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Link Building - The Fundamentals

Posted on May 7, 2009

Link Building is considered by many experts to be the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization today. Link building is simply the practice of getting other websites to link to yours. A link, also known as text links, backlinks, and hyper links, is simply a clickable line of text (or image) on a web page that, when clicked, will bring the "clicker" to another website. The link building task can be accomplished in a variety of ways, which we will discuss. But first, let's talk about why link building is so important.

Why Build Links?

Years ago, the search engines would primarily rank a web page based on the keywords used in its meta tags and throughout the content of the page itself. Initially, this seemed to work fine. However, it didn’t take long before this started to become a problem. Because it was such an easy task for the webmaster, many started “stuffing” their meta tags and page content with their primary keywords to falsely inflate their natural search engines rankings for the given keywords. The search engines responded to this tactic by greatly reducing the importance of a website's meta tags, etc. and decided to focus more on the popularity of a website instead.

Search Engine Submission

Today, all major search engines take into account the number and quality of backlinks a website has in place. Each link is viewed by the search engines as a “vote” for the website. The more “votes” a website has, the more popular the search engines are going to see the website as being and the better they will rank the website accordingly. Therefore, link building is one of the most important tasks you can undertake to promote your website within the search engines.

Types of Links

There are primarily two types of links today: one-way links and reciprocal links When web sites link to each other, either directly or indirectly through a number of different pages, a search engine might consider those links to be reciprocal links. This simply means you link to me and I’ll link to you. The problem with this type of linking is that the search engines do not see these links as being genuine so they do not put as much weight on these type of link when determining the site’s rankings.

One way links are simply links from web page that point to another and are not reciprocated back. Search engines see these links as being much more valuable than reciprocal links.

Search Engine Submission

How to Build Links

There are a variety of effective link building tactics today which include directory submissions, article submissions, social bookmarking, press release distribution and more. All of these tactics build targeted, one-way links for a website. The biggest drawback with link building is that it can be a very extensive, time-consuming task to perform. Many webmasters and/or business owners simply do not have the time or the endurance to carry out a genuine link building campaign. This is why many decide to outsource this task to a reputable SEO or link building firm.

There are many link building companies out there that promise you the world and simply do not deliver. If you decide to outsource your link building campaign to a third party, be sure to do the research up front to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company that has a proven track record.

About the Author

Terry Pierce is a certified SEO specialist at, which offers professional link building and other search engine optimization services.

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