Link building should be part of the foundation of any successful web site marketing strategy. Since link popularity is such an important factor in determining page ranking, a campaign of link building can make a great deal of difference to your web site in terms of increasing your visibility through the search engines.
Since the vast majority of the traffic which comes to your site (like the traffic to all sites) will come to you via the search engines, it behooves website owners to implement any and all SEO practices which are ethical and effectively increase PageRank.
Having inbound links from other sites improves your site’s page rank, regardless of whether or not these links generate any traffic to your site themselves. While it certainly helps to have traffic coming in from these links, it is the links themselves rather than the visitors who do or do not arrive through these links which makes the real difference to your site in terms of SEO.
There are different types of link building campaigns, though broadly speaking, links can be categorized in one of two ways:
Reciprocal Links: These are links which are generated as part of a link exchange; you and another site agree to link to one another.
Non-Reciprocal Links: These are links from another website to whom your site does not link in return.
Which type of link is more desirable?
While it used to be that neither type of link was given more weight, it is now non-reciprocal links which are considered to be more valuable by the search engines and as a result, by webmasters.
Google and Yahoo now give reciprocal links a lower weight when determining page ranking. Reciprocal links are by no means worthless, though you’ll probably want to focus primarily on building non-reciprocal links given the choice.
Links which point in one direction only are taken to indicate the importance of the website to which they point and are more important to your page ranking. There’s nothing wrong with reciprocal links, but webmasters need to be aware that these links will have less of an impact on their site’s page rank.
As with any other aspect of your SEO efforts, link building does have a lot to do with the keywords for which your website is optimized; as such, you should decide on what these keywords will be before you begin implementing your link building strategies.