the Internet seriously, and appreciate the enormous revenue that Google generates, it's important to recognize the value of links on naturally written, content-rich websites.