What Is Link Building & Why Is It Important

What if I told you there was a powerful and important way to improve your rankings that’s available to everyone and is endorsed by Google?

You’d assume I was peddling snake-oil that costs you three months wages.

But I’m not. This strategy does exist.

 It’s called link building.

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, your site will be viewed as a top resource.

high authority links and high relevancy links

If you can learn to harness link building techniques you’ll be able to see a major growth in your ranking and traffic in a small amount of time.

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

What Is Link Building? (And Why Should You Care?)

Link building is the act 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.

backlinks quality vs quantity

That means a link from The Guardian is worth more than a link from Random Joe’s blog.

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

Which brings us squarely 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 a well-optimised page it 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 lose.

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.

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, but you’re getting those links on external sites.

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 nine link building techniques I tend to focus on:

  1. Competitor backlinks
  2. Social media backlinks
  3. Broken link building
  4. Blog commenting
  5. Testimonials
  6. Resource pages
  7. Events
  8. Crowdfunding
  9. Directories

You’ll learn more about these different types later in this SEO guide.

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 Authority: The better known a website is the more powerful the link. A link from Washington Post is worth a lot more than your local newspaper. But that local newspaper is worth more than Random Joe’s blog.
  • Page Authority: 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 weak impact on your SEO.

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

Wrapping This 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 site with high domain and page authority and it connected to an accurate anchor text. A bad link is the opposite.

Next up I’m going to show you how to steal your competitor backlinks.

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