If you’ve read a lot about search engine optimization, you should know by now that link building is extremely important for your site. In fact, the link building concept is as old as SEO itself, because search engines have been using link analysis in their algorithm for a very long time.
By late 2001, Google was well on their way to claiming a dominant position in the search market, and everyone was looking for links. Because of the “link building arms race” that Google started back then, link building has changed a lot since 2001. Link building has become a discipline unto itself, and one short chapter isn’t enough. Bing has also been using a similar concept since 2009.
The first step in understanding link building is getting a sense of how the search engines see things. As explained in a previous article, all of the search engines use link analysis to help them determine page rankings and choose relevant pages.
There are only a few areas where the search engines are actively working to fight what they call “webspam” and link analysis is by far the most active subject in that area. As a result, it’s very important for you to understand their position, and what they’re looking for, if you want to create an intelligent link building strategy for your site and stay alive.
There are a number of ways to look at any given link that you find on the web. From your perspective as the webmaster trying to get ranked, it might seem that the only important questions are: What page does this link point to? What words are used in the text? How much “link juice” am I going to get from this link? Is there any risk of being penalized?
In order to understand the answers, you need to understand the questions, and that means starting with the search engines’ perspective. So, make sure to check and analyze the sites you exchange links with.