A brief link building definition is: The process of establishing relevant, inbound links to your website which help your website achieve higher ranking with the major search engines and drive targeted traffic to your site.
When our clients ask us to define link building, we take great care to explain that it is not the quantity of inbound links to your site that helps you rank well but rather the quality of those links. There are a ton of unethical link building companies out there which employ some pretty shady practices which end up hurting your website instead of helping it.
Some of these unethical methods include:
- Automated spam responses to blog posts.
- Spamming all sorts of web forums with bogus responses that include links to your site.
- Creating websites solely for the purpose of linking to other sites. These are sometimes referred to as “spam directories.”
The search engines are far more sophisticated than they once were and are engineered to sniff out these and other ‘black hat’ SEO practices. If the search engine crawlers determine that a site has employed unethical link building practices to achieve a higher ranking, they will penalize your site severely and irrevocably bury your site making it almost impossible to find through the search engines.
Only permanent, relevant links from established sites that engage in ethical link building practices will help your site achieve better rankings with the major search engines and drive targeted traffic to your site. Link building is a key facet of any successful Internet marketing strategy because if your site features relevant, factual information that is written well, the administrators of other websites will want to link to your site because it offers their readers something of interest and value.
There are no shortcuts in a successful link building campaign and even when it is done properly, you should not expect to reap the benefits of link building overnight. Patience and persistence are the keys because it can take time to build links from credible sources. While link building is a key element of an Internet marketing strategy, link building alone will not help your site achieve its natural ranking with the search engines. Only if link building is incorporated in a comprehensive search engine optimization approach will your site gain the full benefits from links from other sites and achieve its potential.