Backlinks have always been an enigma in the SEO world. This blog is going to solve this puzzle today. In this blog, you are going to find answers to all your bubbling queries:
- How backlinks work in SEO today
- What is the process of link building
- What are different types of backlinks
- Which backlinks are good for your SEO efforts
- How to create backlinks
Once you go through this guide on types of backlinks, link building will become a lot less enigmatic for you.
Here you go!
Before discussing various types of backlinks and how to get quality links, let’s find out what the fuss is all about.
What is the Role of Backlinks in SEO Today?
If you are like other SEOs, then your days would be quite busy. It is 2021, the time of the year to analyze the SEO world’s current situation.
We all have gone past the question…
Why do some websites rank higher while others don’t?
Do they pay to search engines, or are they the search engine’s favorite?
…because we all know the answer is ‘no’ to either of the questions.
No one is Google’s favorite. You have to put a lot of effort into falling under the category of Google’s favorite.
And that effort should be a continuous one…
That’s where SEO comes forward to help you.
But the thing is that today’s SEO world is unstable and unpredictable.
Is today’s SEO world the same as it was a few years ago?
Hopefully, your answer is going to be ‘no.’ And this answer is definitely ‘right.’
Things that were relevant a few years ago are irrelevant at all.
Talk about keyword stuffing, low-quality content, and spammy links – they were once acceptable, and now they are nowhere near the acceptability parameter of Google.
It is no more the era of Yahoo!
Now Google is in the game as the most powerful search engine, and its algorithms, bots, and new updates are here to give SEOs a pretty tough time.
Every year Google rolls out updates, and we can’t do anything about that other than tweaking our strategies and adjusting ourselves to the changed scenario.
The truth is…
SEOs Dilemma is legit!
And the situation gets worse for the newcomers.
So right now, when you have clicked this page, you might be thinking that this is the last page you are going to read, and if it doesn’t work, you are planning to give up on everything SEO, search engines, and online marketing.
Don’t worry; you are not alone. It happens with every newcomer who tries to test the waters of SEO.
Google has unleashed so many Penguins and Pandas that it has become challenging to predict search results.
You don’t know exactly which recipe will work out to come up with an end product that will help you win the contest of SERPs.
Despite having a chaotic situation, backlinks still remain as one of the most influential factors in determining search engine rankings.
According to Andrey Lipattsev, Google’s Search Quality Senior Strategist, inbound links reign as one of the top two signals for Google algorithms along with the high-quality links.
It means that no matter what kind of ranking strategies you adopt if you are missing out on white hat backlink techniques, things wouldn’t work.
And the importance of backlinks for Google doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon.
In fact, Matt Cutts thinks that backlinks are going to stay relevant for a long time. They may just become a bit less significant.
It means that if you don’t know where to begin your SEO campaign, you can turn to building high-quality backlinks for your website.
And things will not go wrong!
That’s what this research also shows.
But there are trillions of links on the web, agree?
Do you think that Google gives them the same weightage?
I wish we could answer it as ‘yes’ because then all SEOs’ life would have been at peace. But unfortunately, its answer is ‘no.’
If you are still breathing in the era of PageRank, you are way too behind.
According to Google’s Archived Page:
“PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”
But it’s been twenty-three years, and you have to move on from the ‘quantity’ thing.
Now Google doesn’t count all links as equal.
There are different types of backlinks and:
Having an external link is not the only accolade you need to stand tall in the eye of Google.
There should be many other good-things surrounding the linking site to entice Google to give you importance.
It means that if a link coming from such a site is considered as a ‘good-link,’ then there could also be bad links.
Oh, actually, there are!
So yes, there are:
- Various types of backlinks
- Various parameters to judge the quality of a link
- Different value propositions assigned to different links
But before finding out how many types of backlinks there are, let’s see what are SEO backlinks.
What is Link Building?
Simply: link building is the process of getting links from other websites to your own site.
When we say build links step by step, just like constructing anything.
You know the placement of bricks in building matters.
Similarly, the way you build links also have a significant role in determining the value of your link profile for Google.
Links are considered as the currency or votes for a site.
So they are an important ranking factor.
- All links have equal value.
- Every link gives the same advantage.
- All types of links in SEO are the same for Google.
So the question is:
What type of backlinks in SEO should you focus on?
Here are given different types of link building in SEO:
Types of Backlinks – The Best, the Good, and the Bad!
There are three main link building types based on their worth for Google:
TYPE # 1: Natural Editorial Links – the Love of Google
If you ask me which links Google prefers or what are the best backlinks for SEO…
…without any second thought, I would say natural links that different authority sites give you.
Natural editorial links are like a heavenly bestowed blessing for any website because people give you links without asking for them.
Here are some of the ways you can get natural backlinks:
- If they cite your work in their own work
- Your content can be a source of information
- Your work can add extra value to their readers
- You have given them an interview, testimonial, or quote
- Someone mentions your infographic, image, video, or any other work
- They refer to your work/site in link roundups
But why would people give you a link without even asking?
Obviously, no one is sitting on the internet for doing charity or bagging some good deeds by helping others become successful.
Well, here is when the actual quest begins.
Getting this type of holy links is not easy.
In fact, this is one of the hardest jobs for any SEO expert.
To get such types of natural backlinks, you should…
- Produce high-quality content
- Have something worth sharing
- Have something that others lack
- Provide them EXTRA value
If your content has this edge, getting natural backlinks becomes easier.
And what is even better? Google loves such links, and these links are more likely to stand the test of time.
Why? Because they are…
- Don’t clash with Google’s link building policy
- Editorially placed
- Meant to provide value to users
In other words: They are good to go!
In fact, Google has mentioned this formula in its Webmaster’s guidelines.
But here is a thing:
Besides having valuable and novel content, you also need to figure out ways to make people aware of your existence.
Do you know that WordPress users post over 2 million blogs every day?
And these numbers are for 2016 and just for WordPress users.
In this sea of content, it is hard to get other bloggers’ attention without trying, even if you have produced something amazing.
So you also have to promote your content.
If you have managed to attract others, it will turn into a jackpot for you.
It will not only improve your search engine’s rankings but will also drive traffic to your site and kick-boost sales.
The best thing is yet to come…
If you have produced valuable and high-quality content, managed to attract bloggers’ attention, it will yield valuable results for a long time to come.
You wouldn’t have to worry about the link juice; it will keep on flowing even if you forget about it or stop making efforts.
So they are hands down the BEST SEO backlinks.
TYPE # 2: Manually Outreached Links – Reaching Out to Bloggers
We have talked about the best dudes in the backlinking world.
Now, it is time to talk about the Good boys.
Manual outreach is one of the widely used link building techniques. And it also works!
In simple words:
Manual outreach link building is the process of getting a quality link by manually approaching webmasters and influential bloggers and asking them to give you a link.
But you can’t contact every blogger you encounter because getting a link is not the only purpose.
You have to get quality links. Full stop! If you are not getting quality links, all your efforts are useless.
For this, you should work on two things:
- Sites you are choosing
- The content you are producing
If you are not doing any one of them in the right way, things won’t work out for you.
So before outreaching, you need to know how to get manual backlinks.
Here is given the process of how to build backlinks manually:
The important thing to remember here is that there is a slight difference between the manually outreached links and spammy links.
And the only way to keep this difference intact is by working on your site selection and content production.
● Site Selection Defines the Results
Your site selection will define whether your link building efforts will spike your rankings or pull you down to the SERPs’ pit.
Remember that your link acts as a vote for your site.
And it is a no brainer that the vote of a relevant and authoritative person counts more than a non-authority person’s.
That’s where the idea of getting links from a high DA site jumps in.
Moz defines good DA as:
The more high-authority votes you get, the more trustable and worth-considering you become for Google.
SIDENOTE: That’s just one site selection parameter. Check out other factors mentioned above in image no. 5.
● Only Quality Content Attracts Google
The era of ‘just content’ is dead with the downfall of Yahoo!
Now is the time of Google, and it only falls for high-quality content.
Google has been rolling out its updates since December 2000, but it was in 2012 that Google elevated the podium of the content.
With the Penguin update, only high-quality content has the right to sit on this elevated podium. That’s it!
If you do not have a well-thought content strategy, start thinking now.
Your poor content has no space in Google’s world.
Moreover, who will like to devalue its high DA site by linking to low-quality content? No one – right?
So publishing high-quality content is not only essential to getting Google’s favor but also necessary to pitch an influential blogger.
When we say high-quality content, it means that the content should be…
- Knitted around the topic
- Without keyword stuffing
- Having accurate grammar
- 100% real
Moreover, the content should also be interesting, engaging, and provide value to readers.
Done with the best types of backlinks for SEO.
Also, now you know about white-hat SEO backlinks.
Next, check out the bad boys of the SEO world.
TYPE # 3: Self-created Links – A Trap You Must Avoid
Self-created links were not always THAT-bad as much as they are now.
There was a time when these types of backlinks were a popular link building practice because…
- Were easy to build
- Could be produced in a short span
- Could be created in a large amount
But things got changed after the Penguin update in 2012.
For example, Google penalized websites with an unnatural link profile, like a link coming from a non-relevant website.
Google clearly talks about not-acceptable kinds of backlinks in its link building guidelines.
Here are the types of backlinks you should avoid:
#1: Paid Links
Once you start selling and buying links, quality goes out of the window.
Obviously, you can get a link from any website if you pay them according to their demand.
That’s how paid links sound link according to Google:
“Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.”
Google considers these practices as ranking manipulation.
In case you are using your blog for marketing and your content contains sponsored links, you should do two things:
- Tell users that this is a sponsored content
- Your sponsored links should contain a rel=nofollow tag
So if you want to build high authority SEO backlinks, avoid buying links.
#2: Link Exchange
You know the best types of backlinks can’t work on the barter system:
Give me a link, and I will also give you a link.
No, not anymore.
If you are getting links through a link exchange scheme, you are putting your site at risk.
Here is what link exchange means according to Google:
“Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking.”
So all those sites and directories that are built to exchange links are useless for you.
Don’t fall for them!
#3: Link Automation
The thing is that all those links that don’t add any value to the link and are added just for the sake of a link are useless for Google.
So it goes without saying that link automation is also a big fat no for white-hat SEO backlinks.
Link automation for Google means:
“Using automated programs or services to create links to your site.”
It will surely give a HUGE NUMBER of backlinks.
But would those links be quality backlinks? No.
So when you are not getting top quality backlinks from a method, it is not worth your time.
Here are some other black hat link building practices that you should avoid:
- Low-quality article submission directories
- Blog comment spam
- Press releases with overly optimized anchor text
- Embeddable widgets
- Guest posting with keyword-rich anchor texts
- Infographic embeds
- Link farms
- Forum submission
These are some of those types of backlinks that you shouldn’t aim for.
Instead, try to find top link building methods that give you editorial and valuable links.
Remember that Google is nobody’s friend! It only thinks about its customers.
If you are serving its customers in the right way, it will treat you better. If you are not, it will not. End of the debate!
That’s the rule of thumb to find out if you are going for white-hat SEO backlinks or not.
If you don’t know how to get high authority backlinks, here are some advanced link building methods for you.
Advanced Link Building Techniques to Win the Race on SERPs
Sometimes we all feel fed up with using the same types of backlinks methods.
I also feel annoyed while writing guest posting pitches and then waiting for bloggers’ responses (oops! Inner secret revealed).
So if you also have such annoying link building days, maybe these advanced types link building practices make your day:
TECHNIQUE # 1: Create Something Helpful for the People
Help others to win, and they will help you to succeed.
It might sound cliché, but this rule works here.
Online tools, calculators, guides are a few things that you can create to get a link.
#1: Create Tools and Calculators
Online tools are really a great help to make your work better, efficient, and effective irrespective of your industry.
Like, if you are a content writer, it is seriously hard to believe that you don’t have Grammarly, or you don’t take the help of a plagiarism checker.
And if you are a content manager, Trello and Hootsuite will be in your marketing kit.
Similarly, if you are an SEO expert, Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and Buzzsumo might be your daily helpers.
What am I trying to prove?
People need tools, and that’s where your opportunity to get a link lies.
You can seriously get a lot of links through tools.
Need some inspiration?
Well, here you go:
This plagiarism checker is a popular online tool (even I sometimes use it), and you don’t need to go anywhere to measure its popularity.
You can see it: 837K backlinks from 4.19K domains.
It has received a HUGE number of backlinks.
These crazy backlink numbers can be your fate as well if you come with a useful tool, calculator, or software.
It can be a costly affair as you would need to assign some adequate budget for this purpose.
You would need a designer, developer, coder, etc.
But seriously, if everything turns out the best, it can be a jackpot for you.
RedFly offers SEO services, but it has allocated a special budget for creating free tools because that’s how promising they have turned out for them.
You can see that they have a separate Free Tools section on their website.
You can also make free tools knights in shining armor for your business.
● Guides, Studies & Tutorials:
In case you don’t know, 77% of internet users read blogs.
So this question goes out of the window whether people will read your content or not.
The answer is: yes, they will. But it depends on what kind of content you produce.
People like to read:
How-to articles. In fact, how-to headlines are the third most popular headlines.
Ultimate guides. Primoz Bozic used ultimate guides to attract 278,958 visitors.
Research & Studies: Backlinko’s study of Google’s 200 ranking factors has 25.5K backlinks from 5.32K domains.
You can sense where we are going.
Write guides, studies, and listicles because they do amazing in terms of popularity and backlinks. People like to read and link to them.
For example, SEMRush conducted a study of Ranking Factors 2.0.
And what was the result?
It generated a HUGE buzz.
You can see that it has 2.41K backlinks.
Want to know the fun part?
Well, this page just gives the intro of the study. It is not the actual study. You have to download it.
But the addition of the word ‘study’ single-handedly generated that many backlinks.
That’s the power of guides and studies: they are link magnets that can boost your business on so many levels.
It will take time… a LOT OF TIME. And a huge chunk of your brain.
But ultimately, it will be worth it because you will get many quality types of backlinks.
TECHNIQUE # 2: Get Mentioned in the Best-X Lists
You might have seen articles giving out a list of the ‘best-x’ lists related to their industry.
These articles make up the best sources to get a link.
These lists are created to provide users value in one of the following ways:
By gratifying needs…
You know visual content makes up an essential marketing element. But creating images can be a costly affair.
So marketers are always looking out for sites where they can find free images.
And this blog is helping them find such sites.
There isn’t anything like too much knowledge of SEO.
SEOs are always in a constant quest to find a new strategy, tip, or secret to catalyze their practices.
This post gives away a list of the best articles covering different SEO dimensions to inspire people to learn something new.
By enhancing knowledge…
This post is giving an insight into the best available SEO tools and what they do to boost your SEO efforts.
Such lists are tremendously popular among readers because they provide the value of worth 50+ articles in one place.
Moreover, these are mostly authoritative sites with a strong backlink profile.
Here is an example:
So getting a backlink and shout out from these sites can have INCREDIBLE results for your business.
You can find similar best-x lists in your industry because every niche has such posts.
Now you might be thinking about how to find them.
Well, one way is to search for a list of different niche-related things.
But it is time-consuming. Here is a simple trick for you:
Check out who is mentioning your competitor doing good on SERPs using Ahrefs Content Explorer.
You will get a list of articles mentioning your competitor.
The next step is to vet this list and find all those articles linking to your competitor that fall into the best-x category.
You can check these articles and find out if they are linking to your site. If not, you can reach out to them and request to link to your brand.
But make sure that you qualify to get listed in the ‘best’ list before reaching out to them.
TECHNIQUE # 3: Give Out Interviews
What if I say that you can get a link by doing nothing but what you like the best: talking about your journey and experiences?
Sounds impossible? Well, podcasts are here to prove you wrong.
Lately, podcasts have become very popular where experts from different industries discuss various topics of their field.
There are also many amazing podcasts on SEO where you can find different SEO and digital marketing experts sharing their knowledge on different SEO dimensions.
They all are experienced entrepreneurs, marketers, and consultants who know their work and have a keen interest in the subject.
So, where is your link gaining opportunity in all this?
Well, in becoming a guest on these podcasts.
These podcasts can give you free powerful types of backlinks.
Don’t know what I am talking about?
Here you go:
Most podcasts call different experts on their show and conduct their interviews or request them to share their knowledge on a topic.
Edge of the Web is a popular podcast, and these guys discuss really cool stuff related to SEO and digital marketing.
The best thing?
They invite different expert guests to every show.
It is a symbiotic relationship. The show gets an expert punch to attract audiences. And guests get exposure and… a link.
For example, if you click the link, you see another page with a detailed description of the episode and information about the guest.
And here, you will find the link.
See? Just getting interviewed and talking for an hour on your favorite topics can fetch a powerful backlink for you.
The best thing is that you don’t have to wait to be called for an interview. You can approach them too.
Here is another article based on an expert interview on the Search Engine Journal’s podcast.
If you scroll down, you will find a link going to the guest’s social media page.
What did you get from this?
Getting interviewed on podcasts is a GREAT way to get some SEO and publicity perks – with just talking.
TECHNIQUE # 4: Become an influencer in Your Industry
Whenever we think about Physics, Einstein and Newton jump into our minds automatically.
Why? Because they are the influencers in their field.
That’s what you should be doing.
Become Einstein of your industry so that people love referring to you without even asking.
Now the question is how to become an influencer in your field?
Here are some ways:
#1: Give a New Concept or Coin Terms
It is not easy, sure, but it is also not impossible.
Even if you can’t come up with your own kind of Theory of Relativity, you can coin a term.
For example, Brian Dean coined a new term, ‘Skyscraper Technique,’ and this concept just blew up.
Now people write blogs on this new concept.
And every time someone talks about this technique, Brain Dean gets a free link.
Guess how many backlinks the original post has?
13K from 2.46K referring domains.
That’s a HUGE number!
You can also get them.
Come up with a new concept, coin a term, or do some groundbreaking work to attract natural links without begging for them.
#2: Become a Thought Leader
Say something worth quoting regarding your area of expertise.
It can be a…
Simple explanation of a difficult concept.
Different view of a concept.
It’s not easy to come up with such worthy quotes because you need to have a firm grip and understanding of things.
But if you end up with something worth quoting, it will be a jackpot to get backlinks.
One way to build your rapport as a thought leader is to use your social media accounts actively.
Share your stories, ideas, take on industry changes, and much more.
If your words resonate with the readers, people will start mentioning, quoting, linking, and sharing your words.
For example, Stefan Arnio is in the real estate business. But he is not just doing business; he is also marking a strong presence in his field as a thought leader.
He is a coach, author, runs a podcast, and an influencer.
He has around 205k followers.
His posts also get pretty good responses from his followers.
People like and comment on his posts.
These numbers are huge for a person who is not a celebrity but running a real estate business.
That’s the power of establishing yourself as an influencer.
Good things keep on flowing your way without trying much.
That’s how people become thought leaders, and that’s how you can become too.
And that’s how considerable attention can help you get many good types of backlinks.
# 3: Speak At Industry’s Conferences and Events
If you have something worth saying, people are ready to listen to you.
Industry conferences and events are the best venues to find people who are interested in your thoughts and knowledge – and ready to appreciate your words.
Need some inspiration?
Here is another one from the world of real estate.
But for getting interviewed by Fox Business and speaking at international forums, first, you have to start from small local events.
You can use advanced search strings, like:
“sponsor” + “your city name”
“ (industry name) events” + “your city name”
“events” + “your city name”
Speaking at local events and conferences is also a great way to get backlinks, along with establishing your authority.
Links are important for Google. But how you build them is even more important.
Black hat techniques are out of the question, and you never know when today’s white hat techniques also become spammy for Google.
So sticking to only a few white hat link building techniques is not the right option.
Your safe heaven is to:
- Keep a check on the types of backlinks your get
- Keep on bringing innovation in your link building tactics and devise creative strategies
Go for tactics that don’t make Google think that you are doing link building practices.
Let links naturally flow to your site to have a healthy link profile that drives long-lasting SEO benefits.
Push your boundaries – do partnerships, create something helpful for people, check out what your competitors are up to, reclaim your links, establish yourself on strong grounds, and invest in creating linkable assets.
Do whatever it takes to get natural links – all your efforts will pay off in the long run.
Now let’s see what you have got for us.
Do you have another amazing link building tactic in your bucket? Share with us. Let’s grow together.