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While increasing your domain authority is an important part of link building, it’s not the only benefit. Effective link building increases referral traffic to your site, helps you form mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses and builds your brand awareness.

But before you implement a link building strategy, you need to understand which link building techniques are out of favour with Google and how you can gain natural, high-quality links from other websites to help your rankings.

A Brief History Of Link Building 

If you have any knowledge about SEO, the practice of link building won’t be new to you. In fact, link building has been around since the late 1990s when Larry Page invented PageRank, an algorithm used by Google to measure the authority of a web page. The number of links pointing to a page was an important metric in the algorithm, and in an attempt to manipulate rankings, aggressive link building strategies were the norm back in the day. This involved tactics such as paying for links, offering free products for links, posting spammy comments on blog posts and using link farms. 

As we know Google is smart, and subsequent updates to its algorithm were designed to penalize the rankings of websites using these techniques.

After the launch of the Google Penguin Algorithm Update (of which there have now been10 evolutions) which further sought to downgrade spammy links, there was much speculation that link building was no longer worth it.

However, this is not that case.

Natural, authoritative and relevant links are still rewarded by Google and will help you rank better and attract more traffic to your site. 

Effective Link Building in 2019

An effective link building strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require a consistent approach and regular attention. These are the three guiding principles behind link building in 2019

Website Audit

This one is fairly simple. If your website doesn’t deliver a good user experience, notable sites won’t want to link to it. Furthermore, you’ll be wasting your time trying to increase your rankings with links, when your site is likely to be penalised for poor performance. 

Identify Your Audience and Build Relationships

If you don’t know who your target audience is, you won’t know who to start reaching out to for links. Don’t make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone. You will quickly become overwhelmed and your link building strategy will fail. 

Once you have identified your target audience you can start building a relationship with them and other businesses in your field. The best way to do this is with quality content.

Further Reading: What is a target market and how to identify yours.

Quality content

Relevant, useful content should be the centrepiece of your link building strategy. Quality content will attract links naturally without any effort on your part.

Every piece of content you publish on your website should be considered an asset.

In other words, research what your target audience is searching and create content they will find valuable in some way.

Whether you spark emotion in your readers by sharing relatable experiences or offer them helpful advice, the end goal is for your audience to engage with your content and ultimately, share it.

Not sure where to start? Talk to Webics about creating a long-term content and link building strategy that will deliver real results for your business.