The link building, or the creation of links, is the provisioning of incoming external links, also called backlinks. The construction of links is a measure of SEO offpage.
Since the launch of Google, websites no longer have to register with search engines due to Google’s new algorithm that reviews websites based on their incoming external links. This gave the SEOs the opportunity to positively influence the positioning of their websites by collecting external inbound links.
Previous tests have shown in part that a faster increase in positioning is possible through the construction of links. Thus, a new branch of search engine optimization emerged that focused mainly on the acquisition of external links. However, the dark side of the link building came with it. Doubtful link building methods like automated configuration of backlinks, link rings, buying and selling links were also used more widely.
What does the link building mean today?
Google’s positioning algorithm is continuously being improved and developed. Nowadays, link spam is often detected in a short period. Search engine providers point out that backlinks are still an important factor in the positioning of search engines.
The Webmaster Guidelines Google explicitly prohibit building active links as they can be interpreted as an attempt at manipulation. However, according to Google, getting recommendations in the form of links should be the goal of webmasters.
Since the change of the main algorithm, specifically the update of Penguin in 2012, many websites were penalized if they had bad quality backlinks, automated or paid links. Therefore, many websites were penalized with a drop in positioning or were completely removed from the Google index. This update demonstrated the importance of good backlinks once again. Google now has a link rejection tool to verify links to your website in Webmaster Central.
There are a large number of options to get links from other websites to your own. Below are the most common methods of link building:
Do nothing. Users link good content.
According to Google, this is the best way to generate links. The content of the web page must have an added value so that users recommend the information in the form of backlinks to their pages.
Entries in web directories and article directories.
Previously, it was a method of generating manual, semiautomatic or automated links, simple and free. Nowadays, however, this method has become useless, since the Google search engine recognizes web backlinks and article directories and is generally ignored.
Entries in relevant forums.
Backlinks used to be generated by setting up a forum signature, where you had the option to leave a web address. By posting to a forum, you created a backlink to your website. This type of backlink generation is also known by Google and is now largely ignored.
Many blogging systems allow you to refer to a web page in the comments section. By posting a comment on a blog, a cross-reference is generated to the commentator’s website. This method has been widely used as a spam technique through the automated generation of blog comments or manual comments that were not of real benefit.
Exchange of links.
A viral free method that can work, if it is well thought out. Two websites are exchanged links in which the exchange is coordinated. The advantage is to look for specific sites where a link can be published, and the position of the links in the text can be determined, or the link text can be specified. In many cases, this method is also detected by Google, especially with reciprocal page links.
Many web owners have done business to sell the construction of links as a service. Google disapproves this method. Google warns that it will exclude buyers and sellers of links from the search engine index.
Content marketing instead of link building
Due to improvements in Google’s algorithms and the rapid detection of link manipulation, it has become a difficult task to obtain high-quality cross-references from other websites. Therefore, the trend is towards the creation and marketing of web page content, the so-called content marketing.
The objective is to offer added value by presenting information and content of interest that, also, will result in a large number of links and mentions. If the content of the website represents a real benefit for users, it will also be highly valued by the search engines and better positioned in the rankings.