Search engines place a high level of relevance on inbound links to a website when determining where it will be ranked in a search. A couple of the helpful tools in website search engine optimization that I have come across are mozRank (mR) and PageRank (PR). These tools are very useful in providing metrics to base SEO link building efforts on. Knowing the PR and mR are helpful in determining the value a link from a particular site. They are set on a scale from 1 – 10 with higher numbers indicating greater “link juice” (value a link from that site provides to your search engine optimization efforts).
For example: if a website with a PR or mR of 3 and a website with a PageRank or mozRank of 4 both link to identical wesites (Site A and Site B), Site A which received the link from the site ranking 4 would likely appear higher in the search engines than Site B which was linked to from the website with a rank of 3. This is true in theory, however due to the complexity of the algorithms used by the search engines these scores should not be used as the sole judge in determining the ideal websites to attempt to gain links from.
Relevance of the site being linked from is another determinant in search engine ranking. Take the same two sites in the earlier example and say that they are both dental websites in Columbus Ohio. Now say that the higher ranked website that the two are linking from is a personal injury law firm website in Cleveland Ohio and the lower ranked website is a dental association in Columbus Ohio. In this case, even though Dental website B linked to the lower mR and PR websites, Site B will gain more benefit from the local aspect (if potential patients are searching for a local “dentist in Columbus Ohio”). Dental website B will also gain benefit in the search engines from the fact that the dental association website is highly relevant to dentistry. Thus, even though dental website A has an inbound link from a website which has a slightly higher PageRank and mozRank, dental website B is likely to earn a better ranking in the search engines.