The Role of Link Building in SEO

Much is said about the role of SEO in getting a website into the first page of the search engines result, giving it a far better chance of being chosen by the person who typed in a specific keyword or phrase.  But most people think of search engine optimisation as using suitable keywords in the text of their website.  However, adding keywords to the appropriate places is only a small part of the overall digital strategy that should be used to ensure the success of any website.

Link building also plays a significant part of SEO. Back when search engines were not that smart, people got away with using what is known as ‘black hat’ techniques to enhance the visibility of a website. One of those techniques was to do a bulk link to ‘link farms’. For a reasonable cost, these link farms would supply links to many websites that got good traffic – but they usually weren’t the kind of websites you’d want to be linked to.

For a start they would not be relevant to your business topic; many would be gambling and similar sites, so the traffic that visited them would not be the kind that would want anything more legitimate businesses had to offer. So even if your website received a lot of traffic from link farms, it would not be highly targeted.

Then search engines evolved into smarter beasts that could tell when this was the case. They then were able to ignore that website and not bring it to the first page of the search results at all. Those that still used link farms eventually became aware that this only hurt the ranking of their website.

The real role links to your website from others has is to connect in a good way. For instance, a website that sold dog coats could link to a website that offered a dog training book or other dog accessories that they didn’t stock. Doing so would provide valuable information that dog owners could well be looking for.  Because of this, the search engines could see that your website offers more value to the searcher.

That is what Search Engines do; try to help those who are looking for something specific on the Internet.  While some people get caught up in search engine algorithms and updates, if you provide quality, organic content you can never go wrong or be penalised for adopting black hat techniques to increase your traffic.

Your website should have links to other relevant websites; it should also have links coming in from other websites, not necessarily only the same ones you link out to.  It’s essential to test all the links regularly to ensure they are live, because links that don’t work anymore reflect badly on your website.

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