Like many people, understanding concepts in search engine optimisation is difficult. One of the main reasons is that SEO guidelines are vague. The industry is also notorious for unethical practices.
One of the things that can damage your website is link building. Bad link-building using spammy backlink-building methods.
This post will explain how link building works for ranking a website. Why it’s important to have backlinks and how you can benefit from links.
What is link building?
Link building is exactly what it sounds like. It is when you build links back to your website. Link building is an action aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of inbound links to your web page. The end goal would be increasing the search engine results of that specific page.
Now there are many ways to get backlinks. Some links are easy to get and others aren’t very easy to come across.
How does it work?
When you build links back to your website, it acts as a vote of confidence for your website in the eyes of search engines. Developed by the two founders of Google, the Page Rank algorithm was developed to rank a web page when it had more backlinks pointing to it than another. Over time, the algorithm has gotten more advanced and complex than that, but the fundamentals remain the same. Most of the time, you need backlinks pointing to your site to outrank your competitors.
Link Building fundamentals
If Google is crawling a website, it will find a link on that website pointing to your website. Once it crawls that link, it follows it over to your website. This is how the Google bot crawls different websites leading back to yours. These are the “votes of confidence” we are talking about.
Why is it important to have links
It is important to have links built to your website for two main reasons. The first is that if the link is useful, offers a resource to the reader or offers something relevant to the reader it can help you be seen as an expert. Another reason is that you get more exposure to your website. The more people that know about it, and can view it helps “overall”.
What links mean for search engines (H3)
Links mean a vote of confidence in your website. However, it is worth noting that it depends on the actual links themselves. I have out-ranked websites with 5000 backlinks whilst I only have 50 links on a website.
Good links are the key to great rankings. The links should also be built constantly. Focussing on building links over time consistently seems to have the best and biggest impact of all. This has to go hand in hand with ongoing blog post content creation. The more links, the more content is required. Google has been chasing more backlinks and better backlinks for a while now. As well as more content and better overall content.
What matters the most with link building
The thing that matters the most is not using spammy link-building methods to manipulate the algorithm. You should focus on building links that support and build your brand. The links need to be helpful to the person who clicks on them and provides more information or a detailed resource for them to view.
- Stay away from spam
- Create useful or resourceful links
How else can you benefit from links?
As we have mentioned, Link building supports brand building. It increases your search results. Depending on the link, it can increase the perception of your business to the public. They may see it as a reputable and well-known company.
I do think that link-building benefits are misunderstood by many. You should have different kinds of links across the board to get the most from your link building. Everything from social signals to other foundational links. Once that has been established, going after your competitor’s backlinks and starting guest post outreach in your industry would have the most benefit from link building.
Don’t use bad methods
There are many bad link-building methods that you can use to build backlinks. The consequences of building those links are that they can seriously harm your website if detected by Google. The result of a Google penalty can be damaging to your business and it would be wise to not go down that path.
Google makes it clear on the search central website that link schemes, buying backlinks and many other tactics are prohibited.
Track your links
It is always best to track your backlinks. To see which ones you have acquired and which ones you have lost. Understand that these tools to track your links offer more than just the amount of backlinks you acquire or lose. It also allows you to see the anchor text of the backlink or what your competitors are doing concerning their backlinks.
These link-tracking tools can help you reverse engineer what your competitors have done, and give you insight into how you can beat them at their own game.