Trying to Build Backlinks for SEO? The 3 Kinds You Shouldn’t Miss


How to build backlinks for your website without engaging in spammy link-building campaigns?

It’s a question that baffles webmasters, digital marketers, and SEO experts alike.

If you’re trying to improve your website’s search engine rankings, backlinks will play a key role. They’re one of the most important rankings signals used by search engines to assess a website’s credibility and authority.

Getting plenty of genuine backlinks from relevant, high-quality websites acts as a stamp of approval. It tells search engines that your website is a trusted source of information. Also, it helps skyrocket referral traffic.

But not all backlinks are created equal.

While good backlinks will pull your website to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), the wrong ones could result in manual penalties and a decline in rankings.

The good news is that earning high-quality backlinks isn’t rocket science. You simply have to know how to get backlinks for SEO from authoritative and popular websites that are relevant to your industry.

In this blog, we’ll explore the types of backlinks that matter for your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Let’s dive right in.

Types of Backlinks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Not all backlinks hold the same value and power. The quality and credibility of a backlink depend on where it’s coming from.

With the introduction of Google Penguin, it’s become more important than ever to acquire backlinks from credible and reputed sources.

Depending on the source, we’ve grouped different types of backlinks into the following categories:

Good Backlinks: The Ones You Need

These are incoming links from high-authority websites and blogs in your industry. The most defining characteristic of such backlinks is that they’re organically included in a relevant piece of content.

They immediately improve your website’s reputation and reliability in the eyes of search engine spiders.

For instance, editorial backlinks from established online publications and blogs feature excellent link equity.

While the idea is to get natural backlinks, you can use blogger outreach tactics to connect with influencers, thought leaders, content creators, etc. in your niche. Explore organic link-building opportunities that’ll benefit their audience as well.

It’s the strategy that helped WordStream acquire an editorial link from The New York Times:

Image via WordStream

In addition to editorial backlinks, you could also acquire backlinks through guest blogging. With guest posts, the key is to identify blogs that publish content related to your brand and industry.

Focus on diversifying your audience and providing valuable content through guest blogging. High-quality backlinks will be a natural outcome of the process.

Links from niche directories are another type of backlinks that power your off-page SEO strategy. Identify reputable directories that are relevant to your industry. Also, leverage popular directories, such as Yelp and Better Business Bureau.

Create unique and meaningful descriptions for each directory listing.

Bad Backlinks: The Ones to Avoid

These backlinks have the potential to come across as spam. They could get your website penalized and take a toll on search engine rankings.

Common examples of bad backlinks include:

  • Links from guest posts published on low-quality and irrelevant websites
  • Sitewide links from third-party websites

Ugly Backlinks: The Bane of Link-Building

These are the backlinks that’ll definitely land your website in the bad books of search engines.

New technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), make it possible for search engine algorithms to detect and penalize suspicious backlinks.

Here are a few examples:

  • Links from generic directories
  • Paid links
  • Links from referring domains that have no connection to your brand/product/niche

Acquiring such links is the SEO equivalent of committing sacrilege.

How to Get Backlinks that Matter

By now, you’ve got a fair idea of the type of backlinks that power your SEO strategy. As a ground rule, you should earn organic links from respected and trustworthy websites that are relevant to your industry.

If you’re looking to revamp your link acquisition strategy, here are three types of backlinks that deserve your attention:

1. Wikipedia Links

External links from Wikipedia are no-follow. In other words, they don’t give any link equity to your website.

So, acquiring backlinks from Wikipedia could seem counterproductive.

But here’s the thing – journalists, bloggers, influencers, and content creators use Wikipedia for research. They use the website to find information about new topics.

If one of your content assets is listed as a reference in a Wikipedia article, it becomes visible to a wide audience.

That, in turn, increases your chances of earning backlinks from reputable bloggers, content creators, etc. in your industry.

Your goal should be to create groundbreaking content that grabs that’s worth linking to. Publish industry reports, whitepapers, interviews, and case studies to earn backlinks through Wikipedia citations.

2. Links from Discussion Forums

No. Spamming discussion forums with links to your blog posts won’t boost your website’s inbound link profile.

But that doesn’t mean discussion forums, such as Reddit and Quora, aren’t valuable to your link-building strategy.

Instead of resorting to comment spam, use these platforms to build authority and provide valuable advice to your target audience. 

It’ll automatically compel them to check out your content. If they like what they read, they’ll use it as a reference in their content.

Isn’t that the ultimate goal of your link-building efforts?

3. Links to Trending Content

Whenever a new trend emerges, journalists, bloggers, and content creators start looking for reliable information and insights. Use that to your advantage by providing them with relevant reference materials.

Use Google Trends to identify relevant topics and themes that are likely to become popular in your industry. Create insightful reports, guides, e-books, etc. about these trending subjects.

Up Your Link Acquisition Game

Link building is no longer about buying backlinks and publishing guests posts on low-quality websites.

You need a concrete link acquisition strategy to build connections with bloggers, journalists, and influencers in your industry. Publish outstanding content to acquire top-notch editorial backlinks.

Leverage industry trends, Wikipedia, and discussion forums to garner more visibility for your content.