An introduction to Link Building
Links are a big deal – thanks to them, search engines can analyze the popularity of either websites or pages based on the number of pages linking to them. If those pages are popular, then their ranking improves! Links also have an effect on other metrics such as trust, spam, and authority. Links also tell you if a certain document or page is an authority on the subject or not.
In other words, Links are an important aspect of SEO – they aren’t the last word, but they play a very important role where search engines are concerned. SEO experts tell us that the “link profile” of a website is very important when it comes to getting any attention, traction or traffic from search engines. They improve the volume of traffic and have a great impact on search ranking. It is not easy to do this – but when done well. It can wipe out the competition and put you way ahead of the pack!
So what is this link-building all about and why is it so important?
In very simple words, link-building is a process. A process of getting hyper-links (a way of navigating from one page to another on the internet – much like the streets of a town) from other external websites to your own. And they are important to SEO because Search Engines use these links to crawl the web or move from one page to another on a website or move from one website to an entirely different one!
So essentially search engines use links to find new pages and to figure out where to rank a page in their results listing. In other words, if you want to rank well in search results, you need to have many high-quality websites that link to you. Google invented PageRank – where the quality of a page is measured based on the number of links pointing to it, (among other things). The logic is that when someone links to a website, they are in essence, saying that it is a good resource. Of course, SEO guys found ways to manipulate this and get their websites to rank higher in the listing with keyword stuffing. Which is why Google has these frequent updates that counter this!
Links were the next one to be ‘fixed’ – you can submit your website to various web directories and get a link in return. Google has wizened up to that as well. These are what Google calls “over-optimization” and have their Penguin updates that pick up this kind of thing.
But it is a known fact that with all other factors being equal, the volume and quality of links pointing to a page will change ranking!
So how can link building benefit my business?
- Search engines use links to determine result rankings. The more great quality links you have, the higher the ranking.
- You can not only link to other websites, you can link with key influencers in your industry which in turn brings credibility to your own business.
- Linking to a good website can increase referral traffic – traffic that is relevant to your business which in turn can up your sales!
- Linking to the right kind of websites in your industry can build your brand and establish you as an authority in your field of expertise. This is where content comes in – great content will establish you as an expert!
But the first step is to build something of value that others can build links to. Which brings one to the idea of earning links – be of great value that others would want to link to! No one really wants to link to websites that don’t offer much value.