You might have come across the term link building. And it is important to improve traffic to your website. So it is crucial to have a clear idea about it. So let us understand what it is all about.
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites.
There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in difficulty, SEOs tend to agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time trying to do it well So if you can master the art of building high-quality links, it can truly put you ahead of your competition.
What links mean for search engines
There are two fundamental ways that the search engines use links:
- To discover new web pages
- To help determine how well a page should rank in their result
Once search engines have crawled pages on the web, they can extract the content of those pages and add it to their indexes. In this way, they can decide if they feel a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked well for relevant keywords. When they are deciding this, the search engines do not just look at the content of the page; they also look at the number of links pointing to that page from external websites and the quality of those external websites. Generally speaking, the more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to rank well in search results.
Nofollow is an attribute of link tag in html. It tells Google not to pass any PageRank across this link to the target URL. In other words, you are telling Google to not to consider this link for ranking.
The main reason a site might use nofollow relates to scenarios in which that site lacks total control over the links that are added to its pages. Apparently, they don’t want to show Google a vote of confidence when they don’t know much about the site. Some example could be:
- Blog comments
- Forum posts
- Guest book comments
- Editable Wiki pages (e.g. Wikipedia)
- Yahoo! Answers
- Guest post signatures
On these platforms users can freely add links, and because of their size, it isn’t really practical to moderate every single one of those links. So, in order to deter link spammers from taking advantage of a site’s PageRank, the site will often choose to apply the nofollow attribute to all links posted by other users.
Another use for the nofollow attribute is for advertisers to use on links that have been paid for. So, if you buy an advertising banner on a website which links to you, Google says that the nofollow attribute should be added so that they know not to pass any PageRank across that link. The idea here is that you shouldn’t benefit in the organic results by buying advertisements that include links on other websites.
Good And Bad Links
Quality link building is important, because Google has begun penalising websites that build low-quality or spammy links.
An editorial link is a link that results from a site having good content and marketing techniques. An editorial link is not paid for or directly requested. Editorial links are part of a strong link profile.
This is much more efficient than having to contact someone and ask them to link to you. However, you need to give someone a good reason to do so, like creating a great piece of content , then seed with a few key influential bloggers, and through that process more bloggers would naturally become aware of it. This is hard to do and can take time, but they are highly valued.
Manual link building
This is probably one of the most common types of link-building. It involves manually contacting website owners and bloggers, asking them to link to you. Again, you need to give them a reason to link to you and to be successful, you need to be contacting people who are relevant.
An internal link is any hyperlink on your website that points to another page on your same website. Internal links only point to pages within your website (a great example is your main menu), whereas external links or backlinks come from third-party websites to your website.
Here are some important things to keep in mind while building internal links:
- Anchor Text – One of the most important things search engines take into account in ranking a page is the actual text a linking page uses to talk about your content.
- Quality of the Linking Page – Another factor taken into account is the quality of the page that is sending the link; search engines allow links from high-quality, trusted pages to count more in boosting rankings than questionable pages and sites.
- Page the Link is Aimed At – Many times, when people talk about your site they’ll link to the home page. This makes it difficult for individual pages to achieve high rankings (because it’s so difficult for them to generate their own link equity).
- Group your keywords strategically, creating a search-friendly information architecture.
- Finally, apply your keyword research to intelligent inter-linking.
- When you create new content, you want to make sure you can search your site for mentions of similar keyword variations you might want to link to that page.
- Make sure there are no broken links.
Link Building Strategies
- Content Creation & Promotion – Create compelling, unique, high-quality content that people will naturally want to reference and link to, and tell people about it. You have to spread the word before you can expect anyone to find your content and link to it!
- Reviews & Mentions – Put your product, service, or site in front of influencers in your industry, such as popular bloggers or people with a large social media following.
- Links from Friends & Partners – Ask people you know and people you work with to link to your site. Remember that relevance matters; links from sites that are in the same general industry or niche as your site will have more value than links from random, unrelated sites.
It can take a while to build a lot of links, but be patient, and remember that shortcuts like buying links are against Google’s guidelines.