One of the first methods for SEO, link building has evolved a great deal since its infancy with the birth of Google and other algorithm-based search engines. Website owners and managers quickly realized that more inbound links pointing to a website were a very important factor used by search engines to determine the position in the search engine results pages (SERPs), creating a frenzy of link building with the purpose of marketing websites.  As search engines have become more intelligent and have learned to better determine the quality of websites from spam/potential threat websites, the methods used by website marketers and SEO companies have also evolved to help keep websites relevant and on top of the search engines through SEO methods that are recommended and approved as good practice by the search engine algorithms.

Creating a positive and successful link-building campaign will allow websites and their SEO agency to ethically build their backlinks, known as white hat link building, otherwise as white hat SEO.  Links that are built through generally accepted white hat methods are many times used as references in articles written by other authors or are written by the website managers for usage on another domain.  These links are usually tied to one form or another of content that is unique to the website to help explain or teach consumers about the given topic.

Previous methods from the infancy of search engines many times included link building through the use of reciprocal links, hidden links or spam contents had appropriately been coined as black hat SEO or black hat link building techniques and could severely penalize a website for practicing any type of SEO method that is unethical. Understanding the difference between types of search engine optimization and link-building strategies can help a website avoid any preventable problems and excess costs by partaking in negative practices.

A proper link building campaign can involve a variety of different types of links pointing back to a target website; whether these links are placed on other websites in the form of reference points to specific content or content in the form of other articles, images, or videos is used on other websites with reference links pointing back, there are a number of ways to build inbound links to help grow your website. With some research and many times the aid of an experienced SEO company, websites can put together a web marketing campaign that provides quality results with a cost that fits into their budget.

Link Building 101

Starting to focus on building inbound links is one of the important pieces to creating and operating a successful SEO marketing campaign, with a number of different types of links to focus on building, marketers have many opportunities to help boost their website SERP positions. Some of the most common types of inbound links that are used today include:

References Links

  • Off-site Authors

By first creating quality and complete content on a website, many times other authors will reference this information while writing their own articles. Links can be found in either the content or footnotes at the bottom of articles; these inbound links have substantial value.

Submission Links

  • Article Submissions

One of the most mutually beneficial ways websites can help one another while improving the content they provide to their consumers. Many sites offer authors the ability to write articles with the promise of a link in return. Finding the right websites and offering quality content can help businesses improve SERP positioning through a quality article writing and submission campaign.

  • Directory Submissions

The use and importance of directory listings for SEO purposes has diminished over the years, partly due to the abundance of directories and the relative ease of being listed. Even though SERP positing might not be affected by a listing, the added exposure, especially from heavily trafficked directories can help increase inbound website traffic.

  • Blog Comments

The use of blog comments for backlinks can help with improving SERP positioning, depending on how the blog instructs the search engines to treat the links found within the content or the signature, branding them either as follow or no-follow links. Regardless of the link type, providing quality information can help increase traffic from readers following the links.

Social Bookmarking Links

  • Account Updates

Linking a social media account does not provide much to effect on inbound link algorithms, but using social media is a good means to having content changes and updates on a website realized faster than waiting for the bots to spider the websites to find changes. A rather fast and simple way to increase website exposure that requires very minimal to no additional costs.

Paid Links

  • Paid Ads

Available in possibly every industry, paid ads are a very fast way to start building inbound links. While most methods of paid links; including banner ads, text ads, or reciprocal links do not provide much to the search engine algorithms. they are another way to increase exposure and potentially increase website traffic.

Starting the Link Building Process

A healthy combination of research about inbound link-building techniques along with interviewing potential link-building services can help prepare a website for its next SEO and web marketing campaign. Understanding many of the do's and don'ts of inbound link building can educate the website on the types of practices they can expect to do and how to best position their website to experience the greatest benefit from these services.