SEO Basics: What Is Link Building?

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As we delve deeper into SEO basics, we cast our eyes towards at one of the most important search engine optimisation techniques – link building.

Link building is one of the most important parts of any SEO strategy, equal only perhaps to good on-site SEO. A few years ago, it was possible to increase your site's rankings in the main search engines simply by buying a large number of incoming links. Over time, however, the search engines improved their algorithms and the quality of the links acquired is just as important as the quantity.

Link-Building Techniques

Old-fashioned, spammy link building techniques may be much less effective than they used to be, but there are many other ways to improve website rankings. Consider the following digital marketing tools:

1. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a popular link building tool. Guest blogging involves offering content to a blogger in exchange for a byline with your link in it. It takes effort to find high-quality blogs to work with, but once you build up a relationship with some of the bigger bloggers in your niche, this can be an effective way to acquire links and reach a wider audience.

2. Social Media

Google considers social media references when working out its rankings. By encouraging visitors to Tweet links, share pages on Facebook and +1 content, you can drive engagement and help SEO. In the eyes of the search engines, these social media mentions are an indication that your content is relevant, fresh and interesting.

3. Local Search

This SEO technique won't apply to everyone, but if a site serves a local audience, it’s worth making sure Google knows this. It’s a good idea for companies to get their physical premises listed on Google Maps, and make sure their address is prominently displayed on their website. When prospective customers use local search to find companies near them, they'll be more likely to see a result listed on Google Maps.

Anchor text

Anchor text  is an extremely important consideration when building links. Google gets suspicious if a huge percentage of your links contain the same anchor text, or if all of your links are to the front page of your site.

Google recently revealed a new concept called "co-citations". These are deep links from high-quality websites. Co-citations are viewed by Google as a huge vote of confidence for a website and will have a bigger impact on rankings than a bought footer link on a high page-rank website.

Another good thing about co-citations is that this kind of link is more likely to get clicked. Where footer links, blogroll placements and other low-quality links do nothing more than pass on a small amount of page-rank juice, deep links from high-quality blogs will attract attention from the people who read those blogs.

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