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What is link building for SEO?

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One of the most vital aspects that very few people consider when putting together a website design is link building. But what is link building for SEO?

Links are a critical component of the Internet; it can only be a network if different websites are somehow linked together. In the early days of the web everyone wanted to build links for web surfers to follow and find their website, today people link build so that search engines will find their website. The more links you have to your site on third party websites, the more “authority” you have in the eyes of search engines, and that means better search engine results.

So for years search engine optimisation experts have sought not only to create great on-page SEO with plenty of keywords, they have also built links for their clients.

Of course, building links is something anyone can do, so a lot of small business owners have saved money by building their own links, unfortunately, all that has now changed substantially.

Led by Google, search engines realised there was a phenomenon of link-spam. Hundreds of web based business directories sprung up which anyone could add their link to and other techniques emerged such as article submission websites, where poor quality and repetitive articles were regularly posted just so the author could put a link to their website at the end. The same article would be submitted to tens or even hundreds of sites leading to an Internet full of duplication and poor quality content. Businesses would also sell offers such as “100 great links for $10!” on networks of websites set up purely to service this offer and with no attention to quality standards.

Concerned at how these approaches were skewing search results and progressively leading to a poorer user-experience for search engine customers, Google recently amended their system to blacklist duplicate content, and along with it all that link building spam has been dying off too.

The general concept of monitoring external backlinks to assess website authority remains a good one though, and link building is still a valid SEO technique, but it has to be carried out in a far more quality driven manner.

Links will still be effective from high quality websites with their own high site authority, and whilst it’s still possible for people to DIY link build, some expert SEO help will often be required to target the right kind of sites and to find ways to build links from them, so yet again, the best approach to SEO is an ongoing one working alongside specialised and experienced SEO and web design experts