Knowing what your audience is looking for and giving the highest quality and most relevant material makes it a no-brainer for Google to show it to them is the secret to outstanding online content. However, this is not an exact science.
You could generate the finest content available from your viewpoint, but it is a competitive field, and Google considers a large number of other variables when ranking sites on the SERPs. One of these is the authority (or trustworthiness) of the content’s supplier.
You may believe that “authority” is a subjective concept, but Google has one important technique for measuring it: backlinks. Backlinks are among the most important SEO ranking variables.
You can significantly boost your website’s search engine ranks for your desired keywords and increase traffic to your pages by constructing effective backlinks. However, not all backlinks are created equal.
Some backlinks are more useful to search engines than others. The specific mathematical criteria used by search engines to calculate the worth of a backlink remain unknown, but SEO specialists have identified a few distinct characteristics of a quality backlink.
While Google algorithm updates come and go, certain quality backlink characteristics are permanent.
Let’s look at what produces the strongest types of backlinks for SEO and then discuss a few methods you may use to build such connections for your website.
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A backlink (also known as an inbound link) is just a link from another website to yours. Visually, the link might be displayed in the text, on an image, or as a button – all of these connections qualify as backlinks as long as the source is a separate website.
Backlinks are extremely significant in SEO since they are one of the most crucial ranking criteria for every major search engine.
Backlinks are viewed as votes for your website in comparison to other websites. Many votes indicate to search engines that this article is worth reading, reputable, and informative.
As a result, the higher your site ranks in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines, the more votes you have. Including backlinks in a search engine’s algorithm is not a new idea. Backlinks were used to create the original Google algorithm, known as PageRank.
However, Google later made many adjustments to its algorithm. Backlinks continue to thrive as a crucial ranking element. Backlinks, along with ‘content’ and ‘rankbrain,’ are still regarded as one of Google’s three most important search engine ranking criteria.
Not all backlinks are created equal. Quality backlinks are used to boost a website’s ranking in the SERPs. One high-quality backlink outperforms 100 low-quality backlinks. High-quality backlinks, it turns out, display the same qualities.
Before implementing backlinks into your search engine optimization plan, it is critical to understand why they are vital to your link building technique.
Backlinks from other websites are valuable votes that signal to search engines that your material is reputable and worthwhile. As a result, the more “votes” you obtain, the better your site will rank in Google and other search engines.
While there are over 200 recognized Google ranking variables, backlinks are one of the most essential.
This is because a link to another website is more than simply a link; it is a vote of confidence, a suggestion, and a method for publishers to tell their readers that this is a reliable source that is worth checking out.
When someone spontaneously puts some of these endorsements together, this is known as organic backlinks. It is quite tough to obtain such an endorsement, especially for small enterprises or startups.
However, if you want to improve your SEO performance, you must ensure that you continually generate high-quality backlinks to your website faster and better than your competitors.
However, keep in mind that not all backlinks are made equal. If you consider a backlink to be a vote of confidence, it only makes sense to assess its credibility.
Is it coming from relevant sites with high domain authority or from spam review sites designed to manipulate Google bots and other SEO tools? There are many irrelevant sites out there designed to manipulate Google search results.
In the past, black-hat SEOs could generate massive backlink profiles and effectively cheat the system using strategies like link farms, PBNs, and comment spam.
These black-hat link-building strategies, however, are no longer effective since Google has become aware of them. In fact, too many “unnatural” connections may result in a penalty for your website.
In other words, when it comes to backlinks, quality is equally as important as quantity. Having hundreds of inbound links connecting to the same website is not required.
Obtaining even 20-30 high-quality connections may greatly improve your website’s rating in search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are several different factors that affect the strength of your backlink profile. Let’s take a look at the basics of how these work and then how you can apply them to your link building strategy.
High quality backlinks come from authoritative websites
The quality of a backlink’s source website is the key to determining its value.
A single backlink from an authoritative and relevant website is more beneficial than an overload of backlinks from low-quality websites.
Here are some essential measures for estimating the quality (or strength) of a backlink based on its originating website and a few crucial HTML attributes:
Domain Authority — A website’s Domain Authority metric is a measure (on a scale of 0 to 100) of how trustworthy the website is in its specialty or business. The greater the Domain Authority of a website, the more valuable it seems to search engines, and the most renowned and authoritative websites can make a big difference.
Ranking authoritative websites plays out pretty much how you might expect: authoritative websites give high-quality links, which are more powerful backlinks than those from less authoritative sites. A backlink from a website with a high Domain Authority is usually powerful enough to boost your search engine rankings.
Citation Flow — A website’s Citation Flow metric is a score between 0 and 100 that indicates the number of backlinks to it. If a large number of websites link to it, it will have a high Citation Flow.
Trust Flow — A website’s Trust Flow measure is a number between 0 and 100 that indicates the quality of backlinks to it. If a number of high-quality websites connect to it, it will have a high Trust Flow.
If it contains backlinks from questionable websites, its Trust Flow score will suffer. Backlinks from websites with a high Trust Flow metric are typically beneficial.
Spam Score — A website’s Spam Score metric is a statistic (on a scale of 0 to 17) that indicates the likelihood that the website will be penalized by search engines (for being spammy). A Spam Score of less than five can be regarded as safe. A backlink from a website with a Spam Score of less than five will be considered a positive backlink.
Dofollow — A dofollow backlink is usually beneficial. We will go through the meaning of a dofollow link and a nofollow link later on in this post.
Index status — The index status of a web page indicates whether or not search engines have indexed it. A website that has not been indexed may not appear in search results.
A website (or a web page) is frequently marked as non-indexed if it has been penalized by Google or if its robots.txt file is incorrectly set. A backlink from an unindexed page will not provide you with any SEO juice.
Furthermore, if such a backlink comes from a website that has been removed from Google’s index as a consequence of a penalty, it may hurt your website’s rankings as well.
External link count — A page’s external link count statistic indicates the number of external links it has. If a web page contains a large number of external links, you should investigate whether the page is spammy.
A backlink from a website (or web page) that connects to several pages may not be as beneficial. On the other hand, those could be other types of backlinks, like guest post bio links or comment backlinks.
There are several main types of backlinks with varying degrees of relevance depending on the website. These eight backlinks will help you design your link building strategy for getting high-quality connections that will enhance your SEO.
1. Editorial Backlinks
Editorial descriptions with a link to your site contained within relevant, high-quality content are the ideal backlink.
In general, editorial backlinks are produced when your content (such as an article or infographic) is cited as the source of particular information, a business representative is quoted, or your site is included in a link roundup on a certain topic.
Create evergreen content that builds your position as a thought leader, positioning your site and brand as a go-to location for interviews and industry expertise. Create shareable and entertaining content with the potential to go viral.
Use SEO tools capable of finding popular keywords and topics that competitors have mastered, but your site has yet to address.
2. Guest Blogging Backlinks
When submitting guest pieces to established websites, it is generally possible to include an editorial backlink to your website. Guest blogging outreach should be an important aspect of practically any SEO strategy. For these chances, you should try to use high-quality websites.
3. Backlinks in Company Profiles
When you create a digital presence for your company on business listing websites, social networks, industry directories, and review sites, you nearly always have the opportunity to include a link to your website (or several).
These listings are viewed by search engines as evidence that a site has been around for a long time.
4. Webinar-generated backlinks
Webinars (and their recordings) provide valuable information to which sites can link. Websites frequently use webinars to link to your organization and highlight what your firm does.
These backlinks can be obtained utilizing tactics similar to those used for blog promotion. Your webinar might serve as a reference for the websites on which you want to guest blog.
5. Backlinks for Free Tools
Offering a valuable tool for free is another excellent strategy to attract attention and backlinks, both of which have a major and long-term impact on SEO.
To create backlinks, promote the tool on sites with a similar audience to yours (use SEO tools to locate them) and on sites where you will be guest blogging. This does not make very powerful backlinks, but it can create a lot of organic linking.
6. Acknowledgment Backlinks
Sites typically show acknowledgments when a firm makes a contribution, has a representative speak at or sponsors an industry event, and so on.
Using these acknowledgment backlinks, you may establish the source of your competitor’s backlinks and devise a strategy to get recognition for your website. They are not the most powerful backlinks around, but they are worth being aware of.
7. Guest Post Bio Links
If a site that accepts guest blogging does not permit hyperlinks within the post, they will almost always be permitted within the author’s bio area. It makes no difference that these hyperlinks are not related to editorial content.
They continue to have an impact on SEO since visitors frequently hyperlink to websites with more readership. This ensures that readers are aware of where others go to read blogs and articles and locate recipes.
8. Comment Backlinks
When you leave a comment on a blog post, you are usually allowed to include a link to your website. Spammers regularly take advantage of this, which may be exploited to build malicious links.
Sharing links, on the other hand, can help you drive traffic to your site and raise brand recognition if people post genuine comments on high-quality blogs. This is a quick and easy way to obtain more backlinks.
Dofollow backlinks are links that carry the SEO juice from the website that provides the backlink to the website that receives the backlink. In most cases, dofollow backlinks are one of the most important ways that links juice flows between sites when websites link to one another.
This is huge for search engine rankings, driving more traffic and more backlinks organically and making this one of the most powerful backlinks categories.
So, if website A has a Domain Authority of 80 and provides a dofollow backlink to website B, which has a Domain Authority of 20, website A is passing along significant SEO value to website B, thereby helping website B rank higher.
Dofollow backlinks can be very valuable to link building campaigns, as such backlinks provide organic traffic and website visitors very easily.
Consider dofollow backlinks to be a vote of confidence. When a website provides a dofollow backlink to another website, Google understands that the website is recommending the website as a reputable resource for a certain topic.
Dofollow backlinks are powerful backlinks, valuable SEO signals that search engines employ to determine the relevance and authority of a website on a certain topic.
Dofollow backlink vs Nofollow link
A nofollow backlink is one that does not send any SEO juice to the website that receives it. When search engines see nofollow backlinks, they disregard these types of website links.
Every backlink is a dofollow backlink by default. Websites, on the other hand, can make a backlink nofollow by adding the nofollow attribute to it.
However, many websites do not apply the nofollow tag to their backlinks separately. Instead, they use the nofollow meta tag, which is applied at the page level. When search engines discover a nofollow meta tag in the header of a website, they disregard all of the links on that page.
How to Determine Whether a Website Provides Dofollow Links
Always begin by targeting websites that provide dofollow backlinks while creating backlinks.
It is not a bad thing to have nofollow links in your backlink profile—in fact, it helps your connections appear more “natural” to Google, which is a good thing—but if you are putting time and effort into a link building campaign, you will want to aim for backlinks that will help your website rank higher.
There are several simple ways to determine whether a website provides dofollow backlinks. Viewing a website’s source code, for example, is one technique link builders use to see if it has dofollow backlinks.
Simply right-click on the web page you wish to inspect, select View Page Source, and search for the word nofollow.
When it comes to link building, there are a few important options.
1. Producing excellent content (and obtaining editorial backlinks)
The first step in gaining influential backlinks to your website is to develop the greatest and most useful content in your area so that excellent websites in your field automatically link back to your website—all on their own, without you ever asking.
Editorial backlinks are those that are “earned” exclusively via content. While editorial backlinks are desirable, obtaining them is difficult.
With most websites recognizing the importance of unique, high-quality content, it is no longer enough to just create good content and wait for the backlinks to come.
Here is where the manual link building campaigns help.
2. Conduct link-building initiatives
Manual link building initiatives at scale are the most reliable technique to develop backlinks to a website. Manual link building is contacting many websites in your niche and seeking backlinks.
Here are some link building efforts to get you started.
1. Including your website in roundups
No matter what product or service you provide, your area is likely to be brimming with bloggers posting “the top ten X products/services/solutions” lists.
Such roundups not only deliver relevant traffic to the websites on the list but they also provide backlinks. So keep an eye out for such roundups and strive to get mentioned in them.
2. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is one of the most time-consuming yet successful link building strategies. All you have to do is contact relevant and authoritative websites in your niche and pitch blog post ideas to them.
Guest posting is a very effective option for creating organic links. All it takes is a single link pointing to your site somewhere in the guest posting text, and targeted traffic will be able to reach your site much more easily.
You will receive a backlink in exchange for your work. Use useful anchor language when providing a link back to your website. When considering a backlink, Google and other search engines look at the anchor text. Anchor text is the text used in the link itself.
3. Identifying websites that connect to your rivals
You may determine which websites provide backlinks to your competition. A website that links to your competitor’s website might also connect to yours. Examine your rivals’ backlinks and contact those websites that provide quality backlinks.
4. The Skyscraper Technique.
This entails researching the competitors in SERP rankings and blowing their material out of the water with a much longer and better piece of content on a certain topic.
These link building tactics might provide you with even more excellent starting points.
- However, before using any of these strategies, consider the quality of the ties you will be able to develop with each. Simply measure how the prospective links perform on the parameters we described previously.
3. Reclaiming Unlinked Mentions
Reclaiming unlinked brand mentions is most likely the simplest and fastest strategy to earn high-quality backlinks.
All you have to do is monitor who mentions your business on blogs or in the press. You may accomplish this with something as straightforward (and free) as Google Alerts.
If you want more information about your mentions, such as the number of shares or the domain authority of the website where the mention originated, you may use free tool backlinks such as BuzzSumo, Ahrefs Content Explorer, or Mention.
When the author mentions your brand, product, or service, you may notice that there is no connection back to your website. That is when you should write them a brief message requesting correct link attribution.
This also helps the publisher to provide a better experience for its readers by allowing them to click through and learn more about the brand featured. It is a win-win situation.
The innovative aspect of this strategy is that you can use the same way to reclaim links for additional references of your brand, such as events you arrange, employee names, research papers, and so on.
You may, for example, keep an eye out for interviews with your company’s leaders and request a connection back to their profile page on your website. Alternatively, you may search for mentions of reports or figures you have published and request correct attribution to the original source.
The great thing about unlinked mentions is that the website you are contacting has previously referenced your business, so there is a legitimate reason you are in their inbox.
A courteous and nice email is frequently sufficient, and the success rate for this form of campaign is far greater than for any other type of link building tactic.
4. Set Up Contextual Links with Target Keywords
Have you ever noticed how some articles provide supplementary resources, either in the text or in a “Read more” section?
Contextual links are links that are embedded in the content of an article.
The key to obtaining contextual connections is to identify the suitable link prospect to contact. You may locate them by looking for articles that are connected to the material you are advertising and contain a “Read more” section.
When you develop the practice of generating backlinks, you may discover that other publishers approach you directly. With the correct relationship-building technique, publishers will approach you rather than you approaching them.
5. Get Mentioned in “Best X” List Articles
Before making a purchase decision, today’s shoppers like to research all available possibilities. They frequently consult comparison websites or articles such as “The 13 Best Free Email Marketing Tools in 2021” to see what other users recommend.
Use a keyword research tool and look at monthly search volume to get a feel of how popular these Best X articles are in your sector. According to Ahrefs statistics, the keyword “best CRM for small businesses” receives more than 3,400 searches every month.
Having your company listed in articles that list the finest items similar to yours is a great approach to strengthening your brand, getting more people to test your product, and, of course, getting high-quality backlinks.
If you can shift your focus from ranking #1 to monopolizing all of the sites on the first page of a search query, you can double the number of click-throughs to your site, your website traffic, and, eventually, your sales volume. Not to mention the less quantifiable variables like social proof and brand recognition.
Start with a simple Google search to identify high-ranking blogs that talk about your product or sector to have your product or service featured in a list round-up.
Make a list of the most relevant prospects and rate them according to domain authority (or, if you are using Ahrefs, Domain Rating), backlink profile, ranking, and also referral traffic potential.
Once you have completed your final list, create a brief pitch for the author to demonstrate why your product or service deserves to be featured on their list.
A quick, effective pitch and a tailored email can help you stand out in any outreach effort.
6. Serve as a resource for other publishers
You may become a source for other bloggers and journalists by using your experience and unique data.
You will receive a backlink every time someone quotes you. However, high domain authority backlinks are not the sole advantage of this strategy (though they are a major advantage on their own).
You will also enhance brand recognition and referral traffic to your website by being a trustworthy source, encouraging more people to follow backlinks to your site organically.
To begin, simply sign up for HARO (Help A Reporter Out). This is a free service that links expert sources (such as yourself) with bloggers and journalists seeking contributions to articles and press releases.
Here is how it works: HARO will send you an email every day with requests from authors in your field. You can choose the ones that are relevant to your company and react through email, providing your credentials for their press release.
Because most of these authors receive a large number of entries, speed is critical. If you are one of the first to react, you have a better chance of being spotted and chosen for the final piece.
If you are chosen, you will most likely receive an email from a journalist or blogger informing you that the story is now live. This is a great way to get seen through press releases and journalistic articles.
7. Refresh Old Content
If you come across an article or a study report that has not been updated in a while, look at how many backlinks it has. If there are several articles citing that information, you have discovered a true gem. You can just make a better, more recent piece with more relevant info.
Once the material is up, you can contact bloggers or journalists who have linked to the previous version to inform them about the new version. Often, you will see the effects of your outreach in the form of backlinks or social media shares within a few days or weeks.
However, there are additional advantages to establishing that relationship in the first place. For example, you may wind up working on additional initiatives that will help you build your brand and visitors.
8. Create Ultimate Guides
An Ultimate Guide is a piece of information that is intended to be the most comprehensive reference on a specific topic. It covers enough ground that you will not need to look elsewhere to understand more about the subject.
These might not be so good for Google’s algorithm, but they are great for organic traffic and forum backlinks.
These Ultimate Guides generate inbound backlinks since they assist bloggers and journalists in referencing an idea they mention.
For example, if someone creates a post titled “How to Get Started with SEO,” they may focus on a few suggestions and methods without describing what SEO is in detail; instead, they can simply link to an SEO Ultimate Guide if their readers have more questions.
9. Make Use of Images to Gain Links and Mentions
Infographics are perhaps the most commonly utilized visual element for gaining backlinks. If you have not done so before, it is always a good idea to experiment with them.
If you do not think infographics are right for your company, here are a few additional visualizations to consider:
- Original data charts and graphs
- Diagrams may be used to graphically communicate complicated topics
- Templates for a single page
- Free photo galleries available for anyone to use
10. Make use of the Broken Link Building Method
This strategy is contacting a website that has a broken outbound link (a link to an external source) and requesting that it be updated with links pointing to one of your pages.
Of course, your page must be a solid resource on the topic to which they were previously connecting, so replacing the broken link with yours makes sense.
This strategy works so well because it adds a lot of value to the webmasters: it helps them solve a problem on their website, and it enhances the reader experience.
The difficulty with this strategy is, of course, locating these broken links. You have a few alternatives here:
You can look for broken links on other websites and identify comparable resources on your own to offer in their stead.
Alternatively, you could look for a single dead page (404) that used to receive a large number of links, replicate that article or offer with better, more relevant material, and then contact folks who connected to the original item.
Once you have identified the target websites and created your content, you can begin working on your outreach. Keep your email brief and simple, and focus on being useful rather than obtaining a backlink.
Now that you have compiled a list of methods to employ in your next link building campaign, it is essential to ensure you have the resources you need to succeed.
Let us take a look at some of the most valuable SEO tools you can use to ensure that you have got great links providing that all-important link juice to your website.
1. Ahrefs Backlink Analyzer
Ahrefs is the most comprehensive backlink database, including up-to-date information. The free version of Ahrefs displays the top 100 backlinks, top 5 anchors, and top 5 pages. That should give you a good overview of your backlinks.
If you want to go further, the subscription edition provides significantly more detailed data as well as access to other tools that may be valuable in a link building effort, such as Content Explorer or Broken Outbound Links, to mention a few.
2. Neil Patel’s Backlinks
It may not find as many backlinks or referring websites as Ahrefs, but the free version provides a lot of information. You may export up to 5,000 backlinks and examine the Source Page Title, URL, and anchor text, for example.
You can also exclude or include domains, anchors, or zones when filtering. Overall, trying out this free tool is worthwhile.
MonitorBacklinks captures nearly as many referring domains as Ahrefs. MonitorBacklinks is also unique in that it provides information on the top backlinks based on Trust Flow or Citation Flow. To access more of their database, you will unfortunately have to upgrade to their paying version.
OpenLinkProfiler is an excellent tool for examining your backlink profile. The disadvantage is that their link database is very small in comparison to Ahrefs or MonitorBacklinks.
Still, you may obtain a lot of information (for free) by filtering the accessible backlinks by categories like industry, TLDs, anchors, or LIS (Link Influence Score). That is not something I have seen in other free tools.
This tool also includes charts that show you which pages receive the most links or which nations connect to your website the most.
RankWatch offers an excellent Dashboard feature that allows you to see your backlink profile. You may examine your link acquisition trend over the last three months, referring domain acquisition, and anchor dispersion, among other things.
The summary charts are free to use. However, if you want to access the complete list, you must upgrade to the commercial version.
CognitiveSEO is excellent for gaining an overview of total backlinks and referring websites – and, most significantly, for determining link velocity. Without making an account, you may view the link acquisition trend for the previous 6 months for free.
Another visually appealing report is the Top 5 website pages, which show how your website performs based on backlinks or referral domains.
All of the tools mentioned above give significant information that can assist you in getting started with link development. They all provide a macro perspective of your backlink profile, but each one includes unique extra information. Try them all out to find which one works best for you.
1. Paid Links
The worth of your site is determined by how well it is loved by other genuine and earned sites. According to Google, buying and selling links can have a detrimental impact on a site’s search rankings. When you purchase links to get an SEO advantage, you do not get what you pay for with your link building campaigns.
2. Non-newsworthy backlinks in press releases
It is not a good idea to write press releases in order to obtain backlinks. It may harm your SEO because this method is thought to generate spam. Visitors to websites hate being inundated by such backlinks.
3. Directory Links that are Low Quality or Irrelevant
Setting up profiles in directories that are not reputable or well-regarded (or that are not related to your business) may be detrimental to your SEO. They are also considered spam by many website visitors.
4. Forum Backlinks of Low Quality
One brand’s forum postings, especially those with hyperlinks, should be limited to high-quality forums and genuine disputes. People who try to spam these sites with links may not receive the desired results.
5. High Spam Score Domains
Search engines perceive websites with high spam scores to be spammy or low-quality. Backlinks from these sites can be detrimental to a website’s SEO and should be avoided, even if the anchor text looks relevant.
Scott Calland is a highly regarded content specialist with an English Degree. He has a passion for creating compelling content as a UK journalist that engages, informs, and entertains readers. With over 10 years of experience in creating news publications as a reporter, Scott has developed a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of how to craft content that resonates with audiences. Working closely with data analysts Scott’s research on topics is unrivalled for latest news updates.
Scott is also an investor in Searcharoo.