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by Beth Jackson
on October 31, 2014

SEO has become incredibly important to website owners over the last decade (it has risen with the dominance of Google). If you’re not familiar, SEO is search engine optimization. It is defined as actions taken by a website owner to make their website more attractive to a search engine for certain terms and topics.

The system created by the search engines has created a fierce environment for marketers who are trying to game the system. Google, and the other search engine operators, do their best to make sure that when someone searches for a term, they get the most relevant results, no matter how good the SEO for that term has been done. For website owners, this means that while SEO is something that must be done, they always have to stay ahead of Google who is trying to ensure that those trying to control the system aren’t doing so outside of Google’s terms of service.

One of the things most common in the SEO arena is called link building. Today we’re going to talk about this practice, how to do it (without going to Google Prison -- just kidding, there is no official "prison", but a Google penalty is not to be taken lightly), and why it is important.

What is Link Building?

Link building is easier to understand thank it sounds. It is the practice of getting outside websites to link back to your website or a page on your website. The reason why people use this practice is that one of the metrics that Google uses to rank websites for specific search terms is the number of inbound links (links pointing towards the website).

You can see how people could take advantage of this system. Websites all over the world have done many things to get other websites to link to their pages from bribing with money to trading. Those practices have come under scrutiny by Google, who wants only organic links.

Organic Links

Organic links are links that are given without condition. In other words you didn’t go to a website and pay or ask them to link to you. Instead they did so of their own volition, and did so in content that is related to the topic/niche of your website.

Why is Link Building Important?

Even with Google’s crackdown on bad links, link building is still important. It just needs to be done in a responsible way that builds seemingly organic links. The higher profile the website that links to your site, the better it is for your search ranking. So it is your job to get websites to link to your content for the terms you want to rank for.

The question is how?

The answer is difficult to explain in such a short space, but there are actually several ways you can do this. You can write quality blog posts, which in turn may be shared or featured on related sites. You can also began a link outreach program targeting resource pages of sites similar to your own to ask for a link back. If you sell a product, give out reviews; if you are creating a new product, send out a press release. These are all ways to get your site or your product in front of bloggers and news sites. They will then, if they are willing, organically link to your product.

Need help with your SEO strategy? ManoByte can help you with your entire Inbound Marketing campaign. From creating quality content to marketing on social networks, and even SEO. Contact us today to learn more.