Link building is perhaps the most important search engine optimization activity; the ranking of a website is severely affected if it does not have sufficient incoming links. To better understand the concept of link building, it is important to understand why a website requires link building. Google utilises a ranking called PageRank™ to determine the popularity of a webpage. Every time a website links to another website it is essentially voting for the website. The PageRank™ of a website is directly influenced by the number of the incoming links to the website. The PageRank™ of a website directly influences its ranking for keywords also; however PageRank™ alone cannot ensure the ranking of website.
Link building is a specialised task because search engines like Google only recognise relevant incoming links to a website, this means that a website selling computers will benefit primarily from incoming links from IT firms and directories. Until recently, directories were one of the simplest ways to increase incoming links to a website; but even directories are no longer 100% effective. Search engines have now started excluding sites that are masquerading as directories. Only genuine and established directories are now a viable and fool proof way of generating incoming links.
Recently, Google implemented an anti-paid links campaign. Websites that were accepting money to link to other websites were found to be in violation of the true spirit of PageRank™, such websites were penalised by Google and the links were not taken into account while calculating the PageRank™ of a website.
Search engine optimizers have come up with a smarter and more discreet way to generate incoming links to a website. One of the most popular ways to carry out link building is to write meaningful articles and blog entries on various sites. These articles/blog entries have an incoming link to the website and are ideal to generate deep incoming links to a website. It is important to remember however, that unless the articles are meaningful they are not accepted by article sites. Similarly, a search engine optimizer can also insert links within social networking sites, once again pointless links are usually deleted by the social networking site’s webmaster.
It is important to remember is that an ill conceived and misdirected link building exercise will result in nothing, and this is why most webmasters prefer utilising the services of a SEO firm to carry out their link building.
PageRank™ is not the only thing that is affected by link building; links are also a great way to rank for keywords. By inserting, content specific links a site can actually divert meaningful traffic to itself. For example: if you are looking for used cars, ww.xyz.com is a great place to start. Here the website xyz.com is actually listed next to the keyword ‘cars’, chances are a user searching for cars will click on the link for xyz.com. In essence, an incoming link is not the only purpose being served here, the website is also ranking along side important keywords.