This is a Part 1 of a Guide we are creating in Intelligenthq about Link Building.In the following post, you will learn what is link building and what is its purpose.
If you’re new in business and new to having a website, link building is an area you need to understand and get on top of. Why? Well, it will bring business to your website, and ultimately that’s the whole point of having a website. This short series on link building will help you to understand the what, why and how of link building so that you can get started for yourself.
Search engines work on the basis of trying to provide the highest quality results possible to those that enter keywords and keyword phrases into their search. You want your website to be on the first page, and ideally in the top five results returned for the types of keywords that your potential customers will type in. That’s because if people have to go to the next page, or even scroll down (yes, people are that lazy) then they won’t necessarily be bothered to do it. Instead they’ll click on something else or carry out a different search. Link building is just one of several approaches called “search engine optimisation” (SEO) that helps you to move your website up through the search listings that are returned for the keywords and keyword phrases that you are targeting.
For those that have never had much involvement with websites and online marketing before, this all might seem like a bit of a mystery, but luckily, Paddy Moogan of Distilled has developed a simple guide to link building that can help. As Moogan explains:
“The landscape of SEO and link building is always changing, and today, the importance of building high quality links has never been higher.”
So what exactly is link building? Well, link building is an activity that leads to you acquiring links from other websites back to your own website. These links are helpful to users that are looking for useful information online, as they will click on these links if they seem to be relevant to them. Moogan argues that many SEO specialists find link building to be quite a difficult activity. Of course the great thing about that is that if you can become an expert at it, you will excel at search engine optimisation through having a lot of good quality links back to your website that drive people to your website and increase your ratings in search engines. That’s because websites that have a lot of inbound links are often considered by Google and the others to be of high quality (since so many other websites want to refer to yours).
The four components of links
Moogan explains that links are made up of four main components: start of link tag, link referral location, visible/anchor text of link, and closure of link tag. The opening part is described to quite simply let a search engine know that something else will follow it. The link referral location will show the URL to where the link is pointing, which Moogan points out could be a web page, image, file or something else. The visible anchor text is the text the user sees on the page, that they click on to open the link, explains Moogan, while the closure of link tag simply denotes the end of the link to the search engines.
The following video, done by agency Moz, will let you know what are the basic rules of linking building:
Links are important for search engines because they help search engines to find them in the first place. Links from other places to your website tell Google and other search engines that your website was considered high enough quality by other websites to be worthwhile to link to, so this validates your website and moves you up in the search engine. They are tied together with the algorithm of the search engine.
However, links are not all good, and Moogan points out there are both good and bad links. Some can degrade your search engine position. The best types of links of all are those that are embedded in editorial content. However these links can be quite difficult to get. Self-created non-editorial links that are included on your website (or others) were once considered to be “good” but are now thought to be less helpful, as Google and the rest caught onto this approach which was designed to manipulate search engine results. Understanding this can help you to target the best kind of links that will help your business rather than hinder it.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.