Building one-way hyperlinks (sometimes known as “backlinks”) to a website with the objective of enhancing search engine exposure is known as link building. Content marketing, the creation of useful goods, email outreach, broken link building, and public relations are all link-building tactics.
SEOs and marketers do not create all links on purpose. Many will emerge for a variety of reasons, such as a journalist covering a breaking storey and linking to a source, or a blogger who is so enamoured with their new coffee machine that they link to the store where it was purchased.
The Havro of SEO is obtaining links that you didn’t ask for. It’s something you should always be aiming for and working towards in the long run. This is accomplished by putting in the effort to make your website link-worthy, whether through a fantastic product or service or by creating excellent content that is referred by other websites.
You can employ a variety of link-building tactics in addition to this long-term plan to increase your authority and boost your chances of ranking well and generating organic search traffic.
The anatomy of a hyperlink
To grasp the significance of link building, you must first comprehend the fundamentals of how a link is produced, how search engines view links, and what they may deduce from them.
Start of link tag: This opens the link element and informs browsers and search engines that a link to something else is about to appear. It’s known as an anchor tag (thus the “a”).
Link referral location: The content behind the quotation marks represents the link’s destination URL, and the “href” stands for “hyperlink referral.” It doesn’t have to be a web page; it may be the URL for an image or a download file. You’ll come across something other than a URL that begins with a # sign now and then. These links will direct you to a specific part of the URL.
Visible/anchor text of link: This is the small piece of text that users see on the website and must click if they want the link to open. The text is frequently structured in some way to distinguish it from the surrounding text, commonly with blue colour and/or underlining to indicate that it is a clickable link to users.
Closure of link tag: To the search engines, this marks the end of the link tag.
What links mean for search engines
Links are used by search engines in two primary ways:
They’re looking for fresh websites to add to their search engine results. To assist in determining where a page should appear in their search results Search engines can take content from web sites and add it to their indexes once they have crawled them. This enables them to decide whether a page is of high enough quality to rank effectively for relevant keywords (Google created a short video to explain that process.)
When making this decision, search engines consider not only the content of the page, but also the number of links leading to it from other websites, as well as the quality of those external websites. The more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to show up towards the top of search results.
Google’s dominance of the search engine market began in the late 1990s, thanks to the use of links as ranking criteria. Larry Page, one of Google’s co-founders, devised PageRank, which Google utilised to assess a page’s quality based in part on the number of links referring to it. This metric was then included in the overall ranking algorithm and it became a strong signal because it was an excellent way of identifying a page’s quality. Google was able to deliver considerably more useful and relevant search results than their competitors at the time by putting this into their algorithm.
It worked so effectively because it was based on the idea that a link could be interpreted as a vote of confidence in a page, meaning that it would only get links if it merited them. When someone links to another website, they are effectively suggesting it as a valuable resource, according to the idea. They wouldn’t connect with it otherwise, just as you wouldn’t recommend a bad restaurant to a friend.
SEOs, on the other hand, figured out how to manipulate PageRank and search results for certain keywords quite rapidly. Although Google was far more powerful than other search engines at the time, it was still open to manipulation because it couldn’t distinguish between high-quality and low-quality links.
Google began looking for websites that were attempting to influence search results by generating low-quality connections, and began rolling out regular updates targeted at filtering out pages that didn’t deserve to rank due to weak links.
As a result, Google has started to ignore a number of formerly efficient link-building tactics, such as submitting your website to online directories in exchange for a link. This was a method that Google used to promote, but it was abused and overdone by SEOs, hence it was devalued by Google.
How else can link building benefit my business?
Link building is important not just because it can aid with enhanced organic search rankings and traffic, but it also offers a number of other perks that can help your organisation.
It’s also true that links emerge spontaneously as a result of activities whose primary objective isn’t necessarily to establish links. For example, if you debut a new product that has never been seen before and is truly innovative, you will almost certainly receive a large number of connections to your website. Alternatively, if you write a fantastic piece of content that is intended to be the finest guide in your business (and it is!), you’ll likely receive links as a result.
Neither of these operations, providing a great product and writing a fantastic piece of content, will have been undertaken solely for the purpose of link development, but links will be a by-product of the activity.
This is why link development should not be viewed as a stand-alone activity, but rather as a component of a larger strategy that benefits your organization beyond the links themselves.