Why Link Building is a Science and not an Art

Jun 12, 2014

link building is a scienceWhile some aspects of the search engine optimization (SEO) process might be considered an art, link building is much closer to being a true science. By definition, a science involves replicating results by applying a proven process or procedure, and that certainly applies to effective link building. The results are statistically reliable and can be used to accurately predict user behavior.

White hat link building tactics provide the search engines with proof that your site is important and relevant to users based on the quality and authority of the sites that link back to you.

The Science Behind Link Building

Extensive testing by SEO practitioners has uncovered a number of important factors to help you develop and refine an effective link building strategy such as

  • The number of links that influence your search engine page ranking can be obtained through Alexa or the Majestic SEO software.
  • Link quality as measured by authority can be determined through Marketing Grader.
  • The ranking value of a link is dependent on both the site and the specific page that it is coming from.

Back Linking is One of the Most Important Factors in Search Engine Rankings

Even when Google algorithm updates require a change in link building tactics, the core principals remain. After on-site coding of your content for maximum search engine visibility, link building is the single most effective means of improving your search engine rankings. Tested and proven best practice techniques to keep your website out of the Google penalty box include

  • Building links to your site only from authority sites related to your niche.
  • Varying your anchor text, and avoiding overstuffing text anchors with your keywords. Your inbound links should contain a balanced mix of focused anchor text, unfocused anchor text and your site’s URL citations.
  • Making sure that your content is both relevant to your niche and 100 per cent unique.

The Most Effective and Accepted Methods of Building Links

Google is stepping up its spam-fighting efforts through algorithm updates as well as manual penalties for websites that engage in questionable link building practices. The baseline measurement of a linking strategy acceptable to Google is simply that the links be earned ‘editorially’ or given freely based on the quality of the content. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for penalty-proof white hat link building tactics:

  • Start with your own website. Google likes to see a well-structured site with plenty of links connecting each page of your site; this is commonly referred to as a silo-structured site. Make sure that your most important pages are frequently linked to so that they will be included in Google’s index.
  • Explore linking possibilities with industry or niche-related sites in your field. These include trade or professional organizations as well as local business groups and your Chamber of Commerce.
  • Directory sites are still worthwhile as long as they are either related to your niche or local to your geographic area.
  • Links to news organizations are great because their sites are generally well-trusted and contain plenty of inbound links. You’ll want to use a well-written press release that contains genuine ‘news’ and not a thinly disguised sales pitch.