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It is almost impossible to talk about Search Engine Optimization without mentioning link building, and for obvious reason – Off Page SEO plays a key role in Google’s algorithm.

Those new to SEO may find the concept of link building daunting, so in this entry, we will talk about what it really is and how it works.

What Is Link Building

In SEO, link building is described as action aimed at increasing the number of quality of inbound links to a webpage with the goal of improving search engine rankings of that page or its website.

Basically, it’s the process of getting hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Usually called as just “link”, hyperlink is a way of users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing crawl for these links between individual pages of websites, and the links between the whole website.

At the beginning, web masters manipulated this concept by making thousands of links pointing to their website, which increased their rankings in search engine. The problem with this however, is that many websites are low quality, and not deserving of their good ranking. Overtime, this made a huge problem and impacted the search results.

Google found a way to keep up with these ‘spammy’ websites and started to implement strict rules for their algorithm. They were able to differentiate natural from artificially created links. Those spam and low quality websites lost their rankings, while many were actually removed from Google index.

To sum it up, link building can be understood in 3 things:
  1. Links are all important for Search Engine Optimization.
  2. It’s not a matter of quantity (how many links are pointing to your site), but quality (where the links are coming from).
  3. Natural links are good for the rankings, while artificially generated links can get you into trouble.

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Approaching Link Building, The Safer Way

Now that you know the important of link building, the next question would be, how do you get them?

Link building is a broad topic, and we can spend a whole series to talk about it. So for the sake of this entry, let’s just enumerate the basic element you need to know.

  • Publish excellent contents on your website to attract links naturally.
  • Make your content known by other webmasters or bloggers that may potentially link to your site (Facebook and other social media for promotions).
  • Link to other websites and reach out to other webmasters, ask them to return the favor.
  • Write contents and link it to other pages or posts in your website (this is called internal linking).
  • Make friends with other webmasters and let them know about your website. You can use various social media, such as Twitter to build connections with other people.
  • Get your links from high quality and authority sites as much as possible.
  • Get links from website related to your niche or relevant to your industry.
  • Know the difference between follow and ‘nofollow’ link.
  • Read and understand Guideline on Link Building by Google
  • Lean from your competitors using tools like SEMRUSH. Analyze their profiles and learn as much as you can about their link practice.
  • Check your profile regularly and clean it from unwanted links.

These are just the basic of link building. For more about SEO, watch out for new posts every week.