Link building is an important aspect of SEO. However, there’s a method to building high quality links, and it’s an area that every marketer needs to pay close attention to. Over the years, link building has seen a shift in focus from quantity to quality because of Google’s new algorithms (such as Panda and Penguin). So far from having as many links as possible the focus is now on quality links that authority to a website.

Having links refer to your website is like a public vote of confidence. The number of links that redirect to your website help search engines find pages that are related to each other, and work out in what ways they are related. Figuring these things out also helps search engines attribute trust, authority and spam to the listings. For example, if trusted sites link to your website, it gives a good indication of the trustworthiness of your own website.

Search engines will establish a ‘link network’ or ‘link neighbourhood’ based on the link relationships your website has with other websites. Consider your website as a house, and a huge part of adding value to it is the neighbourhood it’s in. So, if a lot of spammy sites are linking to your website, chances are, your website will be grouped amongst that spammy neighbourhood of houses. Endeavour to have trusted domains link to your content rather than have lots of irrelevant sites link to your content.

A great way to get your website into a good link network is to build and nurture partnerships with local or related websites. For example, if your business sells kitchen appliances, having trusted cooking, and recipe websites link to your content is a great way to build quality links that matter. For small businesses, locality is also very important, so getting your website featured on trusted local authorities such as council websites or the website of the local paper is a great way to earn quality links.

As we know, Google and other search engines love fresh content. It is important earn new links to ensure your website is ‘fresh’ and well-loved by search engines. Ensure your content remains relevant, and update and check for broken links regularly.

Social media, while not as influential as traditional links from trusted sites, is gaining ground in terms of the huge opportunity it offers in terms of social sharing. Brands and profiles with a large social circle that share your content will help expose your content to a wider audience and help attract the attention of publishers.