I can see how much you WANT this thing called BACKLINK.
It forms the basis of Off-Page SEO techniques.
So, you can’t do without building backlinks for your website if you want to rank on Google.
When you grant an interview, send an outreach, do guest blogging, social bookmarking and so on, what you’re looking for is a broader exposure and backlinks.
But without looking for backlinks in the right direction, you will do your website more harms than having no backlinks at all.NOTE: Looking for backlinks is good but could be DANGEROUS if the quality is bad.
Meanwhile, it’s important you know how to get high quality backlinks to your website and avoid being penalized by Google.
You don’t have to make your mouth water for what will KILL the little rankings and traffic you’ve labored for by getting your backlinks blindly.
There are laid down rules, which you need to know about how to build links for your website.
I can’t imagine someone buying $200 worth backlinks and used his hands to disavow everything when he got SHOT by the police (Google).
He hasn’t committed any offence by using his money to buy what he likes.
But the sad news is what he got wasn’t healthy and Google couldn’t let its spiders feed on poison.
Without seeing Google’s red eyes, there are ways you can get high quality backlinks.
And that is what this guide is all about.
No matter how important backlinks are, IT’S OVER BEGGING OR PAYING FOR TOXIC BACKLINKS.
If it’s your wish to get dofollow links from authoritative websites, that can be achieved with these backlink tactics that I’m about to show you.
But first of all, you need to know something…It’s no longer news that your posts can RANK on Google without backlinks.
So, what does it imply to say you don’t need backlinks to rank on Google?
Does it mean you actually don’t need backlinks?
So, the question is what types of backlinks should you get to increase your rankings?
How should you get them?
Whether your backlinks are much or not, they can’t pull you up your ranking positions on Google if they’re not quality.
This implies that link building is an essential SEO effort to boost your domain authority (DA) and gain organic traffic from Google.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- 1 What is a backlink in SEO?
- 2 Types of backlinks
- 3 Why are backlinks important in SEO?
- 4 Why need Google’s trust
- 5 What types of backlinks to look for
- 6 How to get high quality backlinks
- 7 Conclusion
A backlink is simply a link that points to your website from another website.
For example, let’s say you have a post titled “How to Write Engaging Blog Posts” with the URL https://pqs.com/writing-engaging-blog-posts/.
If I copy the post URL and embed it in any relevant post on my blog, it means I have successfully created an:
- Outbound link for my website.
- Inbound link for your website.
To me, that link which I place on my website or post is called outbound link because it’s pointing out to your website (an external website).
And to you who owns the link I placed on my site, the link is called a backlink or an inbound link.
A backlink doesn’t necessarily mean a domain-to-domain or domain-to-page link, but also a page-to-page or post-to-post link between two externally related websites.
From a professional point of view, a backlink, however, is an inbound link – a link that comes to your website from an external source.
According to Backlinko,
You can see that such an interaction is a VOTE OF TRUST from a website to another.
In view of this, link building is a very serious aspect in SEO like water is to life.
Water might be free, but you have to go get it so you can choose between which is pure and impure!
You also have a choice to make while looking for backlinks.
There are quality backlinks and there are bad ones. The latter are capable of destroying your reputation.
Consequently, your domain authority (DA) will be negatively affected.
If your DA is low, no authoritative websites will give you high quality dofollow backlinks that you don’t deserve.
As a result of this, some people result in buying and selling backlinks.
And that makes Google recommend how to get dofollow links.
And since there is no guarantee of getting quality backlinks from a paid service, buying links can be disastrous.
For this reason, the links you get naturally to your website are indispensable.
So, if you want to know how to get high quality backlinks to your website or blog, you have to wait for them to come naturally.
After fulfilling backlink tactics, what types of backlinks should you get from authoritative websites?
You will find the answer in this discussion as we proceed.
As much as no one wants to give you THUMBS-UP if you don’t merit it, it takes a lot of hard work, such as knowing how to write quality content and some simple Off-page SEO efforts to get authoritative backlinks.
In view of this, Google watches as the event takes place between your website and others.
If you get the VOTE, that means you’re lucky.
But that won’t be for nothing.
There are four major types of backlinks and one carries more weight than the others.
What are they?
- Dofollow backlinks
- Nofollow backlinks
- Sponsored backlinks
- UGC backlinks
Dofollow backlinks are the types of links that send link juice from a website to an external website which the links point to.
If you want to share in the authority of another website, let the owner place your link on his website.
Examples of dofollow backlinks
By default, dofollow links take no tag or attribute.
When the search bots come across an external link on a website, they know what to do with the link depending on its attribute.
And through the anchor text, the bots receive a signal which tells them to let the authority of the referring websites flow to the linked websites.
Because search engines directly index dofollow backlinks, they make a great impact on your rankings and target traffic.
In view of this, the ultimate goal of any SEO activity going on both within and outside your website is to become an authority in your local business.
If you know how to get high quality backlinks from authoritative websites, your goal is surely going to be met.
Building backlinks might be the major reason why you need to do off page SEO.
But yet, no website will give you high quality dofollow backlinks if you don’t have quality content or your website is suffering from a chronic speed problem.
That makes it very necessary to first fix your technical and on page SEO if you want to get dofollow links from authoritative websites.
When people don’t want to share their authority (link juice) with the other websites they’re linking to, they offer nofollow backlinks.
Thus, nofollow backlinks are external links placed on a website, which pass no authority to the websites that the links point to.
Nofollow, however, is when someone places your link on his website and adds the tag rel=”nofollow” to it, instructing the search bots not to share his web authority with you.
So, of what value it is to struggle for a backlink and end up with a nofollow link?
According to SemRush, laboring for nofollow backlinks is worthless.
The use of nofollow emerged in 2005 when spamming was on the rise.
In order to resist spammers who used comments to plant spam links in other people’s websites, Google invented the nofollow link attribute.
Consequently, the search engine recommended that nofollow should be enabled for any link you want to place on your website if you don’t trust its source.
Since then, most people avoid linking to low authority websites or rather offer nofollow backlinks.
Ordinarily, when you get a backlink, the benefit is mutual between you and the website linking to you.
But if the backlink is nofollow, it prevents you from sharing in the juice.
So, don’t feel too lucky if anyone favours you because the link might be nofollow or have low quality.
When the person placing your link on his website doesn’t trust the quality of your domain, using the nofollow tag is encouraged instead of denying you the favor point blank.
This makes it difficult for websites with low domain authority to see high authoritative websites linking to them.
As you’re looking for high quality backlinks from authoritative websites, they too are wary of linking to your website if it’s not safe for them.
But if you have managed to optimize your website and have a good page authority, others would be comfortable giving you dofollow links.
Example of a nofollow backlink:
As this suggests, no one gives backlinks except you are a trusted candidate.
And to earn that trust, don’t forget, you have to work for it.
Hardly would someone listen to you when you approach him to place your link on his websites without pay or writing a guest post in exchange.
In September 2019, Google rolled out two new link attributes, which are rel=”sponsored” and rel=”ugc”, in addition to rel=nofollow.
With the new link attributes, users can appropriately specify their link types and avoid being penalized by Google.
These types of links are the links that point to an advertisement on a website.
Examples of sponsored links
When you are placing an advertised, sponsored or affiliate link on your website, it’s a good SEO practice to add rel=”sponsored” in front of the link.
This will instruct Google to treat the links as the attribute states.
User generated content (UGC) are the types of links commonly embedded on a website by its users through a forum post or comment thread to link to an external website.
Examples of UGC links
So, when you join a forum or comment on a website and manage to place your link on the thread, what you get is a ugc backlink.
This doesn’t mean nofollow backlinks and the likes are worthless.
Your goal determines the types of links you get from other websites.
If you just need referral traffic, getting nofollow backlinks is okay.
Nofollow, sponsored and ugc backlinks, however, can be used to send referral traffic to your website if coming from authoritative websites.
On the other hand, dofollow backlinks can do more than sending referral traffic to your website.
So, if it’s your goal to outrank your competitors on search engines, you need as much dofollow backlinks as possible.
Then make sure you optimize your anchor text for SEO.
All you have to do to optimize your anchor text for SEO is to add a keyword that is relevant to both your website and the external page where you are placing your link.
If your anchor text has a relevant keyword, whatever types of backlinks you are getting will give you a robust traffic opportunity.
If John Mueller of Google says:
Don’t look for backlinks to rank your page.
Isn’t that going to be a BIG RELIEF for you had it been backlinks were not useful?
It’s but don’t get it twisted.
There’s no window for escaping the need for other websites to link to your websites.
Among other efforts in SEO, the quantity, quality and relevance of other websites that link to you can affect your rankings.
Meanwhile, backlinks are important in SEO as much as citations and references are to authors.
If you really want to know how to get high quality backlinks, it’s very important to know why you need one and what type of link should it be?
Backlinks aren’t the major SEO ranking factor, but yet still contribute immensely in the following manners:
Votes of trust
Your backlinks can serve as votes of trust.
They can be specifically used to measure the value of your website or authority as an entity on search engines or the web as a whole.
It is a misplaced priority looking for backlinks without having quality content.
High quality backlinks will naturally come from relevant authoritative websites if your content is superb.
Because of this, authoritative backlinks can be seen as byproducts of quality content.
Google won’t rank your page without determining its credibility.
So, most people get it wrong building links to increase their rankings instead of trust.
Before a backlink can boost your rankings, you have to first earn the trust by creating linkable content on your website.
A lot of things have changed in the SEO community lately.
Google can determine which links come to your website artificially and which come naturally.
For this reason, any link you generate artificially can’t have much effects on your rankings.
I have my proof!
I carried out a simple research to know the impact of backlinks on rankings.
I searched for the keyword “Digital Marketing Trends” on Google and found out that the website ranking in the position zero doesn’t have as much backlinks as the others ranking in position #1 to #3.
That shows that backlinks don’t work as most people cynically think…
Most people think, they need to get as many backlinks as possible to rank their websites.
But that’s not true.
All you need is just quality not quantity.
If you want to know how backlinks work, let’s both look at the following instances.
Backlink profile of a website ranking in position zero
The URL has a low quantity of dofollow links pointing to it. Out of the 17 backlinks found on the page, 13 came from different IP addresses.
Backlink profile of a website ranking in position #1
The URL ranks in position #1 with a larger quantity of backlinks pointing to the post. It has 945 dofollow backlinks out of which 194 came from different IP addresses.
Backlink profile of a website ranking in position #2
The URL ranks in position #2 with a much larger quantity of backlinks pointing to it. The post has 8,117 dofollow links out of which 495 came from different IP addresses.
This shows that backlinks don’t directly impact your rankings except other conditions are met.
In the above three scenarios, two things could be the reasons why a post with low backlinks would rank higher.
- High quality content
- High quality backlinks
Thus, the numbers of links pointing to a post don’t contribute to its votes but its quality and credibility.
So, when a post attracts authoritative backlinks, Google sees it as a sign of TRUST.
This way, the search engine decides which position best fits a post on the result page.
Why need Google’s trust
You’ll feel like “mehn, what have I done” after checking your performance on Google and realize a sudden drop in your rankings.
Losing your good ranking position isn’t a problem that can’t be fixed.
In fact, you can even avoid it if you know how to gain Google’s trust.
Oftentimes that people lost their ranking positions on Google, there are chances they’ve lost the trust which Google had in them.
You might lose Google’s trust if there’s any strange activity on your website such as spam link building or errors resulting from algorithm updates that are not attended to.
By implication, if your traffic goes down, your sales too will crash.
So, to avoid further losses, you need Google’s trust.
The truth is without someone placing your links on his website, Google won’t have CONFIDENCE in YOU.
But because there is a possibility of violating SEO rules in the act knowingly or unknowingly, you need to grow your backlinks naturally.
That will help you get backlinks from reputable websites.
In that case, how, when and where you acquire dofollow links matters a lot.
So, one side of the GAME is quality content and the other is quality backlinks.
Tell me who will say you haven’t done well WINNING two trophies in a FIGHT?
Assuming you and Neil Patel rank for the same keyword, the only thing that can make either of you take a position above the other is the quality of your backlinks.
Google places so much VALUE on high quality backlinks.And the point is the more high quality dofollow backlinks you get, the more important you are in the eyes of Google.
So, if you want to get high quality backlinks for free, what are the things you need to do?
Let’s look at how fast you can get high quality backlinks to your website.
Hence we would begin by looking at what types of backlink should get for your websites.
As said earlier, creating inbound links for your website is one of the major SEO practices to increase the rankings of your website.
Meanwhile, the following are the types of backlinks to look for if you want to build quality links to your website.
Authoritative websites command Google’s trust and examples are branded, government and education websites.
In view of this, it’s better to get your backlinks from the likes of Forbes or Huffpost than a no-name website.
Google holds that having massive backlinks isn’t an indication a website is authoritative.
An authoritative website is the type with great thought leadership in a relevant niche whose domain authority (DA) is as well remarkable.
Moz invented the term domain authority to measure the quality of a link you get from a website.
That means quality links come from the websites whose DA is high.
On the other hand, Trust Flow and Domain Ratings as used by Majestic and Ahrefs respectively also indicate the authority level of a website.
So, getting a backlink from a trusted or authority website is a vote to increase your Google rankings.
The visible text of a link is called an anchor text. It can be used to lead the audience from one page to another internally and externally.
So, whenever someone is placing your link on his website, it’s advisable to include your target keyword in the link’s anchor text.
But because you have no control over the other website, there is little or nothing you can do to ensure total compliance.
No matter how authoritative a website is, if the anchor text of the link pointing to your website doesn’t contain a relevant keyword, the quality of the link will be low.
With Google Penguin algorithm, it’s not a good SEO practice for your backlinks to have the same anchor text.
Google warns against that practice and if you’re caught in the act, you’ll be penalized.
You have to be careful and ensure all links pointing to your site from other websites don’t have exact keyword-rich anchor text.
It would be very suspicious to get backlinks from 2 different websites and all contains exactly the same anchor text.
If website A links to a page on your site with an anchor text “dofollow links”, website B can link to you with another related anchor text.
What is important is to ensure the anchor text is succinct enough to make readers click on the link.
And when that happens, both the two websites in question must be related to each other.
One of the possible ways to get high quality backlinks is to ensure the links are coming from related websites.
By so doing, the host website can share its authority with you.
It would be strange to have your links on a website that talks about “women hygiene” when your niche is digital marketing.
Google would rather be pleased to see your backlinks coming from websites that talk about social media marketing.
If you build links randomly, you might end up linking to websites that are not related to yours.
Spammers are most caught in this act.
The best type of link you could build to your website from the others is dofollow.
Anything short of this is worthless.
Since nofollow links don’t share the authority of the website linking to you, they have no weight on your rankings.
As a result of this, it’s a waste of time investing your time and effort in nofollow links.
In order word, you can’t get quality links placing your links in any of the following resources:
- Guest posts
- Blog comments
- Press releases
- Paid or sponsored posts
For example, John Mueller claims that all links from guest posts are treated as nofollow links.
The Google’s Webmaster trend analyst reiterated in a recent tweet that creating a guest post in the bid to get backlinks for your website is unsavory.
John in his tweet, said:
The details of the claim can be found in the following tweets:
This implies that you can’t do guest blogging to get quality links.
So, if you want to build high quality backlinks for your site, this strategy has to be ruled out in 2020 and beyond.
The more a site links to you, the weaker the links.
Hence, the ranking power of a link decreases the more the same website links to you.
Let’s say I’m your fan and each time you publish a new post, I link to you.
If I have linked to you ten times, it means you’ll be having ten links from my site.
But because the quantity of the links doesn’t matter, extra links you get from a single website have no significant effect on your rankings.
This implies that the links you get from a website after the first one don’t count.
So, it’s better to have ten backlinks from ten different websites than to have ten backlinks form a single website.
Having a reasonable quantity of quality backlinks can boost your rankings.
There is no doubt about it.
But the problem is to get high quality backlinks for free is not easy.
So, waiting for inbound links to come to your website naturally might take a lot of time.
For that reason, you can’t fold your arms and do nothing?
After publishing your content, you have to step out of your comfort zone and do the best you can to pitch your content to authoritative websites for quality dofollow links.
Considering the following tasks can help you build quality backlinks fast to your website.
The most natural way of getting backlinks is through the content of your website.
If you have quality content, other content creators won’t mind placing your links on their websites.
When their audience follows the link to your website, their expectation is to provide reference to the subject in discussion so they can have adequate information.
It would be absurd to refer my audience to your website through your link and on getting there, they find nothing credible.
In view of this, there is a guarantee that you will get high quality backlinks from authoritative websites if your content is worth linking to.
A website content doesn’t mean just the text but all linkable assets on a website which are web pages, posts, images, videos, eBooks, infographics, case studies and so on.
Hence linkable web content is basically any resource or information that can be used to provide additional information on other websites.
If the link doesn’t provide value for the host website, it would be hard to get a backlink from it.
As this implies, many things are involved if you want your content to attract quality backlinks from authoritative websites easily.
However, linkable content must be:
- Highly researched
- Focused on a niche audience
Whether your content is a text or graphic, you need to know how to create content that people want to link to.
This will give you the chance to build your links naturally from websites that are related to your niche.
Assuming I have a post ranking in position zero (P0), that’s the position above #1 on Google SERP.
According to ahref, 28.2% of all clicks on the SERP goes to a post ranking on P0 and 19.6% goes to the post that ranks #1 respectively.
Because such a post is quality, it’s a linkable asset.
It has traffic which is about 2X of the traffic that is attainable in position #1.
That kind of post should be able to fetch you a lot of high quality backlinks if you can call on others to link to it.
Another way to get quality backlinks to your website for free is finding interview opportunities on authoritative websites.
Getting interviewed on a relevant website is the easiest way to build backlinks to your website naturally.
But unfortunately, many people are not looking in that direction.
Apart from the link building opportunities you get from being interviewed, your business will also get a broader exposure, credibility and authority on the web.
Before you can get such an opportunity, you have to be in relevant groups on social media where you can exhibit your thought leadership.
There’re many ways to build backlinks from interviews.
But for simplicity, you’ll be good with pitching ideas on relevant groups.
Pitching ideas on relevant groups can make you easily gain the attention of the other members.
Having established a good relationship in the group, you can propose to interview members based on a mutual understanding to place their links on the interview and they link back to it or other relevant post on your website
One of the best places to pitch for interview opportunities is Facebook or Twitter.
Go to Facebook and search for relevant groups, let’s say “Social Media and Network Marketing”.
You’ll find an array of different groups that you can join and begin expressing yourself till members of the group start noticing you.
As a digital marketer, for example, you can join “social media marketing groups”, “SEO groups” or “WordPress and blogging groups”.
Any of these groups can be leveraged to get interview opportunities.
In fact, you can equally get a few numbers of the group members that will be interested in linking to the interview if it is a great piece.
If you usually do nothing after publishing your post, one of the opportunities you’re missing is a link roundup.
A link roundup is a strategy to collect content from different websites on a particular issue.
Assuming you want to do a roundup on a topic related to the subject in discussion, you will have to reach out to relevant authors for their posts on “how to get quality backlinks for free”.
While you’re doing the compilation, each participant will have the opportunity to place some of their links in the content being submitted for the exercise.
As you can see, the major benefit of link roundups is to link out to other websites so all participants can gain backlinks from the host.
If you can find websites that accept link roundups, that would be another major source of getting high quality backlinks to your website.
Most veteran bloggers use roundup link building strategy, because this is how to get quality backlinks fast.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice, you can also make a good use of roundups happening around your niche or business.
So, if you want to benefit fully from a link roundup, all you have to do is to look for related websites which accept link roundups.
The following steps will help you get the most of this strategy.
STEP1: Prepare a spreadsheet
Preparing a spreadsheet for you link roundups can be used to help you keep track of the following informations:
- The URL of the website
- DA of the website
- Frequency (daily, weekly, monthly)
- Contact Person
- Email Address of the contact person
- Status (Accepted or not)
- Remarks (specify any information worthy of note during the process).
There’re many places to find link roundups. You can explore Google, Twitter, Facebook and so on.
For the purpose of this guide, we will look at how you can use Google and Twitter to search for link roundups and get high quality backlinks to your website free.
Using Google advanced search
Go to Google and use the following advanced search operators:
- “Keyword” + “link roundup”
- “Keyword” + “weekly roundup”
- “Keyword” + “weekly link”
- “Keyword” + inurl:roundup
- “Keyword” + intitle:roundup
- “Keyword” + best posts of the week
- “Keyword” + best blogs of the week
Based on the above search parameters, you should expect highly specific results and save your time.
When Google returns with the results, ensure your search captures the most recent roundups so you don’t waste your efforts pitching to a website that is no longer accepting new entries.
Assuming your niche is digital marketing, then your primary search should be on “digital marketing”.
So, go to Google and type the following text in the search bar:
“digital marketing” + “weekly roundup”.
Wait a moment for the results to come up, then click Tool to filter the results for a specific period of time:
- Any time
- Past Hour
- Past 24 hours
- Past week
- Past month.
Note: The recent the time, the better the chances of getting in a roundup.
So, don’t filter for Past month or Past year.
But in case you don’t get any result for a time-specific search, try the next search or filter parameter.
Using Twitter advanced search
Simply go to Twitter advanced search page and configure your search filter as appropriate.
Just like the similar search we made in Google above, ensure your search contains “digital marketing”, “roundup”, and “link”.
After filling the search form, click the Search button and look through the result for a perfect roundup opportunity.
With all the results you get in Google and Twitter, you can fill your spreadsheet as recommended earlier.
Having done that, the next thing to do is to pitch your content to each of the websites you have on the spreadsheet.
STEP 3: Pitch your content to relevant website
To pitch your content to any link roundup website, go to the Contact of the website and find its official email address.
You can write an email to the contact person and request for his approval.
Do whatever you can to create familiarity between you and the person. That will increase your chances of getting his approval.
Another thing you must do is to ensure your content is original and your email doesn’t contain spam links.
Link exchange strategy
The link exchange strategy is a fast backlink building approach through which you can exchange a relevant link with another person.
You can’t just approach anyone without doing your homework.
First of all, you need to assess the other website and find out what it is all about.
If you’re both covering the same subject, look for a post that you can link to on it and contact the owner for an exchange.
But because most people will turn you down, you must be ready to give out some incentives.
So, any of the following will entice them easily:
- Create a very nice featured image for them to replace the one they’re currently using;
- Feature their brands or links on your website; and
- Offer to pay some money if the link is really worth the price.
You can ask them for a backlink in exchange for whatever option they choose.
The Skyscraper link building strategy was introduced by Backlinko.
It gives you insights into the ranking scores of high authority websites, so you could leverage on their weaknesses.
To spy on your competitors and get comprehensive information about their link profiles, you need some SEO tools such as:
- Google keyword planner
- Pro rank tracker
- Social Mention
You can find the details on how to use the tool as put together by Neil Patel in his post on same.
The tools can be used to find the top ranking posts on your competitors’ websites and identify those who are linking to them.
With the information you get from the exploit, you can create better content and ask those who are linking to your competitors to link to you instead.
If you want your website to compete and rank well on search engines, there are hundreds of SEO strategies which you can apply.
Among them, backlinks remain the key.
Building high quality backlinks or inbound links for your website can fetch you the most of SEO benefits.
For this reason, Google is strict about how, where and when you acquire your backlinks.
But because it’s not within your control to acquire quality backlinks for your website, there is a limit to what you can do.
To get high quality backlinks from authoritative websites, your content has to be linkable.
With high quality content, you can pitch to authoritative websites and get quality dofollow links for your website.
If you go off limit, Google will penalize you.
Google considers your backlinks as votes of trust. So, your strategies must be natural.
Links generated naturally are considered to be high quality. They have a lot of weight on your rankings.
You might have 1000 backlinks and see no improvement in both your rankings and traffic if the quality is poor.
In view of this, you need to know how to get high quality backlinks for your website.
No matter how difficult the task is, this guide would show you how to get quality backlinks fast and boost your rankings.
If you’re caught spamming the web, the penalty may cause your website to cease from appearing on Google.
I have shared some unique link building tactics with you in this guide.
If you can adopt the strategies, they would help you build high quality backlinks for your website and establish your authority.