19 Types of Backlinks and How They Can Boost or Harm SEO
By: Ananyaa Venkat
Updated On: May 29, 2023
Backlinks vouch to the search engines for the authenticity and trustworthiness of your website. However, not all backlinks are equal.
- The quality of a backlink is determined by the authority of the linking site, whether the link is do-follow or no-follow and where the backlink is placed on the web page.
- Natural backlinks are links you earn from sites that naturally link back to you considering the value your content delivers.
- Paid backlinks are the ones you buy from other websites to build your link profile.
- Outreach backlinks are earned by manually reaching out to websites often belonging to the same niche as yours.
- Editorial backlinks are links from editorial mentions.
- Guest blogging backlinks are links acquired by making guest contributions to other websites.
- Business profile backlinks are links from your brand’s social profiles and business listings.
- Hosting and sharing webinars bring you webinar backlinks.
- You get free tool backlinks every time someone links back to a free tool you offer.
- Acknowledgment backlinks are links you earn by sponsoring an industry event or offering a donation.
- Guest post bio backlinks come from your author bio for guest post contributions.
- Badge backlinks are the result of offering your brand badges to other sites as a sign of appreciation.
- Press release backlinks are links that point to your site from press releases featured on other sites.
- Commenting on authority blogs brings you high-quality comment backlinks.
- Avoid non-newsworthy backlinks from press releases, irrelevant directory backlinks and backlinks from forums and PBN sites.
Endorsements can give you a competitive edge and this holds true for your website as well.
Let me explain.
The best way to gain endorsements to your website is by acquiring quality backlinks.
Yes, backlinks can vouch to the search engines for the authenticity and trustworthiness of your website.
This way, you can gain a top slot on search engine results pages or SERPs, thereby driving more organic traffic to your website.
BEWARE, not all backlinks can have a positive impact on your website.
Link building is tricky and may backfire if you don’t know which one to tap.
Given the scenario, you need to get a bigger picture of backlinks in order to avoid a disaster dawning upon your website.
Factors Impacting Link Value
Building high-quality links to your website can make it more SEO-friendly and improve its SERP visibility.
But then, how do you validate the quality of backlinks?
Here is a look at the three factors that influence link quality.
Authority of the Linking Site
The authority of the website from which you gain a backlink speaks for its quality.
When you build backlinks from sites that are widely recognized, they signal search engine bots to rank your website better.
Do-Follow vs No-Follow
Backlinks come either with a few link attributes.
The do-follow links prompt search engines to crawl and index web pages to add more SEO value.
On the other hand, the links with no-follow attributes signal search engines to ignore them, bringing less SEO value.
Google has recently added two more rel attributes, rel=sponsored and rel=ugc.
While rel=sponsored is recommended when linking back to sites that are linked to with monetary intent, UGC is the attribute you must use for user-generated links.
When compared, no other rel attribute matches the strength of a do-follow link. So, it’s ideal to aim for it if you are thinking seriously about growing the authority of your website.
However, no-follow and other types of backlinks are still capable of driving qualified traffic to your website.
On-Site Link Location
The location of the backlink in the corresponding website plays a major role in deciding its SEO value.
For instance, if a backlink to your website is placed in one of the areas easily noticeable by the visitors, you can reap more benefits from it for your website.
Types of Backlinks Based on Acquisition
Backlinks can be classified into three broad categories based on the way you get them.
Natural backlinks are links that you gain because the others in the digital space find your content worth linking to.
So, every time you feature user-centric, informative, and high-quality content on your website, you increase the chances of acquiring natural backlinks.
And yes, search engines like natural backlinks better.
Paid backlinks are links that you buy from other websites, often belonging to your niche. With these backlinks, you trick search engine bots into ranking your website higher and giving it increased visibility online.
This is the type of backlinks that Google and other search engines hate, which means if they track your backlink trails, you are in big trouble.
Outreach backlinking is a technique where you touch base with other website owners or niche-specific bloggers to prove a backlink to your website.
In this case, you reach out to them manually and substantiate why they have to build backlinks from their site to yours.
Top Backlinks Advantageous for SEO
The chief objective of link building is to make your website more search engine-friendly and achieve higher rankings.
These are the types of backlinks with which you can optimize your website for search engines effectively.
Wouldn’t it be good if a worthy publisher recommends you to their visitors? This is precisely what editorial backlinks do.
An editorial mention is when a reputed publisher refers and links to your website and brand via relevant content.
So, the visitors to the website will count on your website and pay a visit too!
Guest Blogging Backlinks
You get to build guest post backlinks to your website when you submit guest posts to other websites or blogs.
By producing high-quality content to place your link, you can drive more qualified traffic to your website while boosting its authority.
Plus, you also gain the confidence of website owners, genuinely compelling them to provide you with more profitable opportunities in the days to come.
Blogger Outreach Backlinks
As the name suggests, blogger outreach backlinks are links you acquire by reaching out to bloggers who share a common audience base with you.
Given the scenario, placing backlinks in these niche-specific blogs can create an opportunity for you to attract prospects who can turn into your customers.
Yes, when you have what they want, you only have to channelize your marketing strategy to show them how you are the best at what many others like you are doing out there.
Business Profile Backlinks
You create a digital profile for your brand or business across various platforms, including business listings, social networking sites, industry-based directories, and more.
You can build backlinks to your website from any of these web spaces seamlessly.
How about encouraging other industry players to build backlinks to your website? A webinar can come in handy.
Host a webinar that provides rich content useful for everyone in the industry and see the difference. People will create backlinks to your website in order to educate their visitors.
Again, the customer base is common, which means it is a win-win.
Free Tool Backlinks
It’s hard to find anyone who can resist a compliment!
You got it right. Offering a free tool is yet another effective way to entice others to link back to your website.
This free tool can be a basic version of a frequently used premium tool and that should bring more prospects your way. If possible, you can also include a call to action button prompting the users to sign up to access the full version.
Want to get a bigger picture of the idea? Here’s our Free Backlink Checker. Check it out.
Other Worthy Backlinks
You can build an acknowledgment backlink when a website owner links back to your website in reference to where you make a donation, sponsor an industry event, or address people in the same.
The best way to create acknowledgment backlinks to your website is to keep a constant eye on your competitors regarding the kind of events they take part in and then make a wise move that fetches benefits for your business.
Guest Post Bio Backlinks
There are cases where a website accepting your guest post goes without allowing you to place a backlink in the content’s main body.
During instances such as these, you can still place a backlink in your guest post author bio. While this type of backlink is not as effective as other backlinks for SEO, it can still add value to your portfolio.
Badge backlinks are ideal for gaining mutual benefits. Here is how it works.
You create a badge featuring your brand and give it away to the other industry players as a sign of appreciation or recognition.
Of course, a badge is a matter of pride for any business!
So, the businesses you distribute your badges to will naturally put them upon their official pages. When they do, the badge links back to your website.
As a badge is placed at a noticeable part of the website, you can expect more clicks, bringing more visitors to your website. Plus, the badge is a good way of boosting the credibility of your business.
Press Release Backlinks
When it comes to pitching news, there is no better option than a press release.
When you have an important announcement to make, you just don’t stop publishing on your website. You also post it on other relevant websites so that the news spreads to a broader audience in a short time.
When you put up news releases on other websites that your target audience visit, you get a sure-shot at backlinks, after all, the content is all about your business.
When you post genuine comments on high-quality blog posts attracting ample visitors every day, you can post links to relevant pages on your website there. This way, you get a good chance to get noticed, which, in turn, translates into organic traffic for your website.
On the other hand, people using the comment section for spammy link-building practices will end up having a negative effect on their websites.
Backlinks You Must Avoid
Not all backlinks are good for your website. To avoid what is not good for your website, you need to know what they are.
When you engage in link building for your website, make it a point to avoid the types of links that follow.
Google does not like it when website owners buy backlinks to trick its algorithms into ranking their websites higher.
In worst-case scenarios, spammy backlinks bring a penalty to your website, lowering your website’s SERPs position drastically.
Non- Newsworthy Backlinks
Press releases can, of course, create brand awareness among your target audience and fetch backlinks to your website.
But then, it is not a wise move if you choose to spread the news about your brand that can add no value to your customers. Backlinks placed in such press releases turn out to be spammy and only prove bad for your website.
Irrelevant Directory Links
When you create unauthentic profiles related to your business or brand on industry directories for the sole purpose of building links, it’s not going to work.
Plus, it will harm the SEO efforts you have put in so far and affect your brand’s credibility.
Forums are places people go for quality discussions and knowledge sharing. It is genuine as long as you place links here to educate newbies and other industry specialists.
But again, if you are visiting these digital forums only to build links, you will fall short of quality and take away only adverse effects.
Private Blog Network (PBN) backlinks are links created from an unauthentic network of websites or blogs.
PBN link building is completely a black hat practice and goes against Google’s guidelines. If a website is found to indulge in this practice, Google reserves the right to penalize it or even remove it from its search results based on the intensity of spam involved.
Backlinks are an inevitable part of search engine optimization. But, what you have to remember when building links is it is always about link quality. Yes, the number doesn’t really matter.
Create a link-building strategy where you aim to acquire top-tier backlinks from high authority websites and do not compromise on your website’s quality standards.
Produce and feature user-engaging content that opens doors to creating natural backlinks from and to your website. This can improve your SEO rankings generously.