9 Types of Backlinks: What They Are And How To Use Them

types of backlinks

You don’t have to know too much about SEO to know that backlinks are important. But for a beginner, understanding all the different types of backlinks can really make your head spin.

There are all manner of Legiit freelancers who offer all manner of link building services. So in this post, we want to make your job a little bit easier.

Let’s examine 9 of the most common types of backlinks to help you make smart buying decisions.

Backlink Basics

Understanding these basic concepts will help you better grasp what types of links you need and when.

Contextual vs Non-contextual

Any given backlink can be contextual or not. A contextual link, in a nutshell, is a link that appears within a paragraph of relevant text. 

This link to our post on How To Hire a Freelance Link Builder, for example, is contextual. It appears within a paragraph and is surrounded by relevant text about SEO and links.

Non-contextual links are those that appear in places like footers, menus, and side bars.

Why does it matter? Generally speaking, contextual links are more powerful. They are a clear vote of confidence from the linking site.

Do-follow vs No-follow

Links are generally do-follow by default. The webmaster can add an HTML tag to make any given link on their site a no-follow instead.

No-follow links tell search engines not to consider the link when it comes to ranking purposes. So, in one sense, do-follow links are more powerful.

However, no-follow links are still important. 

First, it would look very unnatural if all of your links were do-follow. Secondly, a no-follow link placed on a page with a lot of traffic can still bring you referral traffic.

9 Common Types of Backlinks

Editorial Links

What they are: Editorial links are completely natural links that a blogger or website owner places in their content without any incentive. Usually, they are linking to their source or sending their readers to a valuable resource.

Comments: Strictly speaking, editorial links are the best types of backlinks. Because they are 100% organic, they should be 100% safe. But they are also hard to get. You’ve got to create shareable, linkable content and promote the heck out of it.

Guest Post Links

What they are: Like the name implies, this is when you write a blog post for someone else’s website. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. They get fresh content and you get to include a contextual link or two back to your own site.

Comments: Guest posts are considered one of the safer types of backlinks. To get them, you’ve either got to do a lot of outreach to bloggers or hire someone who already has a lot of connections with blogs that accept guest posts. You can find some of those on Legiit.

Niche Edits

What they are: A niche edit is basically when you get a new link placed on an existing piece of content. For example, maybe you create a really helpful resource and then reach out to bloggers who have already written about the topic. They might find your content worthy of a link.

Comments: These are a pretty powerful type of contextual link and generally considered very safe. Note that they are also referred to as “link insertions”. One common tactic to get a niche edit is to find blog posts with broken links and suggest to the webmaster to link to your content instead.

PBN Links

What they are: PBN is short for “private blog network”. These are networks of websites that are created specifically for the purpose of generating backlinks. For example, if you own an auto mechanic business, you might create 10 different websites. You fill each of them with content relevant to your industry and include links back to your actual business website. 

Comments: PBNs are more risky than the other types of backlinks we’ve discussed so far. There are a lot of things that can leave a footprint that makes it clear to search engines that you are attempting to manipulate rankings. So if you aren’t 100% confident in what you are doing, find a trustworthy PBN provider and do your due diligence before hiring them.

Web 2.0 Links

What they are: Web 2.0 links come from free blogging sites like Weebly, Tumblr, and WordPress.com. Essentially, these are like PBN links but you don’t have to incur the cost of paying for a domain or hosting.

Comments: Web 2.0s aren’t usually as powerful as other types of contextual links because they are easier to get. And they can be risky if you use spammy content. One strategy that people use to mitigate risk is using web 2.0s to build backlinks to their PBNs rather than directly to their business site.

Press Release Links

What they are: A press release is a brief write-up on some newsworthy event about your business that is distributed to media outlets. Journalists use press releases to help them find stories worth pursuing.

Comments: The press release itself can contain backlinks, but the real power is when your story gets picked up by popular news sites. You can earn some really strong editorial backlinks if you incorporate a consistent press release strategy into your marketing efforts.

Find Press Release Distributors on Legiit

Business Profile Links

What they are: When you create a profile for your business on sites like Home Advisor or Yelp, you can usually include a link to your website.

Comments: Also known as business citations, these links are important for anyone trying to rank for local search terms. Equally important, however, is that you use a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) across all of your business profiles. Building citations can get pretty tedious, so you may want to outsource the task to a freelancer who specializes in local SEO.

Social Profile Links

What they are: These are simply backlinks from your social media profiles on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Comments: It’s important to claim as many of your social profiles as possible before someone else does. The links themselves aren’t particularly powerful, but they are an important foundation to help diversify your no-follow/do-follow ratio.

Comment Links

What they are: These are links that you place within comments on other people’s blogs. Sometimes, the link is within the actual text of the comment. Other times, it is within your commenter profile

Comments: Blog comments used to be a pretty standard link strategy. These days, they are generally considered old-school SEO that doesn’t work very well. If you do use them, try to write quality, helpful comments rather than spammy ones. This way you may get some referral traffic from genuinely interested readers.

Find Better Backlinks on Legiit

Now you know about 9 of the most common types of links. If you are looking for professional help to get them, browse the freelance link builders on Legiit who can help you get more work done.

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