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How Does Link Building Help SEO?

By the Rhino Rank team
15th Apr 2024

If you’re wondering “how does link building help SEO?”, the answer is simple. Building high quality links is the most effective way to boost your site’s authority, increase search rankings, and generate more website traffic.

In this blog post, we will explain the impact link building on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and demonstrate how strategic backlinks can be a game-changer for your website’s online presence and reputation.

Key Takeaways

  • High quality backlinks from reputable and authoritative domains are critical for enhancing a website’s credibility, relevance, and search engine rankings.
  • There are many different types of links, such as dofollow links and nofollow links, and internal links and external links. Each link type should be used strategically to ensure a balanced and natural backlink profile.
  • Effective link building strategies, such as curated link building, guest posting, and broken link building, are essential for acquiring valuable backlinks and improving domain authority.

The Power of Links in SEO

In the digital world, links act as bridges connecting web pages together, creating a complex network that search engines use to understand and index websites and their content. However, did you know that these links also impact a website’s online visibility, online reputation, and position in the search results?

High quality backlinks from authoritative domains are prioritized by Google and other major search engines, and have a much stronger impact on your SEO performance. So, by creating marketing strategies that build and attract links from authoritative websites in your industry, you can improve your website’s standing in the search results.


Boosting Search Engine Rankings

You might wonder, how exactly does link building influence your website’s rankings? Let’s examine this further.

When your website attracts a high quality backlink, it sends a positive signal to search engines that your site is a valuable resource. This is because links from other websites act as virtual recommendations, and essentially tell search engines “This page offers valuable content, and we endorse it enough to share it with our audience.” Search engines like Google recognize these endorsements and regard them as signals of your website’s trustworthiness and relevance. These signals can dramatically improve your visibility in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Therefore, the number and quality of backlinks to your website can significantly influence your site’s reputation and authoritativeness. This means websites that have a higher number of quality backlinks are more likely to rank well in search results.

However, the keyword here is “quality.” This is because not all links are created equal. Building a mountain of low quality backlinks won’t do you any good. Instead, it is important to focus your link building efforts on acquiring high quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites. These are the kind of links that search engines love and reward with better rankings.

Establishing Domain Authority

Apart from enhancing your search engine rankings, link building plays a significant role in establishing your website’s domain authority.

But what is domain authority? A site’s domain authority is a score that assesses a website’s credibility, trustworthiness and predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). This score is on a scale of 1 to 100 and one of the key factors in boosting your domain authority is, you guessed it, building high quality backlinks.

The more backlinks your website has from high authority sources, the better its domain authority will be, and therefore the higher it will rank on the search results and the more organic traffic it will generate. But remember, relevance matters. Links that are relevant to your site’s content are more valuable in boosting domain authority than irrelevant ones.

So, how can you acquire these relevant, high quality backlinks? Strategies such as building curated links, guest blogging, and identifying reputable websites for outreach can be effective.

Types of Links and Their Impact on SEO

It’s crucial to understand that in the world of SEO, not all links are equal in value.

The 4 different types of links are:

  • Internal links
  • External links
  • Dofollow links
  • Nofollow links

Each link type plays a unique role in influencing a website’s authority and search rankings. Therefore, understanding these differences and how to leverage each link type effectively is crucial to your SEO success.

Dofollow vs. Nofollow Links

Links can either be categorised as dofollow links or nofollow links.

  • Dofollow links tell search engine crawlers to follow the link, allowing authority and link equity to be passed on. Therefore, building dofollow links will directly impact a website’s SEO performance, boosting its authority and ranking ability.
  • Nofollow links, on the other hand, are tagged with a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag, which tells search engines to ignore the link and not pass on any PageRank. This means that these links have no direct impact on a site’s SEO performance.

While it might seem like dofollow links are the way to go when link building for SEO, a natural and diverse backlink profile that includes both dofollow links and nofollow links is essential to unlocking your site’s full SEO potential. This is because building dofollow links contributes directly to rankings, while nofollow links support the overall quality of your link profile and boost your online credibility by signalling to search engines the legitimacy of a site.

Internal vs. External Links

Depending on where a link is placed, it can either be categorised as an internal link or an external link.

  • Internal links are hyperlinks that connect two pages from the same website together. These links make it easier for search engines to navigate your website and index page content.
  • External links are hyperlinks that connect two different websites together. These links are what contribute to your website’s authority, credibility, and search rankings.

However, it’s not just about having internal and external links, it’s about using them strategically. For example, placing internal links high up on the page with descriptive anchor text can have a direct impact on your SEO. This is because this link placement improves site navigation, distributes page authority, and enhances the user experience, all of which signal to Google that users find your content valuable. When it comes to external links, linking to authoritative and relevant pages is the best way to enhance your SEO effectiveness.

In addition, it’s crucial to maintain a clean and functional link structure by auditing external and internal links to avoid having any broken links or unnecessary redirects that can harm user experience and SEO. Using tools like Google Search Console will allow you to audit your link profile and ensure that low-priority pages are not receiving excessive internal links, and that your external links are high quality and not being obtained from spammy websites.

Link Building Strategies for SEO Success

Having covered the basics of link types and their impact on SEO, it’s time to address the heart of the matter – the strategies for building these valuable links.

Effective link building strategies involve various link building tactics such as creating high quality content, building curated links, guest posting on reputable sites, and leveraging broken link building techniques.

Content Marketing

High quality content is the cornerstone of successful link building. Whether it’s an original research article, a comprehensive how-to guide, or a new product launch, content that provides unique value is always going to attract the most backlinks. The reason is simple: high quality content significantly contributes to a website’s authority and visibility as other websites will be sharing your content with their audience, earning you backlinks in the process.

But what exactly is high quality content?

In simple terms, high quality content is content that aligns with user intent and the buyer’s journey. It accurately addresses the target audience’s needs and provides value that they can’t find anywhere else. This kind of content is more likely to generate natural links due to increased user engagement.

In addition, certain types of content, such as infographics and other forms of visual content, can result in enhanced user interaction and a greater likelihood of being shared and linked to, given their engaging and easily-digestible nature.

Guest Posting

Guest posting is another effective way of building high quality links.

But what is guest posting?

A Guest Post is a blog or article that is written and published on someone else’s website and includes a link back to your site. This is the best way for a website to earn topical relevancy signals, helping business owners reach a wider audience and improve their brand authority and keyword rankings.

However, for guest posting to be an effective link building strategy, the content must be valuable and relevant to the host site’s audience. You can’t just write a generic blog post and expect it to earn you high quality backlinks. The key is to create content that offers unique insights and provides real value to the audience.

Choosing the right guest posting opportunities is also crucial. Consider the following factors when selecting guest posting partnerships:

  • The site’s domain authority and traffic numbers
  • The site’s content quality and editorial guidelines
  • The current audience engagement of the site
  • The site’s niche and relevance to your industry

By selecting the right guest posting opportunities, you can build high quality links from authoritative sites that match your business values and enhance your brand visibility.

Curated Links & Niche Edits

Unlike Guest Posts, Curated Links don’t require you to create new content. Instead, links are added to authoritative, highly relevant websites that are on domains that have already been indexed by Google.

For this reason, curated link building is the most effective and affordable way to improve a website’s authority, organic traffic, and keyword rankings.

However, for curated link building to be effective, it’s important to only build links from trustworthy websites. If a site becomes associated with poor-quality, spammy, or unrelated websites, it can lose credibility in the eyes of both search engines and users, which can negatively impact the website’s SEO performance.

Therefore, many businesses choose to partner with an experienced backlink agency in order to build links that boost their site’s SEO metrics and deliver long-term, sustainable results. At Rhino Rank, we’re proud of the results we deliver for our clients, and with over 14,000 businesses choosing to partner with us, you know our links are going to generate the results you need.

Broken Link Building

Broken link building is a clever strategy where website owners identify broken external links on other websites and suggest linking to their own relevant content as a replacement. This method is extremely effective because it allows website owners to fix their broken links, while enabling you to gain new backlinks.

To find broken links on web pages, SEO practitioners use tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush to identify and analyse a website’s link portfolio. You can even use these SEO tools to check for broken pages on a competitor’s domain, providing new opportunities for link replacement.

When conducting broken link building outreach, it’s important to be polite and helpful. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Craft personalized outreach emails to show genuine interest in the website and its audience
  2. Clearly identify the broken link on their website and offer your content as a replacement
  3. Explain the value of your content and how it would enhance their audience’s online experience

Measuring Link Building Results

Link building is a crucial part of boosting your website’s visibility. However, equally important is the measurement and evaluation of your link building efforts. Regularly assessing your site’s backlinks and evaluating their link quality is crucial for understanding their impact on your SEO performance. After all, what’s the point of investing time and effort into building links if you don’t know whether it’s paying off?

You can also assess the quality of your backlinks using these tools. Factors such as the linking site domain authority score, spam score, and number of referring domains can all be used to assess the quality of a site, and therefore the quality of its backlinks.

By assessing these factors, you can determine the effectiveness of your backlinks in improving your SEO, refine your link building strategy, and achieve better results.

Tracking Backlinks

Tracking backlinks is a vital aspect of measuring the success of your link building efforts.

To effectively track backlinks, you’ll need a reliable SEO tool. Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush can all be used to provide detailed insights into your backlink profile. These tools provide comprehensive backlink data, making it easy to monitor your link profile’s growth and identify any potential issues.

But tracking backlinks isn’t just about counting the number of links you have. It’s also about understanding the impact of these backlinks on your SEO performance. Key metrics to track include changes in your domain authority score, the amount of referral traffic coming to your site, and the conversions or sales that are generated from each backlink. These metrics provide valuable insights into the quality of your backlinks and their contribution to your SEO success.

How Does Link Building Help SEO?

Evaluating link quality is another vital aspect of measuring your link building efforts.

But how do you determine whether a backlink is high quality or not?

One way is by looking at the authority and trust measurements of each linking site, such as their Domain Authority Score, Referring Domain Score, and the number of other links on the linking page.

Another important factor is the relevance of the backlinks created. A link from a website that’s relevant to your industry or niche is more valuable than a link from an unrelated site. The anchor text, known as the clickable text in a hyperlink, should also be contextually relevant and not solely focused on SEO to ensure clarity for users and search engines.

By considering these factors, you can effectively evaluate link quality, gain valuable insights into your backlinks’ effectiveness, and refine your link building strategy for improved SEO.

Common Link Building Mistakes to Avoid

Link building can be a complex SEO tactic, and even with the best intentions, mistakes can be made. These mistakes can have serious consequences, potentially resulting in penalties from search engines and having a negative SEO impact.

Here are the 3 link building mistakes you should avoid to ensure you achieve the best SEO results.

1. Prioritizing Quantity over Quality

One of the most common errors is to focus too much on the quantity of backlinks, overlooking their quality. So, while it might be tempting to build a mountain of backlinks, remember that not all links are created equal.

A common saying is that having 10 high quality links will drive better results than having 100 low quality links. This is because low quality or spammy backlinks can damage your site’s reputation, reduce your credibility and domain authority, and can even cause your site to receive penalties from search engines.

Therefore, instead of focusing on the quality of links you build, concentrate on securing high quality backlinks from reputable and relevant sites. This is undoubtedly the best way to boost your SEO performance.

2. Avoiding Black Hat Tactics

Engaging in black hat SEO tactics is an extremely risky strategy that can severely impact a site’s search engine optimization.

These unethical practices aim to manipulate the search results and directly violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. If you are caught black hat link building, you can receive penalties from Google that can result in your site seeing a reduction in online visibility and rankings, and in the most sever cases your site could be completely de-indexed from Google.

Therefore, to ensure SEO success, it’s important to always adhere to ethical, white hat link building practices to ensure your efforts pay off in the long run.

3. Over-Optimizing Anchor Text

Over-optimizing anchor text is another mistake that can impact your link building efforts. While it may seem like a good idea to use your target keywords as the anchor text for all your backlinks, doing so can actually harm your SEO performance. This is because building lots of exact-match anchor text links is considered spammy and can lead to Google penalties, negatively impacting your rankings. To avoid this, it’s essential to conduct proper keyword research before deciding on which anchor text to use.

To avoid over-optimization, vary your anchor text by:

  • Being cautious of the first link priority rule, where Google only counts the first link’s anchor text if there are identical links on the same page.
  • Ensuring your anchor text is descriptive, relevant, and offers value to readers.

Remember, the goal of link building isn’t just to improve your search rankings, it’s about enhancing user experience too. Which is why over-optimized anchor text can make your content feel unnatural. So, aim for a balanced approach that prioritizes both SEO and user experience.


Link building is a powerful SEO strategy and plays a crucial role in boosting search engine rankings, establishing domain authority, and driving organic traffic to a website. By understanding the different types of links and their impact on SEO, leveraging effective link building strategies, and avoiding common mistakes, you can harness the power of link building and take your business success to new heights. Remember, the key to successful link building lies in providing value, both to your audience and to other websites.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is link building for SEO?

Link building in SEO refers to the process of obtaining hyperlinks from other websites that point to your own website, which is essential for improving search engine rankings, domain authority, and organic traffic.

Why is link building important for SEO?

Link building is crucial as search engines consider links a primary ranking factor. High quality inbound links signal credibility and relevance of the linked page, ultimately leading to improved search engine rankings.

Is link building part of on-page or off-page SEO?

Link building is a type of off-page SEO. While on-page SEO focuses on optimizing content and user experience within a website, link building deals with enhancing a sites authority and visibility by carrying out work on other, external websites.

What is the difference between dofollow and nofollow links?

Dofollow links instruct search engine crawlers to follow the link, improving the webpages authority, credibility and ranking potential. Whereas nofollow links do not pass PageRank signals and have no direct SEO benefit.

What is the role of content marketing in link building?

Quality content is essential for attracting backlinks, which can enhance a website’s authority and visibility. Content that addresses user needs and aligns with their intent is more likely to earn natural links and improve a sites online visibility and rankings.

What are some common link building mistakes to avoid?

When building links, avoid prioritizing low quality links over high quality links, using black hat practices, and over-optimizing anchor text, as these can harm search engine rankings and damage SEO effectiveness.

How can I measure the success of my link building efforts?

You can measure the success of your link building efforts by regularly monitoring your website’s backlinks and evaluating their link quality using tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush. These insights provide valuable feedback on the impact of your link building efforts on SEO performance.