How Does Link Building Improve SEO?

A close-up of a bridge against a blue sky. White cables. link the road to the supporting pillar. The image is used to illustrate how link building improves SEO.

To attract high-quality links and improve your SEO, you need high-quality content.

The digital world changes fast. A few years ago, everyone working in SEO (search engine optimization) knew Google’s search algorithm and it was easy to hack the system to get your website on the first page of search results. Today, the algorithm is no longer public information and the hacks that were once so successful — like keyword stuffing and buying links — do more harm than good. ​

What is Link Building?​

Link building is the practice of generating links from another website to your brand’s website. This practice is a critical component of any SEO effort because search engines use these links as a signal that your content is valuable.

The value of a backlink depends upon the authority of the originating website. A link from Forbes, The Boston Globe, or Inc. has a great deal more authority than a link from your local Chamber of Commerce and is thus weighed more heavily by the search engine. So one of the goals of link building is to increase the number of links to your website from sources that search engines consider credible and authoritative. In addition to the quality of the source, it is also important to have backlinks from multiple sources. Ten backlinks from one high-quality source is worth less than the same number of backlinks from two or more high-quality sources.

Link building is highly effective, but link schemes will hurt your ranking.
Search engines like Google don’t like it when we try to hack their system instead of simply following best practices. Over the years people have come up with countless schemes to build links without simply doing the work. Buying links, trading links, and using automated programs or services to create links to your site are all considered link schemes and violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

What is the most effective way to build links?

The most effective, sustainable way to build links is to focus on content marketing. When you write relevant, helpful content it gets found, cited, and shared. It attracts the right kind of links — those that can be interpreted by search engines as editorial votes given freely and by choice. The better the content, the more likely you are to attract readers and writers willing to share it.

​If you need help writing high-quality, link-building content, contact us.

Anne Richardson

Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management, and SEO.


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Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.

In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts and hosts our BSuite podcast. Favorite topics for both platforms include the entrepreneurial journey, sustainability + social responsibility, media planning, media buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.