Links play a very important role in where your website rank in the search engines. They are consider vote of confidence from other websites and the more links you got the better your website is believed to be. Or at-least that used to be the case. The situation today is a little more complicated because not all sites are equally trusted and a vote of confidence from a trusted site can be worth hundreds of even thousands of votes from less trusted websites.
Your link building strategy can make or break your website. A good link building campaign can lay the foundation for a website that is going to be successful for decades to come. A bad link building campaign can cause your website irreparable harm.
In this article I am going to focus on link building strategies in general, If you want to know more about a particular strategy then i recommend that you read my article devoted to different strategies.
Content is king,…..
The most important factor for a website to rank is to have good content. Good content is content that provide the visitor with the information they are looking for when they find you through the search engines. It is content that entice the reader to stay on your page and read your content.
Google like to make their users and SEO:s believe that they are very good at identifying good content and pushing it to the top. This is not true. Google is a lot dumber then it likes to make us think and the rankings still rely heavily on links. With this said. Google:s algorithms are a lot smarter then they were just a few years ago and they are a lot more likely to detect if you try to manipulate their search engine to push a bad page to the top. You could say that Google have become very good at spotting bad pages but they still need link signals to identify the best pages.
Evey thing below assumes that you already have a well designed website with good content. If you do not then you should focus on getting that first before you start building links. High quality pages will only link to other high quality pages and your website will not reach the top of google no matter how many links you get if it is crap.
Quality over quantity
It used to be that you could point a large quantity of low quality links from social bookmarking sites and profile pages toward a site to get it to rank well. Those days are over. Low quality links will provide very little help in your attempts to reach the top in Google. Low quality links might actually do more harm then good if you have a lot of low quality links and only a few high quality links.
I do not recommend that you use any link building method that gives you links that are not editorial. This includes forum signatures, profiles, wiki links, blog comments and low quality directories. If there is no editorial process to get the links then they will have little to no value.
Building these types of links is easy but they provide so little value that it is not worth spending your time doing it. It is better to spend 5 hours getting one quality link than it is to use it to make 100 blog comments.
Never use automated tools to build links. These links are worthless even if they might give you a short term boost in the SERP. Focus 100% on quality links.
A quality links is a link from a real website with real content. A website that takes care to only link to other quality pages and that has a lot of quality links pointing towards it. A link from the home page of a site is usually stronger than a link from sub pages but this is not always the case. Sometimes there are sub pages that are more popular than the index page.
A good quality link should ideally be from a page that is relevant to the topic it links to on your website or that is surrounded by relevant text even it the page itself covers a different topic.
The anchor text for each link that links to your website will help determine how high you rank in the search engines. It is important to have a strategy both for how to build links and for which keywords to use in which anchor. Your anchor text strategy is just as important as your link strategy. You can read more about anchor text strategies in my article here.