Link building for newbies: who is a link builder and other basics you need to know

Polina Kuchkovskaya
29 October 2019

Link builder is one of those never-heard-of technical SEO roles. Getting this position, though, could become a great start of a career in IT-company. Except for diving deeper into their specialization, link builder’s career perspectives comprise several areas of Internet marketing. The HappyMonday online magazine has interviewed Polina Kuchkovskaya, the HR-director of Boosta IT company, and here is what she told about the role of a link builder and what skills do beginners in this SEO-field need to have.

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A brief history of link building

A profession of a link builder is closely related to website promotion and belongs to the field of SEO optimization. It has originated along with search engines’ development. Rory Truesdale, the content director of We Influence digital marketing agency, claims that the concept of link building originated in 1998, together with Google’s foundation and the first description of the PageRank link ranking algorithm.

The purpose of creating any website is attracting the target audience. Whenever we need to find something on the web, we use the preferred search engine. In its turn, the system responds to our request with several related links, following which we can find the necessary information. But what principle lies beyond the process they are ranked? After all, the higher the site is in the ranking query, the more likely the user will visit it.

Along with the development of web mastering, experts have found that there are 2 major factors in play:

– the quality of page content;

– the number of high-quality backlinks to your website.

In 1999, it has become obvious that the best way to increase a site’s ranking in search engines’ query is to partner websites for a link exchange. During the next 20 years, the work methods and tools have changed, but external links play the same high role in website ranking.

Search engines evaluate the link leading from one site to another as a prototype of its recommendation – when you include it in the content of your site, you are a sort of saying “this site is what you need”. Basically, a link builder is a person who builds up a link mass of a promoted page intending to improve its search engine visibility.

Link Builder’s Responsibilities

Search engines are interested in providing the most popular and top-quality resources. The more external links (remember to diversify them!) are pointing at your site, the more likely it is to rank higher among other search results. The major task of a link builder is drawing up a strategy for external promotion while monitoring the quality of the work

At the beginning of work on the project, the link builder (together with the SEO specialist) needs to define the most effective website promotion strategy.

Картинки по запросу link builder

The next stage comprises the search for relevant and thematically-related sites for posting links. To find them, a link builder needs to monitor and resources for traffic indicators, site growth metrics, the number, and the quality of backlinks. A professional link builder can determine whether a link is suspicious or comes from a low-quality resource (toprotect the site from unwanted and dangerous links). There are also many companies using automated outreach their websites are working according to a certain principle, so the only thing you need to do is to make sure that they suit your company’s digital needs.

After completing the previous two steps, it’s time to post some articles and comments on third-party resources. The resources vary from reference exchanges, catalogs, services with independent reviews, advertising platforms, and social networks up to partner websites, blogs, and forums.

Some of them will require you to register your account to earn the trust of moderators. Avoid spamming and poor-quality comments, either way, your site can be penalized or banned automatically.

Everyday duties of the link builder include constant interaction with webmasters, the donor website owners, copywriters, and other specialists from the promotion team trying to reach maximum coverage of the target audience.

The link builder must also track and analyze the quality of articles with backlinks and their placement on the page, as well as generate reports based on the obtained results – these allow the specialist to estimate the work’s effectiveness.

Who is the right candidate for this job

Creative thinkers who are willing and able to build multiple communications are the top match for the link builder’s position. In most cases, link builders work on foreign markets, so candidates need to know English at the upper-intermediate level and higher. As for the rest of the skills, these are much easier to learn.

Students who see their future in the field of Internet marketing might be also interested in taking this starting position. They are expected to seek for finding new information, understand the mechanisms lying under the link-buildingprocess, and how the last one affects the overall website performance.

The link builder should not only have the required professional skills, but also have a general knowledge of SEO, understand its terms, be diligent, patient, and attentive to details. As well as above-mentioned features, it is also important to be self-organized.

To efficiently analyze the market, projects, either third-party resources, one needs to have an analytical mindset and be able to think strategically.

Choosing this specialization, you can expect for a fixed salary either for the revenue generated per link.

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How to become a link builder

Online and offline courses, working as an assistant with a specialist or independent study of SEO optimization will help you learn link building. You just need to decide which method suits you.

I recommend the following link building courses:

SEOman (current methods of SEO promotion and external website optimization);

Boosta Academy (Internet marketing and SEO basics);

SEO is the King (technical SEO optimization and team management);

SEO for beginners by Yoast (content and SEO).

Related articles and books:

Link Building Strategies: The Complete List;


Ingate Encyclopedia of Search Engine Promotion;

Illustrated Guide to Link Building;

UK SEO: A Beginner’s Guide in 2018;

Essential SEO Tools for Agencies.

These YouTube channels might also help:

SEO training (the author uses popular board format for his lessons and his colleague reviews various SEO services);

Devaka (videos are divided into two blocks: “Introduction to SEO in 30 days” and “SEO-webinars”);

Lessons of Rand Fishkin (a playlist of lessons of one of the most famous Western SEO-specialists translated to Russian);

SEO school (provides 16 great SEO lessons);

PromoPult (contains a lot of good SEO videos);

SeoProfy (videos discussing the promotion of English-speakers’ websites).

If you are the one who approaches your work responsibly and struggles to see its results – the discussed position may be your perfect match.

Given that high-quality marketing and SEO optimization are key to productive business, link building may be a key tool for achieving your goals. This position is a good career start for those who relate their professional future with SEO optimization.

The position of the link builder provides ample opportunities for further professional growth and personal development. You can improve your skills, learn new methods of link building, optimize knowledge in this area, and grow to a senior specialist in link building. At the same time, you are given a great opportunity to develop your managerial skills and later become a team leader. Another option is to move to the junior SEO specialist position (with further possibility to become middle SEO and senior SEO). It’s all up to your desires and interests.

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