For many, link building also presents a challenge. Folks get sincerely frustrated with wasted link building efforts, poor outreach processes, and lack of results.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Good link building actually helps everyone involved: the content owner, the linker, the audience, and search engines alike. Google evaluates links in so many ways, you could say its search engine couldn’t exist without them. Good link building also encourages the creation of useful content and good marketing practices. When done right, link building can also be a joy (and profitable!).
Moz first published the Beginner’s Guide to Link Building in 2014. Back then, the SEO world was still adjusting to the fallout of Google’s Penguin Algorithm, which punished sites engaging in manipulative link building practices. The SEO world was looking to transition to more holistic, value-added forms of link building that wouldn’t run afoul of Google’s initiatives to sweep the web of shady practices.
At the time, Paddy was already a respected voice among link builders, and had authored one of the few good books on link building. It was the same year that he and co-founder Matt Beswick conceived Aira, the digital marketing agency that would compel them to new heights. Moz was honored to have Paddy write the first edition of the Beginner’s Guide to Link Building.
Now, in 2021, Paddy has done it again.
A lot has changed in link building since 2014, and weirdly, much has stayed the same. Many of the tools and tactics have certainly evolved, along with Google’s algorithm (rel=ugc anyone?). As we worked with Paddy to update this edition of the guide, we realized how so many of the fundamentals of link building remain as true today as they did when we launched the first edition of the guide. As Paddy writes:
“Arguably, link building these days is more akin to great marketing, and the organizations who understand this are usually the ones who win long term.”
Without links, it’s likely Google would have never been invented in the first place. Understanding how websites link to one another allowed Google’s founders to create a search engine so superior to any other, that it grew to world domination. In fact, over 20 years later, links remain one of the most consistent Google ranking signals that we know of.
In this chapter, learn the fundamentals of why link building is important, how they help websites to rank, and other ways in which links are important to a web-based business.
The truth is, not all links are created equal. In truth, the web consists of billions of links. Google, in its ranking algorithms, may only consider a fraction of these links. Indeed, algorithms like Penguin, released years ago, are specifically designed to ignore many types of links.
Understanding the types of links that you actually need, and that actually help you to rank, is crucial to effective link building.
Some websites are able to attract links without much forethought, but this is rare. In truth, most successful sites have a plan for attracting links sustainably and at scale. Planning the right strategy in advance can make the difference between success and wasted effort.
Collectively, these individuals have built thousands of links for some of the most successful brands and campaigns on the planet. They generously contributed their expertise to the guide, and we’ve sprinkled this wisdom throughout.
What are your greatest link building tips? Let us know in the comments below.
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!