What are Backlinks and how to get them in 2023

7 Min Read | Published: 13 Jan 2023
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  • Link Building

Backlink is an essential building block of SEO. No, it’s not some claim but a widely accepted fact.  

Amid the ever-evolving algorithm and fierce competition, backlinks improve rankings and bring buzzing traffic to sites. And there’s a lot more that they offer. That’s why businesses all over the world prioritize them to have a strong foothold in the digital space.  

But in case, the ‘b-word’ is somewhat new to you and you can’t fathom its significance in the SEO world, hang in there! We’ve got you covered.  

We’ll reveal the truth about backlinks and everything you need to know in this blog. So, keep reading!

What is a Backlink?

When one website links to another, it creates a backlink. It is also called an “incoming link” or “inbound link”. 

As Backlinks guarantee better visibility and traffic, they’re important to SEO.

what are backlinks

Why Backlinks are important?

Here are the 4 main things backlinks help with. 

Vote of Confidence 

Backlinks represent a “vote of confidence”. Simply put, if many sites link back to the same website, it gives signals to search engines that a website’s content is worth linking to. And it’s rankable on SERPs as well. So, earning more backlinks means you have more votes of confidence, and they elevate your site’s rankings.    


Backlinks are inarguably one of the three ranking factors of Google. Although we keep seeing new algorithm updates rolling out frequently, but backlinks still remain the critical ranking signal. 

Speaking of which, this goes like clockwork, a higher number of backlinks make a site rank higher for relevant search queries.

In addition, Backlinko performed a study and concluded that pages with lots of backlinks rank above the pages not having as many backlinks. 

Position vs backlink graph - Backlinko

More Traffic 

According to this study by Ahref, around 90% of content without backlinks gets zero traffic from Google. They may have quality content but sadly they just go unnoticed.

Now, this is thought-provoking. 

On the contrary, a website linking back to yours caters to a diverse, and in most cases, a larger audience. So having backlinks make you seen and heard, ensuring more outreach and market expansion.  


Popular pages help you get discovered faster. Search engines revisit popular pages they’re familiar with to detect new links and content. That’s why getting a backlink from popular pages helps you in a long run. 

Types of Backlinks

Understanding different types of backlinks is necessary for building a better link building strategy.

Dofollow link

In simple words, dofollow links are the standard hyperlinks and they exist without any additional attributes. They inform google to pass authority to the site they’re linked to. 

Everyone wants dofollow links as they’re utterly significant for link building and improving rankings. 

Note that every link is a dofollow link until a particular attribute is added. 

<a href=”https://www.example.com”>

Nofollow link

As the name suggests, no follow links inform Google to ignore a link. They come with the attribute of rel = “no follow”, and don’t pass any authority to the site they’re linked to. In fact, they’re also not useful when it comes to search rankings.

So why would anybody still want to use such links? 

Sometimes, it may happen that you’re citing a source or a competitor in your content, but don’t want to pass them authority, that’s where you use nofollow links.   

<a href=”https://www.example.com” rel=”nofollow”>

However, Google takes nofollow attribute as just a hint, and decides on its own whether to pass the authority or not. 

UGC links

User Generated Links are created by users. The attribute rel = “ugc” helps Google identify such links. Along with that, this also allows a website to clarify they don’t vouch for these links. 

These are links found mostly in blog post comments and look like this:

<a href=”https://www.example.com/”rel=”ugc”>this is a UGC link</a> 

Editorial Links 

It’s a treat when some authentic site links back to you without being asked. This is one of the common practices where a website links to a piece if they find it fitting and incredibly good. These links are called editorially placed links. 

Not only they’re appreciated by the linked website, but they’re favored by Google too. Editorially placed links are valuable as they’re meant to enhance the user experience. 

Link Schemes

Also known as link spam, these links attempt to manipulate search algorithms and ranking. 

Link schemes include links that are created through: 

  • Automated programs
  • Exchange of money, services, or any other stuff
  • Link Exchanges (I’ll link to you, you’ll link to me)

Note that the deduction of link scheme instantly results in Google Penality, so better avoid participating in it. In case, someone has participated in a link scheme, Google strictly recommends to disavow those links. 

That was all on the backlink types, but what to do when you want to earn those precious dofollow links?  

How to get Backlinks

The process of earning links is called link building. And there’s another popular term, white hat link building, which means driving traffic using SEO techniques and relevant linking ethically. 

Here’s how you can get valuable backlinks via a white hat link building strategy

As the process involves reaching out to site owners and pitching them to link back to your page, some proven tactics work wonders: 

Guest Blogging

The old-school guest blogging method never goes out of trend. All you have to do is surf the internet, select the website from your niche, and offer to write a guest post for them. This will put you right in front of a different audience and increase your exposure.

Broken Link Building 

It works because not only it fixes an issue but offers value to the readers. Reach out to the websites having dead outbound links, and offer to replace them with your functional links. The only condition is that your offered page has to be a good match with the piece they were originally linking to. 

Skyscraper Technique 

Look out for relevant long-form content having lots of backlinks. Analyze it thoroughly and figure out if there’s room for improvement. Find the way you can make that existing piece even better and more valuable. Refine the content, data, and visuals. Then reach out to the editors to replace the old link with yours instead. 

Unlinked Mentions 

Make the right use of your unlinked mentions all over the internet. Find who’s talking about you and your brand, and ask them to make the mention clickable. This simple tactic will bring you many backlinks with less effort. Who doesn’t want that?    

Create Infographics 

Infographics are scannable and provide useful information. They increase the sharability of every content as readers prefer to browse them on multiple platforms. Speaking of which, you can create multiple infographics out of your popular blogs and ask other webmasters to share them. 

Write testimonials for other websites

No matter how cliched it sounds, writing testimonials does put your business in front of the right audience. And it proves to be beneficial for your SEO and backlinking strategy in the long run. 

When you release appreciative testimonials for other websites, they’ll link back to you in return. This may seem like a small contribution but it’ll surely get you more traffic. 

Build free tools

If you search for “link building tools for SEO”, you’ll see many free tools in the results. Similarly, there are many other free tools for plagiarism checks and template generation, etc., that have many backlinks. 

You can search for the free tools in your niche, and see if you can create a better version offering more features. If you succeed to build something more advanced and easy to use, you’ll start getting a stream of new backlinks sooner than you think. 

If you want to find out more ways to get backlinks, check out these Ultimate 38 Backlink Tactics.  

What links are good/valuable?


Users click on the relevant backlinks more as compared to the irrelevant ones. In fact, Google also places more value on relevant backlinks. For instance, if a gardening site has backlinks from a seed shop and plumbing solutions, readers are more likely to click on the former. It elevates the user experience and adds more value to your content as well. 


It is the ability of search engines to trust the website. Google didn’t reveal how it calculates authority, but SEO tools like Ahref, Moz, and SEMrush have features that predict the authority score out of 100. 

Note that the backlinks coming from credible web pages transfer more authority usually.  Ahref performed a study involving 14 million web pages and concluded the directly proportional relationship between page authority (URL Rating) and organic traffic. 

URL Rating vs Search Traffic Graph


As a rule of thumb, you’re likely to receive more traffic from the high-traffic pages as compared to the low-traffic ones. So it’s better to get backlinks from those pages if you want to receive a large amount of referral traffic. 


Users are most likely to click on the links that stand out in the content. They must look prominent and clickable. Otherwise, there’s a high chance of your links getting neglected if they end up in the footer or the sidebar.   

Dofollow or Nofollow

As link building takes time and effort to bring the coveted results, it’s best to prioritize receiving do follow links. It doesn’t mean you should freak out if you receive a no follow link. Because even if they don’t directly influence the linked page’s ranking, they do have SEO value

Anchor Text

It is the clickable words that create a backlink. And according to Google’s patent, the anchor text contributes to improving the search quality. So they’re not mere clickable words, they’re more than that in SEO. 


In case you’ve been sleeping on the potential of the link building, it’s the right time to kick-start your journey. It does require your precious time and effort, but it’ll also allow you to grow your business tenfold. So create incredible content, get them quality backlinks, and watch your business reach higher heights.