5 Things to Understand About Link Building

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’re new to SEO, there’s a good chance you’re a little confused about link building. That’s because there’s a lot of information out there, but so much of it is now outdated. What hasn’t changed, however, is that inbound links pointing to your site are a search engine ranking signal. On a very basic level, link building is about finding link opportunities from relevant, high-quality websites that will help to convey trust to the search engines. Here are 5 of the most important things to understand about the process:

It’s manual

In the early days of SEO, it was common practice to buy links in bulk. Pay $X amount for X number of links. The problem with this was that the links weren’t very good and eventually the search engines shifted focus to quality of links over quantity. Buying links like this now won’t help your site and could very likely hurt it. Today’s link building is a manual process that involves research.

It costs money

If you aren’t able to spend your own time doing link building, you’ll need to hire someone who knows what they’re doing. In addition, their job is much easier and more productive when they have access to tools like Open Site Explorer, Raven, or Majestic that provide backlink lists.

It’s ongoing

There’s no such thing as “one and done” link building. The link building process should never end. Website owners always need to be on the lookout for new opportunities. Any new business venture, product/service, marketing campaign, etc. should breed new link building opportunities.

Paid links don’t count

There is certainly a place for paid links in an online advertising campaign, since they can drive targeted traffic to your site, but don’t count on them for any SEO improvements. Paid links should always be “nofollowed,” telling the search engines that they are there strictly for traffic purposes.

It’s not all hard

A thorough link building campaign certainly takes time and resources but there are plenty of “easy win” links to take advantage of. Whenever a website mentions your company, brand, employees, products, services, etc. ask them to link over to your site. And don’t forget about asking partners or organizations you sponsor for links too.

Some website owners don’t build links because they don’t know how to while others don’t build links because they’re afraid of bad links. Link building takes time, yes, but it shouldn’t be avoided. Links remain one of the most important search engine ranking signals. As long as you understand what link building is all about and take a white hat approach, you’ll be OK.

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