What is Link Building?
Link building refers to other websites and pages linking to your own, and it is a critical part of SEO. When your website has a strong link profile, search engines respond by ranking your website higher on results pages, which generates valuable organic traffic, increases your authority, and builds your brand. However, a poor link profile can damage your ranking, or worse—a bad profile can turn toxic and get your website penalized by search engines. Strong link building is challenging and campaigns must be tailored to each individual website. This requires time, imagination, energy, and the experience to use that energy (and your budget) wisely, in order to build a link profile that is broad and deep but as natural as possible to avoid sending up red flags to the search engines.
Link Building Basics
The way search engines weigh a website’s link profile is something of a popularity contest. The ever more sophisticated engine algorithms consider the websites your links are coming from and gauge their popularity, authority, and trustworthiness. Good link building is a craft, a mix of experience, skill, and artistry. 180fusion’s SEO experts consider the following methods of developing a website’s link profile and determine which ones to expend energy on, to get the best results with the greatest efficiency.
Also called editorial links, this is the most organic method of link building, because it is the result of other websites finding and wanting to link to the high-quality content you’ve posted. To get these links, effort is expended on creation of content and getting it noticed and shared
This link building method requires direct effort and often needs a budget. Manual links are those created when you submit (for free or by paying) your website’s information to get a listing on another page or in a directory or guide. These links can also be generated by requesting a link from other websites, blogs, etc., and may require convincing the page manager that linking to your website makes sense for them.
These links aren’t worth much on their own, but they can produce some traction in the search engines if you have a lot of them. You generate these links by posting in forums, commenting on blogs, signing guest books, etc., and including a link to your website. There’s a fine line between positive and negative judgment from the engines with this kind of link, and creating too many sends up a spam flag on your website.
Link Signals And Their Importance
Part of the artistry involved in link building is due to the fact that no one knows exactly what the search engine algorithms are looking for. Every algorithm update and change allows search engines to analyze websites for relevance, authority, and trustworthiness using broader, more complex data than a human would consider. Through careful testing and data analysis, it’s become clear that certain factors, or signals, affect how search engines value a website’s link profile. Some of these link signals include:
Links to your website from popular, highly trusted websites matter more than links from lesser sites. There is also a “local” aspect to popularity, where search engines assign more value to links to your website from pages with a similar or connected subject.
Search engines place a lot of importance on trust as the algorithms work to ignore the vast sea of spam pages. Your website’s trustworthiness is boosted with links from such important, trusted websites as major newspapers and government agencies.
Links don’t stay good forever. Your website needs to stay relevant to maintain a good search engine ranking, and one of the signals the engines consider is a link profile that continues to grow. If you fail to continue developing new links and your existing links age, search engines will devalue your website’s authority and importance.
This is a vital signal used by search engines to value and rank your website for your desired keywords. The more links with keyword anchor text you gain leading to a page that contains those keywords, the more authority your website will be assigned and the higher it will appear in results for searches on those keywords.
The speed at which your website’s link profile grows can help or hurt you. A good link profile should grow naturally and rise to match the addition of strong content on your pages. While search engines make allowances for link spikes caused by content going viral or the short-term popularity of seasonal content, an unexplained, unnatural spike in new links to your website looks like spammy link creation to the search engines and your website’s rank can suffer.
180fusion’s Link Building Strategy
At 180fusion, our expert SEO team stays on top of search engine algorithm changes and has analyzed, tested, and refined our processes to find the best methods for building links for our clients’ websites. We showcase excellent content and work to develop a natural link profile for your website that grows at the ideal rate, incorporating natural and high-quality manual links from a broad base of popular, trusted, important websites in order to increase your search engine ranking and generate strong traffic to your website. If your existing link profile is toxic, we can repair the damage. Contact us today for a free consultation!