26 Dec 2008

What Is Link Building?

December 26, 2008Link Building

I often get asked what I do for a living, and when I reply all I get are confused looks. I often find myself explaining what a link is, and how link building can benefit website owners. This usually is a great introduction for my business and has landed me a few clients in the past, but overall is a bit disheartening. So, for those of you out there that don’t know, I shall describe what link building is all about.

Link building, while a very broad and vague term, usually describes anything you do to point hyperlinks back to your website from third party websites (see the example below). These hyperlinks, or links for short, help to get traffic to your site, allow others to find your valuable site, create awareness for your website, adds credibility, and most importantly assists in having your site found by search engines such as Google.  Search engines, through use of complicated algorithms, give better search result rankings to those that have more links to their website. Links equate to ‘value’ or ‘popularity status’ on the web. It should be noted that search engines also have other criteria that determine their results, but inbound links are often given the most weight.

Why is link building important? Because website owners want more traffic to their sites. Not only does more traffic mean more business, but it also can lead to revenue from advertisers. Running a successful website could lead to your financial bliss.

What kind of links are there? While website owners are impacted by incoming links, outgoing links are of importance as well. Outgoing links can be utilized through reciprocal linking. Essentially reciprocal linking is a link trade. I put a link on my site to your site, and you put a link on your site to my site. This form of link passes equal value, but it wouldn’t be beneficial to you if you traded links with a spam site or site that is totally unrelated to yours. Not only can outbound links transmit from one domain to another, they can also link to another pertinent page on the same site. Not necessarily responsible for increasing rank, outbound links assist search engine ‘crawlers’ in finding more content. So it’s important to have outbound links on your site for more than just reciprocal reasons.  
How is link building accomplished? Some website owners choose to let links build naturally or organically. Over time links will start to build on their own. Clients that purchase your products or utilize your services might write about your site on their personal blog and insert a link to your site, or your business might be picked up by a local business listing site and have a link to your site. These links will be based on your unique content, service or merchandise. Without having to lift a hand, your site could already be generating links.
Because this method will prove to be very slow, many website owners opt to speed up the process through their own careful and meticulous efforts. Oftentimes utilizing contextual link building. Building a multi-faceted link building campaign can include anything from traditional website marketing to local search marketing. There is a lot of information on the web, including: Link Building Fundamentals: A Primer to help.
Where to get started? Look at your competition! Unless you are one of the lucky few to have completely unique products or ideas, you will have competition. If your competition’s site is already up and off the ground take a look at it and see what they did to help optimize their own efforts.
This will also take an evaluation of keywords. Which keywords are essential to your business, and which ones are dominated by your competitors? Utilization of those keywords in blogs, press releases, articles, and the like will help you if the links are placed within the body of content using those keywords (anchor text) and your URL. Just make sure the content is relevant to your site, and that you are placing your blogs, press releases, etc on reputable sites. Some offer free article submissions for a variety of verticals, such as Education or Health.
Now you can see why I usually say I do website marketing, when asked what I do for a living. Link building is just too complicated!


  • Femin Jan 15, 2009

    Nice article abt link building.Thank u !!!

    ~ Femin ~

  • Daman Jan 21, 2009

    This article explains what is link building. But how we can start link building?


  • arniek Jan 21, 2009

    @Damon – something tells me you already know :-)

  • MySpace Layouts Jan 23, 2009

    I like this post . It is a good introduction to link building but the question is how to do link building.

  • Hectic Capiznon Feb 06, 2009

    Link building can really make a difference to your site!

  • Atul mehra Jan 17, 2010

    thats fine…..but how i can do link building nd how do i earn wit it.?

  • Urvaship43 Sep 08, 2010

    good description.

  • Onewaytextlinkservices Oct 03, 2010

    thanks for the nice definition of the link building. Great!