What are Backlinks? And How to Build Them in 2022

Digital Marketing Blog: What Are Backlinks and How to Build them in 2022
Also called inbound links, backlinks represent a website’s traffic that comes to your site. With this, you don’t want just any websites linking back to your website, and you surely don’t want to have an overpowering amount of links. Additionally, not all backlinks drive good results.

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What Are Backlinks?

Also called inbound links, backlinks represent a website’s traffic that comes to your site. With this, you don’t want just any websites linking back to your website, and you surely don’t want to have an overpowering amount of links. Additionally, not all backlinks drive good results.

Backlinks are links from one website to another website. It sounds simple, right? But these backlinks play an essential role in your digital marketing efforts. Consider backlinks your “votes” of confidence that indicate you’re a reliable website. Websites with a high number of backlinks usually have high rankings on the SERPs.

Therefore, for backlinks to drive the desired results, you need to pay close attention to their quality and quantity.

The Difference Between a Link and a Backlink

When it comes to link building, you need to understand the difference between a link and a backlink. As mentioned, not all backlinks will deliver the best results, and not all are the same.

A link may redirect a user to another website, and its primary goal is to let the user access quick information. On the other hand, a backlink allows users to move from an outside site to an individual’s site, allowing users to do further reading.

Related Post: What is Link Building and Why is it Important?

Types of Backlinks

There are four types of backlinks in link building. Below, we take a deep dive into the different types of links and their SEO value.

  • Nofollow Links      

Nofollow links use the rel=”nofollow” attribute to inform search engines that they shouldn’t pass trust.  Given that nofollow links don’t pass PageRank, that doesn’t necessarily help your site rank higher on the SERPs.

In 2019,  Google announced that they were changing the nofollow attribute. That was when nofollow was introduced; Google would not count any link marked that way as a signal within search algorithms. (Google Search Central Blog, 2019)

  • Follow Links

Follow links pass PageRank and don’t have a nofollow attribute.

  • Sponsored or Paid Links

You can pay an affiliate or an influencer to promote your content. Now, if money, product or service has been exchanged in return for a link, a rel=”sponsored” attribute must be added to inform Google. (MOZ, 2019)

The rel=”sponsored” attribute will prevent your site from being impacted by these links negative. Therefore, when working with an affiliate, make sure you’re using a sponsored attribute for the backlink.

  • UGC Links

User-Generated Content (UGC) links come from forums and blog comments. UGC links inform search engines that the link has been placed by a user.

Related Post: What is Link Building and Why is it Important?

How to Check a Website’s Backlink Profile

Evolving Digital | SEO Strategies

We recommend using backlink checker tools to check a website’s backlink profile. These tools are easy to use and will allow you to see who’s linking to your website.

Google Search Console (GSC)

Even though backlinks are very important in generating traffic, they are not a one-way street. Keep in mind that many of the links you have built over the years that still work for you may be taken away by a manual or algorithmic Google update to prevent spam.

However, in-depth backlink data from Google Search Console can be very useful.

You can see which pages have the most inbound links to them, which have the most links from the most reliable sources, and which pages are the best targets for your next link-building campaign.


Popular among companies and link building strategies, Ahrefs is a reliable backlink checker tool that delivers insights and data that not only lets you check backlinks but manage and gather backlinks.

 It’s simple to use—all you need is to enter the website’s URL and get information about the companies that link to it. Ahrefs will also provide you with information on the domain rating and the number of times the website linked to your website.

In addition, it will also show you the new, lost, and broken links to the website. The new links may be used to generate more links, whilst you can also take advantage of the broken and lost links you find on the website.


One thing that makes SEMrush one of the most highly-recommended backlink checkers today is its massive information database that is updated daily. The daily update provides users with more accurate results regarding their business’ backlinks.

Track your competition and beat them in the search results—SEMrush will let you monitor several competitor websites and know who’s linking to them. You can also see the quality of these links through in-depth link analysis.

In addition, the backlink checker will let you see any incoming links, see the anchor text used, view URLs and titles of linking pages, know where the links are coming from geographically, and more.

​​Moz Link Explorer

Build better backlinks for link building with Moz Link Explorer. Using the tool will let you check website links and gain more insightful data that will help you boost the efficiency of your link-building strategy.

The tool will let you see information about inbound links, external links, anchor text, spam score, and the linking page’s authority. With these insights, you can fix broken links to your site, work on better link prospecting, discover new or lost links, and strengthen your link-building strategies.

It’s safe to say that there are endless opportunities when you use this backlink checker tool.

The Importance of Backlinks in Your SEO Strategy

You can’t talk about SEO without mentioning backlinks. Yet, when it comes to your business, generating backlinks to your website or blog can be a challenge. Here are the reasons backlinks are important for your SEO strategy:

  • Improves Rankings

In 2016, Google confirmed that backlinks are one of the top major ranking factors for websites. Backlinks are vital for Google to understand what your website is about. As mentioned, backlinks build trustworthiness. When Google finds your website has high-quality backlinks, it will rank you higher on the SERPs.

  • Boosts Site Credibility

Here’s the thing—not all links that point to your website are quality links. On the other hand, if you have high-quality backlinks, then it will not only boost your page rankings but also build your website’s credibility when you have credible sites linking to your website.

  • Sends Referral Traffic to Your Page

High-quality links deliver valuable traffic to your website. How does it work? People who come from other sites without searching for you on search engines to your website are considered referral traffic. Google’s tracking systems recognise them as a referral, whilst some businesses will use UTM codes to track the origin of the traffic source. (Spinutech, 2022)

Referral traffic comes from backlinks, and when you get it right, you get your website a consistent source of additional traffic.

Therefore, referral traffic is a vital metric to watch out for because it sends valuable visitors to the website from authority websites whilst getting your site in front of new people. You also get better brand exposure and recognition and improve your search engine optimisation strategy.

  • Provides Relevance

It’s well-known that Google only offers users the best possible search results. Hence, using backlinks is an effective way for the search engine to determine the best results to deliver to users.

Google will check backlinks to your site and confirm their relevance. However, how do you know if you have relevant backlinks to your site?

First, the backlinks on your website or web pages must be natural and provide value to your site visitors. Another thing is that the backlinks must be reputable. Search engines like Google now look for social proof to determine the credibility of web pages. For example, Google has a PageRank algorithm that measures the reputation and importance of websites.

PageRank counts the number and quality of links to a website or web pages to determine a rough estimate of the importance of the website. This is under the assumption that relevant websites are likely to receive more links from other sites or even just blog posts. That said, the higher the number of links, the better. However, these backlinks must all be high quality.

So, when you have relevant backlinks, your website becomes even more relevant. As a result, Google and other search engines will likely rank your web page higher on the SERPs.

  • Builds Authority on Search Engines

Search engines like Google use several factors to determine the ranking of your website on the SERPs. This is where domain authority becomes important. Your domain authority measures the accuracy and dependability of the content found on a website, which impacts how high a site ranks on the SERPs.

A recent study showed that more than just the number of links, increasing the number and ensuring referring domains are high quality helps improve domain authority and your online presence. Therefore, your backlinks play a pivotal role in your site’s overall authority, and the higher your domain authority is, the better.

8 Helpful Tips for Backlink Building

 Building backlinks is not easy, but it can be done. To gain more backlinks, you need to take the time to find link building opportunities, do search engine optimization, set up a solid link building campaign and more. However, we will help you create backlinks with the tips below:

1) Start Guest Posting

Guest posting involves writing blogs for other websites to get backlinks to your site. Submitting well-written content that provides valuable information to readers is essential to get good results. However, there is always the possibility of not getting the expected results even when you write good content. That’s why you need to be mindful of minor details whilst creating guest posts.

When guest blogging, try different approaches until you hit the right spot. Some site owners or bloggers might ask you for specific content or provide suggestions to improve your writing.

To find which sites accept guest posts, you can do a quick Google search, and from there, you can search within relevant sites. It will also be helpful to follow other guest bloggers and pitch blogs via email.

Keep in mind to only provide guest posts to websites with good domain authority—the minimum is 25. Doing so will ensure relevancy and enhance the quality of your referral traffic as more people click on the links to your website.

2) Use HARO

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) connects journalists to various sources and allows businesses and individuals to get media coverage. HARO makes your outreach efforts a lot easier with more opportunities instead of searching for them.  

Investing a couple of minutes daily sifting through HARO’s daily requests emails will pay off. Be on the lookout for queries you can answer aligned with your expertise. Although there is no guarantee that any of your responses will be cited in a published piece, when it does, you’ll get a link from a credible website and get more backlinks. It will also help boost your organic search traffic. In fact, 68 per cent of all 1,500 queries in the study has a domain rating of 50 or above. (First Page Strategy, 2020)

3) Create Linkable & Shareable Assets

A linkable asset is a form of content created to attract links, often from other websites in the same niche. Linkable assets are also created to rank high-volume keywords and boost organic search traffic. But what makes it linkable when it comes to building backlinks?

The first thing you need to understand in building or crafting a linkable asset is why people “like” a certain thing. There are a few reasons websites or individuals link to the content. One may be because the content provides a solution to a specific issue or offers a unique angle towards a particular topic. In some cases, it may also be content that the audience would find interesting.

However, you need to understand that these assets don’t attract links from anywhere, it still needs to be promoted to make them work.

Some of the linkable assets you can create are:

–   Infographics

–   Online calculators and tools

–   Rankings and awards

–   Studies and research

–   Definitive tutorials and guides

–   Coined terms

5) Analyse Your Competitor’s Backlink Profiles

Your competitors’ backlink profiles have a lot to say about them, and you can use this information to enhance your marketing strategies. Of course, you need to have a clear idea of who your competitors are, and then it’s time to check their backlink profiles.

Fortunately, checking and analysing competitors’ backlink profiles aren’t complicated, thanks to the online tools you can use today. In fact, you can even use a free one, although, of course, the features will be limited.

Backlink Watch is one of the best backlink profile checkers you can use today. Remember that the paid versions will deliver more detailed insights and have better export and tracking features that can send reports when your competitor’s profiles change.

When you know what your competitor’s backlinks look like, you can see a little bit of what goes behind the scenes that you can use to your marketing advantage. It will show you the results of their efforts in their backlinks profile.

 6) Submit Testimonials

Unknown to many, testimonials benefit three parties—the consumer, the business, and the reviewer. That is why submitting testimonials will expose your website and increase its visibility through backlinks or mentions.

Before you submit testimonials to build backlinks, ensure you have a list of relevant websites first. What are the products and services you use for your business every day? Then, once you have the list, consider its relevance to your business.

From there, you can start to look for opportunities. Remember that not every company will have a space to submit reviews directly on the website; that’s why you need to actively find opportunities to submit testimonials.

Once you know where to submit them, take the time to craft a unique review. Put a great deal of personalisation into it, and add some keywords when crafting a testimonial.

7) Do Link Reclamation

Link reclamation involves finding, fixing or replacing broken links that point to your website. It may also involve replacing links that don’t pass value efficiently on your site to other people’s websites.

Link reclamation is important because it ensures that your site will not lose out on any link juice because of broken links, moved pages or faulty URL canonicalisation. The process will also enable you to find pages that are no longer working, duplicate content, and issues with your site navigation and internal links.

8) Invest in Broken Link Building

Broken link building is a strategy that takes advantage of broken pages online, and it involves finding a dead page and asking linkers to swap them for a working page on your website. So, how do you do this?

The first step is to find broken pages with backlinks—and you can do this using SEO tools. Look for your competitors’ broken pages with backlinks about a topic, competing for websites, and resource pages. Once done, you can vet the page’s link prospects by quick spot-checking to see whether the dead page has desirable backlinks.

From there, you can create a replacement page and find other ways to improve the content further. Then, perform outreach by pitching your replacement resource to those linking to the dead page.

Build Backlinks Now

Evolving Digital has a team of backlink builders to help ensure you have the best backlinks to your site. After all, not all backlinks are created equal. Still, with our expertise, you can guarantee that all the backlinks to your website will only come from quality websites that will help you achieve your desired results. Get in touch with us.


What are referring domains?

Referring domains are domains that users visit immediately before or after visiting your site, and these are domains that are likely to produce similar visitors. The referring domains metric is beneficial for identifying sites that are likely to link to you in the future. The more sites that refer visitors to your site, the more chances you have to get links from them in the future.

How does an anchor text relevant in backlinks?

In the same way that anchor text can be useful for identifying potential link-worthy topics, anchor text can help identify the potential targets for your future link-building campaign. This is particularly useful because it allows you to quickly identify links that are likely relevant to your site. As you might know, this is very much in keeping with Google’s desire to produce relevant search results.

What are unlinked brand mentions?

Unlinked brand mentions happen when your brand’s name or URL are mentioned in a post, but the site owner or author doesn’t include a link to your site.

What is link popularity?

Link popularity is the total number of links to your page. It is a theoretical value and is not the same as the number of linking domains. Google often uses the number of linking domains to calculate link popularity, but not always.

How does a search engine algorithm affect backlinks?

Backlinks are an important SEO factor. Whilst they are not the only factor, they significantly impact your search engine rankings. That’s why when you generate backlinks, you need to ensure they come from authoritative websites to get as many backlinks as possible.

Unfortunately, with how Google’s algorithm works, having too many low-quality backlinks to your site can cause your site to be penalised for spam by Google. Therefore, if you’re building backlinks for SEO purposes, such as boosting your organic traffic, make sure you’re doing it in a way that does not hurt your site.


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