It is clear that link building is probably the most important SEO activities. It could help us improve search engine ranking and eventually, generate more traffic. For search engines, the quantity, relevance and quality of links determine the actual rank. To some degree, links can be seen as votes among websites to determine the level of authority. If website A has a link that’s directed for website B, the latter gets credit from the former. If website B has high quality content, it may get additional credits from website C, D, etc. Eventually, website B will be considered as an authority in specific fields and search engines award it with a top rank position in search results.

This is a very simplified explanation and with this fact in mind, we should be able to perform specific tasks. Good link building techniques will lead to increased SEO performance, resulting in higher search engine rank and targeted traffic. Before we start, it is important to know sources of good and bad links.

Good links:

Reputable and highly relevant website

A website about car accessories won’t get too many benefits if it gets links from a website about organic food. Search engines also consider the reputation and relevance of websites that provide us links. When a network of relevant websites gives us links, our website will be seen as an authority. It is even better to get links from websites that are seen as authorities themselves.

Government and education websites

These websites often have .gov and .edu extensions, instead of .com or .net. They are excellent sources of good links, but only if we get links from relevant webpages. Government and education websites have strict policies on linking and if we do get links from them, we will be significantly rewarded.

In-text links with relevant anchor text

Most of the time, anchor texts of our website are only our website name or just “read here”. Search engines include anchor text as an indicator of the quality of the link. This determines the quality of our links and defines the theme of our page.

Bad links:

Sometimes, bad links are unavoidable, especially because we can’t prevent people to create links for our website. Blatant spamming involves masking websites targeted for SEO improvement, among dozens of other websites. It means that if our website is popular enough, bad SEO practitioners will use it to cover their track. If it happens often enough, our ranking can be progressively reduced. In fact, some people use this technique to sabotage competitors by creating links in bad areas.

Link farms

Link farms are essentially a network of websites that link to a primary website to raise its ranking. Search engines could easily detect this practice, especially if multiple websites suspiciously have links directed to a website.

Questionable website

No one will be impressed if we get references from someone who lives in a bad neighbourhood. It means that we should avoid getting links from websites with bad topics.

Blog comment and forum spam

Blog comments and forums are areas where average Internet users can share their thoughts and opinions. However, this kind of freedom can be abused and bad SEO practitioners may create dozens or even hundreds of links in these places. Unfortunately, because it’s so easy to create links in both places, they have nearly no SEO value.