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Contact South West Web Marketing What is Link Building?

Why Are Backlinks So Important To Your Law Firm?

How to imrove your search engine ranking for your law firm

Link building is the online process of obtaining inbound links, or asking other sources on the Web to add hyperlinks on their websites that point to yours. Inbound links are a big concern for businesses and marketers on the Web because they are possibly one of the most important factors that impact search engine rankings, especially on Google. This gives inbound links the potential to significantly affect your keywords performance, SERPs and therefore your law business.

Why Are Backlinks So Important To Your Law Firm?

Links are paths between websites and web pages on the Web - A link is really just a path for visitors and search engines to get from one page to another on the Internet. The search engines use links to scan the Web and find relevant websites when people search for certain and specific keywords. These links are also important within a single website, helping users and search engines easily navigate and find the information they need.

Link building is one of the most important factors in boosting search rankings for your legal website. And link building is one of the most important factors in boosting search rankings. Google takes back linking very seriously both in the how it's been obtained and how ethical and relevant the link is.

An example of a good backlink would be - For the Money Saving Expert website, Martin Lewis discussing "Continuing Healthcare Funding" with a link from the legal businesses site back to the original article. The backlink here is from the CHC legal firm to www.moneysavingexpert.com and a specific page. In this instance the link would have been instigated by the legal firm, but it could have worked just as well if MSE requested a backlink as the law firm’s services are relevant.

Why Are Backlinks Important To Your Legal Businesses Websites SEO?

Google pioneered the use of backlinks as a major search engine ranking signal back in the late 1990s, using them as a "vote" or a nod of popularity. Google's algorithm then assigned different values to backlinks based on a link's location and the strength of the linking website. From then, Google and other search engines have created more sophisticated algorithms that evaluate even more aspects of link data, combining that information with many other metrics that ultimately determine how high a website ranks for a given term or phrase.

Despite the addition of other ranking signals, inbound links still have a major impact on rankings. What makes link building challenging is the way search engines grade the quality and relevance of links pointing to a website. Having more links than your competitors no longer guarantees that you will achieve higher rankings. In fact, links can now get your website penalized from Google.

Penguin and Google's Continuing War on Backlink Spam

In the spring of 2012, Google rolled out an algorithm update that drastically changed the future of search engine optimization. Named "Penguin," this update was aimed to prevent websites that used spammy or "black hat" link building tactics.

Webmasters who had previously loaded up their sites to improve their search engine standings - using tactics like buying links, dropping them in online directories and blog comments, and trading them through other link networks - would have suddenly saw their online traffic plummet. Google started issuing manual penalties to websites with inbound links deemed "unnatural," resulting in a drastic drop in rankings or, in some cases, banishment from SERPs. Google updates Penguin several times per year, and has plans to eventually release a version that updates in real time. Webmasters can combat Penguin penalties by monitoring their internal and inbound links, removing what they can and disavowing (asking Google to ignore) the rest.

Link Building for Law Firms Today

Google has introduced several adjustments to the infamous Penguin algorithm update, and is continuing to refine the way it assesses links and the quality of the websites based on that. As Penguin evolves and gets better at spotting the unnatural links, it's more important than ever for webmasters to stay up-to-date with all ill-advised and black hat tactics. Guest posting is one recent example of a marketing tactic that was highly effective for branding and building traffic; but when Google recognized that some marketers were using it exclusively for link building purposes, they cautioned against possible penalties.

As long as search engines use links to determine rankings, online marketers will continue to find new ways of generating inbound links. To date the safest approach is to keep within the spirit of Google's guidelines. Focus on the links as a conduit to audiences that will appreciate your legal content, rather than a signal for a search engine crawler. Instead of focusing exclusively on how to build links, channel some of those efforts into creating valuable content that webmasters and users worldwide genuinely want to share.

Tags: Link Building For Legal Businesses, Building Backlinks For Law Firms