10 Types of Backlinks You Need to Know for SEO

Updated Mar 4, 2023.
Types of Backlinks

Are you looking to improve your search engine rankings? If so, understanding the different types of backlinks and how they can help your website is essential.

Link building involves getting links from other websites to your web pages, which helps search engines determine the quality and authority of your site.

This blog post will explore 10 types of backlinks you need to know for SEO and how they can help boost your rankings.

What are Backlinks?
Source: Techyleaf

Backlinks are essentially links from other websites that point back to your website. They are created when other website owners link to your website, sending “link juice,” which helps improve your search engine rankings. This is known as link building, a key component of SEO optimization.

Link Juice Infographic
Source: Seobility

The more quality backlinks you have, the more likely search engines will view your site as authoritative and relevant to specific topics.

The Benefits of Backlinks
Source: Contenthive

Backlinks are an essential part of SEO and can be a great way to increase website visibility. Here are 5 reasons why backlinks are important:

  • Increase website visibility: When you gain backlinks from other web pages, it shows search engines that your website is trusted and authoritative. This can lead to higher rankings in SERPs, resulting in more organic traffic for your website.
  • Improve domain authority: Backlinks from high-quality websites can help improve the overall domain authority of your website, leading to higher rankings in search engine results.
  • Boost referral traffic: Quality backlinks from other websites can also drive referral traffic to your website, which can help increase conversions and sales.
  • Enhance brand awareness: Gaining backlinks from other websites helps build brand awareness and credibility for your business or organization.
  • Establish relationships: Building relationships with site owners through backlinks can help you reach a wider audience and gain more exposure for your brand or product.

It’s important to note that not all types of backlinks are beneficial for SEO. For example, paid links or link exchanges should be avoided as they can negatively impact your rankings. It’s best practice to focus on gaining natural, high-quality backlinks from reputable sources.

1. Editorial Backlinks

Editorial Backlinks
Source: Diib

Editorial backlinks are a vital part of any link-building strategy. An editorial backlink is a link within the body of a blog post or piece of content, directing readers to other websites. Editorial backlinks are mostly acquired organically: people just like and trust the content on your site.

Editorial backlinks have several benefits for both the linked-to site and the linking site. Here are some key benefits:

For the linked-to site (the site that gets the link):

  • Increased traffic to the web page from referrals.
  • Improved search engine rankings due to higher domain authority.
  • Enhanced credibility and trust among visitors and search engines.

For the linking site (the site that gives the link):

  • Enhanced credibility and trust among visitors and search engines due to linking to high-quality content.
  • Opportunity to establish relationships and partnerships for future collaborations and content sharing.

For the linking site (the site that gives the link):

  • Make sure your content is well-written and provides value to readers.
  • Link only to trustworthy sources that have accurate information.
  • Include a few relevant keywords in your anchor text, but don’t overdo it, as search engines could see this as spammy.

For the linked-to site (the site that gets the link):

  • Focus on providing value to your audience and creating genuinely helpful, interesting, and engaging content.
  • Share your content on social media and other channels to increase its visibility and encourage others to link to it.

Editorial links can significantly increase your visibility online and improve your domain authority. Ensure you provide quality content to get this type of link and only cite reputable sources!

2. Backlinks From Guest Blogging

Backlinks from guest blogging are an important link-building tactic for SEO. This is done by creating high-quality content through guest posts on other websites.

When you write guest posts, you can include a link to your website in the post. This helps send traffic from the other website to yours and improve your ranking on search engine results pages (SERP).

  • Research relevant websites that accept guest posts and have good domain authority.
  • Ensure that your content is high quality and fully addresses the blog post's topic.
  • Include a link to your website in the post, but make sure it's not too promotional or spammy.
  • Avoid reciprocal links, as these can be seen as spammy by search engine bots.
  • Follow up with any comments or questions about your post.
10 Benefits of Guest Blogging
Source: Engaiodigital

Guest blogging is an effective way to get backlinks from other websites and improve your SEO rankings. By creating high-quality content and including links to your website, you can increase traffic and visibility for your site.

3. Backlinks in Business Profiles

Backlinks in Business Profiles are an essential type of backlink for SEO. They are links to your website from a business profile page, such as a company page on LinkedIn or a local business listing on Google.

Backlinks in Business Profiles
Source: Google VG Media

These links help search engine bots find and index your website.

When creating backlinks in business profiles, it is vital to ensure that the link points directly to your main page. Your website's homepage will often be the most informative page on your site.

Creating a diverse link profile with backlinks from different sources is vital. This will help you build trust with search engines and show them that your website has quality content.

  • Use SEO tools like Moz or Ahrefs to research relevant business profiles where you can create backlinks.
  • Ensure the link points directly to the homepage.
  • Monitor your link profiles regularly using SEO tools like Moz or Ahrefs.
  • Ensure that contact information is consistent among all business profiles.

4. Backlinks From Webinars

Webinars are a great way to build backlinks and improve your SEO value. A webinar is an online seminar or presentation that can be used to share information, educate viewers, and generate leads.

By hosting a webinar, you can create contextual links (organically) that will help boost your link-building strategy.

Backlinks From Webinars
Source: Crowdcontent

For Your Information: Whiteboard Friday is Moz’s webinar.

  • Ensure the webinar's content is relevant and valuable for your audience.
  • Include a call-to-action at the end of the presentation that encourages viewers to visit your website or blog for more information.
  • Promote your webinar on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to reach a wider audience.

5. Free-Tool Backlinks

A free tool backlink is a link to a website that provides a valuable tool or service for free. Have you seen those websites that offer free tools to help you perform a specific task? The website owner hopes you’ll see the benefit of using their tool and share it with others.

Free Tool Backlinks
Source: Seobility

You can use the same tactic to build backlinks for your website. Create a free tool that can help your audience with something they need and provide them with an easy way to access it.

Remember, the idea behind free-tool backlinks is that people will share your tool with others. Therefore, building a tool that's easy to use and provides value for your audience is essential.

The more people who use and share your tool, the more powerful it can become for building high-quality backlinks.

6. Acknowledgment Backlinks

Acknowledgment backlinks are links from one website to another that are included in the website's “acknowledgments” or “credits” section.

These links are usually given when a brand makes a donation or has a representative speaking at an event. They can be used to boost SEO rankings and increase incoming links for websites.

For example, if you donate to an organization, they may link back to your website in their acknowledgments section as recognition for your contribution.

This backlink is helpful because it shows that your website is trusted by other organizations and can help improve your search rankings.

7. Guest Post Bio Backlinks

Guest post bio backlinks are a popular link-building strategy used to increase the visibility of a website and improve a writer’s reputation in search engines. They are created when an author includes a link to their website in the bio section of a guest post they have written for another website.

Guest Post Bio Backlinks
Source: Ahrefs

This type of backlink is often seen as more valuable than other link types, such as blogroll links.

The SEO community has long recognized this link-building strategy as one of the most effective ways to build relationships with other websites and increase visibility in search engine results pages (SERP).

Some Tips on How to Use Guest Post Bio Backlinks Effectively

  • Research relevant blogs and websites that accept guest posts and target them for your link-building strategy.
  • Give 1-2 descriptive sentences about you.
  • Use your brand or site name as an anchor.
  • Link to your socials if applicable.
  • Try to get featured on high-quality websites with good domain authority scores.

8. Badge Backlinks

Badge Backlinks are a clever technique used to earn high-quality backlinks. A badge is an award or recognition given by one website to another, usually in the form of a graphic or logo plus a link.

The beautiful part about this strategy: you link out and may actually get the link back. Importantly, it can help to build new and strengthen existing relationships.

Let's imagine you have a blog about tourist attractions in the city. You write about shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, etc. You have cited the top 10 places to visit on your main page using badges and short descriptions.

You contact the company representative to congratulate them on earning the badge on your site. If they like something about your website or badge, or you are an authority in the niche, they will love to link to your site when giving social proof.

It may be a win-win situation. The awarded side receives recognition, while the awarding party may get a note of appreciation.

  • Use attractive graphics or logos for the badge.
  • Double-check whether you are permitted to use logos and graphics of a particular brand or site.
  • Ensure that the badge link is in a prominent place.
  • Ensure that you give badges to very close sites (niche/industry).
  • Keep track of how many badges have been given so you can measure your campaign.
  • Be very delicate. Do not extort links from the people you have given badges to.
  • Be genuine when giving badges. Do not just distribute them for the sake of links.
  • Promote the badge program on social media accounts and through email campaigns to stimulate fair competition.

9. Comment Backlinks

Comment backlinks are created when users comment on other websites or blogs and include links to their websites. The links are typically inserted in the commentator profile (see the image below), not in the comment itself.

Such links mostly contain a “nofollow” attribute, which means they do not directly influence rankings. However, they help to build relationships with the community around the website and can result in organic links and new traffic.

Comment Backlinks
Source: Leannewong
  • Only comment on websites close to yours.
  • Make sure your blog comments are relevant and add value to the discussion.
  • Include a link back to your website in your comment signature.
  • Avoid posting sitewide links, as search engines may see them as spammy.
  • Use forum links sparingly, as too many can be seen as suspicious by search engines.

10. Resource Page Backlinks

Resource page link building involves getting backlinks from websites with resource pages. This link-building tactic is an effective way to build quality backlinks to your content.

Resource Page Backlinks
Source: Backlinko

Resource page link building helps you acquire backlinks from websites related to your industry.

Resource page link building is a great way to build quality backlinks that will help improve your website's SEO ranking. It also helps you get more visibility in search engine results, which can lead to more traffic and potential customers for your business.

  • Search for relevant resource pages through Google searches.
  • Pitch your content by providing helpful information for the resource page.
  • Make sure the content you provide is relevant and up-to-date.
  • Monitor the progress of your pitch and track its success rate.
  • Analyze the performance of each pitch and adjust accordingly if needed.

When it comes to SEO, backlinks are a critical factor in determining your website's ranking. However, some backlinks can hurt your website's ranking and reputation. Knowing what kinds of backlinks you should avoid is essential to ensure that your website remains on top.

1. Paid Links

Paid backlinks are links purchased from another website in exchange for money or other compensation.

Most of the time, these links do not provide any real value to the user and can often be seen as spammy or low-quality. As a result, they can be hazardous as they can lead to a penalty from Google for engaging in link schemes.

Paid Links Infographic
Source: Formalsite

While paid links are popular among businesses, many SEO experts will advise against them as they can lead to penalties and spoiled reputations.

In the news and publishing world, press releases are often used to announce new products or services, important events, or other newsworthy information. Hence, press release backlinks have a strong potential to improve search rankings.

2. Backlinks in Press Releases That Are Not Newsworthy

Still, it is vital to ensure that the press release is newsworthy before including any backlinks. If the press release is not newsworthy, it may be seen as spammy by search engines and could result in a penalty.

Sometimes, press releases are used to get backlinks without providing value to the user. This can lead to Google penalizing your website for using manipulative techniques to improve search engine performance.

3. Low-Quality or Irrelevant Directory Links

Directory links are links from online directories such as Yellow Pages or Yelp that point toward your website. While these links can be beneficial if they come from high-quality sources, low-quality directory links can hurt your website’s ranking and reputation.

What Are Bad Links?
Source: Ahrefs

Irrelevant directory links (such as those pointing towards unrelated websites) should also be avoided as they will not benefit your website’s ranking or reputation.

Instead, try to benefit from directories relevant to your website’s industry. In some cases, this could include creating a profile for your business on these directories.

4. Low-Quality Forum Backlinks

Forum backlinks are links from forums such as Reddit or Quora that point toward your website. While these links can be beneficial if they come from high-quality sources, low-quality forum backlinks should be avoided at all costs.

They will not benefit your website’s ranking or reputation and could even lead to penalties from search engines if they are seen as spammy or low quality.

5. Links From PBNs

A Private Blog Network (PBN]) is a network of websites owned by one person or organization that link to each other, intending to manipulate search engine rankings for their gain.

Many businesses use PBN link building to optimize their website’s rankings in search engines such as Google and Bing.

Links From PBNs
Source: Linkdoctor

While this method can be effective, it is also risky. If you build your own PBN or purchase one from someone else, there is a good chance that the links will not be counted for rankings.

Auto-generated links are created using automated software programs to manipulate search engine rankings for one’s gain without providing any real value for users who click on them.

6. Auto-Generated Links

Auto-generated links should always be avoided as they will hurt your website’s ranking and lead to penalties from search engines if detected.

Not all backlinks are created equal. Some types of backlinks are more valuable than others, and understanding the difference is vital to building a successful link-building strategy.

High Quality Backlinks
Source: Similarweb

1. “Do Follow” Links

The links should be dofollow to directly affect SEO rankings. In other words, they should not contain the “nofollow” or “sponsored” rel attributes to improve your rankings.

“Do follow” links are the links where the source website allows search engines to follow them when crawling their site. It is a sign of trust. When the link is dofollow, it means that you trust the content on the linked-to site.

This means that any link juice (ranking power) passed through these links will be counted by search engines when determining how high to rank a particular page in SERP.

Dofollow Link Benefits
Source: Seointel

2. Backlinks from Trusted, Authoritative Websites

The most valuable types of backlinks come from trusted, authoritative websites.

These links show that your website has been endorsed by a reputable source and can help boost your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Examples of these sites include government websites, educational institutions, and industry-leading companies.

3. The Link's Anchor Text Includes Your Target Keywords

The anchor text is the clickable text within a link that takes you to another page. Regarding SEO, the external anchor text should include some of your target keywords so that search engines know what the linked page is about.

For example, if you have a page about dog grooming services, having “dog grooming services” in the anchor text for some links pointing to that page may be ideal. As it will help search engines understand what the page is about and rank it accordingly.

However, be careful not to overoptimize your external anchors. Ensure that you have natural and diverse anchor text.

4. Links from Relevant Sites in Your Niche

Links from relevant sites in your niche are also valuable because they show that other websites recognize you as an authority on the topic.

For example, if you have a website about landscaping services, it’s great if you get a link from the blog about landscaping.

Look for the links from websites with similar or higher domain authority (DA).

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Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.