What is link building?

Written by Sherlock SEO Agency

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to one’s own site. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the Internet. Search engines also use links to “crawl” the Web. A search engine then rapidly navigates the Internet through the links between individual pages on Web sites and analyzes them.

Link building is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) because generating links from external websites (backlinks) to a specific website results in a higher rating from a search engine like Google.

The adopted principle of links as a ranking factor is what enabled Google to come to dominate the search engine market in the late 1990s. One of Google’s founders, Larry Page, invented PageRank to measure the quality of a page based in part on the number of links pointing to it.

This parameter was then used as part of the overall ranking algorithm and became a strong signal because it was a very good way to determine the quality of a page.

It was tremendously efficient because it was based on the idea that a link could be seen as a vote of confidence about a page. In other words, it wouldn’t get a left if it didn’t deserve it. The theory is that when someone links to another website, they are effectively saying it is a good source. Otherwise, they wouldn’t link to it any more than you would send a friend to a bad restaurant.

Skilled SEOs quickly discovered how to manipulate PageRank and search results for chosen keywords with spammy backlinks and “black hat SEO.” So Google began actively looking for ways to expose manipulations of search results. To this end, they roll out regular updates, such as the Penguin update, which are specifically aimed at discovering and penalizing websites that have manipulated their position in search results.

There are many techniques for building links and they vary in difficulty. Depending on the techniques you use to create backlinks, your backlink profile can be healthy or toxic.

The best forms of link building are obtaining organic backlinks by creating great unique content that gets picked up on its own or by spreading your content through manual outreach where you ask other websites to link back to your website. SEOs agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their job.

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