As a webmaster and an ex-link builder, I have the amazing ability to understand how both link building and creating a quality website work, and to be honest if you want to succeed and grow a website at an accelerated rate, then making sure that you properly use link building is extremely important.
Let's start off with the easier of the two definitions or rather the easier to explain the side of the "web fence". It is important to understand that many people have their own understanding of what link building is, so believe that link building is when you get an email from some character offering to pay you to publish an article with links that lead to another company's page. Or it can mean that you are being paid to create bridging points between high-quality websites.
Now the above viewpoints seem quite conflicting, however, according to WordStream their definition of link building is the following;
Link building (alternative spellings include linkbuilding and link-building) refers to the process of getting external pages to link to a page on your website. It is one of the many tactics used in search engine optimization (SEO)
This is the most basic yet accurate definition of link building that there is out on the internet.
Reason for link building
As a webmaster, it is extremely important for me to make use of link building for various reasons, some of them are;
- Backlinks - which increase my web pages crawl status on Google
- Domain Authority (DA)
- Page Authority (PA)
- Alexia rank
- Increased unique web traffic
These are just a small amount of the many benefits that making use of link building can do for you as a webmaster. When looking at the benefits that making use of link building can have for a site, one can't help but wonder if there are any negative aspects of making use of link building. To be honest, there is only one real negative aspect of using link building, and that only really happens when you choose to make use of bad links.
What do I mean ?
As a webmaster, it is so important to ensure that you make sure that you are link building on quality sites.
This means that the links which you choose to accept and publish on your website, link back to a reputable site, which is relevant to your website. As webmasters, we are restricted to the Webmaster's guidelines, which we agree to when we have google index our sites. Within the webmaster's guidelines it states that if we are not in aliment with the terms of agreements and rules that Google has put forward, we are subject to punishment and in worst cases total removal of our websites. It is imperative to know that using bad quality links that link back to poor websites, drastically increases your chance of being caught by Google, which often results in any form of punishment.
Why being punished is a bad thing ?
One of the worst things that can happen to any webmaster is to be punished for bad link building tactics. These Bad link building tactic work really well at increasing the speed of which a website advances at within the Google search index, however, the negative side effects of being caught by Google could ultimately result in webmasters being banned from ever building websites within the Google search index. What makes these bad tactics so effective is that webmasters and link brokers choose to make use of inorganic linkbuilding, link their websites to other websites with a high page and domain authority, the aim for them is to link the lower ranked website to as many high PA and DA sites, whether or not the website is actually related to the site to which it is being linked to.
This turbo charges the website as it is now getting a higher peer rating, which is bringing more traffic to the lower ranked site, combine that with the mass of links which the website now has and the rankings of the site will begin to shoot up. However, because of the nature of Google's search algorithms, having a large network of backlinks and websites is a perfect bait to attract both Penguin and Panda. If the site and the link building was done to the site was done in an organic manner then it should not be a problem for the website to pass the initial inspection. With the case of bad link building practice and inorganic content, it is a webmaster's nightmare as Panda and Penguin will pick up any discretions and punish any party involved in the malpractice.
The punishment can vary depending on how serious the discretion or infringement was, most webmasters who are punished by Google, only receive a warning as the issue that was found was a minor one, in the case of the example above, the webmaster would more than likely have his or her site removed and be banned by Google.
When is a site taken done ?
When a site is removed from Google, all the sites that that site was linked to will be inspected, in most cases if the website was not promoting that site and there are only no-follow links leading from the site that was punished to the other sites the site are not punished. If Panda and Penguin find that another website was or is using the same linking tactics that the site which has been taken done, then there will be a form of punishment issued by Google.
It is extremely important to make use of organic link building tactics as not only do they help improve your website's standings within the Google search ranking index, making use of organic link building will also protect you and your website from being punished by Google's Panda and Penguin for malpractice.