Link building is just one piece of the SEO puzzle, but it’s an important one. It’s the process of getting quality websites to link to your website in order to improve search engine rankings. Through links, search engines analyze the popularity of websites and pages based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them and they also consider important metrics like trust, spam and authority.  Link building is an art, and a challenging one at that. From SEO and UX perspectives, let us break it down for you:

The Good, the Bad and the Rewards of Link Building: Caroline Bogart, Content Architect

You might be scratching your head right now asking yourself, “Haven’t I read somewhere that link building is bad?” You probably have, but it’s only bad if you’re doing it wrong.

Bad link building is when you reach out to tons of irrelevant, low-quality websites asking them to link to your content. Then there are link farms, another form of bad link building, which are a group of websites that hyperlink to every other site in the group. These websites are often unrelated, which sends a strong signal to search engines that you’re up to no good.

Good link building is providing quality content that’s written or designed with your audience in mind and reaching out to relevant websites to get them to link to this content. To get these quality links, think about the websites people in your industry frequent. These can be association websites, online industry publications, partner websites and websites from authoritative voices in your industry. Along the same lines, find out who your industry’s social influencers are and see if they can help you spread your good content.

I like to think of link building as media relations for the digital world. Just like an editor won’t run a story in their publication that they don’t think is relevant to their audience, websites won’t want to link to something they don’t think their audience will find useful.

Creating a Valuable User Experience with Link Building: Matt Rumer, Lead UX/Senior Art Director

Link building does not only help to improve search engine rankings, it also helps to create a valuable user experience. Peter Morville is very well known in the world of user experience and he created the UX Honeycomb (one of my favorite graphics in the history of graphics). The UX Honeycomb is a representation of the type of information that should be present when creating a valuable user experience. So, if you have a website, the Information present on the site should be useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible and credible.

How does link building help to create a valuable user experience?

I’m glad you asked.

Like Caroline said, “Link building is the process of getting quality websites to link to your website…”

Since your site is (or should be) full of information that is useful, usable, desirable and credible to your users, you can utilize link building to help make it findable and accessible.

See below for a snapshot of how it works. Happy building!