Link building is the process of obtaining backlinks that point to a website. The purpose is to create a more valuable web page for search engines to evaluate and place higher in the search results. Google and all major search engines use the quality and quantity of backlinks a website has as part of its algorithm in determining the value and popularity of the web page.
Link building is one of the most influential ranking factors for determining organic positions on a search engine result page.
What exactly are backlinks?
- Backlinks are clickable links on a page that bring a user from one page to another. There are internal links and external links.
- Internal links are links that send users to pages within the same website.
- External links are links that send people to a page on an external website.
Why is link-building important for my business?
There are hundreds (potentially thousands) of ranking factors that contribute to why a web page ranks at the top of Google. Of these ranking factors, the quantity and quality of backlinks are the two largest factors (the quality of your content is the largest ranking factor). In a competitive niche, you cannot possibly beat other websites without a strong link-building strategy.
Link building is a skilled practice that has consequences
Since the beginning of Google, link-building has been a practice that has been manipulated to influence ranking. Google has systematically addressed many of the “hacks” that, in the past, have worked to produce top rankings. As a result, there are many filters built into the algorithm to identify “unnatural” linking patterns. If your website is flagged for participating in any type of practice that falls against their SEO guidelines, your website is penalized.
A penalty may be as simple as being thrown back a few pages in the search results. In some cases, your website could be de-indexed and not appear anywhere on Google’s network.
Therefore, cheap SEO services, web design companies (who claim to offer top-tier SEO services), and other marketers who don’t specialize in SEO present a risk to businesses. Many of these companies still engage in outdated practices and can sometimes do more damage to a website than good.
Link building is a skilled practice that should be done by experienced professionals. The future success of your website hangs in the balance of those who are building links to your site.