Link Building: 5-Minute Guide
Link building is one of the cornerstones of SEO.
But with purists calling it “black-hat” and dozens of link-building scams on the internet, getting into link building can be difficult and confusing.
Does it even work?
In our seven (plus) years of running an SEO agency, we’ve found that link building is super effective and is an essential part of grabbing that #1 spot.
But hold up…
What is link building again???
In this 5-minute guide, we’re going to answer just that.
We’ll take a look at what link building is, why it’s important, how it’s done, and all the dangers surrounding link building scams online.
By the end of it, you’ll know everything you need to know and be confident enough to take on the world of link building.
So start your timers, and let’s dive in!
What is Link Building?
Whenever a website adds a link to your website, that’s a “link” (duh).
Here’s an example from the Backlinko blog:
The hyperlinked text leads readers to FocusVision’s website.
And that’s all a link is.
Simple, isn’t it?
So what’s link building?
Link building is the action of trying to get more people to link to your website.
Several proven strategies will get your website more links (we’ll look at some here).
But there are also a LOT of link building scams that:
- Don’t work
- Can be detrimental to your website’s health
That’s why knowing all the whats, whys, and hows of link building is vital before getting someone’s services.
Before getting into how it works, though, let’s take a quick look at why it’s so important.
Why You Should Work on Link Building
Here’s a fun fact:
Link building is straight up against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
That’s why the purists say, “Don’t do it!”
But on the other hand, all the top SEO experts recommend doing it.
- Link building brings in AMAZING results
- Link building is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to spot (as long as you avoid the scammy stuff)
That’s why people like Brian Dean, Sam Oh, and Peter Myers all promote link-building techniques.
Yes, it’s against the “rules.”
But for high rewards with essentially no risk, who wouldn’t do it?
With link-building strategies, you can shoot your website to the top of search engine rankings, just like Ahrefs did with a stat page:
Or how Backlinko brought in a bunch of referring domains (and thus, more traffic!), using the Skyscraper Technique:
No one doubts the power of link building.
But what about link-building scams? How do you avoid those?
How to Do Link Building (And Avoid Scams)
Link building is difficult and tedious.
That’s why so many people hire people to do their link building for them.
But without knowing what goes into link building, you may easily, EASILY fall into a scam.
So what is the proper way of building links?
Firstly, let’s start with the ultra-white-hat method. The method that actually follows Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Can you guess what it is?
Don’t do link building.
That’s right. Google expects you to make a web page, article, or blog post so brilliant that people will link to it without you asking them to.
You can do this by writing outstanding content, creating beautiful infographics, or performing super informative case studies (you can read more about how to do these in our content marketing guide).
And while this can work, it’s EXTREMELY difficult to get links without asking (or paying) anyone. And you won’t find any SEO expert that doesn’t build links.
The “Proper” Way
So what’s the “proper” way of doing it?
The look-good way is by reaching out to websites and asking them to add a link to your website.
Unfortunately, even that is very difficult.
Think about it.
What would you do if someone randomly sent you an email asking you to add a link to their website on yours?
Would you do it?
Unless it was a friend or contact of yours, you probably won’t.
That’s why the real way to get links is to pay for them.
The Realistic Way
Find a blog guy, say you’ll write content for them if it links back to your website, and agree on a price.
You can also hire middlemen to do all the hard and tedious work for you.
This way, all you have to do is give them money, and they will go and get those links for you.
But be careful!
This is where the scams abound.
You see, there is a BIG difference between a high-quality and low-quality link.
High-quality links are links from authority websites in your niche. Low-quality links are random links that appear on blogs that nobody reads.
A middleman might promise you 20 links for only $10, and we say, BE CAREFUL!
If they don’t tell you where they’re going to put the links, there’s a HUGE chance they’ll put it in a network of blogs all belonging to themselves.
The problem with that is that a lot of those blogs will give you a worthless link.
And if they promise to put links on websites with high domain authority?
Chances are, they’ll put links to your site on forums of big sites. Which, once again, is a worthless backlink.
That’s why finding the right link builders is a tough tough job.
You can’t go cheap without getting a bunch of spammy backlinks.
Finding a good link builder at a reasonable price is a real tough challenge.
Ready to Take On Link Building?
And there you have it!
5 minutes of link building basics.
Link building is hard, tedious, and confusing.
It’s something where scammers can easily take advantage of due to its complex nature and slow results.
But when done right?
Link building is a powerful technique to shoot your website up the rankings.
Just ask any SEO expert.
Speaking of which…
Do you want the SEO experts to do your link building for your site?