Link Building – Definition

Cite this article as:"Link Building – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 23, 2019, last accessed May 30, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/link-building-definition/.

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Link Building is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique wherein websites solicit backlinks from quality websites, especially websites on similar topics, to increase their authority score. Link building helps a website become more prominent in the web sphere. Incoming links from other sites act as votes of confidence towards the site’s content/services, improving their ranking in search results. Getting a mention with a link from trusted and established websites is a sure shot way of increasing visitors to site and building brand awareness.

While search engine algorithms are oft evolving and changing the factors behind website rankings, quality backlinks remain a reliable way of ranking higher in search results. Backlinks are given heavy weightage by Google’s algorithm as well as other search engines and effect the order of appearance of a website in Search Engine Result Pages(SERP). Sites with an extensive network of relevant backlinks get a better ranking than those with similar content but fewer backlinks.

Google has time and again stressed on the importance of avoiding Blackhat techniques to game its algorithm. Haphazard backlinks from sites that have no relation to the topic of your site, links from spam pages, buying links in bulk on sites irrelevant to your subject, and all such practices will backfire and might earn a demotion in search results, and in some cases result in an outright ban. Links going out of your site might also be disconsidered as authority links. Buying and selling links is highly discouraged for this reason.

Organic link building is encouraged, and rewarding in the long term as it’s a more sustainable way of maintaining high ranking search results. Two websites with similar content and services might be ranked differently based on the incoming links to their sites. Different ways of building up backlinks with Whitehat SEO techniques are:

  1. Content creation and promotion: Using Social Media to build a user base and engaging with them regularly is a great way of building brand recognition and getting organic backlinks in their mentions.
  2. Reviews, Promotions, and Contests.
  3. Engaging with peers on forums, blogs, vlogs, links from friends and partners sites.

Link juice varies with the brand recognition and popularity of a site. A backlink from Vogue will help a fashion blog much more than a backlink from another fashion blog in the same league. The more authoritative, established, and popular a site, the more weightage it’s link carries.

References for Link Building SEO

Search engine optimization: Comparison of link building and social sharing, Zhang, S., & Cabage, N. (2017). Search engine optimization: Comparison of link building and social sharing. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 57(2), 148-159. This study compares link building with social media marketing and concludes that link building is a better strategy for long term returns.

On the approximability of the link building problem, Olsen, M., & Viglas, A. (2014). On the approximability of the link building problem. Theoretical Computer Science, 518, 96-116. This paper studies the problem of link building with the help of a mathematical model and its effect on the value of PageRank.

A constant-factor approximation algorithm for the link building problem, Olsen, M., Viglas, A., & Zvedeniouk, I. (2010, December). A constant-factor approximation algorithm for the link building problem. In International Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications (pp. 87-96). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. This paper does a comparative study of different backlink nodes with different PageRank values, with the help of a mathematical model and compares their performance.

Link building, Olsen, M. (2009). Link building. This is a doctorate dissertation that does a deep dive into Link Building.

The computational complexity of link building, Olsen, M. (2008, June). The computational complexity of link building. In International Computing and Combinatorics Conference (pp. 119-129). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. This paper highlights the complexity of PageRank manipulation by presenting a randomized algorithm to increase PageRank value for a set of link nodes.

An approximation algorithm for the link building problem, Olsen, M., Viglas, A., & Zvedeniouk, I. (2012). An approximation algorithm for the link building problem. arXiv preprint arXiv:1204.1369. This paper attempts to increase the PageRank of a link node by adding k number of backlinks to it and studies the outcome.

The Beginner’s Guide To Link Building, Moogan, P. (2014). The Beginner’s Guide To Link Building. This is a guide that explains Link Building, techniques, importance, methods and more.

SEOmoz Plugin for Link Building, Gaikar, V. (2011). SEOmoz Plugin for Link Building. This article explains the salient features of SEOmoz’s Link Building plugin.

Top Link Building Methods After Google Updates, Sandeep, K. (2012). Top Link Building Methods After Google Updates. This article highlights 14 different methods of building links the organic way in keeping with the latest updates to Google’s algorithm.

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