What does Link Building mean in SEO?
Depending who you talk to this can sometimes be viewed as 'bad' and sometimes as 'essential'. The former will tell you to have faith in "Link Earning
" - if your content is so great people will discover it and link to it although in the real world unless you have some other way to promote it this is unlikely.
Link building is where you actively carry out actions to try and get other websites to link to yours. You might have created a really great infographic about a particular topic and so you reach out to relevant webmasters and tell them about it in the hope that they will link to it.
You might have a new product which you send to certain bloggers or online reviewers in the hope that they will talk about it and link to your site.
Now Google says if you actively do anything to manipulate the search results you are in breach of their terms and as you are actively doing something which is likely to get you backlinks which are likely to improve your position in the search results you theoretically deserve a penalty.
However there is a fine line that the major search engines like Google tread. If you are not paying for the link (and yes I know free products for reviews is technically a payment but leave that for the moment) you're not going to get any issues from link building.
Google's terms are really reserved for those who are trying to manipulate through guaranteed link building techniques such as buying links on Private Blog Networks.
With clean Link Building you are not guaranteed a link from each person you contact and if and when they do link to you it could be in any manner of ways. So ultimately your content has 'earned' a link, you were just making people aware of it.