Layman’s Guide to Link Building

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The analogy used in this article to simplify link building was inspired by iMedia Connection’s Joshua Palau who wrote about “The Schizophrenia of Link Building.” The analogy he used to explain link building is quite simple and easy to understand for a non-SEO person.

I just wanted to expound on this topic because sometimes it can become very difficult to explain link building when you aren’t the one doing it. SO when I read how simple it was presented in the iMedia Connection article, I decided to write about it here.

People often wonder how does a website get to the top of a search engine results page (SERP)? And if you ask a typical SEO specialist, this may sound a little mysterious and complicated because of the lingo they often speak (using words such as link juice and page rank and meta tags).

However the basic premise of search engine ranking is quite simple. One of the basic tenets is ground on authoritative referencing. Imagine yourself writing a paper on a certain subject. Even if you are the supreme expert in your field of expertise, you have to admit that to be successful in whichever subject matter, you will always have sources from which you base theories, assumptions and facts. You will always use certain case studies that will allow you to ground your thinking on what is real and what has been universally accepted within your field. And so it will be necessary for you to cite sources when attempting to write material about a certain subject.

This is the same principle in link building. This very same concept was applied to the internet by search engines and social networks alike. The process worked well in the beginning because there is a natural attraction between similar links. So websites with the same or at the very least, complimenting subject
matters naturally gravitated towards each other and in this way websites began to cite references by exchanging (and even yes, sometimes buying) links.

As people got wiser though to the process, there were those who decided to use this knowledge to sway results by manipulating links eventually making the Google Bomb (for definition, check Google Bomb on Wikipedia). Simply put, it was found out that if there was an artificial army of sites to create false credibility for one site then this could fool the search engine to making the website rank on that particular keyword. This is called Google bombing.

So now Google devised a more complicated way of going about it. The links that point back to your website have a certain value attached to them depending on the relevance and popularity of the site with the link that goes back to you. So if credible websites are linking to you, this is to your advantage. At the same time, the links you have on your website that point externally also have their own corresponding values. The more credible and relevant these sites are to yours then that becomes a plus for you as well.

I don’t think it takes rocket science to figure out link building. It’s just the very essence of referencing. Simply put, you allow your site to associate with sites that are similar or complimentary to your own and it should work.