First and foremost, link building is simply another way to increase your presence on the web, gain credibility and drive more traffic to your site. The more other websites share your blog links, discuss your company or provide any type of back links, the more search engines will recognize you as a reputable site that they want to share with their users.
A Brief History of Link Building
In the early days of the internet, sneaky “entrepreneurs” discovered a quick way to make a buck off of websites looking to build links. The basic scheme worked something like this: “link builders” would contact companies and guarantee a certain number of links for a fee. Of course, their sales pitch involved promises that the links would be of the highest quality and produce instant results. Sound too good to be true? There is a reason for that.
These so-called “link builders” would then spam other sites with links. In most cases, they would use an automated program that would post links in the comment sections of websites. Almost 100% of the time these links were accompanied by irrelevant and/or general comments that just barely qualified as English.
It didn’t take long before search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc, caught on and started penalizing websites that were spamming links. Search engines also reconfigured their search algorithms so that websites that used this technique did not actually benefit from poor SEO practices.
That’s right. If you hire a company and they spam other sites to build links for you, your website will be penalized. The link builders will already be out spending your money and you will have a mess to clean up. In fact, you will have to go back and remove all of the bad links before your site will start to see improvements. Just think of the time it will take to undo hundreds of bad links only to find yourself back at square one.
Of course anyone looking to beat the system will always find a loophole. Once people caught on to the link spamming scheme, a market for links emerged. Website owners starting charging to provide links on their pages and “link building” companies began paying to have what appeared to be quality links posted on pages. While it has been harder to totally eradicate this practice, search engines will penalize you if they find out that you have been buying or selling links.
Today, search engines are a few steps ahead of companies looking to take advantage of people interested in link building, but that doesn’t mean that these companies still don’t exist. If you have a website, chances are that you will be contacted by these types of companies that promise phenomenal results. Remember that they are not employing SEO best practices and your site will ultimately be penalized for using their shady services.
The question then becomes: how do companies successfully build links? The answer is good ole fashion hard work and networking. First, you need to have content that other people would want to share or discuss. Next, you need to reach out to other bloggers, websites and publications and get them interested in what you are doing. Another popular practice is to exchange guests posts. That way, both parties benefit from acquiring unique content and an exchange of links.
Because link building has become a more time involved process that requires patience and persistence, SEO experts now refer to it as link earning. The days of being able to purchase links and improve your site rankings are long gone and the focus is on quality link earning practices. While link earning doesn’t provide immediate gratification and quick results, it is well worth the time and a vital component of building your business through content marketing.
Get Started Earning Links
Creating quality web content, blogs, press releases and articles are just some of the things we can do to help you earn links and improve your business. Contact us today and let’s get to work!