Search Engine Optimisation and Link Building more specifically, have gained a bad reputation in recent years. This negative sentiment, can be traced back to Google’s 2011 Panda Search Algorithm update, which penalised websites for manipulative practises: including thin content, content farms, sites with high ad-to-content ratios, and low quality backlinks.
Many organisations who had trusted “black hat” SEO practitioners were penalised, and irrationally, developed a distrust of all SEO strategies. However, much of this fear was born simply due to a lack of understanding in the processes behind Link Building. Just like most things in life, we simply don’t trust what we don’t understand.
So what is Link Building?
Link building is the process of creating a link on an external websites which links back to your website. There are two types of links, those with anchor text, and links with naked anchor text. Naked anchor text is a simply a URL address displayed as the URL which it points too. Standard anchor text is a word displayed within content, which contains when clicked contains a hyperlink which takes the user to a designated website page.
http://google.com.au is an example of Naked Anchor Text
Below, search engine has been used as anchor text within a sentence, when the word “search engine” is clicked a user will taken to google.com, this is an example of standard Anchor Text
Google is a search engine
How did the Panda algorithm update impact Link Building?
The Panda update penalised websites who utilise Link Building practices aimed at manipulating search engines. Manipulative link building practices includes:
1. The use of Link Farms
2. Excessive Link Creation
3. A high number of Links from websites with low domain authority
4. Link Spamming on Forums.
Back Links however, still remain an important part of Google’s website ranking criteria. Avoidance of Link Building places your business website at a distinct ranking disadvantage, potentially leading to thousand or even millions of dollars in lost revenue. As a business owner, it is therefore vital to have at least a basic understanding of the processes behind effective link building.
Effective Link Building Includes:
1. Back Links which are relevant to your companies industry
2. A high proportion of links on high domain authority websites, and a low proportion of links on low domain authority websites
3. Avoidance of Link spam on forums
4. Staying away from Link Farms
5. Consistent Link Building which is not excessive
6. Varied and relevant Anchor text