What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of getting your URL posted on other websites. SEO people do this to help websites rank better in Google. But why does this help?
In short, it helps because if your website is referenced by another website, Google thinks that your website must be high quality, and will more inclined to show your website in their search results. Google wants to gives their users the best quality sites, and if your site is referenced by lots of high quality sites, then yours is deemed to be high quality too.
Link building is all about getting your URL on quality sites
But what constitutes high quality in Google’s eyes? Well, that’s impossible to say without knowing their algorithms, but broadly speaking, Google assigns a score to the top websites in any field. For example, the BBC news website and The Washington Post will score highly. If these sites feature link to other sites, those sites are deemed high quality too, and if those sites in turn reference other sites, those other sites deemed are considered high quality as well.
In Google’s eyes, a lot of links from high quality sites means they consider yours trustworthy and influential, and will prioritize your site over other sites with fewer backlinks in their search results.
Link building is (usually) the process of manipulating Google
Now, link building is basically the manipulation of this system. Let me explain. In a purely white hat SEO world, you would publish your content on your site, and quality publications would find it and want tor reference it on the site, and link back to you.
In reality, that’s not how it works. Unless you have an established site with an established audience that cerates great content, nobody’s going to link to your site because nobody knows or cares who you are.
How do you actually ‘do’ link building?
So nobody going to find your site and link to it. Harsh but true. But you still need to rank in Google if you want people to find you. And for that, you need backlinks. So what do you do? You basically ‘game the system’ in one of two ways:
- You buy them from sites who sell links
- You create content and push it aggressively to other websites and hope they publish it
In scenario A, you hire an SEO agency and pay them to get you backlinks. The agency will contact a whole range of sites and offer them content they can use on their site, like an informative article, that includes your link. Hopefully they accept and publish the article on their site, complete with your sites URL. The agency will typically have to pay the website some money for the privilege. Or you contact a link broker who basically does the same thing, the difference being they have established relationships with the sites selling links.
In scenario B) you create high quality content like an infographic, e-book, research report, or press release and send it out to all the relevant sites in your niche and on the PR wires. You hope the editors of the sites that receive it deem it to be worth publishing. If so, your link is on their site. This is preferable to scenario A for reasons we explore here.