In the world of search engine optimization, there is probably no more complicated, controversial, and discussed topic than link building.

Everyone seems to have a different opinion on this area. Some people completely ignore linkbuilding and hope that they only need good content. Others put 80-90% of their efforts into it. While there are many opinions on linkbuilding, it is becoming increasingly clear that you should not ignore this area.

Competition is growing in every industry.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to start building your link profile today.


  1. What is linkbuilding?
  2. Why is linkbuilding important for SEO?
  3. Types of links (3 examples)
  4. DoFollow and NoFollow links
  5. Linkbuilding strategies (10 examples)
  6. Linkbuilding metrics and tools
  7. How to track linkbuilding success
  8. Linkbuilding myths
  9. Frequently asked questions about linkbuilding
  10. Three bonus linkbuilding tricks
  11. summary

What is linkbuilding?

When linkbuilding, you try to get other sites to link to yours (link).
Whether a technology startup wants to get a better place in the market or your neighbor is trying to promote his blog about food - linkbuilding is for everyone. It is a practice in large and small companies.

You may now be asking yourself why Google cares about such artificial and superficial metrics. Why is Google interested in the number of pages that link to yours?

To understand this legally, we need to go back to the beginnings of the Internet.

The whole idea, concept and even the name "link" originated in the 60s of the last century. A guy named Ted Nelson (a pioneer in the field of information technology) dreamed of an "electronic post" in which readers could experience their own adventure by jumping from one link to another.

And so the World Wide Web was created. Imagine that a website (hypertext) is points on a huge spider web. Links (hyperlinks) connect these points and form the Internet.

Links are an integral and key part of how a website works.

Keep in mind that while the importance of links hasn't changed, Google has improved significantly in its ranking.

Why is linkbuilding important for SEO?

As mentioned above, links make up the internet.

But why does Google care so much about links?

Every internet search engine needs a way to evaluate the popularity of websites. According to some, they have to rank them on the search results page. And over time, links have turned out to be the best. Specifically, their quality and number per page.

Look at each link as a "voice" for your site.

Not every link is rated the same. In the world of linkbuilding, democracy does not rule.

If you get a link from your sister's recipe page, Google will think, "Well, at least someone is linking to this page." it is referred to in a known publication. "

Master the concepts

This was a human explanation of how Google ranked pages, that is, how they rank in search results. But Google is not human. Google is a computer program that works only thanks to an unimaginably large army of servers.

google server

Google has created a "PageRank" metric to rank pages by link.

The metric assigns a score of 0 to 10 to each page on your site according to the links.

People are constantly debating whether PageRank metrics still matter. But Google has confirmed that it is still one of the "hundreds of rating signals."

How important are links?

During the official interview, Google said that backlinks are still the most important evaluation factor. What are the other two factors? One is good content (definitely not to be neglected) and the other is RankBrain. Well, let's leave these two factors for another time.

Let's get back to the topic. Let's repeat - backlinks come first when ranking sites.

Not every link is rated the same.

We've given an example above with different Google responses to a link from your sister's site and a popular magazine page.

But what if you put a link to your site in the comments section of another popular site? What if you created a blog on Tumblr or Blogger (two popular sites) and linked to your site from there? And what if you linked from the most popular social network, Facebook?

Before you start looking forward, you should know that Google has improved a lot in determining whether a link has been shared by a user or by the company or organization itself.

Now let's look at the link types and how Google treats them.

Types of links (3 examples)

We have created three categories of links.

Natural links

What are natural links? These links are also called "editorial links" in English.

Get natural links by creating interesting, valuable, or even controversial content that other bloggers will naturally link to.

You can create a whole strategy to get such links. Try to think about the long-term or even historical value of the content being created. Would anyone like to refer to it in the future?

Outreach links

The outreach link category includes all links that you get by asking other sites if they would like to link to yours. Whether you get them for free, for a fee or some form of exchange, it all falls into this category. This includes links that you pay for someone to get for you.

Custom links

You can create many types of links yourself.

The most popular method is local business citations. If your business links to a site, you can add a link to your business to your business catalogs.

Catalogs are very easy to access, so they're less valuable to Google. For this reason, you should choose other strategies. Nevertheless, these links are practical and relevant, so they are among the best linkbuilding practices.

DoFollow and NoFollow links

When someone adds a link to their site, they are automatically "dofollow". However, there is an option to change them to "nofollow".

Why do websites also have nofollow links? This is an easy way for a webmaster to say they don't support the page. Theoretically, this is a method that can prevent the transfer of any SEO value to the pages you link to. But topics like this are complicated. We will explain when nofollow links are useful and valuable.

How to find out which links are nofollow and dofollow

The easiest way to find out which links are nofollow and dofollow is with the free FATREL tool. The tool was created by the SEO company FATJOE. They created it because they themselves have to go through hundreds of links every day and make sure they are suitable for their customers.

DoFollow links

It should be noted that there is no "dofollow tag" or "dofollow attribute". If someone talks about dofollow links, it means they don't have the "rel = nofollow" attribute.

NoFollow links

nofollow tag

If you find that your link on another site is nofollow, this is not the end of the world. First, you should try to make a decent deal with the website owner to make your link dofollow. However, it's best to discuss the terms before creating a post that will be hosted by another site.

If the page doesn't want to change the attribute of your links, you could try to compromise. Try to agree on whether to mark at least one link as dofollow. Your guest post will receive better promotion, your site will receive traffic again, and you will be able to add another dofollow link to your link profile.

This trade-off works well for larger websites, as they tend to have very strict rules about links in their content. But there are still ways to circumvent these rules.

Are nofollow links important?

First, try to play the role of Google. When evaluating a website, you need to find out what authority it has.

You will see two pages:

  • One of them has a few dofollow links. The links are from sites no one has ever heard of.
  • The other site has no dofollow links. However, the content author on the site is a talented CEO who has written an article for a popular web publication such as Forbes or Well, every link from this site is nofollow.

In this case, it is clear that the other site has more authority, even though it does not have a single dofollow link. Google has chosen not to ignore nofollow links and evaluates them at its sole discretion.

That is one of the theories. Let's take a look at Google's statement:

"We don't usually follow links marked as nofollow. Keep in mind, however, that there are other ways to find a site that has a nofollow link. For example, by sitemaps or links from other websites, so they can still be crawled. "

Focus on the word "mostly". Google usually ignores nofollow links, but under what circumstances would it follow them? It is possible that nofollow links from large publications could be this exception.

Dofollow as well as nofollow links are an important part of a good link profile.

10 linkbuilding strategies

Welcome to the fifth part of the article! How could you get backlinks now? Let's get to work.

First, we discuss a strategy called outreach linkbuilding. Most people prefer this method to begin with, because the results will appear the fastest.

Guest posting - Guest contributions

guest posting

You need:

  • Time or money to write guest posts, search for relevant websites and send emails.
  • Have already published a few articles to act as a good contributor.
  • It is very helpful if you already have a name in a certain industry, because then the site will more easily receive your guest contribution.

If you're just getting started with linkbuilding, this is the best way to get started. You don't have to invest anything but your time.

This is beneficial for you and for the site owner hosting the post. The owner gets free and great content. You get one or two backlinks.

Blogger outreach - Guest posts without information about the site

blogger outreach

Google has a complicated history with guest posting. All indications are that the link from the guest post is not as valuable to Google as the natural link.

Blogger outreach is the solution to this problem.

The principle of the blogger outreach strategy is exactly the same as the principle of guest posting - from addressing the website to publishing the guest article.

The difference is in the article itself. An article created using the blogger outreach strategy will not contain any information about you except a (true) link to your site.

Niche Edits - Links in existing content

niche edits

Look for websites that are dedicated to the same industry as you and ask if they would add a link to your site in one of their posts.

It is a very simple strategy and has been used for a long time. After the first attempt, you may notice that the links have a low conversion rate.

You can improve it in several ways. Think about whether the post can be edited to be more beneficial to you and to the page it is on. Restore outdated information and improve your post. Be creative.

Skyscraper outreach - Create enhanced content

skyscraper content

SEO genius Brian Dean popularized the outreach skyscraper strategy. This process is so well known that almost every major site constantly receives requests for cooperation based on this strategy.

Like the previous strategy, this one works by asking website owners to include your link in their content.

The difference is what pages you address.

Use one of the backlink analysis tools (in Part 6 of this article) to find a competing site article that meets the following conditions:

  • It has many dofollow links
  • You can write an improved version of this article

Write an email to persuade the website to include a link to your enhanced article in its content. This can potentially increase your conversion.

Infographic Outreach - Guest infographics

infographic guest posting

This procedure is a form of guest posting. You will find an article on a relevant specialized topic. Create an infographic (graphs, illustrations, symbols with text) and convince the website to include your creation in the content together with the link. Finally, you offer to write a paragraph or two where you mention your business.

You can use inforgraphy for:

  • Attention to short factual data, ideal statistical.
  • Explain complex topics in a few words and with the help of a visual.
  • Create clear historical timelines or an overview of event data
  • Creating short instructional diagrams (simple recipes)

Fix broken links

broken links

This strategy is based on finding your website that is no longer functional but is still linked to by other sites. Find such a page, create a similar or even better post. Contact the site owner who links to the broken page and ask them to link to your new and working page.

However, this process is costly and time consuming. You'll need to create new, much better content, and then spend time looking for sites that linked to old content. You must then contact them to discuss whether they are willing to link to the new content.

The Ahrefs tool can help you with this, where you can enter a domain and look for broken links. It will save you a lot of time. Some turn to the niche edits strategy mentioned above.

The niche edits strategy is very similar to fixing broken links.

Content syndication

content syndication

Have you come across an article on a popular site that read something like "Originally published on [site name]"?

This is exactly the content syndication. You create an article and publish it on your site and then offer it to a more popular site.

First of all, you must have wondered if there would be a problem with plagiarism. Google may fine you, but you can avoid this by contributing to well-known and trusted sites. The backlink to your page should include the rel = canonical tag. This will notify Google that the original article is currently on your site.

Syndication is not only advantageous for SEO. By posting articles on more popular sites, your content will gain more attention.

Citations in local catalogs of companies

local citation

If your business links to a particular site, citations will form a solid foundation for its website.

Linkbuilding is more challenging for local businesses. You and your local competitors won't be able to get a lot of links, especially if constantly creating content isn't for you. Quotes are a good way to get more general and specific links to your local business page.

Best of all, it doesn't cost a lot of time or effort. Creating local citations is not even an expensive affair.

Distribution of press releases

press release

Press release distribution is the process of creating and disseminating interesting news about your industry to journalists, online news sites, or the press.

It's no secret that PR (public relations) has been an important SEO tool for years.

Instead of addressing journalists, they will come to you.

You will also spend less time doing so. Instead of reporters asking you one or more questions and you having to formulate quality answers, they will usually create an entire article based on the content they find thanks to you.

Building a natural link profile

natural linking

The motto is, "If you arrange it, the links will come naturally."

Create the content that the pages will link to.
Try creating so-called referring baits that include:

  • Controversial or provocative articles
  • Article about tools, applications (eg Zillow Mortgage Calculator)
  • Quality infographics (animated infographics). For example, on the topic: How does a car engine work?

Linkbuilding metrics and tools

Before we even start, you can read the article on 41 free tools on the FATJOE website.

There are three SEO tools that people tend to use according to their needs and personal preferences. All three tools evaluate backlinks, but each uses its own method.


Ahrefs is without a doubt one of the most popular SEO tools.

This tool provides the largest amount of backlinks data on the market. This is very impressive. Ahrefs will find backlinks that other tools would definitely miss.

It uses two metrics: Domain Rank and URL Rank. (DR & UR)

Domain Rank (DR) - rating on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the authority of the whole website

URL Rank (UR) - the same as DR, but this metric does not focus on the entire website, but only on one specific URL. For example, a privacy page may have a score of 0/100, because who would ever link to such a page. A viral blog post that has been linked to by hundreds of sites can have a score of 50/100.

Moz (SEO Moz)

Many people know Moz thanks to his huge range of free educational content. This tool is one of the oldest on the market.

Moz is attractive thanks to its free version, especially for those who are just starting out with SEO. The other two tools do not have a free version.

The two best components of Moz are Mozbar and Open site Explorer.

Both allow you to view key domain authority metrics. You will learn to work with it quickly.

It has two main metrics - Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA).

They are similar to the metrics that Ahrefs has, but Moz uses a different algorithm to evaluate the score.

In the SEO world, the terms domain authority and site authority are much more common and are used more often.


SEMRush has almost identical properties to Ahrefs. But Ahrefs offers more data on backlinks.

SEMRush is known to be a better tool for collecting traffic data. So if this is an area that is important to you, consider this tool.

You can decide by price. Both start at $ 99. Ahrefs is pretty picky about what qualities you get for that price. SEMRush offers more. For example, in SEMRush, you can track position changes of up to 500 keywords each day. With Ahrefs you can track 500 keywords per week.

SEMRush uses the Authority Score metric.

Instead of creating two different metrics, such as Ahrefs and Moz, SEMRush decided to create only one. Points domains or URLs on a scale of 1 to 100 based on the number and quality of backlinks and other factors.

How to track linkbuilding success

There are several facts that you could consider a success in linkbuilding. Some people only look at metrics, others value their relevance.

You should monitor your success based on the following four criteria:

  1. The number of links you get
  2. Metrics (quality) of the websites that link to you
  3. Improve the position of your keywords in search results
  4. Natural increase in traffic

The first two points directly track success through the links, and the last two points represent what really matters. Of course, you can't just attribute improved traffic and ratings to linkbuilding. But they still play a big role as one of the most important criteria for Google (which ranks your site in search results).

Tracking keyword positions is probably the most common method for observing the success of SEO and linkbuilding. Here are the reasons why:

  • Higher rankings in search results usually mean more visibility and more traffic
  • Location can change very quickly after making changes and getting new links
  • Location can change every day, and if it continues to improve, success can be attributed to linkbuilding

Ahrefs and SEMRush have keyword tracking software.

In addition to tracking individual keywords, Ahrefs also provides an overall graph combining all your ratings.

key positions

Linkbuilding myths

Myth: You don't need links to rank higher in search results.
Reality: You need them.

Yes it's true. While there are keywords that you can put in the forefront of search results pages without linkbuilding, the reason is probably that they're not competitive and people aren't looking for them.

Everyone is interested in a keyword that is searched 500 times a month (especially if it's a keyword with a commercial interest). Gone are the days when bloggers fought for the best position in search results. Now you have to face companies and startups with high marketing budgets.

Myth: Asking sites if they would add your link to their content is perceived as spamming.
Reality: It's not.

One may perceive an e-mail in which a smaller site asks to incorporate its link into the content of a larger site other than spam. Well, that shouldn't be the case.

When you start linkbuilding and write emails to other sites, they may treat you as spam. But that's just how you learn how it all works. The more sites you respond to, the better you will understand their strategies. You will gain experience and gradually learn how to create cooperation that will be beneficial for both parties.

Myth: You may be penalized for too many links.
Reality: The natural viral distribution is fine.

The last thing you want to do is damage your business. Gradual creation of a link profile is completely safe. Of course, if you don't have any links and you suddenly get 10 in one day, it will be a warning signal to Google that something is wrong. Well, if you get so many links at once, you probably haven't used honest white hat SEO practices.

Myth: Internal links will not affect your ranking on the search results page.
Reality: They will affect.

Internal links affect several things:

  • Google will crawl your site more often
  • They improve orientation in the content on the page
  • Google counts them in the PageRank metric. As Google put it, "The number of internal links on a page is a signal to search engines about the relative importance of this page."

Myth: Irrelevant links will not affect the ranking of the search results page
Reality: Relevance is important, but any quality site (even irrelevant) will help you.

For example:

  • A sports blog can link to a recipe page to give your audience a recipe for a delicacy to watch the match.
  • A meditation blog can link to a headphone page.
  • The dog care blog may link to a production page (because they are dedicated to safe material for making dog toys).

All these combinations are relevant in the context of the current article to which they refer. But their industries have almost nothing in common.

The links should make sense in the context of your site, but it's perfectly fine if you have a few links that aren't relevant to your industry.

Frequently asked questions about linkbuilding

What is linkbuilding and how does it work?

When linkbuilding, you try to get other sites to link to yours (link). Quality backlinks are a huge factor for search engines. Search engines crawl your site and look for links. The better the links you have compared to the competition, the more trustworthy your site will be and the better it will rank on the search results page.

What are the benefits of linkbuilding?

Every internet search engine needs a way to evaluate the popularity of websites. According to some, they have to rank them on the search results page. And over time, links have turned out to be the best. Specifically, their quality and number per page.

If you get a link from your sister's recipe page, Google will think, "Well, at least someone is linking to this page." it is referred to in a known publication. "

Does linkbuilding work in 2021?

The short answer is yes. Backlinks are still an important factor in ranking in search results. Although linkbuilding has a wild and complicated history, Google is constantly refining its web crawling tools, highlighting the importance of backlinks in ranking pages.

How do I get links for my site?

Try one of the strategies in this article. The best way to do this is to combine several strategies.

What is linkbuilding in the context of off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO includes all the activities you do outside of your site in order to optimize them. For example, asking other sites to link to you, creating content for other sites, and checking that your content is still available in citations and databases.

Three bonus linkbuilding strategies

Complaints about links

This strategy is not very well known.

Try to find broken links to your site or misspellings in your business name. Basically, you need to find all the links that incorrectly link to your site.

Once you've identified them, fix everything you can, and then contact other sites to fix the errors.

Take advantage of current events

We've already talked about getting links through press releases. However, there is an even better strategy.

You will need to respond promptly.

This strategy is not for those who are slow and too detail-oriented in their implementation.

The essence of the strategy:

  • A whole new message is coming to the world.
  • Write a comment on this event before all the media grabs this topic.
  • If reporters find your post and are interesting to them, they could quote it in their articles.

That's easy to say, isn't it?

Keep an eye on Google Trends, Google News, Twitter trends and news sites on social networks. Focus on news that is relevant to your industry.

Links from journalists

The dream of anyone who embarks on SEO is to receive a number of links from well-known internet publications.

You can use two strategies.

Try using the HARO service - Help and reporter out. Reporters are constantly very interested in new sources of information and opinions. You can be their source.

The HARO service is free, but an improved version can also be subscribed.

Your e-mail box will be bombarded with a number of different newsletters. Most offers will not be relevant to you.

The premium version offers features such as "keyword alerts." For example, if you offer guitar lessons via Skype, you can add "music," "online learning," "guitar," and "guitar lesson" to your keywords. You will only receive alerts for these terms. It will really narrow down your potential opportunities.


The process of creating a link profile - linkbuilding - can be mysterious to you at first, then frustrating, but eventually it will become one of the most beneficial strategies. If you don't succeed at first, don't give up! After a few failures, success will surely be waiting around the corner.

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