With constantly changing search engine requirements, digital marketers and SEOs have to adopt newer strategies to be at the top. But in the ever-evolving landscape of Search Engine Optimization, link building remains one of the most crucial aspects.
Link building, being the cornerstone of a successful SEO strategy, has gained more importance even after several strict guidelines and penalties from Google. In this article, we will understand the importance of link building and how it affects your SEO strategies.
Effects of Link Building on SEO
⇒ Improves Brand Authority
Improved brand authority is the most significant benefit of link building. When you get quality links from reputable websites, they act as an endorsement of your content and website as a whole.
Search engines aim to provide the most relevant information to their users, and backlinks signal search engines about the relevancy and credibility of information on a website.
An effective link building strategy focuses on generating such quality links from trusted websites that boost the credibility and authority of your website. Having high-quality links from reputable websites helps you improve your brand authority and create trust.
⇒ Faster Crawling and Indexing
Millions of new pages are published on the internet every day. However, not all of them are discoverable in the search results. Let’s understand it with the help of the image below.
Search engines like Google first crawl and index the new pages based on the information on those pages. When a user searches for a particular information, Google shows these indexed pages based on their relevance.
When you constantly get high-quality backlinks, your website is considered as a trustworthy source of information. So whenever you add a new page to your site, search engines crawl and index them faster.
⇒ Boosts Website Ranking
Even though search engine giant Google has denied it several times, backlinks are a crucial SEO ranking factor. In fact, with so much competition, it is nearly impossible to rank a site without backlinks.
The logic is simple. When your website has numerous high-quality backlinks, it will be considered a trustworthy site. Moreover, it will be crawled and indexed faster than your competitors, which will result in increased website ranking.
⇒ Enriches Site Metrics
Site metrics like Domain Authority, Page Authority, Domain Rating, and URL Rating (UR) play a pivotal role in the overall SEO score of your website. These factors show how better your website can perform on search engine results based on the content relevancy and quality of backlinks linked to your website.
The higher the number of quality backlinks, the better your site metrics. These metrics work as trust signals for the authoritativeness of your website. Moreover, webmasters often prefer sites with higher metrics for linking, which helps you get more backlinks with minimum effort.
However, remember that these site metrics are not provided by any of the search engines and can be easily manipulated, so look for other signals to consider a domain for acquiring links.
⇒ Increases Referral Traffic
Referral traffic means the visits you get from different sources other than search results. Referral traffic brings new visitors to your website, improving its online presence. When you acquire a backlink from another domain related to your niche, you can attract their traffic to your site.
Suppose you own a house cleaning business website and get a backlink from a renowned e-commerce website selling cleaning supplies. So by clicking on your link, visitors on the e-commerce can redirect to your site.
Search engine algorithms consider it a positive ranking factor when you get a good amount of traffic from trusted domains. This can also help you get helpful leads for your business.
⇒ Helps Build Relationships
Link building is an intricate process that includes several steps and ways like guest posting, digital PR, etc. From pitching your link-building idea to generating a high-quality backlink, you come across several industry professionals.
While these connections might not affect the SEO directly, they help create word-of-mouth promotions for your business and redirect quality leads to your website, which can be converted into customers.
It also helps you get in touch with several webmasters of high-quality websites. If you establish a good connection with such webmasters, they can provide you with better link-building opportunities in the future.
Can Link Building Negatively Affect SEO
Yes. Link building can affect SEO negatively, leading to significant issues like a drop in rankings, delisting, and other search engine penalties. Link building backfires mainly when it is done maliciously in order to gain the benefits in a short time.
Black hat SEO practices mentioned below can lead to unwanted circumstances.
Paid Link Building: When you pay a third-party website to get backlink/s it is called paid link building. Several domains offer paid links. But you must refrain from such, as Google’s Algorithms can detect such unnatural links and penalize your site.
Private Blog Networks: A network of websites created solely for link exchange is known as a private blog network. When you use such networks, you violate the search engine guidelines which might lead to ranking drops.
Creating Spammy Comments: You must have seen comments with different links in them below a high quality blog. It is called blog comment spam. It is one of the bad practices which
Low-Quality Guest Posting: When you write blogs including your links and post them on other sites, it is called guest posting. People often write thin content or AI-generated blogs that create very little to no value. Links in such posts are not counted by Google.
Bulk Link Building: When you try to gain multiple backlinks (especially low-quality) using different methods, it is considered spam. This reduces the credibility of your website and might result in adverse effects on your search ranking.
Hidden Text Linking: When links are added to a page without making them visible to users (e.g. behind an image) it is hidden text building. This type of practice can put your site in trouble.
Helpful Link Building Practices
→ Focus on Quality over Quantity
SEO is not the game of quantity anymore. Search engines like Google strive to deliver their users with the most relevant information. That’s why they are constantly updating their quality guidelines.
Nowadays, a single link from a renowned domain will be considered better than 10 links gained from low-quality sites. You must concentrate on building high-quality links instead of doing it in bulk.
→ Create Quality and Relevant Content
When you are building links through guest posting or content promotion, make sure your content is relevant and value-adding for the readers. A piece of content generated just for getting links will be outranked from results sooner or later.
Focus on creating high-quality content that includes valuable information. Try to fit your links naturally in the content and create a smooth user experience for the readers.
→ Diversification of Anchor Text
If a link is used multiple times on the same anchor text, it can be considered a spammy link. So make sure you change the anchor text. You can try long tail anchor texts, or branded anchor texts that seem more natural.
Moreover, instead of using the same link every time, you can use the links of different pages of your website to avoid violation of any search engine guidelines.
→ Pay Attention to Internal Links
Similar to external links, internal links are also equally beneficial. Strategically linking to relevant pages within your own website can improve user experience and help search engines understand the structure of your website.
This helps in better crawling and indexing. When you publish a new blog on your site, make sure you add an internal link.
Link building is indeed a crucial part of SEO. In today’s age when search engines are constantly promoting relevant and authoritative content, high quality links work as a trust signal for search engines. This results in improved search engine rankings, enhanced authority, and increased organic traffic.
However link building can also result in negative effects like penalties and deranking if not done correctly. Make sure you do not include any black hat tactics in your link building strategy. Building quality links will help you gain long term results.