What Is Linkbuilding – Part 1
If you have ventured into the internet space and particularly search engine optimization ( SEO ) you will have come across the term link building.
The importance of building high-quality links to your website has never been so important to get your website up the google ranking ladder.
In order for your website to thrive online, you need to have at least a basic understanding of link building, how to use it, and how to create strategies to help your ranking scores.
In this Beginners Guide To Link Building, I intend to break things down into easy to digest bite-size chunks so no matter what your level of understanding or experience with link building you will not get left behind or miss anything.
Link Building – A Definition
The basis of link building is built around obtaining a hyperlink from other websites to your own website.
In simple terms, a hyperlink, or simply a link, is a reference to data or another internet page that the reader of that page can directly follow either by clicking, tapping, or hovering over a hyperlink.
A hyperlink can point to a whole document or to a specific element within a document. Hypertext is text with hyperlinks. The text that is linked from is called anchor text.
How to insert a hyperlink (link) in WordPress.
Let us have a quick look at how to insert a hyperlink when using WordPress.
You can use either the visual or text editors on your post or page.
You highlight the word you want to insert a link into
You then click on the hyperlink box on the editor menu which brings up the hyperlink box on the word you want to hyperlink.
You then insert the url of the link (e.g. www.toplinkbuilding.org) and click the arrow return.
You have created a hyperlink or link for the search engine crawlers to find.
A hyperlink or just link is important as this is used by search engines such as Google when they crawl the web. The search engine crawlers look for links between pages on your website and also links between entire websites.
Link building can be one of the hardest parts of your SEO activity but once you master its art you will be well on your way to outperforming other similar websites.
We have discussed briefly what a hyperlink is and its importance in link building, but let’s look closer at link anatomy and how search engines crawl them and how they interpret their meaning.
A standard hyperlink in HTML looks like this:
Welcome to Toplinkbuilding
Lets dissect the tag system.
a) Start of the link tag: This is called an anchor tag, hence the ‘a’ at the start. This always starts and opens the link and tells the search engines that a link to something else is about to follow on.
b) Link Referral” The prefix “href” stands for “hyperlink referral” with the text inside the quotation marks indicating the URL to where the link is pointing.
When you are link building, the link doesn’t always have to point to a web page, it can also be to the address of an image or some file to download.
You can also use links within your own pages and the local prefix then would be the # sign. This sign tells the search engines that it is a local link which may take you to a different section of the page you might already be on.
c) Visible anchor text of the link: This is the section of text that the user will see on the page, the section they would have to click to proceed to open the link. Usually, you make this text stand out in some way from the text surrounding it – most often this is blue in color, is underlined telling the user this is a clickable link.
d) Closure of link tag: The tells the search engines that it is at the end of the link.
What A Link Tells A Search Engine
The fundamentals of how search engines deal with links is in two ways.
Firstly, it helps the search engine discover new web pages.
Secondly, it helps a search engine determine how well a web page should rank in their results.
How The Search Engine Works
The search engines go out and crawl the web using what is termed spiders. Once these have crawled the web they extract the content of the pages and add them to the search engines index.
In this way, the search engine can decide if the page has sufficient quality to be ranked well for relevant search terms.
Here’s a link to a Google video that explains this: Google Video
So when the search engine is deciding on the quality of your page they also look at the number of links pointing to the page from external websites and the quality of their website.
In general, it can be assumed that the more high-quality websites you have which are linking to your site, the more likely it will be that your site will appear higher up the search results.
Google uses something called page rank to measure the quality of your page based partly on the number and quality of links you have pointing to it.
In short page rank (usually Google) assigns a rank or score to every search results. The higher the page score or rank, the higher up the search results it will appear.
The page rank is partially determined by the number of other web pages that are linking to the target page.
The logic behind this is that pages with high-quality content will be linked more than pages of lower quality.
So if you think of it as a sort of voting system. The page that has more votes from a highly ranked website will count for more than votes from a lower ranked site.
However, the more links a web page sends out will dilute the voting power of that page. So if a high ranking site links to hundreds of other pages, the votes won’t count for as much.
So the best way to achieve top spot is to consistently provide top quality content, which gives the other people the incentive to link back to your page.
Now you have probably heard or read about Google Penguin Updates?
These came about because SEO’s soon discovered ways to manipulate page rank and search results for certain keywords in google search results.
Google than actively searched out websites that were manipulating search results and began this series of updates aimed at finding websites that didn’t deserve to rank where they had been.
This also led to Google discounting several link building techniques that had been used extensively.
Therefore it is important to know which link building techniques to avoid and those that stay within the guidelines that Google set.
What we do know though is that ‘links’ still play a big role in how Google ranks web pages. The factors around them are what we will discover in other posts.
There is no doubt then that links and the quality of those links will help you rank higher in the search engines which means you will get more traffic.
The Importance of Quality
You may have noticed that the word ‘quality’ pops up a lot. This is now becoming more important and Google is becoming more sophisticated and increasing its filtering of low quality or spammy links.
It is important then in any link building campaign to ensure the focus is squarely on quality.
In our next part, we will focus on the types of links you may come across and explore no follow and do follow links.