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What is link building and how will it help your ranking?

There are many contributing factors and algorithms which Google uses to determine where your website is going to rank on Google results. One of the many is backlinks. But what are backlinks? What is link building? And how do you link build effectively? Discover my top tips to effective link building.

What is link building?

Link building is gaining hyperlinks from external websites back to your own website. Once an external website has linked back to your website, this is called a backlink.

But how does this help your ranking?

Think of it like this, would you rather buy a TV with a 1-star rating or a 10-star rating? You’d probably go for the TV which has a 10-star rating as it is likely to be much better than the other one.

Google uses this information in the same way, but with backlinks. Google looks at different websites and can see how many external websites are linking to them and this helps to rank them accordingly. If you have a lot of external websites linking to you, then Google will assume your website has a high domain authority because so many other websites recommend reading your content.

But beware, there are things that you need to be aware of. Google can actually de-rank your site if you have lots of ‘spammy’ links back to your website.

Link farming

Link farming is an old SEO technique where you overload on backlinks from poor quality websites which have nothing to do with your content. They aren’t real backlinks, they are toxic websites which are used purely for backlinking.

This SEO technique doesn’t work any more as, thanks to the Jagger algorithm update (September 2005) Google now recognises link farms. If you have too many toxic backlinks from a lot of link farms, it will de-rank your website as a result of you trying too hard!

There are still SEO practitioners who do link farming and we highly recommend that you do not take this option as it will not only harm your website’s ranking and traffic, it will also make it very difficult to come back from it.

Link building best practices

Now to the good stuff. How to link build effectively. As we always say to clients when we perform our free SEO audit ‘Quality rather quantity is the name of the game, and you need to be careful to ensure that links do not come from spam sites or “bad neighbourhoods”’.

Do your research!

Go onto Google and type in your primary keyword. Take a look at the results which show up. Some of the results will be your competitors, but there will be some websites which publish content which directly relates to what you do. Explore the website and see whether there is any direct correlation to your products/ service. If there is, contact them to request a backlink.

Free web directories

This is an easy way to get a backlink. There are thousands of directories out there, you just need to find the best ones. The most common directories are Yell, Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo, Yellow Pages and Kompass just to name a few.

To go one step further, look for free directories that are directly linked to your industry. This backlink will be seen as a better one as the content directly relays your content which Google sees as more authoritative.

Ensure you check that they are websites with a high domain authority and are safe websites to be putting your information onto. There are some spammy directories out there too, so be aware of that.

To conclude, backlinks are very important to obtain if you want to rank higher in search engines. You just need to ensure that they are high-quality backlinks rather than high-quantity backlinks. If you need any help regarding link building or SEO as a whole, contact our team today and we will be happy to help!

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