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What Are Backlinks

Confused by backlinks? These links increase your website traffic, authority, & credibility. Learn how to get quality backlinks!

What are Backlinks, exactly? When a website links to yours, it shows that your content is valuable and trustworthy. This helps search engines like Google rank your site higher in search results. 

In this guide, we’ll explain what backlinks are, why they matter, and how to get them. You’ll learn about different types of backlinks and find easy strategies to earn high-quality ones. We’ll also share practical tips and examples to help you succeed.

If you want to increase website traffic and get more visitors, keep reading. We’ll show you how backlinks can boost your site’s visibility and improve your Website SEO. Let’s get started!

Quick Summary

What Are Backlinks

Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are links from other websites that point to your website. They act as “votes” or “endorsements” for your content, signalling to search engines like Google that your website is authoritative, trustworthy, and valuable. 

When another website links to your site, it’s essentially vouching for the quality and relevance of your content. The more high-quality backlinks your website has, the more credible and authoritative it appears in the eyes of search engines, and the higher it’s likely to rank in search results.

Why Are Backlinks Important For SEO?

Backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors for search engine optimization (SEO). Google’s algorithms heavily rely on backlinks as a way to evaluate the quality, relevance, and authority of a website. The logic behind this is simple: if many reputable and trustworthy websites are linking to your site, it must be a valuable and reliable resource worth ranking higher in search results. 

Backlinks serve as a vote of confidence from other websites, and they play a vital role in determining a website’s PageRank – a metric used by Google to measure the importance and authority of a website. The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the higher its PageRank is likely to be, and the better its chances of ranking well for relevant search queries.

Types of Backlinks

Not all backlinks are created equal. There are different types of backlinks, each with varying levels of impact on your SEO efforts. Understanding the different types of backlinks can help you focus your efforts on acquiring the most valuable and effective links.

Natural Backlinks

Natural backlinks, also known as editorial backlinks, are the most valuable and desirable type of backlinks. These are earned naturally when other websites find your content genuinely useful and decide to link to it without any effort on your part. Natural backlinks are seen as genuine endorsements and carry the most weight in search engine algorithms.

Examples of natural backlinks include:

  • A blog mentioning and linking to your website as a helpful resource
  • A news article citing and linking to your content as a reference
  • A forum user sharing and linking to your helpful guide or tutorial

Natural backlinks are difficult to acquire, but they’re the most valuable because they’re given voluntarily and without any direct intervention from you.

Manually Built Backlinks

Manually built backlinks are links that you actively pursue and acquire through deliberate efforts. These can include tactics like guest blogging, outreach to influencers, or participating in online communities. While these backlinks can be helpful for SEO, they’re not as valuable as natural backlinks because they’re essentially self-created.

Examples of manually built backlinks:

  • Guest posting on a relevant blog and including a link to your website
  • Reaching out to an influencer and providing them with content they may want to link to
  • Participating in industry forums and sharing helpful insights with a link to your website
Self-created backlinks

Self-created backlinks, also known as unnatural or artificial backlinks, are links that you create yourself without any input or endorsement from other websites. These can include leaving comments on blogs or forums with your website link, or creating profiles on various platforms with links back to your site.

Self-created backlinks are generally considered the least valuable because they’re easy to manipulate and don’t carry much weight with search engines. In fact, some types of self-created backlinks, like excessive blog commenting or forum signatures, can be seen as spam and potentially harm your SEO efforts if overdone.

According to the recent Google Algorithm Leak every backlink helps your website grow in DA, either small or big. However, quality backlinks bring your traffic and spammy backlinks bring you penalties.

How to Get High-Quality Backlinks

How to Get High-Quality Backlinks

Now that you understand the different types of backlinks, let’s explore some strategies for earning high-quality backlinks that can boost your SEO efforts. 

Creating linkable assets

One of the most effective ways to attract natural backlinks is by creating valuable, shareable content that others will want to link to. These “linkable assets” can take various forms, such as:

  • In-depth guides or ultimate resources on a specific topic
  • Informative and visually appealing infographics
  • Engaging and educational videos or webinars
  • Original research studies or data-driven reports
  • Free ppc tools, calculators, or resources related to your niche

The key to creating linkable assets is to provide genuine value and solve a specific problem or need for your target audience. High-quality, evergreen content that’s genuinely helpful and informative is more likely to be shared and linked to by others in your industry.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging involves writing content for other websites in your industry or niche. By providing high-quality, valuable content to reputable blogs or publications, you can often include a link back to your website in your author bio or within the content itself. Do you know the TL;DR rules of SEO Content Length, Check here

To be successful with guest blogging, it’s important to:

  • Identify relevant and authoritative websites in your niche that accept guest posts
  • Pitch unique and valuable content ideas that align with the website’s audience
  • Follow the website’s guest posting guidelines and provide well-written, high-quality content
  • Include a natural and relevant link back to your website (avoid over-optimised anchor text)
  • Promote and share the guest post on your own channels to maximise its reach and potential for earning additional backlinks


Building relationships with influencers

Influencers are individuals or brands with a significant online following and authority in your industry. By building genuine relationships with influencers and providing them with valuable content or resources, you may be able to earn backlinks from their websites or social media channels.

To build relationships with influencers, consider:

  • Identifying the most relevant and authoritative influencers in your niche
  • Engaging with their content by leaving thoughtful comments, sharing their posts, and providing value
  • Reaching out to them with personalised messages and offering to collaborate or provide exclusive content
  • Inviting them to contribute to your own content, such as expert interviews or roundup posts
  • Providing them with valuable resources, data, or insights that they may find useful and want to share with their audience

Participating in forums and online communities

Engaging in relevant forums, discussion boards, or online communities can be a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and potentially earn backlinks. By providing helpful insights, answering questions, and sharing valuable content, you can build your reputation and credibility within the community.

To effectively participate in online communities for link-building purposes, try:

  • Finding active and relevant forums or communities in your niche
  • Creating a detailed and informative profile with a link to your website
  • Providing thoughtful and insightful responses to questions or discussions
  • Sharing helpful resources, guides, or tools from your website when relevant
  • Building relationships with other community members and influencers

Remember, the key is to focus on providing genuine value and not just self-promoting or spamming the community with links.
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Utilising broken link building

Broken link building is a creative approach to link building that involves finding websites with broken or outdated links related to your niche and reaching out to the website owners with a suggestion to replace those links with a link to your relevant content.

Here’s how the broken link building process works:

  1. Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Check My Links to identify websites in your niche with broken links.
  2. Analyse the broken links and identify opportunities where your content would be a relevant replacement.
  3. Reach out to the website owners, informing them about the broken links and suggesting your content as a replacement.
  4. If the website owner agrees, they’ll replace the broken link with a link to your content, earning you a valuable backlink.

This can be a win-win situation, as you’re helping to improve the user experience on their website while potentially earning a high-quality backlink from an authoritative source.

The Moving Man Method

The Moving Man Method is another creative approach to link building that involves identifying websites that have recently rebranded or changed their domain name. By reaching out to these websites and offering to update any outdated links pointing to their old domain, you can potentially earn backlinks from highly authoritative sources.

Here’s how the Moving Man Method works:

  1. Use tools like Ahrefs or Majestic to identify websites in your niche that have recently changed their domain name or rebranded.
  2. Analyse their backlink profile to find websites that are still linking to their old domain or outdated brand name.
  3. Reach out to these websites and inform them about the outdated links, offering to provide the new, updated links.
  4. If the website owner accepts your offer, they’ll update the links, effectively turning those outdated links into backlinks pointing to your website.

This method can be effective because you’re providing a helpful service by cleaning up outdated links while also gaining valuable backlinks in the process.

How To Do Backlink Analysis

Monitoring and analysing your backlink profile is crucial for a successful link-building strategy. Not only does it help you identify potential issues or opportunities, but it also allows you to track your progress and measure the effectiveness of your link-building efforts. 

Tools for backlink analysis

There are several powerful tools available for analysing your backlink profile, each offering different features and data points. Some popular tools include:


Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool that provides detailed backlink data, including the ability to view your entire backlink profile, analyse your competitors’ backlinks, and identify new link opportunities. Its powerful filters and metrics like Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR) make it easy to evaluate the quality and authority of backlinks. Check our SEO Basics to learn, how to implement SEO using tools.


In addition to keyword research and competitor analysis, SEMrush offers robust backlink analysis capabilities. You can view your backlink profile, track new and lost backlinks, analyse anchor text distribution, and even conduct a backlink audit to identify and disavow toxic links.


Moz Link Explorer tool allows you to explore your backlink profile, monitor new and lost links, and evaluate the authority and quality of your backlinks using metrics like Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). Moz also provides a useful Link Intersect feature to find link opportunities based on your competitors’ backlinks.

How To Perform A Backlink Audit

A backlink audit is the process of thoroughly examining your website’s backlink profile to identify any potential issues or opportunities. This process typically involves:

  1. Exporting a list of all your backlinks from a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush.
  2. Analysing the quality of each backlink based on factors like the linking website’s authority, relevance, and trustworthiness.
  3. Identifying and disavowing any toxic or spammy backlinks that may be harming your Website or Local SEO efforts.
  4. Creating a strategy for acquiring more high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources.

To analyse the quality of your backlinks, look for the following red flags:

  • Low-quality or irrelevant linking websites
  • Excessive exact-match anchor text (sign of over-optimisation)
  • Link farms or private blog networks (PBNs)
  • Paid links or link schemes
  • Links from websites with a high spam score or penalty risk

How To Identify and disavow Toxic Backlinks

Not all backlinks are good for your website. Some backlinks can be considered toxic or spammy, and they can actually harm your search engine rankings if left unchecked. By regularly auditing your backlink profile and using the disavow tool provided by Google, you can protect your website from the negative impact of toxic backlinks.

Here’s how to disavow toxic backlinks:

  1. Export a list of your toxic backlinks from your backlink analysis tool.
  2. Create a text file with the list of URLs or domains you want to disavow.
  3. Visit Google Search Console and navigate to the “Disavow Links” tool.
  4. Upload your disavow file and submit it to Google.

It’s important to note that disavowing links is a sensitive process, and you should be cautious about disavowing links unless you’re confident they are harmful or spammy.

Advanced Backlink Strategies

As you become more proficient in link building, you can explore some advanced strategies to take your efforts to the next level and earn high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources. 

Link roundups

Link roundups are curated lists of valuable resources or content pieces related to a specific topic or industry. By creating high-quality content and reaching out to website owners or bloggers who publish link roundups, you can potentially earn backlinks from authoritative sources.

To leverage link roundups, follow these steps:

  1. Identify websites in your niche that regularly publish link roundups or resource lists.
  2. Create exceptional content that would be a valuable addition to their roundup (e.g., in-depth guides, infographics, tools).
  3. Reach out to the website owners or bloggers, highlighting your content and suggesting its inclusion in their next roundup.
  4. If your content is included, you’ll earn a valuable backlink from a relevant and authoritative source.

Skyscraper technique

The skyscraper technique is a popular link-building strategy that involves finding popular, well-linked content in your niche, and then creating something even better or more comprehensive. Once you’ve created your superior piece of content, you can reach out to the websites that linked to the original content and suggest that they update their links to point to your superior resource.

Here’s how to implement the skyscraper technique:

  1. Use a tool like Ahrefs or BuzzSumo to find popular, highly-linked content in your niche.
  2. Analyse the content to identify ways to improve upon it (e.g., more up-to-date information, additional insights, better visuals).
  3. Create your superior piece of content, making sure it’s genuinely better and more valuable than the original.
  4. Use a tool like Ahrefs to find websites that have linked to the original content.
  5. Reach out to those websites, highlighting the shortcomings of the original content and suggesting that they update their link to point to your superior resource.

Resource page link building

Many websites maintain dedicated resource pages that list useful tools, guides, or websites related to a specific topic or industry. By identifying these resource pages and submitting your website or content for inclusion, you can potentially earn high-quality backlinks from relevant sources.

To implement this strategy:

  1. Use search operators like “keyword + resources” or “keyword + links” to find relevant resource pages in your niche.
  2. Analyse the resource pages to ensure your content or website would be a valuable addition.
  3. Reach out to the website owners, highlighting the value of your content or website and suggesting its inclusion on their resource page.
  4. If your submission is accepted, you’ll earn a backlink from a relevant and authoritative source.

Using data and research studies to earn backlinks

Creating original data or research studies related to your industry can be a powerful way to attract backlinks from authoritative sources. By presenting unique insights or findings, you can position yourself as a thought leader and make your content more linkable.

To leverage this strategy:

  1. Identify a topic or question within your niche that could benefit from original research or data analysis.
  2. Conduct thorough research, gather data, and analyse the findings to uncover valuable insights.
  3. Package your research into a comprehensive report, infographic, or other visual format to make it more engaging and shareable.
  4. Reach out to relevant websites, publications, and influencers, highlighting the value of your research and offering it as a resource they may want to link to or cover.
  5. Promote your research through various channels to increase its visibility and potential for earning backlinks.

Case Studies and Examples

To better understand effective backlink strategies in action, let’s explore some real-life success stories and step-by-step examples. 

Step-by-step examples
How HubSpot earned over 1,000 backlinks for their marketing statistics report:
  1. HubSpot identified a need for up-to-date marketing statistics and data in their industry.
  2. They compiled and analysed data from various sources to create an in-depth “Marketing Statistics Report” with valuable insights and visualisations.
  3. They promoted the report through their blog, social media channels, and outreach to industry influencers and publications.
  4. The unique data and well-designed visuals in the report made it a highly linkable asset.
  5. Many marketing websites, blogs, and news outlets cited the report’s findings and linked back to it as a reference, resulting in over 1,000 high-quality backlinks for HubSpot.
How a website in the fitness niche earned backlinks from high-authority sites like Men’s Health and Bodybuilding.com:
  1. The website owner identified a popular topic in the fitness space – “The Best Chest Exercises.”
  2. He found that most of the existing content on this topic was outdated or lacked depth.
  3. He created an ultimate guide to the best chest exercises, with detailed instructions, videos, and science-backed explanations.
  4. This helped them gain 1000’s of backlinks in short period time due to social sharing and email outreach.

Common Backlinking Mistakes to Avoid

While building backlinks is an essential part of Website SEO, there are some common pitfalls and mistakes to be aware of and avoid to ensure your efforts are effective and don’t result in penalties from search engines. 

Buying backlinks

Purchasing backlinks from shady or low-quality sources is considered a black hat SEO tactic and can result in severe penalties from search engines like Google. Not only is it unethical, but it can also harm your website’s rankings and credibility in the long run. Search engines have become increasingly sophisticated at detecting paid links, and the risks often outweigh any potential benefits.

Using automated link-building tools

Automated link-building tools that promise to generate thousands of backlinks quickly and easily are often spammy and ineffective. These tools typically rely on low-quality tactics like blog commenting, forum signatures, or web directories, which can create a large number of low-quality, irrelevant backlinks that can actually hurt your SEO efforts.

Over-optimised anchor text

Anchor text is the clickable text that forms a hyperlink. While it’s important to use relevant and descriptive anchor text, over-optimising or stuffing anchor text with too many exact-match keywords can be seen as manipulative by search engines and potentially lead to penalties. Instead of stuffing anchor text with exact match keywords, use our competitive keyword research strategy to use diverse anchor text and help your content rank for diverse search terms.

A natural backlink profile should have a diverse anchor text distribution, with a mix of branded anchors (e.g., “Your Brand Name”), naked URLs (e.g., https://www.utds.al), and relevant descriptive anchors (e.g., “best SEO strategies”). Excessive use of exact-match keyword anchors can be seen as an attempt to manipulate rankings and should be avoided.

Neglecting to monitor and disavow toxic backlinks

Failing to regularly audit and monitor your backlink profile can leave your website vulnerable to the negative impact of toxic or spammy backlinks. These low-quality links can harm your search engine rankings and credibility, so it’s essential to identify and disavow them using Google’s disavow tool.

Additionally, neglecting to disavow toxic backlinks can make it appear as though you’re intentionally participating in link schemes or other black hat tactics, which could result in penalties from search engines.

How can we help you?

Remember, the key to successful link building is creating valuable, shareable content that others will want to link to naturally. Focus on building relationships, providing genuine value to your audience, and leveraging advanced techniques like the skyscraper method, broken link building, and data-driven research studies. 

We are UTDS Optimal Choice, a web development and advertising agency specialising in helping businesses succeed online. Our team of experts can assist you with all aspects of link building and off-page SEO to boost your website’s search engine visibility and drive more qualified traffic to your site.

If you’re ready to take your website’s visibility and search engine rankings to new heights, Contact us today at UTDS Optimal Choice. Our team will work closely with you to understand your business objectives and develop a customised link building and digital marketing plan to help you outrank your competition and drive more targeted traffic to your website.

Send us a short brief for your project and we will be back to you with a solution for it

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