Link building is another one of those internet marketing topics that can frighten the average business owner.  For people who do not work in the Internet industry, the idea of actually “building links” is a foreign concept that you might not fully understand. In order to explain link building, you have to know what a link is. A link is anything such as words, texts, or a graphic that when clicked, directs you to another website on the Internet.  Link building is the process of increasing the number of other websites that feature links to your website. The more routes to your website the easier it is to find! Why is link building important? There is a ton of information on the Internet, and many websites cover the same topic, so search engines have to use various factors to decide which pages are the best ones on a given subject. One of the ways they do this is by evaluating the number of quality of other websites that link to your website. What do links mean to a search engine?

  1. Trust factor – Links are one indication that your website has been around for long enough to build that many links, and therefore earns a certain level of trust.
  2. An indication of relevance – When other companies trust you enough to link to your site, this generally indicates you have a useful site with relevant information.
  3. A measure of popularity – Links are often a sign of a popular website, and search engines look at popularity as an indicator that the website has good, useful information.

Consider this Scenario Ok, so pretend you are Google for a moment and someone types in the phrase “oil spill news.”  Among the sites for consideration are a nice looking website with a handful of links back to it, as well as a similar sized website but with 1,500 links pointing back to it.  If you knew nothing else about these sites, it would be a logical assumption that the site with more links was probably a better resource on the subject. Now, links alone do not promise rankings.  And link building can be manipulated in negative ways so it is not simply a game of quantity over quality.  However, it is a very important aspect of how your site fares on search engines and should not be overlooked as part of your internet marketing plan. And now that you know more, stay tuned for Part 2 – How to build links!Learn more about how to leverage SEO techniques that will help your business gain competitive rankings for your site.