What are Backlinks in SEO And How to Build Them

backlinks seo

Table of Contents

In the fast-paced world of search engine optimization (SEO), backlinks are a vital component in determining a website’s visibility and ranking in search results.

These incoming links from other sites point to your own website, signaling its credibility and authority to search engines.

To boost your website’s SEO performance, it’s essential to build a robust network of backlinks.

In this article, we’ll delve into what backlinks are, why they’re important, and offer practical tips on how to effectively build them to enhance your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.


  • Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website, indicating its authority, relevance, and popularity to search engines and users.

  • Improve search rankings, traffic and revenue by increasing authority and signaling your website’s value and trustworthiness.

  • Focus on earning high-quality, organic links from relevant and authoritative websites that match your niche and target audience.

  • Find opportunities by using various tools and methods such as competitor analysis, guest posting, outreach and broken link building.

  • Editorial backlinks are usually the most valuable and natural ones, while self-created backlinks are the least valuable and risky ones.

What is a Backlink?

Backlinks are links from one website to another.

Think of them as a digital handshake, helping search engines like Google assess the authority, relevance, and popularity of a website.

These crucial links play a substantial role in SEO, impacting ranking factors such as domain authority, page authority, trust flow, citation flow, and more.

It’s like receiving a stamp of approval from the cool kids in the digital playground, turning your website into the new hot spot.

What makes a good backlink?

Not all backlinks are created equal, so let’s dive into the criteria and factors that determine the quality and value of a backlink.

Relevance: Birds of a Feather Link Together

A top-notch backlink should originate from a website related to your niche or industry, catering to a similar audience and topic.

Relevance is crucial because search engines aim to provide users with the most pertinent information possible.

Consider this – would you trust a vegan recipe from a website specializing in barbecue? Probably not.

Authority: The Digital Seal of Approval

Remember those cool kids we mentioned earlier?

Well, securing a backlink from a website with high domain rating, page rating, trust flow, and citation flow is like earning the ultimate seal of approval.

These authoritative sites are recognized by search engines and users as credible and trustworthy sources.

Consequently, your website becomes not just the new it-spot, but the digital hangout of the elite.

Diversity: Variety is the Spice of Digital Life

Let’s face it – nobody appreciates a one-trick pony.

An exceptional backlink should come from various sources, such as different domains, platforms, and locations.

It should also exhibit diverse anchor texts and attributes to avoid over-optimization and unnatural patterns.

It’s like inviting people from various walks of life to your party, making it far more fascinating and less of a snooze fest.

Freshness: The Secret Sauce of Success

No one likes stale content, and neither do search engines.

An outstanding backlink should come from a regularly updated website, boasting recent and relevant content that aligns with current trends and user intent.

It keeps your website fresh in the eyes of both users and search engines, acting like a digital breath mint for your content.

Types of Backlinks

Editorial Backlinks: The Chef’s Kiss of SEO

Remember that feeling when someone compliments your cooking?

That’s what editorial backlinks are like.

These are the links that other websites naturally provide because they find your content valuable or authoritative.

It’s the ultimate pat on the back for your content creation skills. 

Example: A food blogger raves about your restaurant’s signature dish and links to your website. 

Method: Craft amazing content that’s irresistible to share

Pros: High-quality and natural; bolsters your website authority. 

Cons: Might take time to generate.

Guest Posting Backlinks: The Potluck Party

You know how you bring your famous spinach dip to your friend’s party?

Guest posting backlinks are just like that.

You write and publish articles on other websites in your niche or industry, and in return, you get a link back to your site.

Example: You pen an article on healthy meal prep for a fitness blog and include a link to your meal planning service. 

Method: Reach out to relevant websites and pitch your article ideas. 

Pros: Fosters relationships and exposes your content to a new audience

Cons: Demands effort and time to create quality content.

Resource Page Backlinks: The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Resource page backlinks are like a buffet table filled with useful resources for website visitors.

You find websites that list helpful references for their audience and politely ask them to include your link. 

Example: A personal finance website lists your budgeting app as a helpful tool

Method: Identify pertinent resource pages and send a persuasive email

Pros: Can generate numerous high-quality links

Cons: Can be time-consuming to find and contact website owners.

Broken Link Building Backlinks: The Leftover Makeover

Ever transform last night’s leftovers into a gourmet meal?

That’s broken link building.

You find broken links on other websites, create relevant content to replace the dead link, and suggest to the website owner that they swap the link with your new content. 

Example: A travel blog has a broken link to a discontinued packing list app. You suggest they replace it with a link to your updated packing list. 

Method: Utilize tools to find broken links and create valuable content to replace them. 

Pros: Fixes a problem for the website owner, making them more likely to add your link. 

Cons: Can be labor-intensive and may not always result in a new link.

Skyscraper Technique Backlinks: The Award-Winning Recipe

Ever try to one-up your neighbor’s BBQ?

That’s the skyscraper technique.

You create and promote content that’s even better than the existing top-ranking content for a specific topic or keyword.

Example: You write an in-depth guide on the best digital marketing strategies, outperforming all other articles on the topic.

Method: Research top-ranking content, create a superior version, and promote it.

Pros: Can generate numerous high-quality links and boost your website ranking.

Cons: Requires thorough research and top-notch content creation.

Importance of Backlinks for SEO

Why are backlinks important?

Why should you care about backlinks?

They’re like the secret sauce that can turn a bland website into a traffic magnet.

Backlinks increase website authority, attract more visitors, improve conversions, and ultimately boost revenue.

How do backlinks improve rankings?

Backlinks are like the lifeblood of SEO, vital to helping your website climb the search engine ladder.

Think of them as votes or endorsements for your site, signaling search engines that your content is relevant, authoritative, and popular for a specific topic or keyword.

So, what’s the secret behind their magic? Here’s how backlinks work their wonders:

  • Discovery and Indexing
    Backlinks act as a roadmap for search engine bots, guiding them to discover and index new and updated pages on your site faster and more accurately. They’re like breadcrumbs that lead these bots to your website’s treasure trove of content.

  • Context and Meaning
    Backlinks provide valuable context and signals from linking websites and anchor texts, helping search engines grasp the context and meaning of your site and its content better. It’s like a game of SEO charades, and backlinks are your teammates giving you hints.

  • Ranking Order and Position
    Backlinks play a critical role in determining your site’s ranking order and position. Search engines evaluate the quantity and quality of your backlinks compared to your competitors. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your chances are of outperforming your competition and securing a better ranking.

Keyword Kung-Fu: How Backlinks Improve Rankings for Different Keywords

Whether you’re targeting head, body, or long-tail keywords, backlinks can work wonders in enhancing your site’s ranking for various types of keywords.

For instance, securing backlinks from authoritative sites with anchor texts containing your target keywords can significantly increase your chances of ranking higher for those keywords.

Data and statistics from case studies and success stories reveal that websites with a robust backlink profile tend to rank higher for various keywords, driving more traffic and revenue.

The Dark Side of Backlinks: Beware of Bad Quality Links

While backlinks can be a powerful tool for your SEO, they can also cast a dark shadow over your site if they’re low-quality, irrelevant, spammy, or unnatural.

Here are some tips and warnings to avoid falling into the backlink booby traps:

  • Quality over Quantity: Concentrate on acquiring high-quality backlinks from trustworthy and authoritative sites, rather than merely amassing a large number of low-quality links.

  • Relevance Matters: Ensure your backlinks come from websites that are pertinent to your niche or industry, so search engines consider them valuable.

  • Stay Away from Spam: Steer clear of spammy link-building tactics like link farms or paid link schemes, as they can tarnish your site’s reputation and result in penalties from search engines.

Strategies for Gaining and Evaluating Backlinks

Here’s how to develop and implement a successful backlink strategy for your website.

1. Define Your Backlink Goals and Objectives

The first step in crafting your backlink strategy is to define your goals and objectives.

Consider your website’s niche, industry, audience, and competitors.

What do you hope to achieve with your backlink strategy?

Are you aiming to boost your website’s authority, drive more traffic, or increase conversions?

Knowing your goals will help you stay focused and make informed decisions throughout the process.

2. Conduct a Backlink Audit and Analysis

What’s your current backlink situation?

Use tools like Ahrefs, Moz Link Explorer, and SEMrush Backlink Analytics to conduct a comprehensive backlink audit and analysis.

This will help you understand your existing backlink profile, pinpoint gaps, and identify opportunities for improvement.

3. Identify Top Opportunities for Building Backlinks

Now that you have a clear understanding of your backlink profile, it’s time to identify and prioritize the best opportunities for building new and relevant backlinks.

Remember, not all backlinks are created equal.

Focus on those that will have the most significant impact on your website’s SEO, like links from authoritative sites and those that are relevant to your niche.

4. Create High-Quality, Valuable Content

As the saying goes: content is king.

To attract and earn backlinks from other websites naturally or through outreach and collaboration, you must create and promote high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your audience.

Consider crafting engaging blog posts, informative infographics, and expert guides that showcase your expertise in your niche.

5. Monitor and Measure Your Backlink Strategy Results

Finally, keep an eye on the results and impact of your backlink strategy.

Utilize the tools mentioned earlier to monitor your progress and measure your success.

This will help you make data-driven decisions and fine-tune your approach as needed, ensuring you’re always making the most of your backlink efforts.

Earning, giving, and building backlinks

There are three primary ways to acquire backlinks for your website: earning, giving, and building.

Let’s break them down: 

  • Earning backlinks: These are the gold standard of backlinks – the ones that other websites naturally provide because they find your content valuable or authoritative.

  • Giving backlinks: Share the love by voluntarily linking to other websites that you find useful or relevant for your audience. This can create goodwill and lead to reciprocal backlinks.

  • Building backlinks: This involves actively creating or obtaining links through writing and publishing content on other websites or collaborating with website owners and influencers. 

Each method has its benefits and challenges, so it’s essential to find the right balance in your backlink strategy.

Creative Link Generation Ideas

Feeling stuck?

Here are some innovative ideas for generating backlinks based on your niche, industry, audience, and competitors: 

  • Craft eye-catching infographics, charts, or graphs that can be easily embedded or linked by other websites

  • Showcase your products, services, or results through case studies, testimonials, or success stories

  • Share practical resources like guides, tutorials, checklists, or templates

  • Engage your audience with surveys, polls, quizzes, or contests

  • Create podcasts, videos, webinars, or live events packed with valuable or entertaining content

Competitive Backlink Research: Know Your Enemy

Conducting competitive backlink research and analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles can provide valuable insights and give you a competitive edge.

By identifying their best practices, discovering gaps in their profiles, and benchmarking your own profile against theirs, you can set realistic goals and KPIs for your backlink strategy.

To do this, use tools like Ahrefs, Moz Link Explorer, and SEMrush Backlink Analytics to find and export their backlink profiles.

Then, analyze their backlinks using Excel, Google Sheets, or other spreadsheet software.

How to Evaluate Backlinks for Relevance and Quality

To evaluate a backlink’s relevance and quality, consider the following criteria:

  • Relevance: The link should come from a website related to your niche or industry, with a similar audience and topic.

  • Authority: The link should come from a credible and trustworthy source with high domain and page ratings.

  • Diversity: The link should come from a variety of sources to avoid over-optimization and unnatural patterns.

  • Freshness: The link should come from a website with updated, relevant content.

Best Practices and Techniques for Acquiring Backlinks

1. Mastering the Art of Crafting Linkable Assets

Let’s be real, folks – people don’t go around linking to lackluster content.

If you want to get those juicy backlinks, you need to create linkable assets.

Consider it the digital marketing equivalent of being the life of the party. 

Here’s how to excel at it: 

  • Share your expertise through comprehensive guides, tutorials, or checklists

  • Showcase your success with detailed case studies, genuine testimonials, and inspiring success stories

  • Engage your audience with interactive surveys, polls, quizzes, and contests

  • Leverage multimedia by creating captivating podcasts, videos, and webinars

Remember, your goal is to create content so valuable that people can’t resist linking to it.

2. Round up Those Backlinks

Link roundups are like the coveted cool kids’ table for your niche.

They gather the best content and resources available and share them with the world.

So, why not join the party?

Find websites that publish weekly or monthly roundups in your niche and pitch your content.

Who knows? You might just find your content featured in their next roundup!

3. Broken Link Building: The Fixer-Upper Approach

Broken links are like the potholes of the internet – nobody likes them.

But they’re also an opportunity to swoop in and save the day by offering your content as a replacement. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Find websites with broken links related to your niche
  • Reach out to them and kindly offer your content as a solution to their problem
  • Enjoy the benefits of increased backlinks

Sounds easy enough, right?

4. Guest Posting: Make Your Mark

Guest posting is like being invited to speak at a conference.

You get to share your knowledge and expertise with a new audience and leave your mark on their minds (and their websites).

To get started, find websites in your niche that accept guest posts and pitch your ideas.

Just remember to include a link to your website in your author bio or within the content itself.

5. Visual Assets: A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Links

Infographics, charts, and graphs – oh my!

Visual assets are an excellent way to convey information in a bite-sized, easily shareable format.

Create eye-catching visuals that other websites can easily embed or link to, and watch the backlinks roll in.

6. Testimonials: Share the Love

Did you know that writing testimonials for products or services you’ve used can score you backlinks?

Include a link to your website in your testimonial, and you’ll snag a valuable backlink in no time.

7. Link Reclamation: Claim What’s Yours

Occasionally, websites mention your brand or product without linking to your site.

Don’t let those opportunities slip away – reach out and kindly request a link.

It’s like discovering loose change in your couch cushions – every little bit helps!

8. HARO: Be a Helpful Source

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform connecting journalists with sources for their stories.

Sign up, respond to queries in your niche, and include a link to your website in your response.

You’ll be doing a good deed and earning backlinks. Talk about a win-win!

9. Learn from Your Competitors’ Backlinks

Why start from scratch when you can benefit from the wisdom of others?

Investigate your competitors’ backlinks to identify successful strategies that you can emulate or enhance for your website.

Think of it as tapping into a secret formula for backlink success.

10. Focus on Content Formats That Generate Links

Finally, zero in on creating content in formats known to generate backlinks within your niche.

Utilize the tools and techniques discussed earlier to pinpoint these formats and produce superior content for your site.

Tools and Methods to Check and Monitor Backlinks

Google Search Console: Your Backlink Bestie

Let’s dive into Google Search Console, the free, must-have tool every marketer needs in their arsenal.


Because it measures your site’s search traffic and performance, fixes issues, and optimizes your site for Google Search.

Plus, it’s got your back when it comes to analyzing your backlinks like a pro.

The Links report in Google Search Console is the ultimate resource for your backlinks.

It reveals external and internal links to your site, top linking sites and pages, and top linking text.

And if that’s not enough, there’s also the URL Inspection tool that serves up crawl, index, and serving information about your pages, including the backlinks to a specific page.

So, how do you check backlinks in Google Search Console? Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Search Console account and select the website you want to check for backlinks.

  2. Click “Links” under “Traffic and Index” on the left navigation panel to open the Links report.

  3. In the Links report, you’ll discover a treasure trove of information, such as top linked pages, top linking sites, top linking text, and top linked pages from within your own site.

Dissecting Your Backlink Profile: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

You’ve uncovered your backlinks – now it’s time to put on your detective hat and analyze your backlink profile.

Equip yourself with powerful tools like Ahrefs, Moz Link Explorer, and SEMrush Backlink Analytics to audit your existing backlinks.

Get set to evaluate the quality and quantity of your backlinks using key metrics like domain rating, URL rating, referring domains, and anchor text.

But watch out, not all backlinks are created equal.

Some sneaky, toxic, or spammy backlinks can damage your website’s reputation and ranking.

No need to panic, though. You can identify, remove, or disavow these troublemakers using the same tools mentioned earlier.

Keeping Your Backlink Strategy on Track

Monitoring and maintaining your backlink strategy is crucial for online marketing success.

Tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Moz Link Explorer, and SEMrush Backlink Analytics can help you track and measure the effectiveness of your backlink strategy.

Remember to set goals and KPIs based on your website’s objectives and industry benchmarks.

Continuously update and optimize your backlink strategy using insights from these tools and metrics.

To keep your backlink profile healthy and relevant over time, implement these best practices:

  • Regularly review your backlinks and remove or disavow toxic or spammy links. 
  • Keep a close eye on your competitors’ backlink profiles and learn from their strategies. 
  • Build high-quality, relevant, and diverse backlinks through content marketing, outreach, and networking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a backlink?

Backlinks are like digital marketing’s version of a high-five from a well-respected colleague.

For instance, when a reputable website like Forbes links to your site in an article, that’s a backlink. Congratulations, you just scored some major SEO points!

How do I get backlinks from high-authority sites?

Acquiring backlinks from high-authority sites is similar to trying to get an invite to the cool kids’ table at lunch.

You must put in some effort and demonstrate your worth. Some tips for obtaining high-quality backlinks include: 

  • Producing valuable, shareable content (consider long-form articles, infographics, and case studies) 

  • Establishing relationships with industry influencers (network, engage, and collaborate) 

  • Guest posting on relevant websites (be strategic and avoid overdoing it to prevent appearing spammy)

What are follow links vs. nofollow links?

Not all backlinks are created equal, which is where follow and nofollow links come into play.

Follow links are like a double high-five that passes on SEO juice, while nofollow links are more of a friendly nod.

But don’t be discouraged! Nofollow links can still drive traffic and contribute to building your online reputation.

What are sponsored or paid links?

Sponsored or paid links are akin to renting a billboard to display your message.

You’re paying for the exposure, but it might not carry the same weight as an organic link.

Be sure to use the “sponsored” attribute to stay in Google’s good graces, as no one wants a Google penalty.

What are UGC links?

UGC (User Generated Content) links resemble a group of people discussing your business in a public forum.

These links can be powerful, but they often come with the “ugc” attribute to inform search engines that they’re user-generated and should be treated accordingly.

What are editorially placed links?

Editorially placed links are the crème de la crème of backlinks.

They’re akin to a personal endorsement from a respected figure in your industry.

These are the links you earn through sheer awesomeness, and they carry the most SEO value.

What are link schemes?

Link schemes are like the annoying kid in class who always tries to cheat on tests.

They may work in the short term, but eventually, the teacher (Google) will catch on and penalize you.

Steer clear of them and focus on building genuine, high-quality backlinks instead.

Experience the Power of Effective Backlink Building

Backlinks are a vital component of any successful SEO strategy, providing both visibility and credibility for your website.

By understanding the different types of backlinks and concentrating on earning high-quality, organic links, you’ll be on your way to driving more traffic and revenue to your site. 

If you’re looking to enhance your website’s visibility and achieve long-lasting results our SEO agency is here to help.

By leveraging our services, you can achieve a stronger online presence, higher search engine rankings, and ultimately, drive more organic traffic to your website.

singapore seo consultant

Article by:

Jaden is the CMO and SEO lead at Traffv. With over 10 years of marketing experience, he has worked with renowned MNCs and his work has been featured in outlets like Hubspot and International Business Times.
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