The Importance of Link Building for SEO

Google is a business too. It needs to ensure it provides the best possible search results because that is the service it offers.

I think this is the most important thing to remember in all of SEO. It can guide everything you do in your SEO strategy from your keywords to your inbound and outbound links. By remembering that Google (and other search engines) are simply trying to provide a quality service to its users, you can understand how relevancy, quality and freshness of content affect your search rankings. Essentially, if your website does what it claims to do and does it well, you can’t go far wrong.

Link building is an important element of SEO

Link building is an important element of SEO

And how does Google know you and providing quality content and doing it well? Well, the bods over at Google certainly don’t sit down and read your entire website and research every fact or statement you make. Instead, the search engines rely on the testimony of others – and this comes in the form  of links.

“Links are votes. Not all votes are equal” (Ian Lockwood at The Internet Marketing Conference 2010)

This quote encapsulates the essence of link building for SEO – links are indeed like votes for Google (and other search engines) to see that your content is of a high quality and is appreciated by your users and people in your area. If someone links to you, it’s a way for them to show that your website has something good to offer.

But, a vote from your mate’s website or from someone unrelated to you is not equal to a vote from, let’s say, the trade publication for your industry or sector. The weighting of links is formulated via Google’s algorithm and something called ‘Page Rank‘ – but, without going into all that, it essentially requires you to get your links from quality websites who have many links themselves – quality recommendations from quality sources.

The more of those quality recommendations you get, the more weighting Google gives to your site, and the higher you move up the search engine results pages (SERPs). Easy, huh?

Nope! Not easy at all. Link building is laborious and takes time – thinking planting a seed in a garden – and is so closely binded to other forms of online marketing and SEO. But once you get it right, it can bring you so many benefits.

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