So What Is Link Building And Why Does It Matter?

Links are the freeways that connect pages on the internet.  Search engines use these freeways to get to the websites.  This is crucial as it relates to your sites ranking and visibility in search engines.

Starting with the 90′s, search engines have used links kindof like votes.  They represented a democracy of the webs opinion regarding which pages are popular and important.  Through the years, the various engines have created an art of this link data and formed complex algorithms evaluating a sites worthiness based on this information.

While links are not the sole defining matter when it comes to SEO, search pros put alot of weight into these link based factors.  Not only can engines analyze the popularity of a website based on the quantity and popularity of sites linking to them, but also things like trust, spam and authority.  Sites that are deemed more trustworth tend to link and have links to other trusted sites while sites that are considered spammy receive very frew links from trusted sources.

So thanks to the use of links in determining these factors, building up a quality link profil for your website is crucial to gain traction, attention and natural web traffic from search engines.  Its not as simple as just submitting your site to the engines anymore!  Link building is among the top tasks and vital for search ranking and overall traffic success.

So before you start, you must understand the elements of a link that the search engines use and how these elements effect the overal outcome i the algorithms.  Links are used in many different ways.  We may not know all the attributes that are measured by the engines since they keep that secret.  But by analyzing applications and through many years of experience and testing, we can draw some good assumptions that hold up in the real world.  So below is some factors that are worth of consideration regarding link building.

GLOBAL POPULARITY:

Links that come from popular and important sites tend to matter more than links that come from insignificant websites.  So what this means is that a linke to your website from a reputable site such as “Wikipedia” will help your sites visibiliy much more than a link from some insignificant site like “john does personal website.com”.  So as you start seeking sites where you want your link to appear on, shoot for the ones that are significant first!

LOCAL POPULARITY:

This one is simple.  If your website is about Dogs, than a link from other dog related websites carries alot more weight than non-related sites.  So getting a link to your site on a website about space travel wont be as effective as getting your link on a website about dog breeding.  Basically, target your efforts towards websites that offer similar, complementary content.  Stay on target!

ANCHOR TEXT:

The anchor text is the visible portion of what you see in a link.  Instead of simply placing a link on a site that says “CLICK HERE”, you will want to use text that is descriptive of your sites site.  So again, if your site is about dog breeding, use something like, “Click here to learn more about Dog Breeding”.  That will add to the relevance of the link to your website and boost your chances of ranking higher.

TRUST RANK:

The internet is packed with a horrendous amount of spam.  There are estimates that say that 60% of the web pages out there are spam.  So the engines have to weed out the spammy sites from the worthwhile ones.  They use systems that measure trust most of which are based on something called the link graph.  Basically, this simply means that earning links from highly trusted domains can result in a substantial boost in your websites trust.  Highly trusted websites could include universities, government websites, non profit organizations etc etc.

LINK NEIGHBORHOOD:

This is another matrix engines use to determine the spaminess of a website.  Basically it works like this.  A website that links to spam sites is likely a spam site itself.  By examining all the links to and from your website, engines come up with what is called a link neighborhood model.  If your “link neighborhood” contains alot of spam websites, your site may be categorized as spam as well.  So be careful who you link to!

FRESHNESS:

The impact of links can fade over time due to a once popular site going stale.  So it is important to continuelly aquire links to your site on other sites so that you always have popular and fresh sites linking to you.  This will ensure that you stay relevent and current and give you the best shot at ranking higher.

SOCIAL SHARING:

Services like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have exploded over the past several years.  While engines do treat social links different than other type of links, the do take them into consideration.  No one is certain how important social links are to your site but there is no denying that it is a growing impact.  So make sure you have a strong social presence by building social sites on facebook, twitter, google+ and other for your business.  Get your audience engaged in discussion by posting meaningful and useful content.

Some say that link building is a form of art.  It can be one of the more challenging parts of the overall SEO strategy but is the most critical to success.  Here are some basic ways you can aquire links to your site!

NATURAL EDITORIAL LINKS

Links that are given to you naturally by other websites that opt to link to your site.  This requires no action on your part other than to have worthy material/products that other people may want to share.  So keep it interesting and you may see people linking to your site without having to ask!

MANUAL OUTREACH:

This can be done by reaching out to bloggers, directories, listings or press releases.  This can be done in various ways.  You may offer to trade links.  You may offer to pay them to link to your site.  There are many ways and no way is necessarily better than the other.  Simply reach out and negotiate ways to get other sites to link to you!

SELF CREATED:

While these links dont have as much value, they may still be worth pursuing.  When you blog on a website or forum, most allow you to have your own “Signature”.  This signature is included in all your posts.  Have a link to your website in your signature and simply participate in conversations online.  Which each post, your eseentially adding a link to your site.  Granted these are not as valuable as the above mentioned strategies, but they can still be helpful.

So like any marketing method, you should first start by setting some goals and strategies.  So put together a plan and work on it a little each day.  The long term benefits can be huge!

So I’ll leave you with 5 samples of link building strategies that you can hopefully use to get your link building campaign going!

Get Customers to Link to You:

Once you are establishing a customer base, use them as a vehicle to increase your links.  Send them a small banner and politely ask them link back to you or spread the news via social marketing.  Just like getting customers to wear your tshirts or displaying your bumper stickers, online links are a great way to do the same online.

Build a Company Blog:

This is a great way to boost your links.  Create a blog perhaps reviewing items from your site.  Be sure to create valuable, informative and entertaining content on your blog.  Spen a little time every day adding fresh content to your blog by writing one article per day or a review and participate in the comments and conversations.  You will be surprised at how quickly you can build up links to your blog and direct them to your site!

Create Viral content:

This is a great way to get the word out there in an epidemic type of way!  Create something funny, useful, informative or anything that you feel is likely to be shared by many. Be sure to include your link in whatever you create so as it shared, your link is being shared as well.  Some of the most effective viral campaigns out there were started by silly gimmicks or shocking videos.  Be creative and go viral!

Newsworthy:

Do something that earns the attention of the press, bloggers and media.  This maybe be as basic as giving something away for free or releasing an awesome new product or even making a controversial statement.  Be noticed and of course, include a link!

This covers the basics in link building strategies.  Now get out there and get your links noticed!

 

 

 

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