SEO Link Building When You Just Don’t Get It
One thing I need to explain to clients on a regular basis is the concept of link building and why it is such a big (and important) part of my job as their SEO consultant, so I thought I’d write a quick blog post on why it is part of every SEO campaign, it’s importance in gaining high rankings and the work that’s involved. Firstly, what is a link?
A link is a clickable piece of text or an image that when clicked sends the user to another page, website or file. But why is it important for SEO?
Each time somebody links to your website it is essentially saying that the information, file or image you published is worthy of being shared by another person, site, blog, company or organisation.
In Google’s eyes (if it had them) this link pointing to your site is similar to a vote of confidence in the quality of your content. The more links you have the more votes of confidence your site gets and Google starts to trust your site in being a reliable source of information. With this trust, Google becomes more confident in ranking your site higher in the search results in order to send more people to it.
Link building isn’t quite as simple as that, though. There is a lot more taken into consideration. The authority of links and the context of the links are both important factors, similar to the judging of a competition, in that the judges – who have the highest authority and are placed closely within a similar industry (contextually-related) – have a much higher say in who goes ‘through’ (assuming your thinking about an X Factor or Britain’s Got talent style competition).
In terms of the types of links available to build, these include – with varying effectiveness – links within blog posts, blog comments and on blog sites, sponsored adverts, directory listings, press releases, articles and other content distributed on external sites including article directories, creating link bait and viral content, videos, creating links with governing bodies or suppliers, creating alliances with related organisations or bodies, creating compelling content… the list goes on.
It is worth mentioning that link velocity is also key, in that links built too quickly over a short period of time looks unnatural and causes Google to ‘shy away’ from your site more than trust it. There are also ideas of link maturity being taken into consideration, in that a links full value isn’t released until it has been in place for a period of time.
For those that are keen to get involved with the link building process I wrote a post recently on how to build links indirectly, which discusses a few ideas that anybody can easily implement to help them gain valuable relationships with people that are active online, which you can then turn into a mass link building campaign.
I hope this helps explain the importance (and complexities) of link building, why it is currently such a big part of any campaign and why Google needs to be able to see that your site is as trustworthy as possible before they can start to reward you by sending you visitors.