An inbound link is any link that directs a user to a business’ website from an external site, including another website, social networks and more. Organic inbound links have become one of the most important ranking signals for businesses using SEO to drive their internet marketing practices, and link building promotes overall visibility across the web.

Internal Linking Example

Inbound links have become highly sought after for web marketers and most others managing websites. Aside from the technical SEO impact, they demonstrate both popularity and authority on a particular subject.

Inbound link building in SEO content marketing

As SEO is a primary marketing goal for businesses on the web, a comprehensive inbound link building strategy that includes social media, email marketing and other web channels can help businesses improve their visibility on SERPs.

Additionally, content marketing campaigns that populate a website with fresh, dynamic articles can increase readership, which will lead to organic inbound links as visitors share content. Google advocates quality website content marketing as the best method for building inbound links and improving search standing.

In terms of social media, businesses can use the channel to generate inbound links by sharing their content on various platforms and forums. As fans and followers click on links, they are likely to share articles. Ideally, other users will see these social links and click through, helping the business gain reach and website visitors.

Penguin-proof linkbuilding graphic 1
Click here to view Brafton’s Linking Guide

Paid links versus merit-based inbound links

Among the most contentious topics in SEO and web marketing as a whole is the paid link, which is essentially an inbound link that is bought instead of earned. Google and other search engines frown upon paid inbound links since they usually stem from low-quality websites and aren’t a true indicator of site quality.

In Oct. 2014, the 3.0 version of the Google Penguin algorithm was released to improve SERP quality and encourage sites to actively disavow bad links.

Learn more about linking strategies: