Ethical Link Building
Outreach + Keyword Research
When a website provides a link back to your site, or vice-versa, this is called a backlink. This signals to search engines that other websites vouch for you, in turn this gives your brand authority. If highly regarded websites backlink to another web page or article, search engines will deduce that the content is worth linking and worthy of high ranking.
Link building is the online equivalent of receiving an offline referral from a client, friend or industry specialist. The higher the quality of websites which refer (and link to your website) the more likely your potential customers are to find your business amongst your competition. The more trusted the website which links to your organisation the better, and therefore you are more likely search engines will rank your business over and above your competitors.
We’re sure you’ve received spam emails stating that you can buy 1,000 links for $100. These organisations will certainly give you 1,000 links but all on other spammy websites which provide no purpose to the end-user (your potential clients) and once Google notices that you are trying to trick their system you get punished and will see a huge negative effect on your rankings. That’s why whoever you use to build links they need to be reputable, reliable and honest about the possibilities.
That’s why ethical, long term link building takes time, money, software and smarts.
Ethical link building
As the search engines’ algorithms have evolved, their ability to spot patterns of behaviour have developed considerably. A reciprocal link or two with a couple of sites isn’t going to do you any harm. If a significant percentage of your links are reciprocal, however, that’s almost certainly a different story.
Of course, “significant” is highly subjective, and the search engines aren’t inclined to share the thresholds embedded in their algorithms. So all we can do is make educated guesses, based upon our observations. Even then, there’s still an element of risk in employing any practices that go against the webmaster guidelines.
Since Google is the search engine we tend to deal with the most, their guidelines are those most cited, and frankly, as theirs are the most stringent, it’s usually those we find ourselves crosswise of when we’ve gotten caught tempting fate.
I think most SEOs would agree, the “safest” way to proceed is to simply ensure you’re always operating within the acceptable limits of the gospel according to Google. I think most would also agree, though, that the safe method isn’t always the fastest. And for those of us that are consulting for clients, one of the most common complaints is that “it’s taking too long”.
Not sure how link building works? Why not get in touch to discuss some ideas about how we can build your businesses digital footprint.