Create backlinks safely with these 11 battle-tested backlink strategies for 2021
How do I build backlinks?
If you've been in the SEO game for a long time, you have probably already asked yourself this question.
If not, you definitely should.
Because backlinks are one of Google's two most important ranking factors.
And in this article, I'll show you how to create backlinks safely and 11 of my "working" and "unsaturated" backlink strategies for 2021.
Did I tell you that they work like a charm?
I don't have to … I'll share live examples and tips so you can replicate these for your own website.
Let us begin!
What is a backlink?
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A backlink is a link that a website points to your website in an attempt to refer or quote to your website (if it is a homepage link) or its content (a specific article / page).
In a layperson's term of office, a backlink is a vote of confidence from site A to site B.
This further helps site A visitors (and search engines) discover Site B (probably something more valuable or content that compliments the content of Site A), which improves the ranking for Site B.
What is the importance of backlinks in search engine optimization?
If you're looking for ways to build backlinks here, you probably already know how important they are.
But in case you don't know …
As I said, backlinks are votes from other websites to your website that send a signal to search engines that your content is valuable.
The more authority the website has linking to you, the greater the power of the link and the more boost you will get in your rankings.
The more votes your website gets, the more authority it gets on the search engine ranking pages.
Which means higher rankings.
And higher rankings = more traffic = more visitors = more sales.
You understand the math, don't you?
Speaking of math, let's dive into the math of safely creating backlinks, also known as creating backlinks that can help you improve your rankings.
1. Use your content to get backlinks
While there are thousands of ways to create backlinks, the only tactic that always works regardless of the industry or niche you're blogging in is to use your content to get backlinks.
Creating quality content that will excite your audience is the best way to get backlinks the natural way.
Not only is compelling content shared like crazy, it's also picked up by influencers, which gives you more information for links.
Even content that has proven successful (with social shares / shoutout from influencers etc) is easily accepted when you search for or search for links.
Speaking of successful content, the obvious question now is …
Use the SkyScraper 2.0 technology
Any backlink guru will tell you to use the skyscraper technique if you want to get more links.
Devil! Even Brian Dean (the great “crush” of search engine optimization and the one who coined and introduced both techniques) suggests something similar for you.
But what's the problem you ask
With the Skyscraper Technique, Brian agrees, traffic will sooner or later subside, but with the Skyscraper 2.0 Technique, your rankings will stay forever (or at least until you keep them up to date).
Hence, more chances of getting backlinks from the same content.
What is the Skyscraper 2.0 technique?
The Skyscraper 2.0 technique is essentially about creating 10x content (better than any top 10 ranking pages) but also taking into account user intent for this query term.
Since user intent is a very important criterion for Google (so that the most relevant result is displayed on top), articles with Skyscraper Technique 1.0 (which do not meet the user's intention) tend to fuel traffic and rankings over time.
Hence, I would advise you to take the safer and better route for long-term results.
Writing epic content takes time and resources, and it's well worth it … but it's only 50% of the work done.
The next 50% would be content promotion.
The next obvious step would be to promote your article in a way that it gets the maximum amount of attention it should get.
You can follow this guide to effectively promote your blog post and leverage influencer marketing to make the backlink acquisition process faster than before.
2. Get backlinks through infographics
Link building with infographics has always been one with a lucrative ROI.
Before you argue …
… That infographics used to be connecting magnets and are now dead … look at that!
Those numbers themselves are pretty cool, but what's even cooler is the authority of these referring domains.
Check out the eligibility to refer domains of backlinks earned from this single infographic
Well, this isn't a one-in-a-million case of successful link building with infographics …
In fact, I didn't choose to display these type of infographics (they exist with some 10,000+ backlinks) because they are not easily reproducible and take time (if you can do this trust me, there is nothing better than the!).
Now there is the question …
How do you create an infographic and how do you get backlinks to it?
1 Research your infographic idea well:
What's most important in making an infographic viral on the topic or theme it's based on?
In the 13 reasons your brain craves the infographics example above, the topic struck the right chord as infographics are always the most consumable format of information. And this piece provided researched tips that explained why.
Using tools like Google Trends, you can find out what's current or what the audience's interest in your topic will be over the next 12-14 months.
Double-check your infographic idea using tools like Buzzsumo to see if these topics are popular (social signals are a good indicator).
There's no point in wasting your resources on something that isn't interesting.
Pro Tip: Make sure you pick a topic that has been trending well for a while (this will help you choose your infographic easily when pitching) and that is trending for at least a year after it was posted.
Since the reach takes some time and you are choosing a short-lived trend, it will be difficult for you to scale your backlink to a certain level as probably nobody will be interested in posting content on the subject.
Aside from the hard work you put into it, a good infographic might cost more than $ 500 to $ 1000 and you don't want your hard work to settle down with minimal results.
2 Outsource your infographic from the experts
Well, the main reason people complain about infographics not working is because of poor quality infographics. It's my fault too (check this and this out for an idea how not to make an infographic).
Unless you have serious skills, I recommend hiring professionals to do this for you.
3 Public outreach to publish / syndicate it
If you want to quickly build SEO friendly backlinks to your infographics, you need to turn to brands that already do it.
Contact the high authority publishers to get high DA backlinks instantly. These are the backlinks that will give you a big boost in the rankings.
Another benefit of this is that the audience base of these blogs embeds or shares them by itself, so you can get lots of medium quality backlinks with no extra work.
How is your link pitch accepted?
- First, build a relationship (with the publisher or blog owner)
- Offer something that will reduce the hassle of getting the piece published (e.g. a custom intro, blog post, etc.)
- What do you get out of it? Make an effort to show what you are bringing to the table. You can say something like, "I'll do the return a favor and bring you links by including this article in my future guest posts".
- Don't use a generic outreach template, personalize it for faster adoption.
3. HARO: How I got two High DR 87 Dofollow backlinks
Always wanted to get high quality backlinks for free?
And I'm not talking about average DA30 or DA 40 backlinks …
I'm talking about creating backlinks for your website from high authority websites with DA 70 and above.
Yes, such as backlinks from Forbes, Tech Crunch, Business Insider, the New York Times, etc.
Does it seem impossible?
Good…. Actually, "nothing is impossible"!
And for those links to authors on these sites, you don't have to pay more than $ 5000.
I'll show you how to do it for free and tips to help replicate my process.
HARO or Help a Reporter out is the tool with which I get these kind of authoritative backlinks for free.
HARO is an amazing platform connecting publishers and editors (people who need information and quotes for their articles) with bloggers (or literally anyone who can provide related information).
And it doesn't cost a penny.
HARO will send you regular emails (usually 3 per day, Monday through Friday) listing a number of questions broken down into topics such as health, economics, general, etc.
You will also be given detailed information on the qualifications required to answer these questions (usually nothing critical).
You will be informed and your pitch will be selected.
This is exactly how I got two powerful Ahrefs DR (Domain Rating) 87 or DA 82 backlinks.
How I got 82 backlinks with HARO DA 82 (case study)
You can replicate it for your websites too!
And here is the exact process that I followed …
Tips for HARO's success with backlinks:
Here are some tips to get more SEO friendly and authoritative backlinks with HARO:
- Read all HARO e-mails: Read all e-mails that you receive every day, also in other sections (queries are grouped in sections, but sometimes also in other sections, e.g. if an SEO topic in general Section is displayed).
- Get Your Pitch Accepted: Respond in a compelling and professional manner with evidence to back up your statements (sources, quotes, etc.) and give them headshots, site links, etc. to avoid the risk of rejection.
- Reply Fast: Since it reaches a global audience, make sure you reply within hours. This will maximize your chances of being accepted.
- Keep trying: DO NOT settle for a few answers, answer every time you know. Well worth getting a DR 87 (or similar backlink) even if you have to write 50 answers for it.
- Build nice relationships with PRs and journalists: When you see a second request from a journalist, let them know how much you appreciated the article (whether or not your pitch was accepted). These simple things will make you a familiar face in their inboxes and your pitches will stand out.
- Try shameless plugs: add links to relevant pages / posts on your blog in your blurb. Sometimes the whole pitch is rejected, sometimes the PR just removes the link and posts your blurb (you have a link in your author bio so that's fine). But sometimes, as in the HARO case study above, I got two backlinks (one inside the blurb and another in the author's biography). So don't hesitate to double your chances of getting links from individual pitches.
4. Use the site marriage technique
The site marriage technique has been around for a long time, but it is becoming increasingly popular these days.
So what is this Site Marriage Technique to Get Links?
The site marriage technique (a term I coined) is when you merge two sites (of similar niche) together.
You've seen Neil Patel not just once but many times … including many other high profile SEOs and bloggers.
Even Brian Dean married his PointBlankSEO site (by Jon Cooper) to Backlinko.
Email about the merger of Backlinko and PointBlankSEO
And the result?
He had all of those lucrative links directed 301 to relevant articles on his blog.
Now let me get one thing straight.
Brian Dean has no shortage of inbound organic backlinks from high authority websites and PointBlankSEO hasn't had decent traffic numbers, but getting extra links from a high authority website isn't bad business, right?
I have seen The Site Marriage Technique Promoted by many bloggers, but I don't want to reveal names or get their websites noticed (I shared this because the buyers / sellers were very vocal about their deal in public).
Tips for finding websites to merge with your website:
- Take a look around your niche: Check out competitor websites that are inactive. Keep an eye on the comments on your website (old articles may have comments from website owners that are no longer maintained).
- Keep an eye on sites like Flippa and Empire Flippers
- Questions: You can openly ask on your network (like Facebook or Twitter) whether someone is interested in selling a website that they no longer want to expand.
5. Guest post using the link highlight method
Guest posting has always been a great way to get backlinks spam-free. And this is still one of my favorite ways to get some contextual backlinks straight from websites in your niche.
Guest posts tend to be slower (you have to write or outsource the content yourself), you have to be at the top of your game (unless your pitch is more than amazing, you wouldn't be approved), and it's not as scalable like other techniques mentioned in this article.
However, if you want to get niche relevant backlinks without spending a lot of your money on guest posting, it's not a bad idea.
How can the link juice and authority flow of guest post links be maximized?
1. Always try to include your link in the content: Author bioblinks don't contain a lot of link juice, nor are they enticing enough to get clicks.
2. Use the link highlighting method: Hundreds of cups of coffee and a couple of good guest articles later I realized that no one would click on a link (your link to the guest article) because it looks like another internal link.
At that moment I thought you need to create backlinks in your guest posts that users will call to click on them.
Here is an example
In the guest post above, I strategically placed my guest post link in its own section. This paragraph and the next talk about the article referenced by the link and thus maximize the click-through rate.
You can do something similar, just make sure:
- You need to demonstrate something (any case study or success / failure you have had with your blog).
- Make sure it aligns with your guest post topic and doesn't go beyond advertising.
6. How to Get High DA Backlinks from Stock Photo Sites
No, I am not talking about profile links.
I'm talking about a little known method of getting natural backlinks using photos.
The idea is …
You get extremely authoritative backlinks through image attributes.
This is a perfect example of building strategic links where you upload some images to free image sites like Pixabay.com, Flickr, etc. The reason for uploading to photo sites, rather than a section of your own blog, is to take advantage of the size of the audience these sites are.
As with all other backlink strategies, here is a live example of someone doing this successfully.
You can see they have received coveted linkbacks from VentureBeat, GigaOm, DailyDot & more.
Pro Tip: Since we have no control over the niche of the blog / website taking your picture, this backlink tactic can make some links irrelevant. So upload images related to your niche so that it will be picked up by relevant websites.
7. Create linkable assets to get industry-specific backlinks
Wondering how to get backlinks from government websites? The technique of linkable assets is the right way to go!
If you are looking for quick links from the highly relevant industry, go for the backlink tactic.
To do this, you need to create assets that users want to refer to, thus giving you backlinks.
Here's an example: Stone Temple used its resources to create an "original" piece of research on mobile and desktop usage.
And take a look at the number of backlinks it has earned over time!
In addition to Stone Temple, SEMrush did something similar for their study of featured snippets.
They, too, have now earned a decent number of links.
But that is not possible for bloggers, one could argue …
I understand. I also understand that this is not a scalable backlink strategy for most niches, but if you have the resources this is something you should try.
When you see that creating linkable assets doesn't cost more than buying backlinks (from probably crappy websites or PBNs).
Imagine the amount you would spend to get mediocre links from SEO agencies and compare it to targeted industry-specific backlinks from government websites.
Needless to say, links earned through linkable assets are always the best white hat backlinks you can ever get.
If you are wondering how to build backlinks for new websites, the linkable assets technique of link building is a big winner!
SparkToro's Rand Fishkin uses this strategy to get some nice media coverage and mentions for his new blog of the same name.
Please note: Creating these types of link assets is not easy and not at all affordable. However, if you are investing 4 numbers per month into buying backlinks or white hat link building services, it would be better to invest that amount in partnering with a research company to create link assets that you can use naturally to qualitatively get high quality backlinks.
8. Link complaint
Linking recovery is a great way to get links from unlinked mentions of you or your website on the web.
This is a very common strategy for securely building backlinks.
I recommend this approach to creating backlinks as these backlinks are unique to you and your brand and will be difficult for your competitors to replicate.
Since you have received mentions because of your sole merit or because of special features on the Internet, these links can hardly be replicated by your competitors, as would be the case with your link acquisitions through guest posts or with the help of skyscraper technology.
Here is a detailed guide on how to create backlinks using the link recovery strategy.
9. Create Your Own White Hat CBN To Get Backlinks
If you want to create SEO friendly white hat backlinks, getting links from private blog networks (PBNs) is a big no-no.
In this case, you need a white hat alternative to PBNs.
We introduce: CBN (Contributor Blog Networks)!
CBN (is a term I coined) or Contributing blog networks are in contributing to high profile blogs and media sites and a network of these sites for your blog.
Lots of big names like Larry Kim, Zac Jhonson regularly contribute to high profile mega-sites like Inc, Search Engine Journal, HubSpot etc.
When you get to these sites, you get a lot more than just link juice. Follow branding, traffic, leads and social proof. However, in this article we will only focus on backlinks.
These media sites may not be easy to access, but you don't expect hassle-free DA 70+ backlinks and loads of traffic, right?
In addition, backlinks from these websites are extremely authoritative. Here's mine from The Next Web.
Pro tip: Don't be satisfied with just one-off appearances. This will ruin the idea of building a CBN. Instead, you should regularly contribute to these websites so that you have more chances of getting your links placed. This leads to branding and gives you additional links.
For example, my friend Ryan Biddulph has earned backlinks as mentions from sites like Virgin, Fox News, Forbes to name a few. Why? Because Ryan is everywhere. He can be seen on almost every blog and has published over 100 eBooks which definitely helped him get onto these websites.
A private contributor blog network is more powerful and profitable than a PBN because in PBNs you worry about any issues (like hosting, website maintenance, content, etc.).
That being said, PBNs can never get anywhere near CBNs as CBNs are real locations with real traffic and authority. Plus, PBNs aren't in Google's good books anyway.
10. Get editorial backlinks with this technique
Editorial backlinks are links that you get naturally from other websites.
Often the best way to get backlinks, these links are different from other link building tactics on this list in that they naturally give you links or mentions from others in your industry.
These are the types of links that you should be targeting.
How do I get editorial backlinks?
- Write epic stuff: again, use the skyscraper technique I described above
- Build a brand so everyone knows about you, your content, and your work.
- Relationship Building: I got editorial backlinks from some really good websites just because the writers / contributors had known me over the years and loved my work.
11. Create a tool or resource to get resource backlinks
Another cool way to get editorial backlinks safely is to create a tool or cheat sheet that will solve your users' problems.
Editorial backlinks aside, your tools allow you to search for links from resource pages.
Tools are easier to place than backlinks to resource pages and are even chosen by education sites that give you .edu backlinks for free.
This is a great way to build backlinks for niche Amazon websites as no one would simply link to those websites.
See how this site uses a simple HTML5 cheat sheet to get over 1.5Kb backlinks from 306 referring domains.
Not to mention, 8 .edu backlinks for free!
While you dig into the topic, here's another tip on how to create .edu backlinks for free.
We all know that scholarship link building is dead. This technique is a great way to get .edu backlinks for free.
Top Best Backlink Checker Tools to Check Your Backlinks (Free and Paid)
The backlink checking tools are one of the most important tools for anyone looking to link or easily create backlinks.
Not only can you check your backlinks, view the sources (and know what's working and what to scale), you can get cool backlink ideas by spying on your competitor websites' link profiles.
1) SEMrush: SEMrush is one of my favorite DIY SEO tools that will help you with all SEO tasks. In addition to keyword research, organic competition research, SEO checking, etc., SEMrush's backlink checker tool provides amazing data on your link profile as well as your competitors. It gives you full access to the backlink analysis including referring IPs, geolocation of links, etc.
Click here to get your free SEMrush trial (valued at $ 99.95).
2) Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a powerful backlink checker tool, or you can say, like SEMrush, a complete SEO tool. Second most active web crawler (after Google), Ahrefs has one of the largest backlink databases you can find.
Like Moz's domain authority, Ahrefs has its own Ahrefs rank, domain rating, and URL rating based on the quality of the links. You can use Ahrefs to get details about the link type (dofollow / nofollow), the platform for link sites (WordPress, forum links, .edu links, etc), etc.
3) Serpstat: I'm a user of Serpstat's Lifetime Deal Plan and I like how it gives you almost the same features for half the price. Serpstat's backlink analysis tool offers a better link database than its competitors like Moz. Click here to read my Serpstat review for more information.
4) Link Explorer: If you're looking for a free online backlink checking tool, Moz's Link Explorer is the place for you. It gives you decent data on newly acquired links, backlink changes (new or lost) and anchor text data, plus the ability to export backlink reports.
5) SpyFu: SpyFu is not only a good PPC research tool, it can also help you with your SEO errands and link building. Here is a detailed overview of SpyFu so you can learn more about it.
How to get backlinks in 2021
How did you like these tips for securely building backlinks?
If so, I would be very happy if you can share it on social media.
The above 11 are my favorite ways to get white hat backlinks naturally. What backlink strategy are you already using?
Or did I miss your favorite strategy for building backlinks? Click To Comment
You may have noticed that I didn't add any tricks for building backlinks via directory submissions, creating scholarship links, links to social media profiles, or links from press releases.
The reason for this is that most of these link building tactics are out of date these days and your website is vulnerable to Google algorithm penalties.
Because of this, I wanted to focus on sharing tips to create high quality backlinks that will improve your website's ranking instead of risking it.
Frequently asked questions about link building
If you want to earn backlinks, you can do so by a) creating epic content or linkable assets, and b) branding or building your authority. This is the only way to get links because you deserve it. Gathering backlinks is the only method recommended by Google for building backlinks. Other ways of creating backlinks like guest posting, contacting, and link recovery can be white hats, but not the ability to earn backlinks as that's where you ask for backlinks instead of linking them yourself based on your earnings.
How do I get high quality backlinks?
To get high quality backlinks, you should have quality content that people want to link to. The best way to do this is to strengthen your website's authority (start by ranking for small and less competitive keywords) and make your content discoverable through potential website linking. Other ways to get high quality backlinks are the HARO techniques, guest posts, link building with infographics, etc.
The best places to get backlinks are authoritative websites in your niche, editorial mentions from media websites, relevant industry blogs, and education sites.
To check your backlinks in Google Analytics, switch to the "Acquisitions" tab on the left. From there, select the "References" option on the "All Accesses" tab. All the websites linked to your website will be displayed. You can also use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to check accurate link data.
How do I get .edu backlinks?
Here are some working methods to get .edu backlinks:
You can sponsor a college / university event. Create specific student discounts for products or create a tool that is helpful for students and make colleges available for placement as resource links.
How many backlinks do I need?
How to find out how many backlinks you need to rank:
Install the Mozbar extension. Click Google and search for your target keyword (that you want to rank for). Mozbar shows the number of referring domains for each ranking page in the SERP. Find the average number of backlinks related to all top 10 ranking pages. This average number should tell you how many backlinks you need to rank. The more the better.
My backlinks are decreasing. Why?
Loss of backlinks over time is natural. Here are some reasons why your backlinks are decreasing:
1) Referring websites may have replaced or deleted this content.
2) The link site may have found a better resource to link to than yours and must have replaced your link with the new one.
3) Wrong redirect setup after changing the URL
Please note that losing some links is fine and completely natural. What you should focus on now is creating more links to make up for those lost links.
Is it safe to buy backlinks?
Buying backlinks is safe when you know the websites that link to you. For example, I know website owners who have bought links from Forbes, Inc, etc. (via freelance workers on these platforms) and they do it very well.
You can also use a platform like Links Management to safely buy backlinks from a number of websites.
Why are my backlinks not showing up in backlink monitoring tools?
Most backlink monitoring tools will detect your backlinks by regularly crawling the web and creating a backlink database from which you can review your links. They are not perfect and often large enough to see all the links as they are created. Even Google's own search console shows a small number of links that you get. You should either give enough time to have your backlinks indexed or use a better link checker tool like Ahrefs which has probably the best and largest live backlink database out there.
Buy High Quality Backlinks Safely: Can You Buy Safe High DA Backlinks?
YES! & No!
Yes and no as it depends on the seller of these links.
While getting links from random sellers is definitely not a good idea, there are reputable and reliable backlink sales agencies out there who will authentically do it for you.
Nowadays there are services that will provide you backlinks from their reserve websites. These blogs range from PR1 to PR9 in different niches and work as PBNs. You can purchase links at very affordable prices starting at $ 1. What you get is an increase in rankings for your blog and, with it, organic traffic.
These links can give you an edge over your competitor and help you outperform your blog. You can use these for long term blogging. These are best for event-based and niche blogging. Learn more about buying backlinks here.
I personally use this service to buy natural backlinks for my niche Amazon websites. So far they have worked wonders. Imagine getting some PR safe dofollow backlinks to your long term or event blog. It is also amazing that you receive this $ 50 FREE Added to your account using my personal link.
Please note: Due to the fact that Google is behaving erratically these days, a backlink hacks that
In a few years it may stop working. So don't take my word for it, visit the website and then decide if you want these links or if you prefer to build backlinks organically and then make a smart decision. I am not responsible for any of your actions.
Click the Image Above to Claim a $ 50 Bonus and Buy Your Backlinks!
How do I create backlinks for niche and Amazon affiliate sites?
Since the backlinks of these PBNs are safe and can be bought with the help of SEO experts, you can use them to enhance event blogs, niche blogs, and Amazon affiliate websites.
These backlinks are SEO friendly and have been used by many affiliate marketers. I personally use them to rate my niche websites. 🙂 Click here to get your $ 50 bonus and try these links to see if you need them or not.
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