What Is Link Building? Everything You Need To Know

Link building is the ranking strategy that seems to be standing the test of time.

Since 1998 Google has used the “links” pointing to a website to signify quality.

If you have-

  • Lots of links
  • From lots of relevant sources

Google will view your site as an authority in it’s niche. It’s a fairly simple formula for success.

And once you learn to harness various link building strategies you’ll be able to see a major growth in your ranking and traffic in a small amount of time.

If you are struggling with link building – you are in the right place because my link building tutorials will bring you upto speed in no time at all-

But in the mean time:

I’m going to show you what link building is and how to use it to transform your website.

What Is Link Building?

Link building is the art of getting a hyperlink from someone’s website back to your own. Each link that points back to your site works as a “vote” in the eyes of Google.

Think of it like a big thumbs up that your content is good.

The more of these “votes” and the higher quality of people who provide them, the higher your site will rank. Let me show you some link building examples:

In this blog post Ahrefs linked to my Easy Wikipedia Link Building article:

Ahrefs Link

Because they are a well known website this link is a big “vote” for the quality of my article.

In the eyes of Google, it’s an endorsement that this content is good.

Thanks to this link – and many others like it – my article holds the top spot on Google for:

Wikipedia Backlinks:

Wikipedia Backlinks Top Spot

If you’re able to collect links to your site like this from other websites in your niche you’re going to be able to rank much higher in Google results yourself.

But why does this happen?

Google introduced backlinks into its algorithm in 1998. They believed links worked as endorsements and made identifying the best quality content much easier.

This system was a little flawed because they focused on link quantity and not quality.

The more links you had, the better. Many SEOs take advantage of that, creating fake links and blogs and “spamming” the system.

As time went on Google refined its algorithm and link building took on a different form.

Quantity gave way to quality
and the better the source of your link, the more power it has.

quantity vs quality link building

That means a link from the BBC is worth more than a link from my blog.

But as long as my blog is active and spam free, the links from my blog still count and make up a healthy “link profile” for your site.

Which brings us to an important question…

Why Do You Need Link Building?

You need link building to help you maximise your SEO results.

When used in conjunction with on page SEO, link building can take even the most obscure of websites to the top spot.

Which is what makes it the most sought after and important SEO technique.

If your site isn’t being endorsed by third-party links…

You are going to lose.

What is link building - more links equal higher rankings

Link building has a powerful branding effect beyond search engines, too.

Human beings also see links as endorsements.

If they click to your site from someone they trust, they’re going to have a positive association to your brand.

This is why thought leaders like Tim Ferriss are able to sell out affiliate products in seconds. (Often called The Hug of Death.)

 People trust what they have to say.

They trust the referral. Your brand looks good because of it. It’s a no-brainer.

Internal & External Link Building: What’s The Difference?

There are two “major” categories of link building:

And it can be difficult to understand the difference. So, allow me to explain.

Internal links leads from one piece of content to another within the same site. Like if you click this link, that’s an internal link to another page on my blog.

If you run a website about health & fitness and you have an article about protein powder, you’d add a link to this article every time “protein powder” was mentioned on your site.

External links work on the same principle, except they link to an external website that is not your own.

difference between internal and external links

You’d then be looking to acquire links from other people’s content that leads back to your protein powder article. (Or whatever it is you’re talking about.)

There are various different types of link building, but these are the 9 link building techniques I tend to focus on:

  1. Competitor Backlink Analysis
  2. Testimonial Link Building
  3. Crowd Funded Link Building
  4. Event Link Building
  5. Resource Pages
  6. Broken Link Building
  7. Social Media Link Building
  8. Internal Link Building
  9. Expired Domains

And if that’s not enough for you, check out my full list of link building strategies.

But for now, remember:

Internal linking is from your website to elsewhere on your website.
External linking is from a third-party website back to your website.

The Anatomy Of A Backlink

Not all links are created equal.

As you saw in the first section “votes” from different places count more than from others.

But what is it that makes one link worth more than another?

Well there are a few pieces that make up the anatomy of a good link:

  • Relevancy: The more closely related to the topic you’ve written about, the better.
  • Domain Strength: The better known a website is the more powerful the link. A link from The New York Times is worth a lot more than your local newspaper. But that local newspaper is worth more than my blog.
  • Page Strength: The page containing the link plays a factor. The more well-known that page is, the more “juice” will flow from it to your site.
  • Anchor Text: This is the text your link is attached to. The more accurate this is to the topic of the article, the better.

If a link is lacking in multiple areas here or it is missing some of these factors altogether, it’s going to have a next to no impact on your search visibility.

If a link has all these factors in high levels, it’s going to strongly influence your page.

Wrapping It Up

Link building is getting links from an external website to point at your website.

Each link is an “endorsement” in the eyes of a search engine that your content is:

  • High quality
  • Worth ranking

These links need to be high quality and spam free. The better the website, the more impact it’ll have on your SEO results. They also have a great branding effect, too.

A good link is relevant, comes from a well known site and is connected to accurate anchor text. A bad link is the opposite.

Next up I’m going to show you how to get started with competitor backlink analysis which is a great way to start building links and learning by the power of observation.

This is one of my favourite link building strategies so click here to get started.

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