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Link Building

It is all about providing value

Let’s get the basic concept behind link building out of the way. Intrinsically linked to the now all but defunct PageRank, the practice of link building is based upon the concept that a link pointing from one website to another acts as a vote, an endorsement or a digital doffing of the cap. Hyperlinks create a tangible relationship between websites and Google uses these votes as one of the many factors taken into account when ranking a website. For a purely link metric perspective, the more numerous, high authority and relevant links that a website has pointing to it the more likely it is to rank towards the top of Google. Obviously there are a couple of hundred more factors that go into ranking a website but links are certainly a major topic for SEO campaigns.

Link building practices have changed dramatically over the past decade. Pre 2012 many businesses engaging in SEO focussed on gaining as many backlinks as possible, regardless of the quality or relevance contributing to a search environment that was heavily tarred by linkspam. In early 2012 Google took significant action against this now mainstream world of link spam by releasing their now infamous Penguin Update. The algorithmic update focussed on identifying and penalising websites that engaged in link spam, acting as a significant deterrent for those considering black hat link building tactics.

Our modern age of search engine optimisation is far removed from the days of yesteryear. More and more websites are au faux with link building practices and content distribution platforms get countless requests for solicited content on a daily basis. This increased knowledge around the tactics used by SEOs along with the considerable shadow of an angry Penguin poised and ready to punish any misdemeanours has meant that traditional (legitimate) is getting harder and harder. In fact, many would consider the highest quality link building campaigns to be more akin to PR than SEO. Furthermore, with websites utilising social media and a heavy weighting towards content creation, the concept of link earning is gaining momentum in the SEO world. Link earning should definitely be in an SEOs repertoire and part of the overall SEO strategy but we would still argue that there is space for a high quality link building campaign. They can be incredibly effective and are to an extent more proactive at producing results than link earning.

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