Link Building Strategies – the Basics

To celebrate our move to a new venue at the Pineapple Hotel, with our own private room (overlooking the park) and some great pub grub, the Brisbane SEO group held a Link Building Round Table – to share Link Building tips, Strategies and Techniques.

This post provides a summary of some of the topics discussed – but we’ve decided not to publish all of the tips, so if you want to find out the best ones, you’d better make sure that you come along to the next Brisbane SEO Meetup.

Because we had a bit of a mixture of experience levels along to this meetup (SEO Pros  and Newbies and lots in between), we started with the basics.

What is Link Building?

Simply put, link building describes a whole variety of activities which are undertaken with the aim of establishing links to your website from 3rd party websites (also known as a backlink).

Why Link Building?

A Link to your website is effectively a “vote of confidence” in your site.  Links have long been recognised as one of the most important factors (right up there with Content) that contribute to how your website ranks on search engines.

Is Link Building Hard?

Well…. yes…. and no….  Most link building strategies are not necessarily difficult, but they can be tedious and time consuming.  This is why, despite recognising how important it is to build links, many site owners (and SEOs for that matter) would prefer do just about anything than create backlinks.  This is one reason why there are plenty of  link building services and automated approaches  to link building which promise “quick and easy” ways to create links. Unfortunately most of these tactics tend to build links very badly (and many can actually be detrimental to your rankings).

What is a Bad Link?

Links from dubious or spammy sources (e.g. Porn, Gambling, Viagara websites), sitewide footer links, links from”bad neighbourhoods”, unusually large numbers of  links that are generated over short period, and links with generic anchor text (such as Click Here), could all be considered “bad links”.  A few bad links is unlikely to have any impact at all on your rankings, but a high percentage of bad or dubious links, or sustained “unusual” or unnatural link activity could have a detrimental affect.

So What Makes a Good Link?

Some attrbutes of a  Good backlink are :

  • Quality – comes from a high quality website – one that has high autrhgoirioty in your niche, is a well recognised “brand and/or has a high PageRank
  • Relevant – is contextually relevant (or  related) to the niche of your site or the page it is linking to
  • Keyword Rich – The anchor text (or alt tag for an image) contains keywords that you want to achieve high rankings for
  • Deep Linking – links to a page on your site that is most relevant – this is probably not your home pagem and is more likely to be a very specific page deeper into the struicture of your site
  • Above the Fold -  links from nearer the top of a page are considerd of more benefot to those furtehr dowen a page
  • Inline – a text link from within the content of a page or post could be considered better than an image, sidebar or footer link
  • Natural profile – if all your sites backlinks come from High PR sites, or if many links appear over a short period (spikes), or if all of the anchor text is the same, or if any other factor appears unusual or unnatural search engines may devalue your links

Welll… that’s the link building round table off to a good start, but this post is already getting a bit too long, and we’ve not even started on the good stuff…. So, I need to cut this post short.  If you are hungry for more,  see my next post which goes into detail on 15 Link Building Tips and Tactics.