Your Basic Walkthrough to Proper Link Building
With the world of SEO constantly changing for better or for worse, it seems that few elements comprising it ever stay the same. The same can be said about link building, but it has remarkably remained a stable practice through thick and thin – only small elements have changed along the way. Building links isn’t as easy as it used to be and definitely requires a more “legitimate” process, but it is one of the few things that can still be relatively perfected and applied by sites of all stripes. In the following article, we’ll give you a walkthrough of the basic tenets of proper link building in the modern age.
What Is Link Building?
Link building – in real terms that apply today – is the act of acquiring high-quality links. This is done via proper communication and the dissemination of quality content. Google and other search engine constantly scour the web in search of new and changed content. While doing so, it also assesses the relationship of various pages and websites to one another. Because of this good link building practices can ultimately be one of the most important elements of the SEO game. Bad link building practices will cause damage to your brand in the eyes of search engines. There are multiple ways to build links with credible websites, including simple requests, guest blogging and influencing power-players in a given niche.
Elements of the Link
A simple link pasted somewhere will not generate much benefit for the website it is linking to, unfortunately. We see a variety of poorly-construed link building exercises from spam farms that pump out generic comments on a variety of blogs, social media and websites.
A quality link contains four key elements. The first is the anchor, which is at the beginning of the link and tells Google and others that the link is designed to be pinging search engines and will need to be ranked. The second element immediately follows this and is known as a link referral location. In simple terms, this is the link address. The third element is the visible anchor text or hyperlink. It is generally not a good idea to use the simple URL as the hyperlink, so you might use something like “you can view Pingler’s blog by clicking here” or “email us today”, depending on the action. The final element is the link tag, which closes the anchor and tells Google that the link is complete.
Link Building Benefits
The most obvious benefit to link building for many is that it gets links to your website in front of new audiences. Anyone who visits the site where the link is listed and reads the content may very well click on it for more information. This is in many cases, however, a side benefit to the real goal: getting associated with other quality content creators that will help to boost your overall rankings. Google analyses these relationships and this will ultimately affect how you rank in various SERPs.
Social Media Considerations
While it is still widely debated whether social media can provide direct link building benefits by pinging search engines, there are tangible benefits for link building. It obviously provides temporary windows in which an audience will see any link you post. It can also be a great way to leverage traffic to a potential site with which you wish to have a link building co-op: the more legitimate traffic you send their way, the more likely they are to accommodate your guest blogging requests and simple link shares.