• November 9, 2022

Getting Backlinks

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How to Get Backlinks (15 Quick and Simple Strategies)

Do you want to boost the number of backlinks for your website? Backlinks play an important role in improving your search engine rankings.
It’s among the top-ranking factors for Google. And if you can get high-quality backlinks to your website, you have a stronger chance of ranking higher.
In this article, we’ll show you how to get backlinks using quick and simple strategies. By the end of this post, you’ll know amazing ways for link building.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are when another website links back to your site. They are also known as external links and inbound nsterInsights is the best WordPress Analytics plugin. Get it for free!
Let’s say a site XYZ uses your website as an external link in one of its content. The link from site XYZ will be a backlink for you.
Now you may ask, why are backlinks important?
Backlinks are highly valuable for SEO (search engine optimization). They provide a vote of confidence for your website and your content.
According to OptinMonster, sites with the highest number of backlinks tend to rank higher on Google.
With many websites linking back to your site, it sends a positive signal to the search engine, showing that your content offers value and is link-worthy. In return, the search engine will improve your website’s rankings and visibility on the search results.
This shows that link building is important for your site. But how do you get backlinks for your website?
How to Get Backlinks?
Here are 15 quick and simple strategies on how to get backlinks. Let’s dive straight in…
1. Find Backlink Opportunities with Top Referral Sources
You can start by looking at the top referral sources of your website. These are websites that are linking to your content and offering you a backlink.
By finding out which type of websites link back to your site and the type of content they prefer, you can find new opportunities and create similar content to get a backlink.
There are many ways you can view your referral sources. But the easiest option is through MonsterInsights. It’s the best WordPress plugin for Google Analytics and presents different reports inside your WordPress dashboard.
To view your top referral sources, go to Insights and then Reports. The first report you’ll see will be of Overview. Scroll down and view the Top 10 Referral sources.
2. Use Outbound Links to Form Partnerships
Another way of finding backlink opportunities is by looking at your outbound links report. If you are linking to a high authority website and sending a lot of traffic, you can send out an outreach email and form a partnership.
And with MonsterInsights, you can easily view your top outbound links. Just install the plugin and go to Insights » Reports » Publishers and navigate to Top Outbound Links report.
The report will show you the external links on your website that get the most clicks. You can then send an email to these websites and build a relationship. Tell them about your post and how you found it useful that you used it as a source.
And that you’re looking for a partnership opportunity and perhaps work on a content collaboration, like a case study. If they’re on board with the idea, you can get free backlinks along with traffic and a relationship with an industry-leading website.
3. Use Google Search Console Reports to Get Backlinks
Google Search Console can also help you with how to get backlinks for your website. The free tool by Google provides amazing data that you can use to boost your rankings.
And among them is the External Links report. These are websites that linked back to your site in the past. You can go through the backlinks and see what type of content they liked and gave you a backlink.
Since they’ve linked your domain previously, they will be familiar with your website and could provide another backlink. All you have to do is find sites and reach out with relevant content.
You can also check out our guide on how to use Google Search Console to double your traffic.
4. Spy on Your Competitors
Ever wonder where your competitors get their backlinks from? What’s their organic strategy and what type of content they publish? If you want to stay up to date with what’s happening in the industry, then you should know what others are doing.
You can ethically spy on your competitors to find sources for backlinks, look at their organic keywords, top-performing content, social media activities, and more.
To look for backlinks, you can use SEO tools like SEMrush. It provides a complete backlink profile of any website you enter. To view the backlinks in SEMrush, go to Backlink Analytics from the left panel and then enter your competitor’s domain.
Now click Check it. Next, select Backlinks and you’ll have a list of domains from where your competitor gets its links from.
You can then use these sources to capture a backlink for your website as well. For instance, if your competitor has a link from a guest post, you can also publish content on the guest posting website.
And if they have a link from a forum, you can also create a profile in that forum and try to earn a backlink.
Other techniques you can use to stay ahead of your competitors include signing up for their email newsletters and set up Google Alerts. So, you’re immediately notified when they publish new content or were featured on another site.
5. Find Broken Links to Build Backlinks
While you’re looking at your competitors, you can also look at their broken links. The broken link building strategy is another quick and easy way of capturing backlinks.
Broken links are links that no longer exist or work on a website. And they may be caused by the source website removing those links (also known as 404 error), have an improper URL, or the destination website might have closed or moved to another domain.
Whatever the reason, this presents an amazing opportunity for you to get a backlink. All you have to do is find broken links, contact the website to replace the link, and pitch your site as a replacement. It’s that simple!
To find broken links, you can first look at your competitors and then search for more websites in your niche. Then use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to uncover broken links.
In SEMrush, you can filter the Backlinks report of your competitor. Under the different options listed under Backlinks, check the box for Lost. It will then show you links that longer work.
And if you’re using Ahrefs, then enter the website URL in its Site Explorer and click on Broken under the Backlinks options from the menu on your left. The tool will show you all the broken links of your competitor.
Once you have a list of broken links, the next step is to contact the webmaster of these websites and report about the broken link.
When drafting your pitch, be humble and introduce yourself. Add the exact location of the broken link, since you want to help them out.
Then mention different alternatives for the broken link, including your website. Chances are that the webmaster will use your website as a replacement and you’ll get a backlink in return.
6. Create High-Quality Content That’s Link-Worthy
One of the most basic ways of how to get backlinks is by creating top-notch content. Your goal should be to create a piece of content that other bloggers and industry experts can use and link back to your site.
This may be a time-intensive strategy but if you can get it right, it’s worth the effort. There are different types of content you can produce. You can write how-to articles, create guides, list posts, and run quizzes.
For instance, if you have a fashion blog, you can create a how-to post about how to run a fashion brand with only $100. You can also create a list post about 50 fashion trends that will reshape society.
But how do you know which content type will work?
Here you can use MonsterInsights to get insights. First, you can look at the top landing page report to see which pages get the most traffic and then create similar content to drive traffic and backlinks.
And if you want to further drill down to see which type of posts work the best, then you can set up custom dimensions to see the most popular post type.
MonsterInsights makes the process very easy and you can view the report in your dashboard. Just go to Insights » Reports and select Dimensions from the top. Then scroll down to the Most Popular Post Types report.
From the report, you can see that guides and recipes are among the top post types. It gives you an idea of what type of content you should be producing and promoting to get backlinks.
7. Publish a Skyscraper Content
When it comes to creating content, you can also produce a skyscraper content to get backlinks. These are extensive guides on existing topics and are super detailed and could be as long as 10, 000+ words.
The idea behind a skyscraper content is to write a post that covers all aspects of the topic in detail and is better than the rest. So, you can attract other sites to link your post and generate lots of backlinks.
You can start by simply searching for a topic in your niche on Google. Then closely look at the results because these are the pages that got a lot of backlinks and made it to the first page on Google.
For example, if you’re writing about content marketing, lookup the search results. Then go through the content on each of the links and start creating your own post that’s 10X better.
Once your skyscraper content is ready, it’s time for the most important part – promotion. There are different ways you can go about promoting it.
First, you can reach out to all the people, influencers, companies, tools, and sources you mentioned in your content. Tell them that you found their platform to be useful and if they liked the article, they can share it with their audience.
As the word gets out about your skyscraper guide, others will start to pick up your content and you’ll get backlinks.
Another way of promoting your post is by finding sites that have already backlinked to existing posts and then pitching your content as a better alternative.
For this, you can use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Simply enter the URL of each of the top 10 results in the tool and extract a list of websites that provided backlinks to the original article.
Then use the list to reach out to these websites and introduce your skyscraper content. Explain to them how your post is better and encourage them to give your post a backlink.
You can also take a look at more amazing content marketing examples.
8. Use Infographics to Capture Backlinks
Along with written text, you use infographics to secure backlinks for your website.
Infographics are visual representations of data and information using graphics, images, and charts. They help in providing a quick overview of the topic and break down complex concepts into simple visuals that are easy to understand.
Take the case of WPBeginner. Their infographic on interesting facts about WordPress has over 700 backlinks.
By creating engaging and helpful infographics, you are helping other content creators. They might use your visual creation in their blogs and give you a backlink as the original creator of the infographic.
To create an infographic, you don’t need to be a designer or hire a professional. You can use different free online tools to create one by yourself. Check out the guide on the best visual content creation tools to get started.
9. Write Testimonials
Did you know that by writing testimonials on other websites, you can get a backlink for your site?
Many businesses look for testimonials to show as social proof. They even display them on their homepage.
So, if you’re a regular user of a tool or service, you can write a testimonial in exchange for a backlink. Find companies that are relevant to your industry and submit a testimonial.
Pro Tip: Look for websites that have high domain authority (DA). That’s because search engines consider links from high DA sites to be high-quality backlinks.
10. Use Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
And when we speak of high-quality backlinks, then getting links from news websites and journalistic blogs is like winning the jackpot. That’s because these websites have a high domain authority and getting featured there will also boost your site’s trust level.
The best way to get a backlink from news outlets is through Help a Reporter Out (HARO). It’s a platform that provides journalists and bloggers with sources for news and stories.
To use HARO, sign up as a source from its homepage and then select a pricing plan (you can use the free basic plan to get started).
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll start receiving emails from HARO containing requests from different news and media websites for a quote, advice, tips, stories and more.
Respond to the queries that are relevant to your business and if your answer gets picked up, you’ll end up receiving a backlink from the news website.
11. Start Guest Blogging
Guest posting is an excellent way to get backlinks for your website and is a tried and tested strategy. You can reach out to different sites that accept guest blogs and submit a post.
Many websites offer a contributor account or a write for us section where anyone can write an article and get featured on the site. They even let you link to your site, either in the author bio section or within the text of the content.
You can find guest blogging websites by simply running a search on Google. Write the topic keyword you want to target and add a guest article or write for us or contributor in the end. The search engine will then filter the results and show sites that allow guest posting.
Next, draft a pitch for your topic, along with a description of what you’ll cover in the article. Make sure to explain the benefits and how it helps their readers.
Guest posting helps you laser target the right audience and generate traffic to your website. You can learn more by following the ultimate guide to guest blogging.
12. Take Part in Interviews
Just like a guest post, you can also get backlinks by participating in interviews. You can land an interview by searching through the web and look for sites that regularly conduct an interview.
A great place to start with is It’s a site where you answer questions in real-time about a topic. And in the bio, you can mention a link to your website.
Another way of landing an interview is through HARO. Just keep a lookout for queries that are relevant to your industry and are asking for an interview or a quotation.
13. Do Guest Appearances on Podcasts
You can get a free backlink from the podcast notes if you can appear as a guest on any of the podcasts.
As for finding podcasts, you do the same as interviews and run a quick search for relevant podcasts on platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, and more.
Then send out an email telling them you’re interested in appearing as a guest on the podcast. And make sure to include your experience, how you’re fit for the podcast, and how you can add value.
Once you start appearing on multiple podcasts, you’ll also build a following. You can then leverage your newly created audience if you decide to create a podcast on your own website.
Check out our guide on the best WordPress podcast plugins.
14. Participate in Different Forums
Discussion forums are a great place to find backlinks for your site. By participating in different forums, you can also become an industry expert and help drive traffic to your site.
If you’re not sure which forums to participate in, do a quick search on Google. Use any of the variations to find relevant forums for your niche:
[your niche] + forums
Forums + [your niche]
[your niche] + discussion
You can also respond to different questions on Quora. It’s a question and answer platform with a wide range of topics. Simply enter a search term on Quora and it will present you with all the questions related to the topic.
Another way of finding forums is by looking at your competitors. As we explained earlier, you can spy on your competitors to find backlinks. Using different SEO tools, you can see which forums they used to get backlinks and then you can do the same.
15. List Your Site on Resource Pages
The last strategy we have for you is to find resource pages and list your website on the page. Resource pages are where the author curates a long list of useful resources and links different products and services.
You can get a backlink by finding resource pages and reaching out to the author or the site owner to mention your site on the list.
To find a resource page, enter your keyword on the search engine along with terms like helpful resources or resource list. Once you’ve found resource lists, contact the webmaster, and pitch your website.
Try to personalize your emails and include the links to where you want your site to be listed. And show how your website or tool adds value to their resource page and helps their readers.
And that’s it!
You now know different ways to secure a high-quality backlink for your website. By increasing the number of inbound links, you can boost your search engine rankings.
We hope you liked our article on how to get backlinks using quick and simple strategies. You can also check out our guide on why businesses need Google Analytics right now.
If you have more ways to skyrocket backlinks, do share with us in the comments. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more helpful articles about WordPress and Google Analytics.
How to Get High Quality Backlinks in 2021 (7 New Strategies)

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How to Get High Quality Backlinks in 2021 (7 New Strategies)

Today you’re going to learn how to get backlinks in 2021.
In fact, the 7 strategies I’m going to share with you have helped my site rack up 452k total backlinks:
Let’s get right into the techniques.
1. Become a Source For Reporters and Bloggers
2. Publish “Skyscraper” Content
3. Build Links From Outdated Resources
4. Use Content Formats Proven To Generate Links
5. Publish Ultimate Guides
6. Use Branded Strategies and Techniques
7. Authority Resource Pages
Bonus Strategy #1: Turn Brand Mentions Into Quality Backlinks
Bonus Strategy #2: Send “Feeler” Emails
Here’s the deal:
If you want to rank on the first page of Google, you need to build backlinks from authority news sites and blogs.
(I’m talking about white hat links from authority news sites and blogs. )
Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it sounds.
All you need to do is use a free service called Help a Reporter Out (HARO).
HARO is like Tinder for public relations.
It connects people that need sources (bloggers and journalists) to people that want links and exposure (you).
And I’ve personally used HARO to build white hat backlinks from authoritative news sites:
And I’m not alone. In fact, I get emails like this from Backlinko readers all the time:
To be clear: this strategy takes work. And it’s not always easy.
But in my experience, it’s one of the best ways to build high-quality backlinks at scale.
With that, let’s dive into the step-by-step process.
First, register as a source.
Next, choose a free or paid plan.
Then, keep an eye out for requests that you can contribute to.
Finally, send the journalist a VERY brief and valuable pitch.
For example:
A while back I saw a request from someone asking: “What’s the difference between graphic design and web design? ”.
So I submitted this pitch:
And I got this sweet link from a DR76 university site.
Not too shabby.
I’ve used “Skyscraper” content to build backlinks from authority sites like
Hubspot:
And I even got an editorial link from the GoDaddy blog:
Yup, you’ve probably noticed that they’re all linking to the same piece of content: SEO Tools: The Complete List.
Well, my list of SEO tools is a piece of “Skyscraper” content.
And that page has generated 7. 76K total backlinks.
But more important than that, as you just saw, many of those links are quality backlinks from authority sites.
The question is:
How can you do the same thing?
Here’s the step-by-step process:
First, find a piece of content in your industry that’s already performed well (in terms of backlinks).
The easiest way to do that?
A simple Google search.
Just search for your keyword…
…and check out the first page results:
As you know, backlinks are a super important Google ranking signal.
So if a page is ranking on the first page, lots of people have probably linked to it.
That’s step #1.
Next, create a piece of content that’s 5-10x better than what you just found.
For example, I noticed that most of the SEO tools lists out there were pretty short.
So I decided to create something that was 10x better.
Unlike most other lists of SEO tools, my post contained every tool on the market (170+ tools).
Was this piece of content easy to make? Nope!
But it was worth it. To date, my SEO tools list has been shared on social media 20, 777 times…
…and has backlinks from over 1. 08K different domains:
Finally, promote your “Skyscraper” content.
This is key.
Yes, a piece of Skyscraper content already puts you ahead of your competitors.
But to get the most out of your content, you need to actively promote it.
Now:
There are a million ways to promote your content.
So let me show you one quick strategy that works really well for Skyscraper content:
Promote to people that you mention in your post.
For example, I emailed all of the tools that I mentioned in my Skyscraper post. Here’s the exact script that I used:
And because I wasn’t pushy or spammy, most people were more than happy to share my content on social media (some of them even linked to it):
Using “The Moving Man Method” I scored links from…
An authoritative site:
A popular resource page:
And several contextual links from relevant sites in the SEO and online marketing space, like this:
And this:
And now it’s time for the steps.
1. Your first step is to find sites in your industry that have:
Changed names
Moved to a new URL
Stopped offering a service
Stopped updating a resource
Shut down
How about an example?
A while back SEOMoz changed their name to Moz (and moved their site from to):
After I heard the news, I realized that this was a PERFECT opportunity to reach out to the hundreds of people still linking to the outdated URLs.
2. Our second step is to find sites still linking to the old, outdated URL
Now that you’ve found a site that was recently re-branded or a site feature that’s no longer there, it’s time to find all of the links pointing to that page.
Just grab the URL of the outdated resource and put it into your backlink checking tool of choice.
(I’m using Ahrefs in this example but there are lots of link building tools that you can use to do the same thing. )
Then, check out all the sites that link to the old URLs.
Depending on the site, you should have quite a few link opportunities to work with.
Either way, you want to focus on sites that have the highest Domain Authority (DA).
3. Last up, reach out and get your links.
Your last step is to reach out to all of the people that still link to the outdated resource.
You want to give them a quick heads up about their outdated link…and gently suggest that they add your link to their site.
I tested a few different outreach email scripts for my SEOmoz/Moz campaign. Here’s the one that worked best:
And because I added value to their site twice (once from the heads up about their outdated link and again by showing them my valuable resource) people were more than happy to add my link to their page:
That’s all there is to it
A while ago, BuzzSumo and I did a study of 912 million blog posts and articles:
So, what did we find?
We discovered that most content is completely ignored.
In fact, they found that 94% of all online content gets ZERO links.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is, we found that certain types of content consistently performed better than others.
Specifically, we discovered that the following content formats tended to generate lots of backlinks:
In other words, if you want to get backlinks, focus on these content formats:
“Why” Posts
“What” posts
Infographics
Videos
Am I saying: “Just publish a bunch of why posts and infographics? ”
Of course not.
If you want to get backlinks today, your content has to be amazing.
But these formats give you a starting point for writing amazing content that actually works.
You already know that the only way to move your site to the top of Google is to build high-quality backlinks (and lots of them).
That much is clear.
But HOW do you get other sites to actually link to you?
Ultimate Guides.
Seriously.
For example, here’s an Ultimate Guide to link building that I published a while back:
Even though I wrote that guide 6 years ago, it continues to generate links today (in 2021).
Why do Ultimate Guides work so well?
First, comprehensive guides tend to contain A LOT of content on a single page. In fact, my guide to link building is a whopping 4, 834 words.
According to lots of SEO ranking factor studies (including ours), long-form content tends to perform better in Google than short articles:
Also, ultimate guides cover an entire topic on a single page.
And because your guide is the “go-to” resource for a topic, people will link to it whenever they write about that topic on their blog:
Here’s exactly how to create an ultimate guide, step-by-step.
1. Your first step is to find a topic for your guide.
This is important.
You want to choose a popular topic that hasn’t been covered to death already.
(In other words: you don’t want to publish the 18th ultimate guide on a topic. )
For example, when I published my link building guide, I noticed the first page of Google had some helpful posts…
…but no ultimate guides.
I also considered writing an ultimate guide to SEO. But there were already a thousand guides on that topic:
So I went with link building.
2. Next, outline your ultimate guide.
This is easy.
Just list out subtopics that make up your larger topic.
For example, for my link building guide, I simply listed out subtopics like this:
What is link building?
Black hat SEO
White hat SEO
Anchor text
Content
Email outreach
Advanced tips
And many of these subtopics each became sections of my guide:
3. Lastly, write your Ultimate Guide.
And remember:
Don’t be afraid to cover everything there is to know about a topic.
That way, your guide will be seen as the definitive resource.
(And like I mentioned earlier, longer content tends to generate more backlinks, shares… and higher rankings in Google. )
Remember strategy #3 from this guide?
You might have noticed that I didn’t just outline the strategy… I also named it.
This wasn’t the first time that I mentioned the “Moving Man Method” in a blog post.
In fact, thanks to naming my strategy, people link to my content on The Moving Man Method fairly often:
(People even publish entire blog posts about it. )
And those links only happened because I gave my strategy a memorable name.
How about another example?
Ramit Sethi created a strategy for looking like a rockstar at meetings called “The Briefcase Technique“:
And because Ramit named his strategy, he got a bunch of amazing links:
Now that you’ve seen how well this can work, it’s time to cover the specific steps:
Step #1: Develop a Unique Strategy, Tip or Tactic
This sounds harder than it actually is.
All you need to do is come up with a strategy that has SOMETHING unique about it.
(In other words, the entire strategy doesn’t need to be unique. )
Derek Halpern puts it best:
For example, let’s look at The Moving Man Method.
People have been using broken link building as part of their link building campaigns for years.
So what made my strategy different?
My unique twist was that the links weren’t necessarily broken (as in, they didn’t necessarily show a 404 error).
The links I used for The Moving Man Method technically worked… they were just outdated:
And that was unique enough.
Step #2: Next, name your strategy.
I called my strategy The Moving Man Method because you’re helping the site owner “move” their link.
Not the most creative name, but it gets the job done.
So yeah, just make sure the name describes what your strategy does.
Other than that, try to use one of these words in your strategy name:
Method
Technique
Approach
System
Blueprint
You get the idea
Step #3: Publish the strategy as part of a blog post.
Your last step is to show people that your new strategy actually works.
How?
Publish your strategy in the form of a blog post. Preferably a case study.
(That way, people have something to link to when they reference your technique. )
For example, here’s the post I used to announce The Moving Man Method to the world:
In this post I didn’t just say: “Look at my new strategy. It probably works! ”.
Instead, I showed people proof that The Moving Man Method works:
And that 1-2 punch (a branded strategy + proof) is an asset that can result in lots of backlinks.
Resource pages are a link builder’s dream.
Why? They’re pages that exist solely to link out to other sites.
Here’s an example:
And here’s an example of a link that I built from a resource page a while ago:
You might be wondering
“OK, that’s great. But how can I get links from resource pages”?
Like every strategy in this post, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process:
First, you need to find resource pages.
These can be tricky to find. Very few people call their resource page a “resource page”.
Instead, people tend to describe their pages with terms like:
“helpful resources”
“useful resources”
“further reading”
“additional resources”
So to find these pages, you just need to search for these terms… plus a keyword.
For example, let’s say you just published an article about link building.
You’d do a Google search using this keyword:
And within 5 seconds I found this massive list of link building resources:
Second, now that you’ve found a resource page, it’s time to reach out and (nicely) ask for a link.
Here’s the email script that I recommend:
Hi [Name],
I was looking for some articles to read about [You Topic] today, when I stumbled on your [Resource Page Title].
Very cool.
Anyway, I noticed that you have a section on your resource page dedicated to [Your Topic]. I actually recently published a massive guide on that same topic. It might be worth adding to your page.
Thanks and have a great day!
Regards,
[Your First Name]
To be clear:
This script is just a starting point.
The more you personalize your outreach emails, the more links you’ll get.
But his proven script is a proven outline that you can start with.
Every once and a while someone will mention you in a blog post. won’t actually link to your site.
See how that person mentioned my site… but didn’t link to me?
That’s called an “Unlinked Brand Mention”.
These mentions are relatively easy to get backlinks from.
Why?
The author of the post already mentioned you. Which means they like you.
So you just need to send them this friendly email:
I just came across your latest article: [Article Title].
Awesome work!
I just wanted to reach out and say “Thanks” for mentioning [Your Brand Name] in your article. I really appreciate that.
Also, if you have a minute, it would be great if you could link to our site. That way, your readers can easily find the post on our blog that you mentioned.
Again, thank you for mentioning us in your article. And have a great day.
Best,
And you’re set.
When it comes to email outreach, you have two options:
Option #1: Ask people for links in your first email
Option #2: Use a “feeler” email
From running hundreds of link building campaigns, I’ve found that both approaches can work.
But I’ve also found that so-called “Feeler” emails increase conversions by 40%+.
So: what are “Feeler” emails?
Feeler emails are messages you send to prospects without asking for a link.
(You’re “feeling out” whether or not they’re receptive to your outreach… before you make a link pitch. )
Here’s a real-life example:
See how Mike doesn’t ask for a link? Instead, he asks the person if they’d like to see it first.
IF they say “yes”, you send them your pitch:
In Mike’s case, the “Feeler” email got 40% more responses vs. asking for a link in the first email.
What Do You Think?
There you have it: seven proven ways to get backlinks in 2021.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Which strategy from today’s post are you going to use first?
Are you excited to publish an Ultimate Guide?
Or maybe you want to test “Feeler” outreach emails.
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
Are Backlinks Still Important for SEO in 2021? The Truth!

Are Backlinks Still Important for SEO in 2021? The Truth!

Backlinks are still important for SEO performance because they are the foundation of Google’s original PageRank algorithm. There have been countless independent studies in the SEO industry proving the impact of backlinks on organic search performance.
Now here’s the cool part:
We’ve gathered all of these industry studies in one spot for you.
Let’s dive in.
Proof That Backlinks Are Still Important
1. Powerful Sites = Better SEO Performance
Look through any Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and you’ll see one thing in common:
Search engines like Google love authority sites.
“Authority” in this case is defined as having a number of links from trustworthy sites. And there is overwhelming data to support this idea.
Backlinko studied 11. 8 million Google search engine results and found that:
“A site’s overall link authority (as measured by Ahrefs Domain Rating) strongly correlates with higher search engine rankings. ” – Backlinko
Image Credit: Backlinko
SEMRush conducted a 2. 0 version of their ranking factors study and found that:
“The more backlinks a domain has, the higher is its position on the SERP. ” – SEMRush
Image Source:
To solidify this point even further, conducted a ranking factor study in the personal injury sector and found similar results. They said:
“While the number of referring domains per page appears not to influence rankings, the overall number of referring domains for the domain was a top indicator of overall domain traffic. ” –
Let’s start by saying that “Domain Rating” is not a metric that search engines use.
It’s a third party metric created by Ahrefs.
It’s not complete, but it’s a useful gauge for anyone doing SEO.
In short, your goal should be to increase your DR (Domain Rating).
Moz also has its metric for measuring the strength of one website.
It’s called DA (Domain Authority).
You can also look at the Majestic SEO Trust Flow metric as a way of gauging site strength.
Your goal should be to grow these metrics. The stronger your website is, the better it will rank in search engines.
You get the point by now. The data supports the idea that you need to work super hard to get more links to your site. That is how you grow your website authority.
But you must also acquire website links to the actual pages you want to rank on search engines like Google.
Here’s the data to support that:
2. Powerful Pages = Better SEO Performance
It’s possible for a page to rank without a number of backlinks hitting it directly. That’s what happens when your site has established authority.
For example, when Forbes publishes a new article, they often rank on the first page (without any direct links).
That said, Forbes is the exception. Most sites will need direct links to SEO-driven pages.
Here is data from Ahrefs to support this idea:
“The more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it gets from Google. ” – Ahrefs
Image Credit: Ahrefs
“Only one in every ~20 pages without backlinks has traffic… and the majority of these get 300 organic visits or less each month. ” – Ahrefs
This data point is easy to take out of context. Why?
Because it didn’t specify the quality of links. There are many pages online that have a large number of backlinks, but they have terrible search engine performance.
That’s because their backlinks are low-quality.
Remember:
The goal is to get backlinks from QUALITY sites.
Reread that ten times.
There is no nuance more critical.
Have no standards, and you will pay the price.
3. Better SEO Performance = More Backlinks
The rich get richer in SEO. Meaning, the better your SEO performance, the more links you’ll acquire. I call this “The Snowball Effect. ”
Backlinko’s study proved this be true:
“The #1 result in Google search has an average of 3. 8x more backlinks than positions #2-#10. ” – Backlinko
Ahrefs found similar results:
“Top-ranking pages do tend to acquire more backlinks (and at a faster pace) than the pages that rank below them. ” – Ahrefs
And SEMrush’s study agreed as well:
“The higher the domain’s position on the SERP, the more referring domains it has. ” – SEMRush
In short, once you achieve high rankings, you’ll start to get organic links. As a result, your page strengthens and will often solidify your positions.
Keep in mind that the exception to this rule is with competitive keywords.
Here’s the truth:
Having more inbound links isn’t enough to maintain rankings for competitive SERPs.
You also have to keep your page updated and fresh.
For example, a powerful page with stale content likely won’t maintain rankings.
In short, don’t get complacent once you start ranking.
You have to battle to keep those rankings. That means consistent link growth and fresh content.
4. Your Website Needs Vote (Backlink) Diversity
“The number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings. ” – Backlinko
You should aim to get links from many different trustworthy sites in your industry. If we equate links to votes, this makes perfect sense.
Many votes (backlinks) from different sources are more valuable than many votes from one source.
It’s hard to measure, but there are likely diminishing returns from getting links from the same website.
Now would it hurt to get several links from The Washington Post? No way.
Let’s say you had the choice between two links from The Washington Post or one link from fifteen different DR 20 blogs in your industry.
What would you pick?
Here’s a comparison:
The Washington Post has 730, 000 referring domains.
And this example, DR 24 blog, has 80 referring domains.
So let’s assume that most sites around 20 DR have ~100 referring domains. That means that 15 DR 20 sites equate to 1, 500 referring domains total.
730, 000 vs 1, 500.
Let’s assume there is a 50% reduction of strength for the second link from The Washington Post. That’s still the strength of 365, 000 domains.
Keep reducing it further, and it will continue to crush 15 links from DR 20 sites.
I barely passed Algebra II, but the math is clear here:
Getting several links from one authoritative website is better than getting a bunch of weak links.
That said, it’s not always that simple, and that’s by design!
Getting links from The Washington Post is difficult, so you don’t need to worry about getting too many.
5. Most Pages Don’t Get (Deserve) Backlinks
“66. 31% of pages don’t have even a single backlink. ” – Ahrefs
“94% of all blog posts have zero external links. ” – Backlinko
Most pages aren’t worth linking to, so this makes perfect sense. Also, most sites aren’t engaging in link building campaigns.
The whole “build it, and they will come” mentality doesn’t work well with SEO.
You need to build and then spend 80% of your time link building. It gets easier over time.
Start Getting More Backlinks
You now know that backlinks are important for SEO. But the question is: how do you get more backlinks?
Check out these resources to get started:
15 Ways to Get Free Backlinks
Should You Buy Backlinks?
We Spent $22, 960 on Niche Edit Backlinks (Do They Work? )
Are Private Blog Networks (PBNs) Worth It?
Author Recent Posts Nathan Gotch is the founder of Gotch SEO and a globally recognized SEO expert. Since 2012, Nathan has helped over 3, 000 agency owners, SEO practitioners, and business owners achieve systematic #1 rankings.

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How do beginners get backlinks?

Backlinks are still important for SEO performance because they are the foundation of Google’s original PageRank algorithm. There have been countless independent studies in the SEO industry proving the impact of backlinks on organic search performance.Aug 13, 2021

Do backlinks still work 2020?

How to Get Google Backlinks: Making It Easy for Google to Love…1) Set your SEO goal.2) Create a list of desired Google backlinks.3) Use consistent marketing on your Google backlinks.4) Start building the links.1) Engage in the comments.2) Start a regular publishing schedule.More items…•Apr 7, 2018

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