Link Building Explained – What is Link Building?
What is link building? Wikipedia states, “In the field of search engine optimization, link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a page.” So what exactly does this mean?
There really isn’t a standard definition, because people (and especially SEO companies) have their own definition of what link building is. There are some search engine optimization agencies that build massive amounts of low quality and spammy links and consider that link building, while there are other agencies that focus on building high quality links.
When it comes down to it, link building isn’t just the process of acquiring inbound links to your website. It is part of a complete online marketing campaign that helps to increase the visibility of the target website, while attracting more traffic to the site with the goal of converting the visitors into revenue for the business.
Why Link Building Works
Links have been the number one ranking factor that Google uses to determine their search engine results. They have always been, and will continue to be a huge part of SEO, regardless of what you hear. Links are major signals that Google uses in their algorithm, and while there is a lot of talk that content marketing is the “new SEO” you have to understand what the purpose of content marketing is…and that is gaining links! Links are still very important and that hasn’t changed. The only thing that has changed is the types of links to go after and how to earn them.
Why Link Building Has Changed Drastically
Back in the beginning of search engine optimization there was one simple way to dominate the search results, and that was to have the most links. This resulted in mass spamming and the use of automated software dropping links on every corner of the Internet that would accept them. It worked for a long time and then Google began to enhance their algorithm and develop ways to eliminate low quality links from the equation and even penalize websites that practiced this spammy link building.
Low quality link building still exists today, and it can even work for a very short period of time. There are many low quality SEO agencies that still use these techniques, mainly due to the fact that they are not up to speed on proper link building or because they are outsourcing their work to companies that just create mass spam links and pass it off as SEO.
SEO companies that are current with the trends are constantly developing new ways to build links that are high quality and offer a benefit not only to the rankings, but to the overall marketing strategy as well.
How to Effectively Build Links
Today effective link building requires creativity and a well thought out strategy. Google wants to deliver their users with the best search experience online, and by looking at their market share you have to assume that the consumers are happy with the search results that Google delivers to them. Google makes the majority of their revenue from advertisements, but they still need to make sure that their organic results are helpful if they want to maintain their market share and search volume.
Awhile the early years of link building was focused around the number of links built, today the focus needs to be on the quality of the links being built. The reason that content marketing and infographic marketing have become so popular in recent years is because of the link building opportunities they create.
Publishing excellent content that gets shared results in natural links being built on related websites. Back in the early days of SEO links were placed within content that was barely readable and placed on websites that didn’t receive real visitors or interaction. Infographics and quality content can help you earn great links. This is natural link building that Google loves, and rewards accordingly. As mentioned before, effective link building requires creativity.
Link Building is Brand Awareness Building
Creative link building methods such as content marketing and infographic marketing help you build your brand as well. Focusing on high quality and relevant websites will get your brand long-term exposure if the content is evergreen.
Imagine if you created an infographic that featured compelling stats and information about a popular topic within your industry and had it placed on the most popular website for your industry. Sure a link on that website would be extremely valuable, but the amount of eyes that would come in contact with your brand would be equally as valuable. Well thought out link building produces excellent branding as well.
So, what is link building? While there are many ways to build links, the process of earning high quality links from relevant websites is beneficial for your SEO efforts as well as your overall branding. Focus on quality and creativity while developing strategies, as link building techniques are constantly evolving.