SEO Link Building: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Over the last decade, link building has been a pivotal portion of the SEO conversation in some form. As the internet grows and more links are created, the competition to have consumers find your links online continues to grow more fierce. Search engines depend on links created on the internet to effectively rank pages and businesses. Finding an effective edge while using white-hat techniques approved by search engines is a must for any company looking to compete online and grow search queries. But what are the best ways to implement a link building strategy without shade from the Google Gods? Here is the good, bad and the ugly of link building in today’s search engine environment.


What Is Link Building?

As discussed in the intro, search engines use links to determine relevant information for searches across the web. Without getting too technical, the more relevant links you have online, the more likely you are to increase website visits. This in turn can help produce more visitors, leads and improve brand recognition. Link building refers to the creation of links online and the techniques used to reach this end goal.


The Best Ways to Create Links

Google and other search engines continually hone their algorithm to provide the best and most relevant information for consumers. For those attempting to show up in these searches, the best and most effective way to compete is to continually create relevant and informative content that provides answers and explanations to those entering the search queries. Doing this consistently and submitting these links to search engines can help boost the number of queries you show up for and the ranking of your links in existing queries. This can be on internal pages or certain external pages online.

This does not mean you need to dump hundreds of new pages with relevant information at once. In fact, that may be a red flag for search engines. Focus on adding content over time and consistently providing the information your consumer desires to make the decision to use your services or buy your products. Create a content plan that includes new site pages and blog posts that are posted consistently and with desired content to turn visitors into consumers and evangelists.

The Bad

In an attempt to create relevant links on other websites, many marketers began link swapping on websites. Basically, one website would reach out to another and create a page that had a link to their website in exchange for in-kind favors. This created a cycle of irrelevant links on external pages. This was an effective tool for a time, until search engines wised up and put a halt to this practice. The next popular loophole was paying to have links listed on sites that focus on specific regions, topics, etc. While it is still a good tactic to write for external pages and have links to your site on these pages, avoid websites that force you to pay to have your content and links on the page. They are likely on watch lists with search engines and may cause your site to be flagged as well.

The Ugly

In previous years, search engines did not define links by what was listed on each page. This led to marketers racing to online directories all over the internet attempting to create links. Directories were being set up in foreign countries so businesses could list links on their pages and continue to boost their SEO clout. This is far from the case today. Avoid any directories that are built specifically for link generation. Search engines take this very seriously and can black flag your website for these links.

Not All Directories are Evil

This does not mean directories are all evil. Stick to directories that are actually used by consumers you target such as the YellowBook, Angie’s List, CitySearch, etc. These are examples of what a legitimate directory looks like and can help boost your local SEO rankings.

Follow these guidelines and you will be on your way to creating legitimate, white-hat links online. Atria Media Group is the leader in Utah local SEO, PPC Management and national SEO strategies. Reach out to Atria today for a free consultation and start your journey towards search success!