Link Building Basics
We, at SearchEnabler came forward with this article on Link Building Basics to give you a better idea about why link building is considered as a necessary factor to increase the value and ranking of a webpage in search results and to show you how to accomplish this task.
What are Links?
Links or Hyperlinks are connections between webpages. Consider webpages as cities and links as highways connecting them.
Link building is a very important factor from search engine’s perspective as they treat external links to a webpage as votes of authority which, in-turn is used to know if the webpage has more value than its competitors. As the number of backlinks (votes) for a webpage increases, its authority increases.
How Search Engine Categorizes Links?
Search Engines categorizes the links which helps them to know if they should be considered in calculating the authority of the webpage. You can deliberately instruct the search engine to follow or not to follow a particular link in your webpage through the rel attribute value in the anchor tag.
- Follow Link – The rel attribute value for this type of link is rel=”follow”, which instructs the search engines to trust the link to be of great importance and it provides a better value to the readers. By default, all the links have follow value in rel attribute.
- No-Follow link – This type of link has a rel=”nofollow”, value which instructs the search engine not to follow that link because either it is not from a trusted source, or it is not irrelevant to the topic of the webpage. Typically, the places where people can post junk or spam links, such as in a comment box, are marked as nofollow by websites. Even large numbers of no-follow links do not bring a good value proposition to your webpage.
|<a href=”www.example.com/products/amazon-kindle-fire-tablet/” rel=”follow”>Amazon Kindle Fire<a>|
|<a href=”www.example.com/products/amazon-kindle-fire-tablet/” rel=”nofollow”>Amazon Kindle Fire<a>|
Link Factors Considered by Search Engines
PageRank (PR) is a link analysis algorithm, used by the Google’s search engine, that assigns a numerical weighting to each webpage with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance with other webpages. The numerical weighting of PageRank scales from 1 to 10 (least importance to highest importance).
The PageRank of a webpage is defined recursively and depends on the number and PageRank metric of all webpages that link to it (“incoming links”). A webpage that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself. If there are no links to a webpage there is no support for it. The PageRank literally flows from one webpage to another if the link is mentioned to follow.
After the advent of social media, the term PageRank is getting out of attention as search engines are relying more on social insights such as Likes, Tweets, +1s and Shares to know the value of the webpage.
Search engines analyze the importance of a webpage through various link factors, of which, some of them are explained as follows.
- Trust – The trust factor of the incoming link or domain, which is in-turn analyzed through the Link Graph.
- Number of Links – Higher number of follow backlinks from popular websites results in higher importance.
- Global Link Popularity – The popularity of the link/website and how the global audience visit and return to that website regularly.
- Topic Specific Popularity – Search engines also analyze the topic-specific popularity of the webpage, which it is linked to.
- Anchor Text – Anchor text is the visible text in hyperlink which is used a clickable element. In Google’s latest algorithm update, even the text nearby a link and anchor text are taken as a reference to understand the context of the link.
edit: We have created interactive guide using Whatfix, to provide step by step instructions for checking website page rank.
Why is link building necessary?
Link building is a process of linking a webpage to other relevant webpages and create backlinks from referral websites. It is an essential part of the SEO strategy as search engines analyze these links to understand the authoritative value or importance of a webpage.
The main objective of link building should be of gaining popularity of your brand/product/service/website to attract readers and make them trust you.
Try to build follow backlinks with good referral websites that are relative to the topic so that you can gain some traffic from those backlinks as well as increase the rank of your website in search results.
Link Building Process
Link building is one of the most difficult and frustrating process because it is slow. It can take months or even years to successfully create a good and legitimate backlink structure. Nonetheless, it pays off very well in the long run.
- Create Useful Content – Try to create simple, useful, and understandable content, which users and websites find beneficial, in addition to recommending such content to others. Sometimes, it is a good idea to publish the content which creates instant virality drawing huge crowd to your website. You can also create content such as Tips and How-To which are effective in bringing in the traffic for a long run. Note that people tend to consume and share posts, which contains multimedia such as images, videos, audio, infographics and slideshows.
- Explore Linking Opportunities – Identify the websites and webpages, which are related to your content. Either you can search such information through search engines or tools such as SearchEnabler, which help you, find your competitor’s backlinks so that you can use them too. Create a list of websites, which you think has better following and which might be interested in linking back to your content.
- Connect With Linking Opportunities – Try to make a connection with the editors of those websites which you have identified as linking opportunities. Explain how your content can help them and their readers. Even if they deny to link to your content, at least they will recognize your website in future linking opportunities.
- Share Linking Details – The websites which agree to link back to you, send them the details about the keywords which you are targeting so that they can use it wherever possible and necessary.
Other than those referral websites, you can share your content through other sources such as social networking and bookmarking websites. Generally, social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus are able to garner the highest amount of referral visitors. Bookmarking websites such as Pinterest are also rising as a good source of traffic but you have to create attractive images and videos to have good number of followers on it. However, note that, the links in such places will be nofollow type and the only value they could bring is visitors. Nevertheless, increasing visitors on your website should be the main agenda rather than increasing the search result rankings. As the visitors start to grow, the website rank will increase automatically.
We hope that, following these linking strategies consistently, you will be able to create a true legitimate link source for your website and increase the traffic as well as search engine rankings. Keep away from building junk backlinks and practicing manipulative strategies to increase search rankings will only be effective till search engines come up with new algorithms that squash these techniques. Always remember that creating legitimate backlinks is the only way for long term effectiveness in increasing website ranking and traffic.