For years, the great link building debate has been raging, with marketers divided over whether they should focus on building links or not. According to Google, focusing on links brings more problems than benefits, but many SEM experts are convinced that link building can still be worthwhile if it is done the right way.
What Are External Links?
External links are links to your site that are hosted on other domains. In other words, websites that link to your content are providing outside links to your site. Similarly, you can provide external links to other sites by embedding links in your content.
Why Do External Links Matter?
Search engines take the number of external links pointing to a web page into account when deciding how highly that page should rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs). According to a Moz study, the number of websites linking to a page is one of the factors that correlates most strongly with that page’s ranking. The same study showed that almost no websites make it to the front page of a Google search without having at least one external link.
Stay Clear of Link Farms
The quality of external links matters at least as much as their quantity. Link building strategies that generate high numbers of external links can attract penalties from Google and other search engines. Link farms – sites that exist solely to host links to other sites – can provide huge numbers of external links, but the links they provide are low quality and are likely to hinder rather than help your SEM management strategy. High-quality links come from sites that contain plenty of original content on a topic closely related to the topic of the linked site.
How to Safely Build Links
Link building can be a valuable part of any SEM strategy and can be used alongside PPC and Adwords marketing to bring traffic to your site. To avoid the risk of Google penalties, you should focus on earning rather than building links. By creating great content and getting it in front of the right people on social media, you can earn high-quality links to support your search engine marketing campaign.