At the very heart of search engine optimization and the ability to get relevant hits to your website is the concept of link building. Whenever a site links to yours without your site linking to it, your ranking with the search engines goes up. Besides just the search engine benefits, link building will also put your name in more places for people to come across. There are many ways to work with link building, and it is in your best interest to be aware of at least a few of them. One method of link building that is becoming quite popular is the use of articles. For instance, if you run a costuming business, you can write informative articles about the history of costuming and include a link back to your website at the bottom of the article. There are many article databases out there now, and by submitting articles to them, you can do several things. This is a terrific method of advertisement because you are establishing yourself as an expert; when you give out good information free of charge, people tend to be more inclined to take a look at your product or services. Putting your site up on various directories is another method of link building. There are many specific directories online where you can list yourself and a brief description of your services. People use these directories the same way they once used phone books, and by having your business in the right directory, you can make contact with many prospective customers. When people look in directories, they already have a good idea what they are looking for; you know that the traffic you get from a directory link will be relevant to what you are doing. Directories are an excellent place to work with link building, as well as offering you an opportunity to see what your competition is doing. When you give a member of the media official information on your business or what you are doing, whether that person is a web journalist, radio personality, or news correspondent, it is called a press release. Press releases are also, if indirectly, related to link building. Although most of the attention you will get from a press release will be direct, you will also find that press releases get posted on websites and archived. This is a good way to reach people that might not necessarily frequent directories or article databases. When you think about link building, it is helpful to think about it as a popularity contest of sorts. The basis of link building is to get as many people familiar with you as possible, and to make sure that the search engines are too!