What the Heck is Link Building?

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link building

Let’s answer the question of whether or not link building is important for website owners. Yes! Yes it is. I’ll explain why.

What is Link Building?

In a very simple definition, link building is the art of getting links on external websites pointing back to your site. This can often be done using a wide variety of strategies and techniques.

There are two sets of links; links within your site (internal links) and links on external websites that link back to your site (external links or inbound links). Essentially, internal links in conjunction with other on-page SEO practices are what you say about yourself. It’s how you can indicate to the search engines what you (your website) are all about.

But what you say about yourself only carries so much weight with search engines. This is due to the fact that internal links can be easily manipulated. The key is to have other people (other websites) say the same thing about you. You see, it’s much harder to manipulate and influence inbound links than it is the links on your own website. When you have many people (other sites) with various levels of authority saying the same thing about you, then search engines are going to take notice and put you in your rightful place – hopefully the #1 spot on page 1 of the search results!

Let’s use a quick analogy to further explain this. Let’s say you are applying for a job. As you go into the interview, the interviewer looks over your resume (what you say about yourself) and asks you several questions. During the process you answer the questions and do your best to sell yourself (again, what you say about yourself). Now, you can very well impress the pants off the interviewer with your resume and your witty intelligence ‘n vast experience, but how can this all be verified? How does the interviewer know your resume isn’t a couple of pages shy of a complete work of fiction and the entire interview was full of you spewing nonsense and fabricated half truths? I know you wouldn’t do that, but you’re getting the point 🙂

This is where those pesky little references you had to provide come into play. In addition to reviewing your resume and conducting an interview, any smart company will follow up on your references to see what other people are saying about you. If you claimed to be vice president of marketing for Acme, Inc and increased sales by 400% percent over 5 years, but the reference you provided tells a different, less impressive story, the chances of you getting the job are slim to none.

What is a Link Profile?

The job of the search engines is to provide the most relevant results for a given search query. When you do a search for the history of juggling, you want to see results that are highly related to your search.  One of the major factors search engines use in the process of providing relevant results is a website’s link profile. The link profile is a broad view of a website’s entire external link structure.

A link profile is made up of:

  • The variety of links to your website from external sources – blogs, social websites, web 2.0 sites, press releases, news articles, directories, forums,  etc.
  • The anchor text, which are the actual words used in these links. This…. learn WordPress ….is anchor text.
  • How these links are acquired with respect to time. Were they acquired in bulk over a short period of time or  steady acquisition over a long period of time?

For any website just beginning to build its link profile it’s important to establish a sound foundation of links. Your link profile is playing more of an important role than it used to with respect to link building.

Perhaps the most important thing a new website can do for its initial link building strategy is to create great content that is link worthy. By link worthy I mean the kind of content that other people would naturally link to cause it’s just so awesome that they want to spread it around. If you create wonderfully awesome content that people begin to link to, then you’ve set the foundation for a great link building strategy and you will eventually reap the rewards.

Learn more about link building:

Importance of Link Building, Explained Through Politics

Google Had Twins and Relevancy ‘n Authority Were Their Names

Extra Credit – Read about the latest algorithm changes from Google. These changes have a profound affect on link building and it’s very important that you keep up with the latest changes.

Google Penguin Update

Google Panda Update

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