Link building explained
What is link building? Link building explained with simple words refers to the acquisition and construction of a network of hyperlinks from other websites to yours.
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These links help users navigate more efficiently between different pages on the Internet. The primary purpose of the links, in general, should be to enrich particular content and provide a quick path to this new information, but unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, make use of the links to crawl the web, find new sites, and understand how popular the websites are. The image below provides an example of what a link looks like in the HTML code of webpages.
Link building explained
1. Opening tag of the link
Called anchor tag, it initiates a link by telling search engines that it follows a link to something else (another page or resource).
2. The address to which the link forwards to
Href is an abbreviation that stands for “hyperlink referral”. The text between the quotes indicates the URL to which the link refers. This may not necessarily be a webpage. It may be the address of an image, document, or a downloadable file.
3. Anchor link text
This is a word or a small piece of text that users see on the page and they must click on to open the link. The text itself is made so that it is easily recognisable as a reference – it is usually marked with another color and/or is highlighted.
4. The final tag of the link
It gives a clear signal to the search engines that this is the end of the link.
Read more about Google PageRank by Larry Page
How to do link building the right way?
Link building is part of the complicated process of SEO optimisation. This is perhaps one of the most complex, expensive and time-consuming aspects of the work.
To understand the importance of inbound links for enhancing your online presence, and to increase the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) metrics on your site, we will provide you with a little more particular example.
Imagine that you are an outstanding SEO expert looking for a job on Google. Because you are very good at your job, thirty of your colleagues recommend you to a potential employer who is to make the decision whether to hire you or not. Some of the people that suggested you are prominent and popular experts, and others not so much, but all of them are in the industry. Your place seems safe already.
Now imagine that instead of your SEO colleagues, the employer received a recommendation from your friend architect who doesn’t have a clue about digital marketing. That would look a little odd and out of place, wouldn’t it? Because she is not a SEO expert she doesn’t understand anything about the profession and thus her opinion won’t bring as much weight.
We devised this metaphorical real life example to help you reason how Google perceives your links. If they are from relevant sources that would be ideal. And we don’t mean some strict relevance – any website in your niche would do a sufficient job. In fact, you are encouraged to have a variety of the websites that link to you as that will enable you to characterise the activity of your business.
If accidentally or not, a hyperlink occurs to one of your site’s pages from another one that has no connection with your industry and no touch points it won’t really benefit your site. In fact, Google may view the link as a spammy one and even hurt your rankings!
Link building is not black and white
Now, returning to the example we gave earlier in the article – imagine if the prime minister decides to write a good recommendation for you as a SEO expert. He may not be familiar with your business or even have any idea what SEO is, but his opinion still matters. This refers to links acquired from authoritative sites (such as news, popular blogs, etc.) They surely are significant enough to pass on some of their strength to your site.
If you genuinely want to implement a successful link building strategy for your online business, then you should bear in mind that your link growth should look as if it’s happening gradually without your interference. Keep in mind that search engines don’t like anything that steers away from the natural.
The more varied the link and anchor text profile you have, the more likely you will be to get good results. Don’t overdo the keywords in the anchor text (the inscription on the link itself) and let the higher percentage be variations of the brand and domain.
It’s a good idea to begin building links shortly after you create your site. Also, to truly prosper, you should add new content to your website on a regular basis but not necessarily every day. There is no set rule for how often you should add content – it can be 2 times a week or 3 times a month. It all depends on the niche that you are in and what you have to tell your users.