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A Guide To Link Building - Part 1

Posted 03rd October, 2013 by Aliysa

In this first installment of a two-part series about the SEO practice of link building, I’ll cover its benefits and the importance of building high quality backlinks. By the end of the series you should be well equipped with the knowledge needed to build an effective backlink strategy for your website.

What is link building?

Link building is an SEO technique that involves increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage or website. This practise has been an integral part of SEO for a number of years and is known to have a significant impact on Google’s ranking algorithm. Links are often described as the roads between web pages to search engine crawlers, who use the number of links to a page to determine its popularity, as well as other metrics such as trust, spam and authority. Google reiterates that it’s the quality of backlinks that matters, rather than the quantity, otherwise spam links could influence rankings and this would damage the quality of search engine results.

What makes a quality link?

There is not an agreed definition of what makes a good link, rather it’s subjective. There are tons of different factors that are believed to influence the value of a link, but for the purpose of simplicity they can be narrowed down to three blanket areas:

  • Link power - i.e. the amount of traffic it could bring. This consists of factors such as page authority, domain authority, location of the link on the page (the higher the better), number of external links on the page (the fewer the better), amongst others.
  • Relevance - this is to do with the quality of traffic, instead of the amount of traffic. Relevancy increases when the site linking to you is relevant to your site or page, and when words near the link and on the link page match (or are near to) your page’s targeted keywords.
  • Difficulty - generally speaking, the harder it is to gain a backlink from a site, the more value the backlink will carry.The difficulty can be gauged from the amount of external pages the source links to.

What's the benefit of securing a portfolio of quality back links?

Effective link building requires a considerable input of time and if done to a poor standard it can actually damage your ranking, PR and business as a whole. But it can offer the following benefits:

  1. It increases your search engine rankings. PageRank - one of Google’s many search engine algorithms - is the link analysis system they implement
  2. Quality links from the past, say, from a few years ago, still influence rankings
  3. Through exposure to a larger number of people, the volume of visitor traffic to your site will rise
  4. More site visitors = more potential conversions and custom
  5. Gaining quality links has a domino effect: in turn it generates more quality links
  6. Quality links can connect you with more people, possibly broadening your network of useful contacts
  7. Having backlinks from quality sources boosts brand reputation

In the next post I’ll provide some really useful tips on how to build quality, effective backlinks and how to monitor them.

Categories: Tips, SEO

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