Several Kinds of Backlinks and How to Obtain Them

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Along with on-page content, backlinks play a critical role in determining search engine rankings. High-quality backlinks are hard evidence to Google that your site is reputable and the links also serve as an avenue to additional visitors, that have the ability to become customers if the correct methods are employed. It must be noted that not all backlinks are created equal and excessive amounts of low quality or ‘spammy links’ can actually be detrimental to rankings.

This guide seeks to highlight the various different kinds of backlinks and how you can set about obtaining ones that will benefit your SEO efforts.

1) Business Directory Links

There are two types of business directory links; free and paid. Premium paid listings will typically offer a tier-based subscription that provides a greater level of business exposure, which in turn gives your business the advantage of increased traffic. Most free listings are still valuable, however. Even directory listings that contain ‘nofollow’ links – that is, links that don’t pass link equity and directly influence rankings, they still provide direct access to your website when a visitor lands on your company profile page while browsing the directory.

Beyond, link equity and driving traffic to your site, business directory links also act as important ranking signals when it comes to being listed in Google’s local 3 pack.

Obtaining Them

The most desirable business directory links are from those that cater specifically to your industry. Other good directories are from those that only serve your particular city or state, etc.

2) Online Publication Links

Whereas business directory links are among the easiest links to obtain, securing a link from a reputable online publication can prove to be the most difficult. Links from popular online publications are valuable because they provide (potentially) priceless business exposure, while the high-quality link itself strengthens your rankings. Prominent publications are trusted sources of online information, so having a link to your website tells search engines that your website therefore a trusted source, as well.

Obtaining Them  

Depending on the nature of the online publication, such websites may require you to supply a well- researched, evidence-based piece (backed up by hard data, such as a survey, for example) or a creatively written opinion about a particular topic.

3) Forum Links

Obtaining links from relevant forums can be achieved, but you must first establish trust within the user base. Simply creating a new account and spamming links to your website, will be seen as little more than advertising and a blatant attempt to link build for your own personal gain and will more than likely see you banned from the forum. Instead, look to become a trusted member by answering user’s questions. Only once you do this, can you look to throw in a link to an article on your website that is relevant to your response and only do it if it will help to provide a more comprehensive answer to the user’s question.

Obtaining Them

To find relevant forums worth posting on, simply do a search for ‘<your industry> forum’ or ‘<your industry> message board’.

4) Guest Blogging Links

Guest blogging can be a great way to supplement your link building. It involves the creation of high-quality articles and an ability to seek out the owners of influential blogs in your industry, in the hopes of getting your own article published on their site, in exchange for a link to your site.

Obtaining Them

Ideally, you’re going to want to track down online blogs that are not only dedicated to your industry, but also contain a sizeable following. It should be noted, however, that getting an article published onto an ‘authoritative’ blog, will require a written piece of substantial quality and length. To get an idea of what would be required of you, be sure to take a look at the existing articles on their blog.

5) User Profile Links

Sometimes, you won’t be permitted to add links from within your guest blogging articles. In such cases, you’ll typically be able to add them from within a user profile page, instead.

Obtaining Them

When sending a proposed guest blogging article to a blog owner, be sure to include a quick biography, along with a backlink.

6) Image Links

The ability for users to perform image searches on Google and other popular search engines makes it extremely easy for others to poach copyrighted material. As frustrating as this may be for the owners of the material, this can actually work in their favour and allow the owners to secure valuable links.

Obtaining Them

The first step is to find out if anyone is using your images without your permission. If you’re using Google, simply access Google Images and choose the ‘search by image’ function. Either enter the URL of the image as it appears on your site or upload it from your computer. This will display a list of websites that are currently using the image. If you discover that other sites are in fact using the image, you have to options. You can either a) contact them and request them to remove the image, or b) allow them to keep the image on their site, on condition that they add a backlink from the image to your website.

A successful link building strategy is essential to ensuring that your site ranks well, for all of the keywords that are most valuable to your business. If you require expert advice, be sure to get in touch with an experienced SEO specialist.

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