Link building is the process of building back links to a website in order to increase its search engine optimization (SEO) strength and increase the site’s rank in Google and Yahoo.
There are multiple ways to approach link building, but the easiest and most effective is to view a website as a shell. At the center of this shell is the main website. Surrounding the main site is a secondary layer of links from websites like blogs, article directories, Web 2.0 content, and other ‘high’ ranking pages. The links directly to your website should come from reputable sources, or else your ranking could be hurt if Google begins to classify some incoming links as spam. A good way to build links is to post on other blogs within your niche and link back to your site in the comment. It’s a small influence, but it helps – and those comments may lead to an increased audience.
To link to that secondary layer, website owners often use tools like mass article submissions and social bookmarking. These are low quality links, but they come in high quantities. Enough of this type of link can increase your ranking very quickly, but these links should point to the secondary layer, never to your main site.
A link from one website might carry more weight and influence than a link from another website, and this is determined from the site’s ranking. A link from Harvard.edu would be much stronger than a link from RandomOnlineCommunityCollege.net, for instance. However, the most powerful sites don’t often link to other sites. To obtain these links, the best thing a site owner can do is create quality content. Guides, in-depth articles, and more that are sharable have a tendency to end up in front of a large audience. If something you create goes ‘viral,’ then your site will rise in the rankings quickly because of the number of back links.
Link building is a powerful tool if used correctly. It’s tempting to accept some of the spam email offers of 10,000 back links for just $50, but they aren’t worth it. Those links are low quality and often spammy, which can do more harm than good for a site’s ranking.