Digital Marketing | MIN READ

SEO Link-Building: What Is It? 10 Reasons Why Your Website Needs It

Baraka Kalumba

SEO Manager


SEO link building is one of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices that you can do to improve a website’s search engine ranking. It enhances the site’s visibility and quality and generates website traffic. This article explains SEO link-building and how your website can enjoy it.

What Is SEO Link Building?

SEO link building is the process of acquiring backlinks. Backlinks are links from external websites to your website, also known as incoming, inbound, or referring links. They are also links from one page on the same website to another web page, known as internal links.
According to Wikipedia, Link building is increasing the number of incoming links from external (and trustworthy) websites to your website. This is to improve the quality and search engine ranking of your website.
Backlinks are seen as letters of recommendation from those websites (usually ones that Google already trusts) to yours. These websites endorse your website, and the more websites there are pointing to your website, the more Google relies on your website.
If well set up, using internal links also helps search engines find your website. If the search engine crawler finds your website through a backlink from another website and there are internal links on that web page, the crawler keeps following those links and finds more pages on your website.

Types of Backlinks

 Different types of backlinks include: 

Editorial Backlinks

These are links when another website cites your content as the source of certain information. You do not buy these links; you attract them because of the quality of the content on your website. 

Acquired Backlinks

You pay for these links as the site owner or get them by distribution. They are usually gained through paid advertisements, paid linking, comments on forums or blogs, reciprocal links, or link directories.
Examples of acquired links are:
1. Reciprocal links: These are links gotten when two website owners come together and decide to link out to each other’s websites. For instance, John and Mike have websites. John links to Mike’s website, and Mike returns the favor. Google stopped crediting this form of link building because it sees it as a sham.
2. Backlinks from comment: If you comment on an article on a blog or website, you are usually allowed to attach a link to your website or any website. Although spammers abuse this privilege, if well thought out, this form of backlinking can generate tons of traffic from that blog.
3. Directory links: Web or link directories are online lists of websites sorted into categories. While some directories accept payment before they list your website, some are free. 
4. Social bookmarking: Bookmarking is the process of saving the links to web pages you want to return to. You can do it on your device, which only you would have access to.
Social bookmarking allows users to add, save and edit links to web pages or articles they would love to go back to online. Social bookmarking is an online service, meaning you keep the links on the web instead of the browser’s bookmarking tool.
To do this, sign up on a social bookmarking site, like Pocket, and set up an account. When you see a link you like, you can save it to your account.

Because the settings are public, people can see the links others save and how many times those links have been saved. 
Because users save these bookmarks publicly, search engine crawlers that visit these social bookmarking sites scan those links. This form of backlinks has search engine optimization (SEO) value.
5. Image linking: Just as there are link directories, there are image directories. You can attach your website links with anchor texts to the images you submit to these directories.
6. Guest blogging: Guest blogging is writing an article or a piece about another website, linking back to that site, primarily to generate traffic for those websites.

Characteristics of Good Backlinks

While these backlinks are important, not all backlinks are valued equally. That is to say, links from certain websites are essential or weigh heavier than others. For this reason, you should not buy backlinks from many random sites because you want to rank higher on search engines.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, there are three backlinks in Google’s eyes: low-quality, medium-quality, and high-quality links. 
So many low-quality links would make little to no difference in boosting your site’s search engine ranking and seem like spam, while a few high-quality links could make all the difference in your site’s ranking.
Some of the factors to consider when receiving and allowing backlinks:


A backlink is suitable if your content is relevant to the content on that website that links to yours. Users who click on the link to your website have to find your content helpful to them or more information on said topic.
For example, if you own an engine parts website, a link from a fitness blog is not relevant to your line of expertise and would not be valuable to you or your website because it does not tell more about your business.


Usually, the reason for backlinks is not only to rank higher in SERPs but to gain more traffic flow from the websites that link to your website. When this is not the case, that is a problem.

Page Rank

Page rank (also known as link juice) is a search engine ranking score that predicts how much a web page is likely to rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the number of links pointing to that page (inbound links).
When a website sends outgoing links to your website, it transfers its page authority or link juice to yours. The more outgoing links a page has, the more its link juice reduces. 
For instance, two websites link to yours (one with a high page rank and one with a low page rank). The one with the high page rank sends one link to your site, while the one with the low page rank sends two.
The one with the high page rank transfers more link juice (even though it sends one link) than the page with the low page rank. This is because it has a high page rank and has more juice to give than the low-ranked page, despite the number of links sent.
It would be best to get backlinks from websites with higher page rankings than others.
You can use the Google page rank checker to determine the page ranks of your website.


Instead of buying links from random websites, which will do more harm to your website, it is best to let other websites link to yours naturally.
Search engine crawlers see multiple links from random websites as spammy, and the Google algorithm raises red flags on such links. You do not want that for your website.

10 Reasons Why Your Website Needs SEO Link-Building

We have established that SEO Link-building is a critical SEO practice. Why do you need to make this practice part of your SEO strategy? Here are ten reasons why:

1. Traffic Generation

When multiple other websites link to your website, traffic also flows to yours. When your website receives inbound links from other sites with many customers, there will be an increase in your website’s traffic.
For instance, you run an online grocery business, and Jane has a food blog. If Jane sends outgoing links to your website as the place to order some food items for a recipe that she wrote, people will follow that link to your website to check it out and maybe buy things too.

2. Site Ranking

The more incoming links a website has, the higher that website ranks on search engines. If multiple authentic and high-quality sites link to your website, it tells the search engine algorithm that your website and content are helpful and can be trusted. 

3. Visibility

When external websites send outgoing links to your website, it becomes more visible to search engine crawlers and users.
Search engine bots crawl existing websites (websites they have already visited) in search of new URLs. Then, they follow these links to the latest websites, crawl to find new ones, and discover new ones.
These pages that search engine crawlers have scanned are said to be indexed by Google or the search engine. If these pages link to yours, the search engine crawler follows that link and finds your page.

Also, when users go through an article linking to another relevant article on your website, they click on that link to read more.

4. Credibility

Google aims to provide its users with the best services and results. Having your website linked to many natural and relevant websites tells the Google algorithm that your article or content is trustworthy and relevant to whatever topic.
These websites linking to yours vouch for the quality of your content and tell Google that algorithm that can also trust your site.

5. Networking

While some inbound links come naturally, another way to get incoming links is by reaching out to companies in the same industry to link their content to yours. Doing this is great for networking because it builds and strengthens relationships in the industry.

6. Improve Conversions

Conversions occur when users visit your website and achieve their intended goal or buy something.
Having people visit your websites is one thing, but having them spend time on your site and not bounce off as soon as they get there is another thing. Conversion is more straightforward if there are links from relevant sites endorsing your site.
Also, the appropriate use of internal links improves your link-building strategy. It reduces bounce rates because it helps visitors and search engine crawlers to find more helpful content on different pages on our site.

7. Free Marketing

If other businesses are linked to yours, showing your content to an audience you could not reach, that is free advertising or marketing, which is one of the bonuses of SEO strategies.

8. Generating Income Passively

One thing that is better than just making money from your website is passively earning from your site. This means you earn money without being actively involved with your website by running extra ads, for instance. 
Sales could come in with all those links pointing to your business website.

9. Improve Domain Authority

Domain authority is a website metric measuring a website’s relevance in a specific industry. Backlinks are one of the factors responsible for improving a site’s domain authority.

10. Long-term Success

Multiple websites link to your website generates interactions long after you establish those links. Sales and referred traffic keep coming in from those links for as long as they exist.

Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO Link-Building

Although it is vital to add link-building to your SEO and marketing strategies, how those links are gotten is also very important.
White hat SEO Link-building is a form of link-building that follows Google’s approved SEO link-building guidelines. It involves measures taken to improve user experience and considers the long-term benefits of link building.
On the other hand, black hat (also known as unfavorable) SEO link-building is done to improve page ranking by manipulating Google’s algorithm. This form of link-building focuses on outranking other websites without making efforts to create high-quality and relevant content.


SEO link-building is an important SEO strategy. According to Google, Backlinks are one of the factors that improve search engine ranking. While link-building is acquiring links from websites other than your own to your website, backlinks are those links received.
Search engines have bots to determine between accurate or relevant links and unnatural links.
Pages tend to pass their rankings or authority to websites they are linked to. Also, the more outgoing links attached to a website, the more diluted the page authorities of those pages.

Although you can control what websites link to yours, you can remove the ones you disapprove of using the Google Disavow Link tool.