What Is Link Building? This article is building upon my first article on link building which was done a few years ago now, my original ideas and perspectives have changed and I will try to explain why here. Link Building is the process of creating inbound links to one’s own website or network. This can be done by reciprocal links, direct linking, signature links and social networking link backs. These different methodologies of link building alone are not enough to promote any site, they are required together, and unified link building of the different linking types is the way forward. The value of links within directories still cannot be devalued but an air of caution has to be shown now towards link building in this way, [submitting sites to directories in the masses]. Link building is one of the best ways to drive certain types of traffic to your site, but only when you link to quality, directly related sites with your own. I am still amazed today that we still see pointless linking between sites that have not relation in terms of content. You will rank better within search engines when you ensure that you have relevant content to the sites that you exchange links with. There are few types of linking as mentioned above, below is an explanation:- Reciprocal Links Reciprocal links or link exchanges are the process where two webmasters agree to show the other's link on their website. After link building when the number of sites which link to a particular site is known as link popularity which helps in the search engine ranking of a website. This is the most common method that we see today, but three way linking has become the norm, due to the Top 3 search engines devaluing reciprocal links between two sites, thus why 3 way linking is a solution. Direct Linking This is where you have a site directly link to your site. This is generally a costly move to make depending on how you execute the linking. Methods such as having direct linking from web directories do provide a direct link but do little towards rankings within search engines or traffic. Having direct links from high traffic sites will yield a better result. Signature Links One of the new best ways to build up relevant, trafficable links. When using a forum you are able to use your signature post put most anything within it [depending on those forums rules] to being able to use this space to link to your site. This builds up link backs to your site but also allows for keywords population of your link. Social Networking The new phenomenon that has grown over the past few years is social networking, highly trafficked but not used by webmaster to their potential. The use of social networking to building links to your site can work in two ways, both in terms of gaining real traffic to your site but also getting picked up by search engines. The use of using real profile linking, groups, applications and blogging within social networking sites can be used to promote your site and create quality links. Other quality links can be gained from having link backs from .gov, .edu and news organisational sites. Advantages of link building. 1. Link building can help in getting quality traffic from relevant sites when it done correctly 2 High quality incoming links the site will also be seen as a valuable resource such as edu, gov and news organisation sites. 3. Link building helps in creating awareness, visibility and credibility of your site. 4. The site also obtains wider search engine exposure but this can also lead to being “banned” is done too aggressively. 5. Can create genuine user traffic Today links have become important for all websites and they are worth the money. In fact, there are several companies dedicated to selling links (as opposed to companies that you can pay to do link building for you). This is a market, in my view, that has seen its day and has become saturated with pointless low-trafficed little PageRanked links. When looking to sell links on your site ensure you do it in a pure manner, meaning direct linking to a site and using quality keywords. How Do Directories Help? Within my last articles I had this area dedicated to directories and I still believe we should value web directories, but to an extent. Anyone who is anyone now sees it as a must to have a web directory which has saturated the market which has inevitably led to search engines devaluing these direction links. Its important to point out that directories are not seen as a source of traffic, but more in search engines optimisation of building links to a site. Web directories are collections of web pages with similar subjects and similar content. These directories help in many ways as they are extremely popular with Internet users as they are considered a source of valuable information, but it has to be pointed out that this trend is changing users are most looking to niche directories to provide them with relevant informative resources. Listings in directories improve your chances of Google PageRanking as well. If your site is listed in a directory, the search engines are more likely to find it and add it in their listings for free. Also submitting a site on directories helps in getting one way links [direct linking]. There are three kinds of traffic that you can get from the directories where you are listed. The first is click-through traffic, meaning that anyone who ends up on the directory page will be able to see your web site and information, and there is a good chance that they will visit. The second is indexing your site. Search engines will crawl the web directory, leading them to your site and as a consequence indexing your site. The last way that the directories will increase your traffic, is increasing your ranking on the search engines themselves as they find the volume of links and references to your web site within search engines. Overall link building is one of the most important steps in building a site; Getting quality links improves your PageRank and espouser to search engines but, more and more towards the end-user [your target audience] . Also the possibility of gaining traffic to your site. I have seen many do link building to death, over doing it can work in the short term but in the long run it can affect your site. Link building has to be a slow process over time to establish your site and entrench your search engine rankings.