A brief guide to link building

Link building is one of the most controversial and talked about techniques in search engine optimisation (SEO). Over time many practitioners have developed different methodologies and tactics for link building in response to the changing ways in which search engine algorithms value it.

No matter if you’re an experienced SEO practitioner or a newbie, there’s always more to learn when it comes to link building. Let’s take a look at some of the basics of link building.

Link building is vital to your SEO efforts

What is link building and why is it useful?

Link building is the process of building a network of backlinks back to your website so that search engines give you a higher search engine results page (SERP) ranking. This is because search engines like Google place a high value on website that have been widely cited around the internet as this implies the website is of high quality or provides something that users would want.

Think of each link to your domain as a vote of confidence from another website, the more votes you have the more authoritative your website appears to search engines. The power of backlinks to influence SERP rankings should not be underestimated and that is why link building is such a popular SEO strategy.

How do search engines value backlinks?

The value of link building depends on the value that search engines assign to your backlinks. In more primitive versions of the internet, simply having a link to your site spread around the internet was enough to boost rankings, nowadays the context of where and how these links appear matters more than how many of them you have.

Low quality backlink networks that are paid-for and spread across domains with thin content won’t perform as well as 1 or 2 backlinks on high authority websites. This is why domain authority (DA) is such an important metric for SEO practitioners.

There are 4 main factors that influence the quality of a backlink:

Domain authority

As mentioned earlier, domain authority is a crucial SEO metric that informs the search engine indexer how authoritative the domain is. The more inbound referrals from other high DA sites, the higher the DA will rise.

No follow URL’s

No follow URLs don’t have an SEO impact as they are meant to be used as part of Google’s guidelines for including links. They are an HTML rule that instructs search engine indexers not to count the link and is most commonly used on sponsored links.

Positioning

A URL that is positioned in the text of an article in a way that’s useful to a reader will rank better than a URL included in the header or footer.

Anchor text

Anchor text refers to the words that the link is attached to. It is ideal if the link is attached to anchor words that are also keywords for the site.

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