The algorithms used by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have gotten increasingly more complex since their inceptions; these engines, in their never-ending effort to serve relevant content to searchers, attach keywords and phrases deemed relevant to a site and rank it in search results accordingly. One of the first ways search engines attached keywords to web sites was by analyzing the site’s incoming links; the more links with “anchor text”, the visible text of the hyper-link, a site had for a targeted keyword, the more relevant to the site that keyword was deemed by search engines. While link building is still a fundamental part of search engine optimization, marketers should be aware that there are many other factors that contribute to a well-optimized site, and additionally of the fact that it is very possible to “over-do” link-building and incur penalties by search engines. This article will discuss the importance of link building, and a few methods to naturally build back-links to a site.
Importance of Link Building
Aside from the fact that links with anchor text will help a site rank for a keyword, building links make it easier for new sites to be found and indexed by search engines – Search engines use “crawlers” to find new sites, index them, and scan for contextual relevance; when a crawler scans a page, it collects information about the page, but will also “follow” any outbound link. New sites ,found by crawlers via link following, not only gain indexing in search engine results, but also give these sites a natural association to the site from which they were referred, or “linked”; for this reason, it is important that webmasters create back-links from pages that are not only relevant to their site, but also of good reputation. The Google search engine deems a site relevant by giving it a “Page Rank”; this Page Rank, numbering 1-9, is a way for Google to give credit and weight to a site that has proven itself to consistently provide unique, quality, and relevant content to users’ searches. As can be inferred from this information, webmasters should seek to create back-links on sites that have higher Page Rank, as this will give your site credibility in the eyes of search engines.
Methods of Link Building
Link building must be natural; search engines, now with highly developed algorithms, have a keen sense for sites that are “spammy”. If a search engine, like Google, detects a new web site, but soon after detects 1000 back links to this site, this will be seen as unnatural; as a result, that site will not rank well in listings. Link building must be natural; one of the best ways webmasters can help build links to their sites is by personally contacting owners of web sites that they would like to have back-links from. It is vital that they produce link worthy content and build up a relationship with the webmaster in question however as opposed to sending a generic spam email. Another way webmasters can get quality back-links is by guest blogging; while this is certainly the most time consuming option, it ensures that links are coming in from reputable sources. Whichever method chosen to gain back-links, it should be done in a slow, steady, and natural progression to avoid appearing as spam.
The majority of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) companies offer link building services. Be sure that they build links in a natural way however that will not leave your website open to penalties due to future algorithm updates.
Link Building Matters
While basic search engine optimization elements of unique content, keyword density, meta information, headings, titles, etc. are vital to a site’s success, the “old-school” act of link building is still extremely important. Webmasters, who take a balanced, patient approach to search engine optimization and link building, will find the greatest success.