What is a Backlink and How Do You Get Them

If you are new to seo or marketing you may wonder what is a backlink and how do I get them.

A backlink is a link from one web page to another web page. As a website owner, your goal should be to drive high-quality backlinks to your website. Doing this will improve your authoritativeness in your industry and will help with ranking your website in search engines.

In this article, we will be covering many aspects of what a backlink is and
how you can obtain them.

What are backlinks?

You should think of a backlink as a vote of confidence for your website. It tells search engines that you have high-quality content and that it is worth sharing.

Backlinks are one of the essential signals that search engines like Google uses for ranking your website. In other words, getting links back to your content will increase your rankings in Google, especially if you are receiving links from high authoritative websites.

It takes time to build up quality backlinks, but if you do it right, you will see an increase in your rankings in Google and other SERPS over time. It’s well worth the time and effort it takes if you are serious about the growth of your blog or brand.

How do backlinks work?

A backlink works by acting as a method to send visitors from one web page to another. In other words, it’s a way to recommend website content through a contextual and sometimes visual form.

The more backlinks you have to your content, the more authoritative it will appear to search engines. 

Backlinks are one of the most essential search engine ranking factors; most importantly, it is a top Google ranking factor. If you want to rank for anything, you are going to need to build backlinks that target your goals.

I can not stress enough how essential backlinks are for ranking and growth.

Having credible backlinks is the strongest signal you can send to search engines. Even more so, when it comes to ranking in Google. I emphasize Google because they are the king of all search engines and nearly 65% of all searches are done on their website.

Focus on creating quality content, and you will get quality backlinks. I guarantee it. It’s a natural thing for people to want to share quality content with their audience.

Why do you need backlinks?

Think of a link to your site as a recommendation. The more people recommend your website, the more likely you are to rank for that recommendation.

People love recommendations and so do search engines. I want you to imagine how many times have you been influenced by someones recommendation to visit a restaurant. The idea is the same when it comes to recommending search queries.

There are three main reasons you want to acquire backlinks to your website.

Increase Your Website Ranking

Once again search engines use links as ranking factors. It’s essential you understand this so you can create a strong link building strategy.

Links build a reputation for your website, and having a good reputation will increase your search engine rankings over time. The more backlinks the higher your domain authority will climb.

Make Your Content Discoverable

Search engines work by crawling the web; when they discover new links, they then start to crawl that content. If you are linked to by a popular website, chances are you will show up faster in the search index.

Increase Referral Traffic

The bonus to getting backlinks to your site is the referral traffic they can produce. If you are linked to by a popular blog, and you give terrific insights that expand their topic, people will click through to your website.

What type of backlinks are there?

You should know that not all links are the same and that there are two types of backlinks do-follow and no-follow. 

A Do-Follow backlink is what everyone goes after. These are the most valuable type of backlinks your website can receive. These types of links are like votes for your website and will help your SEO and SERP overtime.

Search engines ignore no-follow backlink. For that reason, a no-follow link will provide no value to your website, especially when it comes to helping you rank in search engines.

Having lots of no-follow links will not affect your search engine rankings in anyway.

However, having good no-follow links can drive massive traffic to your website if it is from a high authoritative website or a heavily trafficked source.

If you want to rank in the search engines, you should focus on creating quality

Quality over quantity always wins in this game, every time.

High Domain Authority Links

Domain authority is a concept continually evolving and being developed. Moz
developed the idea behind domain authority.

The basic high-level view of domain authority is how likely a domain will
rank for certain topics. Many factors go into calculating a website’s domain
authority. Those factors are being updated every day and if you stay on top of it to improve your chances of ranking.

The higher the domain authority, the more likely the site will rank for
their targetted keywords. Domain authority is calculated on a scale of 1 to
100, 100 being the most authoritative domain. Google would be a 100 domain

If you want more detailed information on how domain authority is calculated
to check out this article from Moz

Are there bad links?

Yes, bad links do exist and can hurt your search engine rankings.

Ask yourself these questions:

Would I rather get one quality backlink from TechCrunch.com or hundreds of links from spammy looking websites?

In other words, would you rather get one high-quality link back to your website or a bunch of crappy ones that no one has heard of?

The answer should be evident to you, and believe it or not; it is apparent that this is one of Google ranking factors as well. High-quality links will always outweigh the latter. You can have thousands of backlinks to your website, and none of them provide any value.

Not all links are equal; some links will hurt the rankings of your website. It’s better to have no backlinks than hundreds of bad ones pointing to your site.

Never buy links, and always try to keep your link building strategy off of suspicious websites. If you decide to go the spammy route, your website will get penalized, and you will see your search engine ranking drop.

Just remember to be honest, and if you get caught using shady methods to acquire backlinks, disavow them. If you don’t, your website stands a good chance of being caught, penalized, and maybe even deindexed.

If you feel you have bad links pointing to your website, you can always disavow them.

You can disavow backlinks in Google Webmasters. You can click here to learn how to disavow a link in Google.

How do I get backlinks?

The hardest thing to do at the beginning of your blogging career is getting
backlinks to your website. Nobody knows you, and your content isn’t ranking,
it’s a hard knock life.

There are a couple of tips and tricks that you can utilize to get you
backlinks point to your website more quickly.

If you use the methods I have for you below; I guarantee you’ll get backlinks.

Some of the tips below take a longer time to research and implement; however, eventually, all of these backlinking strategies should be in your playbook for your long term growth.

Backlink to your site on social media

The easiest way to get a link back to your site is to use your own social media profiles.

Just remember not all social media profiles will be do-follow. Therefore, if they are no-follow, no link value will be given.

But a link is still a link, and it has a chance at driving traffic to your website.

Social media links can also drive social signals if done correctly. Although, there is not enough evidence to say if Google is using shares as a ranking factor.

The more you can drive traffic to your social profiles, the more traffic you’ll be able to send it to your website.

Write Better Content

One of my favorite quotes is by Pablo Picasso. He said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

I’m not telling you to steal word for word somebody’s blog posting.

What I am telling you is to research your competition. Find out what types of articles, your competitors are writing to drive traffic and are getting the most links from.

Original research is critical here!

Analyze your competition, expand to areas they didn’t cover.

Don’t use fluff; use real-world examples and facts that add value.

The more useful your content, the more chances you have of ranking and getting backlinks to your site. If you create a better resource, people will eventually take notice.

There are a couple of great resources you can use to research your competitors.

You will be able to see what they are ranking for, and who is linking to them.

Your goal is to find areas that you can improve on and explain more thoroughly. Create content that people are going to want to backlink to you versus linking to your competitor.

Reach out to individuals who have shared that type of content before. Let them know about the existence of your article. Explain to them how your articles go into much more depth than the one they link out to. It can’t hurt! What’s the worst thing that can happen? They say no?

Create Shareable Content

If you want to get backlinks to your website, one of the best things you can do is create content that will inspire people to share.

Your link building strategy should consist of various types of posts and content.

A couple of examples of content that drives links would be:

  • Infographics
  • Pillar Post
  • Top List Post

Think of how to post, infographics, or posts that contain videos. Eye-catching content ends up with more backlinks than your traditional type of post.

Becoming an Authority

Becoming an authoritative source for a niche takes time and great content. You have to devote yourself to it, and learn as much as you can, this step requires discipline.

If you can pull it off, you will do exceptionally well.

Pillar posts are the ultimate types of content you can write.

Your pillar post should contain several thousand words of content, be engaging and informative.

Make sure your pillar post goes in-depth on your topic and avoids fluff. Cover your focused topic in every aspect you can imagine.

Do this, and you will get backlinks to your website because you are so thorough.

You can think of these as your guide post; for example, one of our guide posts here is How to start a WordPress blog.

Creating how-to’s will be a big step in your future link building efforts. Don’t miss out on that opportunity to teach someone and become an authority in your niche.

The longer and more thorough your content is, the more likely somebody will
share it.

Write a guest post

Writing a Guest Post is another excellent link building strategy you can use
to attract high-quality backlinks to your website.

The only thing guest posting cost you is the time to write the article.

How do you go about finding a place to guest post?

There are many ways you can find guest posting opportunities. A couple of
easy ones you can do right now:

  • Make a list of blogs in your niche.
  • Use social media to find similar content creators that own similar blogs.

My only recommendation to you if you try to go with guest post writing as
part of your link building strategy is to make sure you write fantastic

The more value you give, the more value you will receive.

Contact Influencers in Your Niche

One of my favorite Bloggers and Expert in SEO is Neil Patel.
Neil recommends the power of asking for a link. However, he said to ask
for it tactfully.

Begging for a link typically never works.

You need to:

Research who are the influencers in your niche. Find something useful they
have mentioned and tell the world about it in your article.

Make sure it’s relevant to your topic, and don’t forget to quote them where
you can.

Give your chosen influencer a link back to their site, or to content that
you referenced.

After you have done this, it’s time to let them know you mentioned them in
your article. Creating useful content that mentions your picked influencer creates
a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Chances are they will then tell their audience that they were mentioned in
your post, giving you a backlink.

Does this always work? No, but you don’t know until you try. Everyone starts
somewhere, and people remember that. You will eventually begin to see results

Find Broken Links

If you can find a post that has a broken outbound link and that broken
the outbound link can be explained by your link, reach out to the site owner, and
tell them.

You can say something like:

Hello [Owner of the Site]

I was on your site and found a broken link on:


I enjoyed your content, and I just happen to have a great article similar to
the broken one.

You can check it out in the link below, feel free to use it if you want.


Either way, thanks for the great content, and keep up the great work!

All the best,

Your name

Does this strategy work all the time? No. But it certainly does work

There are many tools you can use to find broken links, one of the best
known is

Ahrefs – A fantastic tool that will help you see who is linking to your
website or even your competitors.

Interview Influencers

Another powerful method to get high-quality backlinks to your website is to
interview influencers in your industry.

When your interview is published, be sure to send the interviewee the link.
This has a high chance of being socially shared or linked to from there
website. This is a win-win for everyone.

Interviewing an influencer will drive traffic, and help establish you more
as an authority in your industry.

While I can’t promise, everyone is going to jump into a full-blown interview
with you if you ask. Indeed, some will, and you will build up your network as

Just keep moving forward, build up excellent content.

You will soon establish your authoritativeness, and eventually, you’ll be
the one asked to be interviewed.

How Your Content is Linked is Important

Not only is getting links to your website essential, how your content is
backlinked plays a massive role in the quality of signal they send.

If you are driving links that contain rich anchor text, you are going to do
a lot better than if your site URL is the only anchor text is linked. That is
to say; the more relevant the anchor text is to your work, the higher the link
value will become.

Remember, a backlink is like a vote, and if someone is voting your keywords
back to your site, that’s an important ranking factor.

Having rich anchor text will allow Google and other search engines to
understand the intent and reason behind the link. If you have a keyword-rich
anchor text from an authoritative source, it’s going to give you a massive bump
in credibility.

How can I check my backlinks?

Many amazing resources will allow you to check backlinks to your website or
your competitors.

I highly recommend Ahrefs as it is one of the most comprehensive ones I have

There are many other ways you can check to see who has a backlink to your

A couple of great solutions to find backlinks:

Neil Patel’s Backlink Checker

Neil Patel’s backlink checker is a great place to get started in analyzing who is linking to your website. It’s pretty comprehensive and expands beyond just checking for your backlinks.

For the most part it’s free enough to get a general idea of who is linking to you, but if you want more out of it there is a subscription plan.

Neil Patel Backlink Checker Home Page

Neil’s software is relatively easy to use, just type in your domain name and hit search. You’ll see a bunch of metrics and domains that are linking out. You’ll see if they are do-follow, no-follow, and even the anchor text that was used.

Neil Patel Backlink Checker Results Page

In the end, it doesn’t matter what service you use to check to see who is linking where, as long as you get a good idea of where you and your competition stands, you can build upon that.

Ahrefs Backlink Checker

A very powerful tool for checking who is backlinking to your website is Ahrefs Backlink Checker. They claim to be the second most active web crawler after Google, so their knowledge database is constantly growing.

While it is “free,” there are some limitations in using it. I recommend combining as many sources as you can for your research, the more data you have, the better your chances are of success.


Getting backlinks to your website doesn’t have to be complicated. In the
end, it all boils down to having share-worthy content and knowing how to market
yourself and what you have created.

A backlink is a vote for your website, saying you are worthy! It is one of
the most critical Google ranking factors, as well as other search engines.

Not all links are the same.

How you go about your link building strategy is going to be crucial to your

It’s important to understand quality vs. quantity; quality always wins.

Remember, it’s better to have one high-quality backlink than a few dozen
spammy ones.

Focus on Building a link strategy that is
effective and long term

Make sure if you can help it that your links contain rich anchor text.

Don’t stop creating great content. Always be researching for content that is
unique and interesting and is known to drive traffic. Never stop trying to

Look for low hanging fruit, topics in your niche that are not covered very
well by others.

If you can provide value where there is none, you will be successful in
boosting your search engine ranking.

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