The biggest misconception of link building is that it is solely intended to increase your rank within the search engines. The majority of us who use this train of thought would then proceed to get as many links for their site from any sources available, without understanding the real value behind carrying out this time consuming project. Not only do you obtain a large number of irrelevant links that will not benefit you, but you have wasted precious time and missed out on a lot of targeted traffic.
So what is the true value of link building? First and foremost, it should be intended to generate quality traffic for your business. If you keep this thought in mind when carrying out your assignment, then you are most certainly going to obtain relevant links along the way that will help to boost your exposure within the search engines, making it a win / win situation.
A good example would be this article. Once it is submitted to several article directories, people who are searching for information on link building will most likely read this information posted. At the bottom is a link to my site which is based on offering search engine marketing services and link building campaigns. If a reader was interested in finding out more, there is a high chance that they will follow through on my link and read up about my services. In this case, not only have I generated a quality lead, but I have also attained a relevant link from the article directory. If twenty people read my article each day and ten people where to click through to my website, then you can obviously see that the link building has done its job in attracting targeted visitors.
However, if I was to write up an article on the latest mobile phones and provided a link to my website, then there is a very high chance that a reader will not follow through on the link. A search engine works in the same respect. Just like a human visitor, why should it read up on marketing services if it's currently reading an article on mobile phones? From this a search engine can see that the link was placed for the sole purpose of link building and has no genuine relationship. As a result, no targeted traffic will come through to my site and the link will not benefit me in any way.
At the end of the day it all boils down to the quality of the link. Another good example is: if you were to have two restaurants to choose from and two different people recommending which one to eat at, you are most likely to take the advice of the person who has more authority on the subject of restaurants. In a similar manner, a search engine will follow and count the relevance of a link based on where the link to you is coming from and if there is a common factor between the sites.
The key to developing good linking strategies that will help your site's performance in the search engines is to ask yourself the following: will my link entice someone to click on it, which in turn generates quality traffic? Answering "yes" and using this methodology when carrying out your task will attract visitors interested in what you have to offer as well as collect you valuable links.Every now again there are new methods on how to develop a successful link building campaign. At the same time, new loop holes are being found on how to exploit these methods. Eventually it will come to a point where these loop holes cease to exist. So to avoid getting caught up in the confusion, working toward a campaign that is totally focused on generating quality traffic is the best way to ensure that you are not wasting your time and hard earned dollars with attaining pointless links.