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As the internet gradually expands in reach and value, the conventional methods of link building and SEO are progressively transforming along with it.
Indeed, it has become a priority for any business today to learn the subtleties around creating and executing a high-quality campaign if they hope to thrive in an increasingly competitive online sphere.
What is Link Building?
A concrete definition of link building eludes most businesses the first time they venture into the field. To set things straight, link building is the process by which a business retrieves hyperlinks from other websites in a bid to improve the quality of their own backlinks and increase user engagement.
Usually, an internet user clicks on a hyperlink to easily from one website to another in search of more information, or information related to the content that they are currently consuming.
The Importance of Link Building in SEO
Before understanding the vital connection between link building and SEO, you first need to go back to the basics. How does one create a link|? And how do search engines interpret them in text?
To do this, we will begin by first studying the structure of a hyperlink.
- The Anchor Tag- This is the first part of a hyperlink and it usually indicates to search engines that the text will soon proceed with a link
- Hyperlink Referral- Denoted as “href”, it refers to text inside a set of quotation marks pointing to the URL that the hyperlink is directing the user towards. Text within the hyperlink referral can vary from the URL of a certain webpage, to the address of a file or image that is to be downloaded. The main objective of the link is to direct you to a different page or section to the one that you are currently observing.
- Anchor Text- This is the small section of text within an article that holds the hyperlink. It is usually enclosed within a set of quotation marks and is what a user clicks on when they want to open the link. The text is usually formatted in a such a way that it is unique to the surrounding text; usually underlined in blue to show that it is a hyperlink.
- Ending of link tag- This is the final part of the link used to alert the search engine that the link has come to an end.
That being said, link vital for search engines because:
- It helps search engines find new webpages.
- It lets a search engine determine the exact ranking of that particular page
When assigning an index to the page, the search engine will then analyze the text, as well as the quantity and quality of links that are directed to an external website.
As a rule of thumb, having a large number of quality websites linking back to you means an improved ranking for your website. And a greater ranking translates to more exposure for your business.
As a matter of fact, linking was the predominant factor that Google used in the 1990s to proliferate their influence as the apex search engine in the late 90s. The idea around this business model was to calculate the quality of a particular page depending on the volume of links directed towards it. The metric proved to be a success, and it was adopted as one of the primary signals used by Google to determine a page’s ranking.
Unfortunately, due to unscrupulous link building methods used by some online companies to improve their ranking, Google opted to regularly release Penguin updates to penalize any companies that relied on these underhand tactics to top rankings. When choosing to use a service for link building its important to evaluate what type of links are going to be built.
That being said, it is widely accepted that if all factors remain constant among website pages, links are the final feature used by Google to determine page rankings.
The Concept of Non-Follow
Despite the lucrativeness around link building, not all links are deemed of high quality. In response, search engines created the option of non-follow as shown below:
<a href=”http: //www.concept.com”
The addition of non-follow by websites is used to tell Google not to include certain links while calculating their page ranking. It is an effective method used to discredit certain links that might tarnish the ranking and reputation of a particular business and its website.
One of the primary reasons why a website adopts non-follow is when it does not have complete control over the websites that are directing their links back to them. This can be in cases such as:
- Answers on public online forums such as Yahoo! Answers or Quora
- Comments on blog posts
- Wikipedia pages
In such scenarios, users have the freedom to add links. And because of the high volume of forums and blogs on the internet, it is impractical to determine each and every link and determine its authenticity.
Hence, the non-follow attribute is employed to deter any spammy links from being considered in Google’s algorithmic ranking. Only familiar links affiliated with the company will be whitelisted.
The Benefits of Link Building
As we mentioned earlier, link building is extremely important when it comes to search ranking. That being said, here are the other added advantages of link building:
Foster Relationships Between Businesses
Conventionally, link building requires a business to reach out to relevant blogs and websites pertaining to their industry.
Referral traffic is a great way to boost engagement with new clients. A good link, especially one associated with a high-quality website is surefire to increase interactions with potential clients and advertise your services.
Not only is link building essential for organic traffic proliferation, but also plays an important role in enhancing your brand. When your business is associated with trusted and professional websites online, it is deemed reliable by your target audience, and thus translating to more engagements.