Web Design Resources
The Importance of Link Building
In the realm of search engines, Google is the undisputed king, and where Google goes, others follow. Some years back, Google decided that how many links a site has is a measure of its popularity. Other search engines have now followed suit. The link building process has now turned into one important aspect of the overall SEO strategy. Link building helps increase your site's public awareness while also helping you attain higher search engine rankings.
Types of Links
One thing to note is that there are two types of links: the one that you get to your site from other websites (called inbound links or back links) and the ones that you give to other websites (called outbound links). The number of inbound links to your site is a measure of its popularity. Each back link is a vote for your site. All votes count, but search engines do not view them in the same way. Links that emanate from websites that have a higher page rank (PR) have a higher weight than those with a lower PR. It is thus important to focus your efforts on links that will bring in the most value to your site. The most effective way to build great links is to build great content. Creating open source software, a free service, a browser plug-in, interesting content, or any other value-add feature will work.
Internal link-building activities include the creation of link bait. There are many types of link baits that include website widgets, social book marking, etc. Social bookmarks help make it easy for your visitors to remember, bookmark, and share your site's content. If the content is right, social bookmarks can help bring huge amounts of inbound traffic to your site.
There is one more type of link building activity - reciprocal links. As the word implies reciprocal links on the simple principle of mutual symbiosis. This is where websites link to each other, in an effort to boost each other's search engine ranking. Since reciprocal links became rampant, the major search engines now also consider the site relevancy. For example, if a web site design company in India gets a reciprocal link from a tea manufacturer in Kenya, the search engines do not consider it a relevant link.
Since the search engines place so much importance on back links, it gave birth to a whole new cottage industry - link farming. Link farming means the supply of wholesale links to a website in order to increase its back links. However, the search engines modified their algorithms quickly to counter this unethical practice, and link faming is now almost redundant as a SEO tool.
[See also ‘Search Engine Spamming']