Link building is a core practice in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that involves acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites.
The primary purpose of link building is to increase the visibility of a website on search engines. Links are used by search engines as a ranking signal because when one website links to another, it means they believe the content is noteworthy. High-quality links can increase a site’s ranking position and visibility in search engine results (SERPs).
Common link building strategies include content marketing, building useful tools, email outreach, broken link building, and public relations. The effectiveness of these strategies can vary depending on the industry and the type of website.
Not all links are valued equally. Links from trustworthy, popular, and high-authority sites are considered more beneficial in boosting a site’s ranking than links from low-quality or irrelevant sites. Search engines also consider the relevance of the link to the content of both the source and destination websites.
Engaging in manipulative link building practices, like buying links or participating in link schemes, can result in penalties from search engines. These penalties can range from a reduction in website rankings to a complete removal from search engine indices.
The importance and methods of link building have evolved over time with changes in search engine algorithms. Modern link building focuses more on earning links through high-quality content and outreach rather than through manipulative tactics.