Link Building for SEO The Beginner’s Guide

You’re here because you need links. You’ve likely heard that links (or backlinks) are what helps your website to rank higher in Google. And you need to learn how to build them. Well… we (Ahrefs) have been building tools for professional link builders for 10+ years now. So it would be fair to say that we know a thing or two about link building. In this guide, we have collected our best bits of knowledge and tried to explain all the intricacies of link building in simple terms so that you could easily put our advice to action. But before we dive in, here are just a few quick teasers insights to get things going: If you have a brand-new website, it’s best to kick things off by building a few dozen foundational links. It helps tremendously to have a prior relationship with a website owner before you ask for a link from them. People link to 

Adding links

This is when you go to a website that doesn’t belong to you and manually place your link there. The most common tactics that fit into this category are: Social profiles creation. Business directory submissions. Review site industry email list listings. Posting to forums, communities, and Q&A sites. Building links via those tactics is very easy to do. And for that exact reason, such links tend to have little to no value in the eyes of Google. Other than that, these kinds of links barely give you any competitive edge. If you can go to a website and manually place your link there, so can your competitors. And yet, this group of link building tactics should not be ignored completely. In fact, some professional link builders prefer to start with these kinds of links when they’re working with a brand-new website. They refer to it as building “foundational links.”

Google clearly pays attention to these profile pages

If you look at the “Knowledge” panel for Ahrefs (see the screenshot below), you’ll notice the links to our social profiles featured there. And we weren’t the ones Gambling DAT who added them. Google identified our social profiles on its own and linked them to the Ahrefs brand as part of its Knowledge Graph. Links in the “Knowledge” graph Yes, these kinds of links are either nofollow or very, very weak. Which means that they hardly move the needle when it comes to ranking in Google. But given that the “nofollow” attribute is now treated as a hint, there’s a chance that over time your profile pages will accrue some quality links of their own and might start bringing a bit of SEO value to your website. For example, Ahrefs’ profile page on Twitter boasts 11,000 backlinks, coming from over a thousand different websites. So I’m pretty sure it does have some “weight” in the eyes of Google.

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