Having a good grasp on link building is essential if you hope to survive and thrive online. The landscape of link building continues to change and evolve, so it’s never been more important to make sure you understand SEO and its purpose, and how to get the most out of it, to get the best results for your clients.
Here’s our guide to link building and why getting it right is important for your results.
The purpose of link building
Search engines use links primarily to discover new web pages and to help with determining where pages should rank in the search results. Search engines must crawl pages before they can index them and return the information for the page in their results – they come across new pages to index by following the links on other web pages. The more back links are page gains, the more quickly it will be discovered and indexed by the search engine. High quality website links are like a vote of confidence for the content on your website, so once search engines discover your content they will look at how many back links you have pointing towards your web page. A lot of high quality links tells the search engine that your content is of a high quality and that your website is trustworthy, this results in better rankings for important search terms.
Links have long been a ranking factor for Google, and they’ve proved to be a very effective way of determining the quality of a website. The general idea is that websites won’t gain links if they aren’t a good resource, effectively making links a vote of confidence. This was diluted by manipulations of the system, where web masters would attempt to rank more highly with spammy link building practices and lots of links from poor quality websites. Search engines have begun to combat this with regular updates and new strategies to filter out websites trying to manipulate the system, this has improved the quality of the user experience on websites over time. Google has started to discount or decrease the value of some practices, like submitting sites to website directories in order to prevent overuse or abuse of certain SEO strategies.
The benefits of link building
The obvious benefit of link building is that it helps your website climb the ranking and become seen by the people you want it to be seen by but there are some other benefits. Whilst these benefits might not be immediately obvious, they can certainly be of great value to your website.
Link building strategies usually involve outreach and cooperation with other websites, businesses and blogs related to your industry. Link building usually involved promotion and mutually beneficial arrangements between important key influencers in your industry. This can lead to long-term relationships building up over time, this can be highly valuable beyond link-building, as it can help to improve your business’s reputation, trustworthiness, and position within the industry.
Links can provide relevant referral traffic and customers. Often if a website is linking back to your website it’s because there is some kind of relationship between the content and your pages, usually meaning that your audiences share similar features and will likely be interested in your content as well.
Link building is one of the most powerful tools in the SEO tool box. Building high quality links by creating genuinely useful content helps to drive traffic to your website and improve your rankings. Poor practices have changed the way we approach links over time, but they’re definitely still worth your time and attention.