What is link building? How does it impact SEO? And why does it seem so confusing? According to a recent survey(2015) on Moz Online, 80 percent of companies engaged in SEO are spending more than $1,000 a month on link building. These are impressive numbers! So, while it may be constantly changing, and every company may have a completely different SEO program of link building, it is still alive and well in the realm of business marketing. Let’s look further into link building and why your SEO program continues to need this strategy.
What is link Building? 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. Since the late 1990s search engines have treated links as votes for popularity and importance in the ongoing democratic opinion poll of the web. The engines themselves have refined the use of link data to a fine art, and use complex algorithms to perform nuanced evaluations of sites and pages based on this information. Google considers links valuable in its ranking algorithm because they’re an indication of trust, credibility, and authority. When another website links to yours, it means they found something valuable on your site, and that makes you more valuable by proxy. While Links aren’t everything in SEO, search professionals do attribute a large portion of the engines’ algorithms to link-related factors (see Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015).
Link building seems to change as the search engines change their parameters. There are many ways to build links in 2015/2016. Here are just a few of the ways to build links to increase your SEO ranking.
- Natural Link Building – Links that are given naturally by sites and pages that want to link to your content or company. Maybe they have seen your “How-To” videos, read your blogs or enjoy the content on your site. In any case their link to your company is natural and ranked highly.
- Manual “Outreach” Link Building – The SEO creates these links by emailing bloggers for links, submitting sites to directories, or paying for listings of any kind.
- Self-Created, Non-Editorial – Hundreds of thousands of websites offer any visitor the opportunity to create links through guest book signings, forum signatures, blog comments, or user profiles. These links offer the lowest value, but can, in the aggregate, still have an impact for some sites.