Guide to SEO - Link Building

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Link building is a process where you try to get other websites to link back to your website. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most important thing is to make sure that your links are high quality and relevant. Link building can be a great way to improve your blog's traffic and search engine ranking. 

Google measures the value of links in many very sophisticated ways which they haven’t made public. But there is a lot of intelligence about how they think about links, like more important, authoritative, and well-linked pages will pass more weight when they link. That's true of both individual URLs, an individual page and web sites. 

For example, if The New York Times links to yoursite.com that will surely be influential in moving your search engine rankings, than any other regular not so famous site which links to yoursite.com. This understanding that there are powerful, important, and authoritative websites, and then there are less powerful, important and authoritative websites. The fact that more powerful ones tend to provide more ranking value is why so many SEOs and marketers use metrics like domain authority to try and intuit how powerful and influential a particular domain is. So different kinds of domains and the rate of link growth, the editorial nature of those links, all matter. 

Structure of a link

It's important to understand how link building works if you want your website to be successful. Links are created when one website includes a hyperlink to another website. Search engines use these links to crawl the web and understand the relationships between different websites. From these links, they can interpret things like the topic of a website, how popular it is, and whether it's a trusted source of information.

Sometime, you may see something other than a URL, that begins with a # sign. These links take you to a specific section of the URL.

Start of link tag: 

The "a" tag is commonly referred to as an "anchor tag," which tells browsers and search engines that a link to something else is about to follow.

Link referral location: 

The "href" attribute is used to indicate the URL to which the link is pointing. It's important to note that this doesn't always have to be a web page; it could be the address of an image or a file to download.

Anchor text: 

Anchor text is the clickable text on a webpage that users can interact with. The anchor text is usually formatted in a way that makes it stand out from the rest of the text on the page, often with blue color and/or underlining. 

Closing the link tag:

The link tag signals the end of the link to the search engines.

What do links mean for search engines

When it comes to search engines, links act as a guide. They help the search engine find new pages and also aid in ranking how well a page should do in the results. 

When search engines are trying to determine if a page is high-quality and relevant, they look at the content on the page, sure. But they also look at how many other websites are linking to that page, and how high-quality those websites are. In general, the higher the quality of websites your website links to the higher your chances of ranking well.

Links as a ranking factor propelled Google to the top of the search engine market in the late 1990s. Google's co-founder, Larry Page, invented PageRank, which measured the quality of a page based on the number of links pointing to it. This metric was used as part of the overall ranking algorithm and demonstrated to be a reliable indicator of a page's quality. By incorporating this into their algorithm, Google was able to serve search results that were more relevant and useful than their competitors.

The reason this was so effective was because it functioned on the idea that a link could be seen as a vote of confidence about a page. In other words, if a page wasn't deserving of links, it wouldn't get them. The theory goes that when somebody links to another website, they're effectively saying that it's a good resource. Otherwise, they wouldn't bother linking to it--which is kind of like how you wouldn't send a friend to a terrible restaurant.

Google's PageRank algorithm soon became susceptible to manipulation by savvy SEOs. At this point, Google was still more advanced than most other search engines, but it wasn't very good at distinguishing between high- and low-quality links.

Google began to find ways to discover websites which were manipulating search results by building low quality links. They started to roll out regular updates which aimed at filtering out websites that didn't deserve to rank due to poor links.

Google has also started to devalue certain link building practices that used to be effective; for example, submitting your website to web directories in order to get a link back. This was a technique that Google itself recommended at one point, but it became abused and overused by SEOs, so Google stopped passing as much value from that sort of link.

Google has always been pretty strict about the way websites rank. A few years ago, they really stepped up their game with a bunch of updates that they called Penguin. These updates were specifically designed to target websites that were using link building techniques that were considered to be over-optimization. This definitely changed the landscape of link building forever. From this point on, using low-quality link building techniques could not only be a waste of time, but they could also damage a website's ranking in organic search results. This is why it's important to understand Google Webmaster Guidelines and make strategies that won’t break them.

Even though we don't know Google's whole algorithm for determining search results, we do know that links play a big role in it. This is based on the general consensus among the SEO community as well as recent studies. Provided all other factors are of equal importance, the quality and volume of links directing to a page can affect rankings.

If you want to rank higher on Google and get more traffic, you should focus on getting high-quality links to your website. Quality is becoming more and more important to Google as they get better at filtering out low-quality links. Keep this in mind when you're choosing link building techniques.

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