Search engine optimization, SEO for short, is a combination of methods that together are trying to rank your website high on the search page results of the most used search engines. Link building is a SEO method that is trying to give value to your website by pointing to it from other websites.
The other websites can be websites related to the topic of your website or news agencies and business directories.
Building links was already practiced in the pre-Google era. Back then, only the number of links counted to get a high ranking. That doesn’t work anymore..
Nowadays backlinks or inlinks can be distinguished in quantitative links and qualitative links. Quantitative links have the sole purpose of gaining a higher position in Google. This includes blog commenting and forum posting where the comment or answer does not add any value to the post or question. This is considered spamming and should be avoided.
Quality link building is building links that offer value for the long term. Links that will stay where you have put them, preferably on websites with high traffic numbers or a high domain or page authority.
Why is link building important?
Google is the most popular and most used search engine in the world. We are focusing on Google. What they want to see is that your website adds value to the visitors of Google. When someone runs a search in the search engine, Google wants to give a relevant answer. When your site is number one, but every time Google delivers a visitor that instantly comes back to the result page to click the site in the number two spot, there is something wrong. Google then determines automatically that is your website could not answer the question and the associated page or article will be devalued for the next time someone seeks an answer. Conclusion is that your content must be relevant. And then you can focus on getting quality backlinks.
The number of websites pointing to your website with a link is not important. The number of quality links is more important.
Search engines can only determine the value your site is offering through the number of quality links pointing to it.
Bottom line: link building is important to be recognized by search engines as a valuable expert in your business, and get traffic to your website organically
The value of links
Inbound links are the number one ranking factor. Links are either ‘dofollow’ or ‘nofollow’. That means that when a search engine crawls the website on which your link is, only a dofollow link is followed to your site. A nofollow link keeps the search engine on the source site.
The value of links is based on the source that gives you the back link. Does the website have authority? Is it trusted by a lot of people? How many visitors do they have?
Before adding your link to another website, no matter the link building strategy you use, always do some research about the site. There are SEO plugins for your browser giving you a quick lookup of the number of backlinks and PageRank. My favorite for Google Chrome browser is ‘Quick SEO by RankSignals’, you can find it for free in the Chrome extensions repository.
Links are only valuable if the website where you are posting the link is related to your topic. When you have a blog about financial planning, don’t put a link on a dog training website while doing link building.