What is a link?
A link (also known as a hyperlink) is an element in HTML that allows users to click on a word or phrase to be taken to another webpage or a specific location on the same webpage. Links are an important part of the World Wide Web and allow users to easily navigate between different pages and websites.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of acquiring new inbound links also known as “backlinks” to a website from external sources. These links serve as endorsements for the quality of the content on the linked website and can help to improve the website’s search engine rankings and in driving referral traffic.
There are many different tactics and strategies for building links, such as creating high-quality content, guest blogging, and reaching out to other websites and asking for a link. It’s important to note that the practice of link building has evolved and some tactics that used to be effective are now considered spammy and may even be penalized by search engines. It’s important to focus on building links naturally and in a way that adds value to the user experience.
How search engines use links
Links enable search engines to crawl the internet. Your website’s internal links and the links between different websites will both be crawled by them. Links are used by search engines in the below ways:
- Search engines use links to help determine the relevance and quality of a website’s content. When a website links to another website, it is essentially vouching for the content on the linked website and indicating that it is a source of information that the linking website trusts.
- Links help search engines discover new web pages and crawl and index them. When a webpage is linked to by other web pages, it can be an indication to search engines that the page is important and should be included in their index.
- To evaluate how highly a page should be ranked in their search results. In general, the more high-quality inbound links a webpage has, the more likely it is to rank well in search engine results.
Advantages of link building
There is a range of benefits to building links to a website:
Improved search engine rankings
One of the primary benefits of link building is that it can help to improve the search engine rankings of a website. This is because search engines view links as a vote of confidence in the quality of the content on the linked website.
Increased website traffic
By improving search engine rankings, link building can also help to increase the amount of traffic that a website receives. This can lead to more sales and revenue for the website owner.
Improved brand awareness
When a website is linked to by other websites, it can increase the visibility and awareness of the website and the brand it represents.
Links from reputable and authoritative websites can also help to increase the credibility of a website in the eyes of both search engines and users.
Better user experience
By linking to relevant and high-quality content, website owners can also improve the user experience for their visitors. This can help to increase engagement and retention on the website.
Types of links
Several types of links can be built to a website:
These are links from external websites that point to a website. Backlinks are another name for inbound links.
These are links from a website that points to an external website.
These are links from one page on a website to another page on the same website.
These are links that have a “Nofollow” attribute, which tells search engines not to follow the link or to give it any weight in terms of search rankings.
These are links that do not have a “Nofollow” attribute and are followed by search engines.
These are links that are acquired naturally and without any explicit link-building efforts. They are often the result of creating high-quality content that other websites want to link to.
These are links that are created by the website owner, such as through guest blogging or by posting on social media.
These are links that are acquired through paid placements or sponsored content. It is generally considered best practice to use the “nofollow” attribute on paid links to avoid any potential search engine penalties.
Features of a good link
The SEO industry holds the following universal principles about link evaluation to be true:
Links from websites that are in the same or a related industry as the linked website can be more valuable than links from unrelated websites.
Links from reputable and authoritative websites are generally more valuable than links from lower-quality or less trusted websites.
The anchor text of a link is the text that is hyperlinked. Using relevant and descriptive anchor text can help to give context to the content that the link is pointing to and can make the link more valuable.
Links that are placed in the main body of content, rather than in a sidebar or footer, can be more valuable.
Number of links
Having a large number of low-quality links can be detrimental to a website’s search engine rankings. It’s generally better to have a smaller number of high-quality links.
Having a diverse range of links from different types of websites and sources can be beneficial. A natural link profile will generally have a mix of links from different websites and sources.
Link building strategies
There are many different ways to build links to a website. Some effective techniques include:
Creating high-quality content
One of the best ways to naturally acquire links is to create content that is informative, useful, and entertaining. When other websites see the value in linking to your content, they will be more likely to link to it.
This involves writing articles for other blogs or websites in exchange for a link back to your website.
Broken link building
This tactic involves finding broken links on other websites and offering to replace them with a link to your website.
This involves finding popular and highly-linked-to content in your industry, creating something even better, and then reaching out to the websites that linked to the original content and asking them to link to your improved version.
Infographics can be a highly effective way to communicate information and can also be good for link-building. After creating an infographic, you can reach out to other websites and offer to let them use the infographic in exchange for a link.
Resource page link building
This involves finding resource pages in your industry that are looking for new additions and offering to have your website or content included on the page.
Social media marketing
By promoting your content on social media and engaging with others in your industry, you can build links to your website.
Reaching out to influencers in your industry and asking them to share your content or link to your website can also be an effective link-building technique.
As a link-building strategy avoid using link purchases if you want to have actual results. Aim to obtain referrals from high authority websites, even if it will need more of your effort.
It’s important to note that it’s generally best to focus on building high-quality, natural links rather than using tactics that may be considered spammy or manipulative. It’s also important to diversify your link-building efforts and not rely too heavily on any one technique.