Link Building Basics: Why Search Engines Use Links


Marketing strategies aimed at driving traffic to particular sites are becoming ever more reliant on creating successful link building campaigns. Many strategists use content marketing to submit informative articles to a wide number of websites with the intention that the backlinks they contain are creating a network to increase brand awareness and generate a larger flow of traffic. Some analysts believe that link building depends on how the search engines identify the quality of the links themselves but first, let’s investigate why links have become so important.

Why are Search Engines Looking for Links?

The main focus of search engines has always been centred around high-quality content. Websites or blogs containing articles full of information that adds worthwhile value have always been more easily located in the past by specific questions or keywords that are relevant to the subject matter. As the internet has become packed with thousands of high-quality pages devoted to every topic you can think of, businesses are constantly trying to find new ways to place their pages ahead of all the others. By chance, analysts have recently noticed that pages are being ranked higher in SERPs due to how many high-quality links they have acquired. Presumably, search engines are using links to locate pages that they consider to be more popular in addition to the relevance of the information they contain. Successful marketing now needs to incorporate high-quality links, but what does a search engine consider to be a valuable link?

What is a High-Quality Link?

Pages that contain dynamic content are clearly attracting more links than those that are of poor quality. Sophisticated analytics also include details such as return visits and viewport time which is the amount of time a visitor stays on a page, to help determine the popularity and value of the content. Search engines are using similar analytics to identify which links are the most valuable before they rank a particular page. A high-quality link is one that’s popular and adds value in the form of relevant information.

What is a Low-Quality Link?

Simply adding meaningless or artificial links to articles or blog posts doesn’t guarantee that a web page will be favoured by the search engines. A link regarded as poorer in quality often leads to pages where visits are in decline or that contain content that is deemed irrelevant and confusing. As such, these types of links tend to be ignored by the search engines. A low-quality link is less popular and has little value to add in terms of information and relevance.

How Does a High-Quality Link Bring Positive Results?

A marketing campaign based on link building is striving to generate traffic through referrals from high-quality links resulting in higher rankings. Web pages need to create an enthusiasm for their content or subject. Visitors who find information that solves a particular problem in a refreshing, enthusiastic manner will inevitably increase the popularity of those pages which in turn will accumulate links or referrals. For example, perhaps your website sells garden furniture and the approach of spring is prompting visitors to wonder where they can find the most fashionable sets of tables and chairs for their patios. Creating interesting web pages that highlight the relevant questions they may ask will inevitably generate more curiosity and traffic than pages that are lacking in content. As we have already discovered, popularity is a large part of links being successful. Being awarded a higher ranking by the search engines through a link building campaign relies on links proving to be a worthwhile journey. High-quality links that lead to informative, valuable content attracts return visits and referrals much more effectively than pages that are considered bland and dull.

Even Links Can Be Viewed as Spam

Regardless of how many pages with high-quality content are to be found on the internet, there are even more that are likely to be viewed as spam by search engines and the same applies to links. All too often dozens of artificial links are sent out through conversational comments on platforms such as forums that have no direct connection or relevance to the pages they are linking to. Search engines instantly recognise them as being dishonestly controlled and ignore them when ranking pages, resulting in a marketing campaign that’s misguided and ultimately unsuccessful.

What is a Reduced Link Graph?

A reduced link graph is the content from the millions of web pages on the internet after all those that are considered to be spam have been left out of the search engines’ radar. Only then does the search engines’ ranking process begin. To be successful at link building for a website, the aim is to be included in the reduced link graph. Being omitted results in a rapid descent in the rankings, the very opposite of what a campaign is hoping to achieve.

What is Link Bait Strategy?

This is a term for a campaign that is aiming to create a massive but passing interest on social media. When the idea being highlighted is relevant it can produce effective results with the search engines. However, many campaigns often focus on content that has no relevance to the site that is being promoted such as a guess the weight of the cake competition for a greengrocery.

So, What Have You Learned?

To find favour with the search engines and earn high rankings, a link building campaign must first create web pages containing dynamic content that is truly valuable to visitors. Links must be regarded as high-quality, relevant and honestly placed. Then the search engines will reward the website with increased rankings on SERPs.



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