Develop a successful link building campaign: part 1
What Is link building?
Link building is the practice of promoting certain parts of your website to other webmasters, journalists, and bloggers with the primary goal of securing a “link” (also called a hyperlink or backlink) on a certain page of their website that connects to your webpage (also called a linkable asset).
Link building is not intended to be a way to spam the internet with irrelevant backlinks. The purpose of link building is to promote your website to demonstrate, for search engines, that your piece of content is relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy. By building links to your content on other authoritative websites, you’re showing search engines that these third-party experts agree that your content is a linkable asset and adds value to their website.
Before reaching out to a website to request a backlink to your site, you need to ask the following questions:
- What value would our content bring to this web article?
- Is this website a domain that I would want to earn a link on? (i.e., Is this website trustworthy, relevant, and/or authoritative?)
- Does this article make sense to pitch our piece of content on?
If you can prove that their website/webpage is relevant and hits the necessary “E-A-T” signals, then it would be a great place to pursue link building.
E-A-T is an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
These considerations were rolled out in Google’s 2018 “medic” algorithm update and essentially indicate how credible your company and website are and if you should be considered an authoritative and trusted expert in your space.
Learn more about E-A-T, how it influences SEO, and Google’s algorithm in Search Engine Journal’s article, “What Exactly Is E-A-T & Why Does It Matter to Google?”
Why is it important to be deliberate with your link building?
The general rule of thumb when it comes to link building is that links are like votes. Whoever has the strongest votes has the potential to rank first. We say strongest because it relates back to the idea of quality over quantity. If you create a website with zero rankings and traffic and then add 1,000 links to your domain from that website, you’re going to see little to no movement on the SERPs from your linking “efforts.” That is because Google sees this as spammy link building.
Think about the rate of diminishing returns – one link on a blogger site with a domain authority (DA) of 30 is great, two links are good, but as you get to links three, four, five, and higher, Google begins to devalue these backlinks.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we would not want five or more backlinks from a website like the New York Times because there is the quality factor at play. The New York Times is a highly authoritative and trustworthy website, so each time they choose to link to our relevant pieces of content shows Google that, while we are receiving quite a few links from this domain, they are all relevant to the article, thus hitting the necessary E-A-T signals.
In short, if you can consistently continue to meet the E-A-T criteria, you will build a more trustworthy and authoritative website over time.
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