How Does Link Building Work?

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With the ever-growing list of search engine optimization (SEO) tools that your business needs to remain competitive, it can be difficult to tell which ones are and aren’t worth your time and resources.

How Does Link Building Work

One oft-overlooked concept is link building. Once the foundation of effective SEO, link building is still a crucial component for boosting your site’s rankings and helping you gain an edge over your competitors. So how does it work?

Defining link building

At their core, links are essentially pathways between different spots on the web. Properly optimized links inform search engine crawlers (bots that examine websites for their indexing and ranking potential) about how different web pages are related to one another. In some ways, links are used to determine the popularity of your site. So more inbound links will make your website more popular, right? Yes, and no.

As link building grew and was refined into a more specific metric, search engines have determined that while the amount of inbound links is definitely important, so is the quality of those links. If your site is receiving thousands of links but they’re all from spammy, low-value websites, it’s not a positive reflection on your SEO.

Inversely, if you don’t have a massive amount of links but they’re from authoritative, well-respected pages, you stand a much better chance at boosting your rankings. So if quality is a more important factor than quantity, how do you know which links are worth pursuing?

What makes a quality link?

In some ways, deciding what makes a quality backlink is a case-by-case basis. Different SEO analysts have differing opinions on what links are and aren’t valuable, but there are a few metrics that tend to remain consistent across all channels. Factors like relevance, trustworthiness, and higher domain scores are all important in sussing out which links will provide a boost to your business.

Site and page relevance might seem self-explanatory, but it’s a touch more complex than it sounds. Not only should the link direct readers to a complementary page, it should make smart use of correct anchor text to do so. Not sure what “anchor text” is? Whenever you have words that are hyperlinked, the highlighted words are your anchor text.

If your anchor text doesn’t inform a search engine what the linked page is about, it’s not seen as relevant. For example, if you’re linking to a page on “electric cars” but your anchor text and linked page don’t discuss electric cars as their primary subject, it’s not a relevant link.

Trustworthiness is a factor that is built over time. High-trust sites are considered staples of the internet: think Wikipedia, Google, major news outlets, and corporate websites. Not sure what determines a site’s trustworthiness? Typically it consists of frequent activity, HTTPS security, high quality content, and the correct trust pages (an “about us” page, privacy policy, terms of service, and a contact page).

Domain scores are similar to trustworthiness in many ways and depend on several of the same factors. A common way to improve your own website’s domain score is to reach out to SEO companies like Link Laboratory who specialize in link building.

If executing a successful link building campaign seems a little overwhelming, fear not. You can simply reach out to SEO experts to discuss your site and your goals. A quality link building campaign can have an amazing effect on your organic rankings and is an invaluable tool in gaining a competitive edge. SEO can be intimidating, but with the right partner, it should be exciting to watch your business grow.