Link building can be a very effective way to increase your visibility online. It can drive traffic to your site if the links are chosen wisely. It can also increase your website’s position in search engines, once again if you choose links wisely.

Before you decide to use this type of search engine optimization and internet marketing, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of the concept behind link building. To date there is no official standard definition of the term in any dictionary, although perhaps Oxford will add it one day. But since there is such a big confusion within the industry of search engine optimization about exactly what link building is, it could prove to be challenging to create a specific definition for it.

If you want a dummied down definition of the process, one could say that it’s the effort of going out of your way to find really good links for your site. The key words here are “really good links.” But that definition is flawed in that it doesn’t explain exactly what really good links are. And even if one were able to find a way to define what a really good link is, this simple definition doesn’t touch on their potential for search engine marketing could be. If used correctly, link building can increase your brand awareness which, if done right, could increase conversions. It’s a little discussed but proven marketing tactic that has been used probably since around the mid-1990s.

When selecting links, keep in mind that they’re not all equal. Some are better than others and will be more beneficial to your website and to your business’ overall online exposure.  External links are better than internal links. This means it’s always a good idea to select links with relevant content from sources outside your website. Its okay to link within your site as well, but don’t forget that people may want to go outside your web pages to find additional information.

Anchor texts are known to be beneficial for search engine placement. Some search engine professionals believe that if the anchor text is carried through the HTML, the URL is more potent.  Especially within Google.

It’s important to keep your links updated and fresh. Many search engines, especially Google, appear to value more recently created links. The system’s algorithms seem to see this as a lack of spam and often reward pages with updated and frequently new link building. If used strategically, an influx of new, relevant links within a short period time can indicate to search engine algorithms that the site is a useful and timely resource.

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When choosing links, try selecting ones with more perceived value.  Links to obscure sites won’t mean as much for search engine positioning, regardless of how great or useful the content on those pages are.  Try to get links to some of the bigger name, more established sites and search engine algorithms will often look more favorably on your site.

Using link building can be a highly effective way to promote your site, increase its visibility online and make it a more useful resource to site visitors. It just needs to be used correctly.