The Importance of Link building
In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage with the goal of increasing the search engine rankings of that page or website. Briefly, link building is the process of establishing relevant hyperlinks (usually called links) to a website from external sites. Link building can increase the number of high-quality links pointing to a website, in turn increasing the likelihood of the website ranking highly in search engine results. Link building is also a proven marketing tactic for increasing brand awareness.
Link Building Examples
Editorial links are the links not acquired from paying money, asking, trading or exchanging. These links are attracted because of the good content and marketing strategies of a website. These are the links that the website owner does not need to ask for as they are naturally given by other website owners.
Resource links are a category of links, which can be either one-way or two-way, usually referenced as “Resources” or “Information” in navbars, but sometimes, especially in the early, less compartmentalized years of the Web, simply called “links”. Basically, they are hyperlinks to a website or a specific web page containing content believed to be beneficial, useful and relevant to visitors of the site establishing the link.
In recent years, resource links have grown in importance because most major search engines have made it plain that—in Google’s words—”quantity, quality, and relevance of links count towards your rating”.
Search engines measure a website’s value and relevance by analyzing the links to the site from other websites. The resulting “link popularity” is a measure of the number and quality of links to a website. It is an integral part of a website’s ranking in search engines. Search engines examine each of the links to a particular website to determine its value. Although every link to a website is a vote in its favor, not all votes are counted equally. A website with similar subject matter to the website receiving the inbound link carries more weight than an unrelated site, and a well-regarded website (such as a university) has higher link quality than an unknown or disreputable website.
The text of links helps search engines categorize a website. The engines’ insistence on resource links being relevant and beneficial developed because many artificial link building methods were employed solely to spam search engines, i.e. to “fool” the engines’ algorithms into awarding the sites employing these unethical devices undeservedly high page ranks and/or return positions.
Despite Google cautioning site developers to avoid “‘free-for-all’ links, link popularity schemes, or submitting a site to thousands of search engines these are typically useless exercises that don’t affect the ranking a site in the results of the major search engines”, most major engines have deployed technology designed to “red flag” and potentially penalize sites employing such practices.
These are the links acquired by the website owner through payment or distribution. They are also known as organically obtained links. Such links include link advertisements, paid linking, article distribution, directory links and comments on forums, blogs, articles and other interactive forms of social media.
A reciprocal link is a mutual link between two objects, commonly between two websites, to ensure mutual traffic. For example, Alice and Bob have websites. If Bob’s website links to Alice’s website and Alice’s website links to Bob’s website, the websites are reciprocally linked. Website owners often submit their sites to reciprocal link exchange directories in order to achieve higher rankings in the search engines. Reciprocal linking between websites is no longer an important part of the search engine optimization process. In 2005, with their Jagger 2 update, Google stopped giving credit to reciprocal links as it does not indicate genuine link popularity.
Forum signature linking
Forum signature linking is a technique used to build backlinks to a website. This is the process of using forum communities that allow outbound hyperlinks in a member’s signature. This can be a fast method to build up inbound links to a website’s SEO value.
Leaving a comment on a blog can result in a relevant do-follow link to the individual’s website. Most of the time, however, leaving a comment on a blog turns into a no-follow link, which are not counted by search engines, such as Google and Yahoo! Search. On the other hand, blog comments are clicked on by the readers of the blog if the comment is well-thought-out and pertains to the discussion of the post on the blog.
Website directories are lists of links to websites which are sorted into categories. Website owners can submit their site to many of these directories. Some directories accept payment for listing in their directory while others are free.
Social bookmarking is a way of saving and categorizing web pages in a public location on the web. Because bookmarks have anchor text and are shared and stored publicly, they are scanned by search engine crawlers and have search engine optimization value.
Image linking is a way of submitting images, such as infographics, to image directories and linking them back to a specific URL.
Guest blogging is a part of link building technique in Search engine optimization. The concept of guest posting is nothing but the writer writes and publishes their work with acquiring a link in an author bio on some popular third party website or blog that connects them with a new group of readers and target audience.
Black hat link building
In early incarnations, when Google’s algorithm relied on incoming links as an indicator of website success, Black Hat SEOs manipulated website rankings by creating link-building schemes, such as building subsidiary websites to send links to a primary website. With an abundance of incoming links, the prime website outranked many reputable sites. However, the conflicts of being devalued by major search engines while building links could be caused by web owners using other black hat strategies. Black hat link building refers explicitly to the process of acquiring as many links as possible with minimal effort.
The Penguin algorithm was created to eliminate this type of abuse. At the time, Google clarified its definition of a “bad” link: “Any links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme.”
With Penguin, it wasn’t the quantity of links that improved your site but the quality. Since then, Google’s web spam team has attempted to prevent the manipulation of their search results through link building. Major brands including J.C. Penney, BMW, Forbes, Overstock.com, and many others have received severe penalties to their search rankings for employing spammy and non-user friendly link building tactics.
In October 5, 2014 Google launched a new algorithm update Penguin 3.0 to penalize those sites who use black hat link building tactics to build unnatural links to manipulate search engines. The update affected 0.3% English Language queries all over the world.
Black hat SEO could also be referred to as Spamdexing, which utilizes other black SEO strategies and link building tactics. Some black hat link building strategies include getting unqualified links from and participating in Link farm, link schemes and Doorway page. Black Hat SEO could also refer to “negative SEO,” the practice of deliberately harming another website’s performance.
White hat link building
White hat link building strategies are those strategies that add value to end users, abide by Google’s term of service and produce good results that could be sustained for a long time. White hat link building strategies focus on producing high-quality as well as relevant links to the website. Although more difficult to acquire, white hat link building tactics are widely implemented by website owners because such kind of strategies are not only beneficial to their websites’ long-term developments but also good to the overall online environment.
Tips White Hat Link Building for SEO
Below is the Video Transcript:
hello everybody my name is Chad polit I am the director of inbound marketing here at Kuno creative and welcome to another edition of Tuesday’s tips and tactics inbound marketing in 10 minutes or less well first off we want to apologize i missed last week i was on vacation but i am here for white hat link building for SEO and as always feel free to reach out to myself or anyone at Kuno on twitter using the hashtag Kuno so I wanted to do something on link building this time because there’s been some changes as many of you have noticed Google penguin or the over optimization penalty has rolled out and some of those penalties involve links in link building so I wanted to talk about some of the ways that you can do link building that’s not going to get you in trouble with google penguin and then point out one of the the the old tactics that some people still use that can if you do it the wrong way get you in trouble with penguin so we’ll get to that here shortly so I want to remind everyone that the number one link building technique that you could possibly do is content marketing that’s developing good problem solving and or entertaining content and publishing that content on your blog or your website that is bar none the absolute best strategy and if you’re not doing that you’re probably not going to get the results using other tactics that you would from using content marketing so content marketing can be blog posts it can be video it can be slide decks just like this so there’s a lot of ways you can do content marketing but the more diverse your deployment the better in my opinion so never forget content marketing is the number one late buildings Reggie for SEO number two and by the way these from two on down are in no particular order but nonetheless number two is guest blog post so that’s essentially extending your content marketing to other people’s websites essentially is what that means and then of course you can you can invite people to guest blog on your blog as well because the authors of that content have a vested interest in in supporting and distributing that content on their networks so you can leverage their their network as well as your own by offering people to guest post on your blog number three social profiles yes indeed it is true that most social profile links are quote unquote nofollow links so technically you shouldn’t get any type of benefit from the search engines for this however I will say this google reserves the right to follow a nofollow link in fact if you look in your google webmaster tools you’ll probably find some nofollow links in there so google actually is recognizing those links now how much juice they give you that I don’t know but I do know that social profile links can be powerful brand signals take LinkedIn for example if you have a hundred employees at your company and you have a linkedin company page with your website and all your employees have a LinkedIn page and they all link to your company linkedin page those links are all brand signals and what they signal of Google is this that you are indeed a legitimate company worthy of ranking in their search engine so don’t underestimate the power of social profiles for your links competitors so what I recommend with competitive link building is simply this utilize tools like SEO Moz there are open site Explorer for example open site Explorer org is the URL also a hub spot as a tool built in there as well to to inventory and monitor competitors backlinks now when I look at competitive backlinks I look at them with the intent of seeing if any of those links if I can duplicate any of those lengths so if a competitor is in maybe some special industry directory like say thomasnet okay and I didn’t realize that I could be in that directory and I see my competitors in there and see where they’re at in the directory I may want to contact thomasnet and say hey I’d like to be in your directory what do I need to do and then go through that process and then now i have a link in there and maybe I try to one-up my competitor as well so it just gives you an inventory of what links your competitors have and which ones excuse me it will allow you to figure out which ones you can duplicate next is partnerships by partnering with certain vendors and and other types of similar companies you can share content between your websites you can link to each other so a good example of this is kuno and hubspot now kunos a hubspot partner and we link to their content all the time and they reciprocate and linked to a lot of our content a lot of the time so that’s a good example of a partnership that works for link building so if you can develop some of those partnerships it’s definitely a good way for you to build links number six reviews of products and services bloggers are always looking for good outstanding content and if you offer up some of your products or services in exchange for a review to a blogger there’s a good chance that they’ll probably write a review not only will they write a review but they’ll also most likely link back to your website so that’s another good way to earn backlinks for SEO communities blogs and forums what I’m not telling you to do is go and do a blog post commenting spam or form spam or anything like that what i am telling you to do is at least have your own google alert set up that informs you when people are talking about your brand and your company and some of your services or products okay and where those conversations are occurring it’s most likely prudent that you inject your expertise your thought leadership on those platforms whether they be blogs or forums or communities so keeping your ear open in those areas using google alerts is a good tool to build relevant backlinks directories now as i mentioned before with the new google penguin update directories low-grade directors took a big hit not just the directories but the web sites they link to because it used to be sever