If you want your site to rank well in Google, sooner or later you’re going to have to do some link building. Here are nine great resources to help you understand what link building is all about:

  1. The Anatomy of a Search Engine by [Google founders] Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page  – Using links to calculate the quality ranking of a web page was Google’s main innovation which set it apart from early search engines: “The Google search engine has two important features that help it produce high precision results. First, it makes use of the link structure of the Web to calculate a quality ranking for each web page. This ranking is called PageRank… Second, Google utilizes link [sic] to improve search results.”
  2. Search Engine Ranking Factors  – Q: How important are external, third-party links to your website compared to other ranking factors? A: They are the single most-important factor.
  3. Growing Popularity and Links  – Chapter 7 from SEOmoz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO  is a good place to start if you’re trying to understand what this term “link building” means.
  4. 131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies – Here’s a “soup to nuts” primer on link building. Link building is both a science and an art.
  5. Link Building Strategies – The Complete List  – Filterable by “Time to Execute,” “Link Value,” and “Dependencies on Other Resources,” this list takes the guesswork out coming up with a short-list of the right link building tactics for your project.
  6. Link Building Made Simple  – A seven-part series covering strategy, measuring success, competitive analysis, link prospecting, content creation, and where promotional tools such as social media, email newsletters, and press releases fit in.
  7. Competitive Linking: Nine Simple Steps for Sucking Your Competitors Link Profiles Dry  – The latest user-contributed post about link building on the  YouMoz Blog  by SEOmoz.
  8. 10 Post-Panda/Penguin Era Link Acquisition Strategies – Google’s “Panda” and “Penguin” algorithm updates in 2011 and 2012 were game-changers for SEOs who had indulged in unscrupulous link building fakery. This article narrows the
  9. The Art of SEO, 2nd ed.  by Enge, Spencer, Stricchiola, and Fishkin – If you want to buy a book about SEO, this is the book to buy. Here’s a thought-provoking quote from their chapter on link building:  “Link building is not fundamentally different from public relations work. Your goal is to acquire positive citations across the Web. The big difference is the technical aspects ” focusing on the quality of the referring source, the keywords in the link, and the page(s) to which they point.”

Bonus Resources