Search Engines see links from other websites to your own similar to “votes for” your website. If your website pages have more links, or higher quality links, than other websites then it will out-rank them in search results.
Building the “authority” of a domain by acquiring links is a key aspect of search engine optimisation.
By acquiring links from “high quality” websites, your site can also receive an increased amount of traffic from those other websites.
Links, “backlinks”, “in-links”, “followed links”, “acquired links” are all terms used frequently within search marketing circles.
How does a website acquire links?
Link Acquisition is the practice of gaining a link from another website to your own. There are a number of ways to achieve this, including:
- Creating a linkable asset on a website that’s compelling enough to attract links from other sites
- Hosting any kind of linkable asset on a website and promoting it so others are likely to link to it
- Developing relationships with others who may offer you a link for free
- Developing relationships with others who will offer you a link or in exchange for goods, services or assistance
- Manually creating links from a website under your control
- Submitting your site to other sites which will link to you for free or in exchange for a fee or a reciprocal link
Adhering to Google’s guidelines
There are a number of Link Acquisition tactics that are against Google’s guidelines.
The value of links acquired in ways that violate those guidelines can be devalued and the websites involved in the scheme penalised, or “de-indexed” (removed) from search engine results.
Link Acquisition, or Link Building?
Link Acquisition as a general term is often and perhaps more commonly referred to as ‘Link Building’.
There is on-going discussion within the Digital Marketing industry as to the merits of ‘Link Building’ as a term. Some feel it has connotations of “spammy” practices. Link Acquisition encompasses every way that links are obtained – whether they are earned or built – and there are very legitimate, non-spammy ways of building links.
Link Acquisition can be a by-product of Content Marketing, a practice that isn’t specifically focused on acquiring links, but marketing a business, website or entity through content tailored for particular audiences.