Link Building 101 Part I: Some Of The Basics

John Bialous January 5, 2015

05`This is Part I in a series of posts on Link Building 101. Part Deux can be found here. 

Link building has been a seriously hot topic in the world of online marketing for quite a while.  It’s important for brand exposure and can have a huge impact on SEO (search engine optimization).  Doing it right is imperative, but not always easy.

Lucky for you, Miles Technologies is here to help, so sit back, relax and prepare to free your mind, which will promptly be blown.

What Is Link Building And Why Build Links?

Search engines like Google and Bing crawl the web using spiders (aka crawlers) on a frighteningly fast basis.  This allows them to discover new websites, content and pretty much everything else you’d find online.  If it appears in search, it’s been found by a spider.  But how do they find this stuff?  By links!

Links are the digital avenues that connect websites to each other and themselves internally, and spiders can analyze these links to understand how websites relate to each other, as well as a load of other mind bending things.

Think of links as votes for your website by people who like what you’re saying, just like a political election.  People won’t vote for something that’s misleading, low quality or just plain wrong; rather, they want to vote for the candidate (website) that has a strong message, knows what it’s talking about and has a bit of creative flair.

Link building then, is the process of getting high quality votes by a natural means.  We aren’t trying to rig an election, and we certainly don’t want to have votes from people who are shady.  Keep it kosher and above board, and you won’t get caught by the search engine police.

The more votes you have by the right people, the better off your site will be in the long run:

 

– Faster and more frequent crawling by search spiders
– Opportunity to rank higher in search engine results
– More visits to your website site overall
– Becoming an online authority in your field
– Potential to get more leads from online sources
– Increased revenue generation

 

What Makes A Link A Good Link?

So remember when we said we don’t want to rig an election?  Well the same applies in the online world.  Getting links unnaturally is a big no-no, and can carry a heavy penalty from search engines.  You definitely should NOT be doing stuff like this:

 

– Paying for links on websites
– Mass submitting to low quality link directories
– Associating with link farms or networks
– Reciprocal linking
– Anything else that could be considered shady

 

Good links are those that are generated naturally, or earned because somebody finds what you’re talking about to be fun, cool, interesting and most importantly, worth sharing.   Good links are also those on high quality sites that carry authority and some weight, ideally in the same industry as yours.

Which of these scenarios sounds best?

You write an article on superheroes containing a link back to your website, and submit it 100 article directories without changing a thing.

You write an article on superheroes and put it on your website.  Stan Lee then sees it and mentions the article on his blog, which is read by over a million people.  It is then shared in social media 100,000 times, as well as being linked to by other quality superhero related websites.

OK, obviously the second one is the winner, but why?

 

– You wrote original, interesting and quality content
– It was picked up by an authoritative source who shared it
– Social media followers also shared the article
– It gained traction and links from other quality websites

 

The importance of quality and natural sharing can’t be underestimated.  Stick to the good side and you’ll be a true Avenger, rather than just a Joker.

To Follow Or Not To Follow, That Is The Question

Let’s talk about followed and nofollowed links.  To start, here’s the anatomy of a link in HTML code:

 

If this code is placed on another website, it will pass value or ‘link juice’ to your website.  Obviously you won’t be dealing with low quality or spammy sites will you?  So any value passed will be positive and a benefit to your website.

However, there are some cases where you or webmasters might not want any link juice to flow from their site to yours, and in that case you would add a rel=”nofollow” tag to the link. Google interprets this as a link it should ignore, and no value is passed at all.

 

When would you want to use the nofollow tag?  Well here are a few scenarios when it might be a good idea:

– When writing press releases for circulation
– When creating infographics with links to your site
– When creating sharable widgets with links to your site
– If a website links to you that you don’t really trust

 

Be sure to check out Part Deux, where we cover how to avoid being hit with a Google Pengiun penalty (anchor text issues) as well as discuss link building tactics that can actually work.

 

Do you have a question about link building?  Let us know in the comments below and our experts will be glad to help you out.

Alternatively, contact us to talk to an experienced marketing advisor about growing your business via online marketing.





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