“Link-building”: whenever the topic of SEO (search engine optimisation) is raised, this is almost always one of the first words that comes up.
There are a lot of considerations that go into building an effective SEO strategy for your website – according to some counts, the list might exceed 200 unique ranking factors!
Make no mistake, there are a lot of things that go into making a site that ranks really, really well.
One of which is link-building.
If you ask us, link-building is a tactic that’s on its way out, and is used as a crutch for poor, ineffective SEO strategies.
But what is link-building exactly? And more importantly, how does it affect your SEO strategy?
Curious? An SEO agency Melbourne explains how you can go about that.
SEO 101: what is link-building?
Link-building is when one page creates a link to another, simple as that.
Why do they matter to SEO, you ask? It’s simple: link-building helps you generate domain and page authority.
Domain and page authority are measures of how much trust Google assigns to your website and individual web pages respectively. The higher your domain and page authority, the more likely Google is to prefer your site.
And link-building can help you build that vital authority.
The role of backlinks in your SEO
When it comes to link-building, backlinks are an important indicator of credibility for your website and web pages – think of it like a vote of confidence in your website.
Simply put, backlinks (AKA external links) are links to your website and web pages from an outside website.
Google’s logic is that if lots of people are linking to your website, that must mean that your website (and by extension, you) are:
Just think about how many people reference Wikipedia. Imagine how many new backlinks they receive on any given day – now it suddenly makes sense why Wikipedia articles are consistently one of the top results for any Google search!
You can’t just spam links
Now, it’s not enough to just be linked to from anywhere – otherwise, it would be very easy to force your way to the top.
Luckily, Google’s smarter than that.
To get around this, Google assigns a value to each external link you receive.
For example, say you’re being linked to from an established, credible website like a news site. As such, you can expect a more dramatic increase in authority than a link coming from some no-name, small-time site.
Not to mention, Google has ways of detecting attempts to brute-force your way to the top.
You might want to think twice before spamming your Facebook feed or setting up a new website and plastering it with links to your site!
How do internal links factor into the equation?
It isn’t just external linking that you should consider when planning your digital strategy – you should also think about internal linking too!
While internal linking might not directly affect your SEO, it does help Google read and categorise your website.
By linking to other pages within your website, you help Google build a better picture of how your website is laid out, and how the subject matter of each page relate to each other.
For a real-world example, take a look at this page on our website.
In this page, we list each of the services we offer to our clients, as well as linking to each service’s own dedicated page.
Without this linking structure, Google might have a harder time understanding what each of these individual pages is for.
With the links in place however, it now knows that each of these is a service we offer, and may present these pages when internet users search for
Not only that, but it also tells Google that this is one of the more important pages on our website, and gives it higher priority over other pages of ours!
What does the future hold for the humble backlink?
Since Google first started operating all the way back in 1998, link-building has been a consideration in SEO strategies.
So why did we open by saying that link-building is “on its way out?”
Simply put, link-building’s days as an important SEO strategy may be numbered if current trends are anything to go off!
Now just to be clear, we aren’t suggesting that you ignore linking altogether – while its role is diminishing, that doesn’t mean it’s completely irrelevant.
However, what that does mean is that you can’t rely solely on link-building anymore!
As a Melbourne SEO agency, we’ve noticed that in recent years, Google has tried to shift its algorithm to one that finds search results that answer users’ questions. In particular, Google has adopted a focus on relevant, quality search results.
Accordingly, its search algorithm has gotten more complex over the years – and linking has fallen to the wayside as a ranking factor.
Now, let’s be clear: this doesn’t mean that linking is completely useless. However, it also means that you can’t really solely on being the website with lots of links anymore!
With search engines shifting to more of a quality-focus, that means changing your SEO to focus on what matters to Google: quality.
Strategies that work from a Melbourne SEO agency
When it comes to SEO, what many agencies will do is focus on generating links to your website. Their efforts revolve around setting up “link farms” – websites that build links to all their clients.
If you ask us, that simply doesn’t work anymore. If you want long-term, sustained results, you’ll need to opt for a different strategy.
Unlike many other SEO agencies in Melbourne, iformat builds SEO strategies that turn your site into a quality resource.
That means a focus on producing a steady stream of well-written content, tailored to meet searchers’ needs, based on strategies that specifically target searches you want to be found for. We combine this with well-thought out linking (internal and external) to help you obtain the results you want.
Our team are always on top of any changes to Google’s algorithm that may negatively impact your site rankings, working fast to minimise damage and maintain your site ranking.