Link Building Basics

Backlinks, link building and link love? What is all the buzz about you might have wondered? If you are a small time blogger like myself, you probably have heard a good deal about inbound links to your site.

And you may have read that “link love” is one of the key factors in determining how popular your site will be in the search engines. But you may still be a little uncertain what back links are and how they can help promote your site. This article will explain what links are and what link love is all about and why they’re vital to the success of your small blog.

What are Web Links?

Links and URLs (the public address of a web page on the web) as you already know are basically just coded text that connects one electronic document (or web page) to another. Web links can be either internal (connecting only pages on a single website) or external (connecting to pages outside.

Since the rise of Yahoo! along with other directories and search engines, web engineers have been faced with a major problem: when a person types in a word or terms for searching, exactly which websites should the search engines show in their search results?

At first, when the Internet was smaller (and yes I’m that old) and home only to other computer geeks and college or professional nerds, this was kind of simple. People just told each other about this or that great website they had visited and they uploaded links telling other like-minded people about them.

These links became know as “link love”. Link love happens when people manually add a link (from their blog or site) pointing to another site because they liked it, enjoy your content or find it interesting.

In fact, Yahoo! actually started out as one such “web directory” and had a staff whose sole purpose was to manually categorize and index the thousands of new websites every day. But as the web become home to more and more websites, software robots began to “spider the web” following links from one site to another and keeping records without the aid of human indexers.

Google was and still has the most powerful and comprehensive search software or “spider bots” on the planet although other search engines are fighting to keep up. But the importance of linking or link love is still just as important if not more so.

This is because a search engine’s robotic software uses a super secret and very complex mathematical formula to figure out the number and quality of incoming or inbound links (also called backlinks) to a website or blog. And then use that formula to determine a site’s overall “popularity” with the public.

This secondary kind of “link love” affects how high on a search engine’s results pages (SERPs) a site will appear. The higher up on the results list or ranking, the more traffic a site will get with a corresponding increase in visitors and hopefully sales.

So as you can quickly see the more and better quality backlinks pointing to your site, then the more and better all your other business statistics will become over time.