In the world of search engine optimization, a lot of different factors affect your web page’s ranking. One of those factors is the quantity and quality of other web pages linking to it. This brings us to the question of what is link building?
What is Link Building?
Link building is the practice of manually or automatically creating links from one site to another for the purpose of either improving a website or page’s search engine ranking or increasing a site or page’s traffic.
This has long been and is still one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization because search engines view links as a sign of trust from one website to another; it’s as if one site is giving a virtual thumbs up in regards to another site. Search engines can use that as a signal that that page or site has good content which was worthy of linking to from another site, so they reward that linked to site with a better search engine ranking.
Technically, Google and other search engines disapprove of manual or automatic link building because they understandably believe that links aren’t things which should be built by webmasters or SEOers. Ideally, they’d like it if the only links your site gets are from other webmasters from their sites. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to make every link pointing to your site to look as natural as possible.
Not All Links Are Created Equally
As you might have guessed, not all links are created equally. Certain links are worth far more than others, depending upon where they’re coming from.
For instance, a link from an authority site with a lot of age behind it will give you a lot more link juice than one from a brand new site. A popular example of an authority site would be CNN.com or a trusted source like a .EDU (education site) or .GOV (government) site. Getting a link from a site like that can single-handedly shoot you up in the rankings, depending on the strength of your competition.
Keep in mind that also that NoFollow links do not pass on link juice/influence.
That’s not to say that NoFollow links aren’t worth your time. These links won’t pass any influence, or in other words they won’t help you rank better in the SERPs on their own, but they’ll still be a valuable source of traffic, depending on where the link to your site is pointing from.
You certainly wouldn’t turn down a link from a web page which gets hundreds of new visitors every day just because it wasn’t a DoFollow. Plus if you have good content on your page which is being linked to, you’ll likely pick up some natural and potentially DoFollow links from the traffic which came to your site from that initial NoFollow link.
One more point – it’s also important to have a variety of types of links. When I say variety, I mean both DoFollow and NoFollow as well as a variety in terms of where they come from. They should come from not only different sites, but different types of sites. So rather than just having the majority of your links from article directories, you want links from blogs, article directories, video sites, social networks, etc.