Top 5 Link Rules for SEO

The anatomy of a link, how to get links, & how to be consistent.

Chain with golden link
How Links Rule the Search Engines.

Link building is one of the foundational elements of search engine optimization. Link building is one of the main off-page portions of on-page and off-page SEO factors. Without a solid network of backlinks, your website will be invisible to search engine’s organic results. That’s why it’s important to know some link basics.

These five rules should help you understand the reason behind links and why you need more links pointing to your website. Remember, more links means more traffic – both from the actual links, but especially from the search engines.

Link Rule #1: Links Reflect Value

Search engines discovered early on that links reflect value. Links are votes of confidence from websites that certain external content is valuable. When websites link to other content, they are transferring their brand and authority to the linked-to content.

But this practice didn’t start with the internet. Businesses have been relying on customer testimonials to build trust with new prospects for centuries. Websites have now joined the testimonial game. Website now new links for a new sort of customer to trust them: the search engines. When search engines see those links, they reward that website with more organic traffic.

Link Rule #2: Great Content Earns Links

Great content earns links. Let me say it again – great content earns links. If you post good articles, podcasts, or video content, website owners and editors will reward you with referring links. However, if you’re posting mediocre posts, you may get indexed, but you’ll never go viral with your ‘blah, blah’ post.

On the other hand, great content doesn’t necessarily get more links – at least at first. Most bloggers discover early on that most people aren’t listening to them. You have do some basic things to gain traction in a crowded market. But you won’t have to worry about it if your content is worthless. So provide some value already!

Link Rule #3: Use Multiple Tactics to Earn Links

There are a number of ways to start building links to your website. They can be separated into basic link building and more strategic methods. Regardless, make sure you’re building links using several tactics.

Basic link building includes social bookmarking, blog comments (at non-nofollow blogs), directory submissions, and other labor-intensive, but effective methods. Strategic methods include things like link bait and even filing lawsuits. For a better list of link building strategies, check out: SEO Book: 101 Link Building Ideas

Link Rule #3: Every Website Has Inbound Link Potential

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the forest from the trees. When you’re so tied to your website, it’s hard to understand how your website content might be useful to other communities, blogs, or websites.

Step back and consider who might benefit from your website. After you get a list of prospects, send a polite nudge to those website owners to possibly include your link on a list of resources. You won’t be successful every time. However, the links you acquire will be very valuable for ranking.

Link Rule #5: Always Be Link Building

Finally, always be link building. If you want to rank for keywords or maintain your rankings in the organic results, you need to constantly acquire new links for your content. If you fail at this basic task – over time – your competition will overtake your website.

There are several ways to do that. For one, you can build links yourself. That’s very time-consuming for most website owners, but there are alternatives. You can also find a good SEO consultant to help you build links or just hire an SEO agency – even if they’re in India. Whatever you do, find an ethical SEO to build links for your site every month so you can grow your organic traffic.