December 24

What is Link Building in Search Engine Optimization?


Link building is one of the most commonly seen phrases in the world of digital marketing. Understanding what is link building in SEO is essential to your search engine marketing success, and it’s actually a lot more simplistic than people make out. So exactly what is link building in search engine optimization? Read on to find out.

What is a Link?

Links aren’t a rare thing to see online, no matter what you’re doing. The whole internet is built on them, and that’s the very core of the online world. Link building, however, is a little different than just links.

Link building targets backlinks, specifically, and this is the word that’s important to remember. A backlink is a link from a website leading from them, to you. In the eyes of the search engine, they’re almost like a vote of advocacy; a way of search engines thinking you must be credible since someone is interacting with you directly.

What are the Different Types of Link?

Another key aspect of link building to remember in SEO is that not all links are created equally. Links come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and there’s more to them than meets the eye.

To put this into context, on the bottom level, there are dofollow links and there are nofollow links. A dofollow link is ideal because it means search engines are allowed to crawl this link. A nofollow is the opposite, in that no search engines are allowed to follow that one — although they do know it’s there. This is most commonly seen with things like directories, on social media, and other places where links aren’t really valid.

However, that’s not to say, by any means, that they’re not useful. It’s good to have a mix of dofollow and nofollow backlinks that are linking to your target page, because this raises the authenticity of your site. However, the goal with link building tactics is usually to go after dofollow links.

On top of dofollow and nofollow links in SEO link building, there is also another cluster of link categories coming into play. In the coming months, Google will be looking for new attributes in links. Specifically, nofollow links will ideally be marked as nofollow, sponsored, or UGC (user generated content), but there’s no benefit for people creating links to add this much depth. It could be an issue later, but right now not so much.

What are the Best Ways to Build Links?

So now that all of the technical jargon is out of the way with dofollow and nofollow links and what they really are, the next thing to understand is how do you build them. That’s most of what link building for SEO is after all! There are lots of different ways to go about getting more backlinks. Each has its own benefits, but that doesn’t mean that any of them are easy. They exist as follows:

Paid Links

Links can be purchased from sellers and webmasters. Stronger websites have more valuable links, so they tend to cost substantially more. They are also against Google’s rules, so be careful with how you choose to use them.


User-generated content is a great way to get links. People are much more likely to link to and share their own content and are more likely to engage and link to natural, user-generated content than anything else.

Organic Links

As your visibility increases and your content quality increases, people will link to you simply because they want to. You may be a credible source, have the best answer to a query, have the most entertaining content, or simply have the best site.


There are all kinds of directories online, from the classics like Yell through to modern titles like Facebook and GoogleMyBusiness. Having accounts on here linked to your business, especially with your name, address, and postcode does great things for your link building.


Helping journalists get access to experts and information, doing charity work, and anything else that gets you attention in the press can get you featured in multiple places. That means getting links as a result.

Guest Posting

Blogs and articles are great ways to get more content out there. Posting content on other sites means you can link to your own content within it. They receive content, you receive a link — it’s a real win-win situation.

Don’t Forget Anchor Text!

One last thing before you go off and start link building like an SEO machine is that it’s really important to remember the power of anchor text. Anchor text is the text that is linked and contains the hyperlink. Make sure your links are in text that summarizes what is at the other end. Take a look at these examples:

1. CLICK HERE to see our latest article on what is link building for SEO

2. Don’t forget to check out our latest article on link building for SEO

Example 1 explains nothing about the link, whereas link two is completely explanatory. It really helps give more weight to the backlink!

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