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Link Building Fundamentals

When the term “SEO” comes up, people often have very different concepts of what SEO exactly means. If you refer to a web designer’s website, it’s often limited to title and meta-tags. Sometimes we have businesses contact us upset that they’ve already paid a designer to have their website “SEO’d”, but it still isn’t ranking. Unfortunately, many people refer to onpage optimization as “SEO” in general. In reality, this is only the beginning. Onpage SEO is meant to lay a solid foundation in preparation for offpage optimization, or link building.

Search engines view backlinks (incoming links to your website) as a vote of confidence from the referring site. Your portfolio of backlinks tells a story about your website and in turn, your company. The quantity and quality of backlinks to your site plays a tremendous role in your search engine rankings.

So what makes a good link?  Here are a few of the big factors:

Authority – As mentioned a link is like a vote of confidence from a site.  If that site is only voting for you it looks much more serious to the search-engines then if that site is also voting for an additional  hundred sites.  On a similar note, one-way links (where a site links to you, and you DO NOT link back to that site) are very preferable over two-way links. The site linking to you is in essence giving you a vote of confidence, and the value of that vote is determined largely by that site’s reputation.

Relevance – If your site is focused on gardening tools then a link from a well respected gardening site will carry more authority then a link from a site about hot dogs.

Exclusivity – So, now that we know that a link is like a vote of confidence, it is easy to understand the concept of exclusivity.  If a site links to only a couple sites those links are more valuable then if a site links to hundreds of sites.  In a sense, a website only has so much authority, and each link draws from that bank of authority.  The more links the less the value of each.

SEO is a constantly shifting sea.  Strong link building is one of the most effective tools for sites organically trying to make their way to the coveted first page.  If you are looking into SEO service make sure that link building is a part of your campaign and that your provider is well versed in the current tactics.

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