The most popular and effective Off-Site SEO method, link building involves getting other website or blog to link (called back link) to your website. This is how search engines determines which websites are good and which are not, which will be reflected in their rankings.
For example, if someone likes an article on your website and references it from their website or blog, this is akin to telling search engines that your page has good information so it deserves to be ranked higher.
Is Link Building Important?
In March 2016, in a Q&A with Google, Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, said “I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.”
This confirms that the first two factors that determine a website’s ranking were links and content. Today, this is still true; back links (links from other website to your website) are still key. No matter how useful, fresh, or in-depth your page content might be, it’s almost impossible for Google and other search engines to determine the value of your website if there are no links pointing to it. That’s why just writing good contents are not enough; you need to dedicate some effort into link building.
Link Building: Two Side of a Coin
When you "build" back links or external links, you are trying to gather as many “votes” as you can so that you can beat your competitors and rank higher in search engines. And like any other campaign, there are the good ways, and the bad ways of doing it.
If you try to ‘trick’ search engines by building artificial links, you are more likely to get penalized rather than seeing an increase in rankings. Google is especially strict about this, which leads to….
The Birth of Black Hat SEO: The Bad Way of Link Building
Link building was an easy way to manipulate the search engine algorithms. Many spammers tried to take advantage of this by building link networks (many websites that links to one another), which gradually lead to the creation of what is generally known as Black Hat SEO. Ranking on top of search page was simply a matter of buying enough links.
That’s why each year, Google changes its search algorithm hundreds of times, many of which are aimed to address black hat techniques. With the introduction of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird (these are how Google’s algorithm are named), they managed to solve most of the problem and protect their search engine results from spammers.
Pay attention to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Basically, anything that is against their terms is a bad way of building links. So what’s the good way of getting backlinks to your website?
Creating Shareable Contents: The Good Way of Link Building
Some examples of good ways you can build links to your website are:
- Creating great content that people want to link to because they find it to be valuable.
- Social media shares of your great content that ultimately generate links to your website.
- Outreach e-mails to influencers in your industry that ultimately link to you in their site or blog.
- Guest blogging on sites related to yours. These guest posts will include links back to your site.
You can build backlinks yourself, however, we would advise outsourcing this task to an experienced SEO company, as this stage can have huge implications, both positive or negative on your SEO rankings depending on the quality of links that your website acquires.