Link building is one of the most important parts of any search engine optimisation campaign. It helps search engines find your site, understand what it’s all about and tells them that your site is an authority worth ranking. But, the standards and best practices are always changing, and keeping up with those changes can be challenging.
The Old Days of Link Farms are Gone
The old days of using link farms to build as many links to your pages as possible are gone. Google used to place a higher weight on the number of links a site had pointing to it, and didn’t look at the quality of the links.
Now, that has all changed. Google’s current algorithm takes into account the quality of links your website gets, meaning links from reputable sites with lots of traffic and a high page rank are more important than links from spammy sites or low-quality sites that only exist to build links to other sites.
The number of links you have to your website is still important, as it can tell search engines your site is popular. But, having high-quality links is becoming increasingly important.
There are all kinds of ways to get these kinds of links, from asking site owners to link back to your content to providing guest blog posts for other bloggers and creating excellent content people naturally want to link to.
Link Building Needs to be Natural
Speaking of natural links, Google now wants to see a natural progression of links to your site. This tells the search engine that your site is a valuable resource and the content is high quality, so people want to link to it because it is relevant to their own content. These natural links hold a lot of weight, since they tell Google that your site is legitimate.
Your link building should be steady and natural and shouldn’t include strategies where you build hundreds of unnatural links in a very short period of time.
Earning links through media, bloggers, third-party websites and forums is a great way to make sure your links are natural and valuable. To get these, position yourself as a resource and build awareness among your market so people will want to link to your pages with excellent content.
Links Should be Relevant to your Site
Links should also be relevant to your site to help you increase its rankings. Search Engine Watch explains: “According to Google’s ranking principles, how useful a user finds a search result goes a long way in determining the rank your page will earn. Approaching reputed sites to feature your content or offer you link backs will only be useful if these sites have anything to do with the keywords that are important to your business.”
Search Engine Watch goes on to offer four things to look for to check for link relevance:
1 – The site should be in the same industry as yours.
2 – If it’s not in the same industry, it should have a section related to your industry.
3 – The page with the link should be directly related to the content the link leads to.
4 – The link should be relevant to the content on the page it appears on.
Link building is absolutely vital to search engine optimisation. Google’s algorithm is constantly being updated, and knowing what the search engine is looking for and how it uses links in determining rankings can help you earn higher rankings and get more traffic to your site.