Here’s How Google Defines “High-Quality Backlinks”

High-quality backlinksIf you think that social media is replacing search engines as the primary way that visitors are being referred to sites, think again.

In fact, a study by Forrester found that 93 percent of all online experiences start with a visit to a search engine.

Another study found that when shopping online, 61 percent of consumers will use a search engine to research the product that they are looking for and make their decision.

If your site doesn’t rank well on Google, you’re missing out on the patronage of a large portion of these viewers.

While SEO practices are important for boosting your rankings, high-quality backlinks are the best way to help your site climb the Google rankings, and boost traffic to your website.

But if you don’t understand Google’s complicated screening process for backlinks, you likely aren’t creating high-quality ones, which may lead to your site getting flagged for spam.

What It Means to Backlink to Your Site

To understand how to create high-quality backlinks, you first need to understand what backlinks are and how they work.

Anytime a website contains a link to another site, this is considered a backlink. Backlinks, in the simplest terms, create links between sites.

But these backlinks do a number of other things as well.

First, they create referral traffic.

This traffic often isn’t large, but it is targeted. For instance, if a backlink is included on a niche blog, and links to another blog in the same niche, anyone who is already interested in that topic will find the link useful and may visit continue on to that other site.

But if someone is reading that blog and isn’t interested in the niche, they aren’t likely to click on that backlink.

Backlinks boost the rate at which your site is indexed by search engines.

This is important for all websites, but especially for new ones, as it will make it easier for your website to be found on search engines.

Finally, backlinks also increase your organic ranking.

As with improving the speed at which your site is indexed, this helps to boost where your site falls during a search through an engine like Google.

The Difference Between a High-Quality Backlink and a Poor Quality Backlink

Not all backlinks are created equal.

High-quality backlinks are links posted on relevant, high-quality sites. They link similar material in a natural way.

High-quality links have the ability to dramatically boost your site’s ranking on Google. Poor quality links do the opposite.

Links are considered low quality for a number of reasons. They may be posted on poor quality websites. Or they may be posted on sites that have nothing in common with the website that’s being linked to.

Think of spam comments on blogs and websites, ones that try to capture viewers attention with irrelevant posts or promises of services that have nothing to do with the topic of the article or blog that you were originally reading.

Google will flag these links, which will, in turn, hurt your site’s organic ranking.

Understanding Google’s Definition of a High-Quality Backlink

Even if you aren’t posting spam message-backlinks in comment sections of websites and blogs, your links could still get flagged.

Why? Google has a screening process that seeks to identify any links that could be unnatural.

They define unnatural links as any that are created with the sole intent of boosting a website’s search ranking. Google’s goal is to prevent poor quality websites from gaining a high search ranking by spreading poor quality backlinks all over the web.

Even having too many links obtained through an exchange, as in one blogger promising to link to another blog if that blog will also link to them, can get your site flagged by Google for having unnatural links.

How to Create High-Quality Backlinks

There are a number of ways to go about creating high-quality backlinks.

One way is by creating infographics.

Infographics are one of the most popular visual tools on the internet. Websites love to include them and are constantly on the lookout for relevant ones.

If you create these infographics, then other websites and blogs will use them and will include a link leading back to your site.

In the same way that infographics will get shared often, creating high quality, interesting content will also help ensure that backlinks are being created to your site on other websites and blogs.

You should also be creating internal links on your websites.

These redirect your readers to other pages on your site that contain useful information.

These links also count towards boosting your SEO.

You can also invite guest bloggers and writers to submit articles or posts to your site.

While this may seem counterintuitive (because those writers are going to create links to their own site in their posts) they are also likely to post links to the article that they write on your site on their own website, thus creating a high-quality link for you.

They also may provide an interesting new take on the subject that you specialize in, which can result in interesting content that will drive even more viewers to your site. Interview-style articles with experts in the field are a great way to achieve this.

While these methods are all effective, getting a large number of high-quality backlinks entirely on your own will take a very long time and a whole lot of hard work.

To shorten the process, you might consider purchasing affiliate links with link building packages.

Choosing a reliable company to produce these links is important. The last thing that you want to do is pay for poor quality links.

An experienced, professional company will allow you to browse the pages that you’d like your links to appear on, which will help ensure that your links are natural and relevant.

With Google constantly changing and adjusting their algorithms, it’s also important that you hire a company that stays up to date on what Google is doing, and adapts quickly to these changes.

Get in touch with us. We can help.

Penguin 4 Update: Has Your Site Recovered?

Did your site get hit by the Penguin 4 update? Are you wondering why it hasn’t recovered?

After almost two years of waiting, the Penguin 4 update finally rolled out at the end of September. Different from previous updates, Penguin 4 is a real-time update. This means websites are now being evaluated in real-time and will increase or decrease in rankings in real-time.

This is good news if your site was hit during the roll-out because you can make changes and get out of your Penguin penalty now. If your site hasn’t recovered yet, read on to learn more about Penguin 4 and what you can do to get your site rankings back up.

If your site hasn’t recovered yet, read on to learn more about Penguin 4 and what you can do to get your site rankings back up.

What You Need to Know About Penguin 4

From specific words on websites to your region and the freshness of content, Google’s filtering process relies on over 200 unique signals to find the search item you’re looking for. One of these signals is called Penguin.

Google detects sites that are spamming the search results. The Penguin filter has been run periodically since 2012 to capture those sites that are getting past the regular spamming systems. In the past when Penguin caught a spammy site, the site would remain penalized no matter how they changed until the next time Penguin ran.

Before Penguin 4, there hadn’t been a Penguin update since October 17, 2014. Every site hit then had to wait until this recent update of Penguin 4 to become unpenalized.

Now, site owners won’t have to wait months to be recognized in the search rankings by Google. Penguin 4 is real-time, so as Google constantly reindexes pages, the Penguin filter is constantly assessing those pages. Penguin with catch and free sites in this ongoing process.

The Penguin 4 update also made the filter more granular. It now adjusts ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting the ranking of the wholepenguin 4 website.

This means that it is no longer only a sitewide penalty. Penguin can impact specific pages on a site as well as sections or wide swaths of a site. But the whole site isn’t affected, and some pages may be fine.

Why Your Site Hasn’t Recovered from Penguin 4

Even though Google has claimed that the Penguin 4 update is real-time, some sites still haven’t recovered from previous penalties. Here are a few possibilities for why your site hasn’t recovered yet?

1. The update is still rolling out.

Penguin 4 is quite different from the previous versions. Rather than being an actual update, it replaces the previous versions and works differently than they did.

Penguin 4 has been rolled out in a couple phases. The new code went live around September 23 when Google announced it. But for the new code to completely take effect, it had to wait for the entire link graph to be refreshed, which can take some time for deeper links.

Because of that, it may have taken a few days for the initial roll-out to fully take effect.

Google also rolled back previous Penguin penalties after the new code launched. Google announced on Twitter that the Penguin roll-out was in the final stage on October 7, still removing demotions over the next few days.

It is possible that not all Penguin demotions have been removed yet. Your site may be one of the unlucky few. Monitor your keyword rankings instead of traffic to see if your site is improving.

2. You still have too many broken links.

While you may be trying to hold on to as many links as possible, bad links may be keeping your site down in the Google rankings.

Bad links can come in several forms. When you delete a linked page, insert an incorrect URL in a text link or change a URL address without correctly updating the URL, you get a broken link.

One of the ways Google’s algorithms rank websites is by crawling their links. If your site has broken links, these algorithms stop from crawling and indexing it.

Google aims to avoid directing users to sites that have these broken links. If you still have too bad links lurking on your site, it is likely affecting your ranking with Google.

Even though Google claims not to be penalizing the whole site, bad links could still be causing the issue. Other algorithms could be catching these bad links and keeping your site low in the rankings. Continuing to clean up bad links could help get your site back up in Google.

3. You don’t have enough links anymore.

Perhaps you got so carried away with taking out bad links that your site doesn’t have any links left. It’s possible that your Penguin penalty was lifted when you removed the bad links, but if you don’t have enough good links left then your site still won’t rank well with Google.

Backlinks are important for ranking in Google. They may account for as much as 80 percent of the weight that search engine ranking algorithms give websites. Without backlinks at all, your site doesn’t stand a chance.

Instead of focusing on taking out all the bad links, turn your efforts to getting more quality and authoritative backlinks in your content. Since Penguin 4 is real-time, implementing backlinks now can have a positive impact and get your site back up in the rankings quicker.

4. Your site has other issues that don’t involve Penguin.

Penguin is only one of more than 200 signals that Google uses to determine site rankings. There could be a slew of other catches taking place that have nothing to do with Penguin. Your site could have been suppressed by Panda or one of Google’s Quality Algorithms.

You may be having other technical SEO issues that don’t have to do with bad links. If your site hasn’t recovered from Penguin, it’s worth digging deeper than just fixing your links.

If your site hasn’t recovered from Penguin 4, keep waiting a short while as the update is still rolling out. But don’t hesitate to disavow those bad links or add some high-quality backlinks. Most sites are experiencing improvements from the update, and yours should be right up there with them.

Get Creative and Get More Backlinks: 7 Off the Beaten Path Strategies

get backlinksIf there’s a single question that most commonly keeps SEOs up at night, it’s probably: “how do I get backlinks?”

Most other activities in SEO are pretty straightforward. You perform keyword research. You include your keywords in your post content and in all the relevant meta tags.

But to get backlinks, more brain-wracking is involved.

Link-building can seem to depend on factors outside of your control. What if you spend hours upon hours doing email outreach only to come up empty-handed?

Trying to get backlinks to no avail is stressful enough when you’re working on your own money sites. It’s not even an option when you’re working on others’ sites.

If you’re doing SEO for clients, you need ways to get backlinks that are scalable.

Fortunately, there are plenty of creative ways to grow your backlink profile that go beyond simple email outreach.

By using these off the beaten path strategies, you will get more backlinks and move your sites up the rankings. You’ll also have more fun.

Give Your Product to Reviewers

Reaching out to reviewers is a simple way to get backlinks for your website.

Remember, there are bloggers out there who make a living reviewing products and services. All you have to do is search online for the ones who cover your industry.

Once you’ve found them, create a list of emails of those you will contact.

To save time, create a template to which you can adjust the name upon sending each email.

When someone says he’s interested in reviewing what you have to offer, send your product over!

In order for product reviews to be worth your while, you need to make sure the reviewer does one important thing: add a link to your website in his post!

Placing a backlink to your site should be a given. It’s how readers will learn more about the reviewed product. But if you don’t see one, don’t be afraid to gently remind them.

Review outreach is a fantastic strategy to get backlinks because it also gets readers pumped about your product (assuming the review is favorable) and gives you good traffic.

Interview and Be Interviewed

Want to experience being a hard-hitting journalist? Or do you dream of being the star subject of 60 Minutes?

You can get backlinks through interviewing and being interviewed by others.

To get backlinks by interviewing interesting people in your industry, ask your interview subjects to provide a link back to your post on their website.

For extra SEO kick, set up interviews with university professors. The link juice from .edu sites is powerful.

You can also get backlinks by being interviewed. When the interviewer posts the write-up or recording on his blog, he’ll naturally include a link back to your website, scoring you some more SEO points.

Write Regular Statistics Posts

As you know, part of good on-page SEO including outbound leaks to authority sites within your content.

With every blogger on the internet freely handing out links in this way, wouldn’t it be awesome to get a slice of the pie?

You can–and it isn’t as complicated as you might think!

All it takes to get backlinks from bloggers is to write statistics posts.

Think about it: the content most writers link out to is statistics backing up the points they make.

So if you want them to give you a backlink, all you have to do is provide them with the stats they can use as a source.

Research the industry-relevant stats that bloggers in your niche often rely on. Write a post that incorporates all these juicy numbers.

Optimize your post for SEO. When you’re done, share your work!

Send a link t bloggers already using stats and ask them to consider using yours instead. And reach out to bloggers who may find your statistics useful in the future.

Not only will this method get you backlinks; it will also establish you as a credible authority in your field!

Write Testimonials

When you write testimonials, you probably feel like you’re doing the person you review a favor. You are, but you can also turn it into a huge opportunity for your own business.

By simply ask the company you review to include a link to your website along with your testimonial. Because they’re happy you took the time to write kind words (and they want to keep customers happy), they will almost always oblige.

It’s a super clever way to get backlinks!

Do Something Newsworthy

Journalists are always looking for news to report. If you can catch the attention of someone who writes for a news organization, that can be an effective way to get backlinks.

It’s best to start on a smaller scale and work your way up. Build relationships with the journalists who work for the local papers.

Come up with something interesting and out of the ordinary, you can do to for publicity. Hold a charity event. Or an outrageous prank.

When you’re written up, the backlinks from news publications are some of the best you can get.

Get Backlinks with HARO

Most people know about Help a Reporter Out, or HARO. Sometimes you reply to query after query to no avail.

But there’s a much better way to get backlinks from HARO than by sending out individual emails.

If your site has an Alexa Rating of more than 1 million, you can submit a query as a reporter.

Use this to gather responses for roundup posts. Bloggers will respond happily in the hopes of getting backlinks.

Once you have your roundup post ready, publish it and promote. The collective sharing from all the people included in your article will bring massive traffic and backlinks.

Speak at Events

Participating in events is a great way to build your reputation as an authority. It’s also a great way to get backlinks.

When you are scheduled to appear somewhere, make sure you are listed on the event’s website and that there is a link to your site. This will give you some extra link mojo.


There are lots of creative ways to get backlinks. Using a variety helps you diversify your link profile for long-lasting SERP results.

SEO Magic: You Can Build Backlinks By Using Broken Pages

build backlinksIf you’ve done any research on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website, you already know how important it is to build backlinks. You’ve even likely seen tips online warning you to steer clear of linking to broken pages.

But did you know that there’s a widely untapped strategy you can use to build quality backlinks that will help your SEO ranking using broken 404 pages?

It sounds crazy, right? Once your customer clicks the link and comes across a 404 page, isn’t it bound to make the customer turn away from your website or business?

Not if you use the broken pages as an opportunity to build value for your own business by pointing it out to your competitors and get them to link to your website instead.

That’s right. By using your competitors’ 404 pages, you can speed up the process of link building, generate more traffic for your website, and provide value to your customers.

If you’re interested in making your link building more efficient and more powerful, then keep reading to find out how!

How to Build Backlinks with 404 Pages

There are many SEO agencies and experts that use the broken link building strategy to create quality one-way backlinks.

It comes down to an unconventional strategy to get competitor website to link back to you that could pay off even more than traditional backlinks.

1. Make a List of Five of Your Top Competitors

First, make a short list of competitors in your industry niche. This involves searching Google for other businesses in your industry or searching the keywords you’re targeting and finding websites that are above you in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

List your competitors in a spreadsheet with their SERP position and the date you found their site.

2. Find Your Competitors’ 404 Pages

Next, you could check all the links manually, but this is extremely time-consuming, and one of the main goals of this strategy is to save you time.

Instead, you can use one of the many free tools online to automatically search for broken links on sites you visit.

Google Chrome has an extension called “Check My Links” that will run all the links on a website and show you all the broken links highlighted in red. If you’re looking for more advanced options, you can try the free Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool.

But if you really want to speed up and automate the process, there are lots of services willing to build quality backlinks for your website for a small fee. They’ll also take care of researching your competitors and contacting them if need be.

If you just want to do a quick search for yourself, try checking your competitors’ “links” or “resources” pages, as these are the most common places for broken links to pop up.

3. Request a Link from the Webmasters

This is the main linchpin of the Broken Backlink strategy. 404 pages on someone’s website are bad for SEO page rankings. Webmasters hate finding 404 pages on their sites because it could mean that their SERP position may have been leeched by dead links for weeks or months.

So they appreciate when outside website visitors inform them of undetected broken backlinks. Your goal here is to convince the webmaster to replace their broken links with your website URL.

  • Draft an email to the webmaster informing them of the broken link or links you’ve found on their website and suggest your site as an alternative resource. Make sure to explain the benefits of your website and why you’re an authoritative source.
  • Inform them of your position at your website or business, but be sure to frame your request on the benefits provided to them rather than on your own business’s SEO goals.
  • If you worry that they may not want to help a rival business, you can also just present yourself as a fan of their site and neglect to mention your connection with your own site.
  • Write a personalized email to each of the webmasters, rather than using a template form letter and risk looking like spam. Try to find the name of the webmaster and understand the goals of their business.

Understand that a lot of webmasters will elect to not use your site as a replacement backlink because you’re an industry competitor. Don’t pester them if they refuse or if they neglect to reply back to you at all.

The Path to Success

Use your competitor list to cast a wide net with this strategy. You should only expect a reply from around 30% of competitors, and only around 10% will add your backlink.

1. Don’t give up.

If the webmaster isn’t doing frequent checks for broken backlinks, then it’s likely they won’t fully consider the downsides to linking to a competitor. They also may not want to take the time to hunt down alternative quality links and accept the links you provide them to save time.

2. Tweak Your Approach

When you do receive replies, make sure to take everything they say into consideration, even if they ultimately refuse to link to your site. This will help you to figure out what didn’t work in your proposal email and what you can change or adjust to best convince your next prospect that your backlink is valuable to them.

Get Creative!

This is an unconventional strategy to build backlinks, so it requires some finesse and creativity on your part. Your focus in your proposal email should be on explaining how replacing their dead backlink with your website as a resource is beneficial to them.

Nobody is going to be incentivized to help out a competitor unless it looks like it’s going to be equally or more beneficial to themselves.

Make sure to explain why dead backlinks negatively affect the user experience. If you want to seem less pushy, provide a few alternatives rather than just your own site, but be sure to paint your site as the most authoritative and effective.

Of course, your first priority should be to create a quality authoritative website in the first place, so if you’ve done that then you should have far less trouble convincing your competitor that you’re an authority in the industry.

What “magic” SEO hacks have you picked up over the years?

link building tools

Link Building Tools: Your Guide to Knowing a Quality Backlink

Your SEO strategy is almost there, but you’re missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. You need link building tools to help you find websites that will direct back to your site.

Websites that link back to your site are called backlinks, and search engines have strict requirements for them.

If your backlinks are low quality, then your website will be penalized. This means plummeting in SERPS or even having your entire website deindexed altogether.

And if you think you can bypass backlinking, think again.

According to industry experts, backlink-generated web traffic comes second to the power of search. In fact, backlinks may even hold 80% of the ranking weight as organic search engine traffic.

Yes, backlinks are a big deal. But not any backlink will do. It’s crucial that your backlinks are high-quality. Otherwise, search engines will penalize you for quality problems.

But don’t worry, it’s not going to come to that.

Because today, you’re going to learn how to spot those quality backlinks!

So let’s breakdown what you need to know to start building a high-quality backlink profile.

Use Link Building Tools to Find Relevant Backlinks

Imagine this all too common scenario: You start reading an article on content marketing, but want to check out a few more sources. Great! Your article is peppered with anchor text backlinking to more information.

Except, when you click, you’re directed to spammy web pages that are totally irrelevant to content marketing.

Not only are you annoyed as a reader, but ultimately, that website will be dinged for bad backlinking practices.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Years ago, webmasters got away with this when SEO was still fresh, but search engines have definitely caught on.

With every Google update, comes an even greater pressure for backlink relevancy. That’s why it’s crucial to analyze and research every backlink you seek.

But isn’t that a time-consuming process?

It’s used to be, but now you have link building tools to help you with the following:

  • Scour the web for websites in your niche.
  • Measure MOZ domain authority (DA) to gauge the overall authority level of that site.
  • Find expired domains similar to yours.
  • Crawl backlinks of similar sites, competitors, and similar expired domains to reveal more relevant backlink opportunities.
  • Check the quality of your own backlinks.
  • Check how many backlinks you currently have, have lost, or recently gained.

Remember, it’s all about the quality, so don’t rush it.

If you want to save time, an experienced SEO team can build your backlink portfolio for you. This way, you never have to worry about low-quality backlinks slipping in.

Your Backlinks Should Be High-Authority Websites

What do you think of when you hear the word “authority?”

Maybe teachers, leaders, scholars, or corporate bosses come to mind?

In SEO, “authority” is a big deal, but it’s websites, not people, who have authority. And the more authoritative the website, the better the backlink.

Online, authority websites are your trusted sources for the following:

  • Industry topics: For example, popular marketing blogs like or
  • Breaking news sites like CNN or MSNBC
  • Editorial websites like the Huffington Post or Washington Post
  • Government websites like or
  • Popular personal blogs.
  • Official websites for universities and research institutions. Always look out for websites with .gov and .edu extensions. They make fantastic backlinks!

Moreover, authority websites rank high in google, receive a healthy amount of monthly traffic, and also share these additional traits in common:

  • Relevancy: Authority websites never contain content that’s irrelevant to their topic or niche.
  • Updates: These websites frequently update with fresh, original content, increasing their ranking power in search engines. Remember: Google now uses “content freshness” as a ranking signal.
  • High level of user engagement: Authority websites typically have engaged readers who frequently comment and share content, creating even more ranking signals for search algorithms.
  • Quality over quantity: An authority website will typically have just a few quality backlinks on a page. A high number of low-quality backlinks only waters down website quality.

Your Backlinks Should Be Active on Social Media

Ranking in Google is all about creating signals for those picky algorithms.

Every time your content is shared, that sends a positive signal. The more positive signals you collect, the higher you rank.

That’s why it’s important for your backlinks to have an active presence on social media.

In fact, according to a study by, social media is responsible for over 30% of referral website traffic!

You learned earlier that heavy user engagement is a hallmark of an authority website, and that engagement is only multiplied with social media.

Every Facebook like, tweet, Pinterest pin, Linkedin share, and Google one up counts. So when researching backlinks to pursue, make sure to analyze the overall amount and quality of their comments, likes, and content.

You also want to analyze the backlink’s overall social media strategy in general.

For example, let’s say you’re pursuing a quality backlink from a high-authority marketing blogger. Their social media strategy should include some of the following:

  • Daily tweets and facebook posts, with an additional presence on Linkedin, Google Plus, or Pinterest if relevant to the niche.
  • Uses relevant, trending hashtags in their posts
  • A healthy number of likes and reshares
  • Valuable user engagement that adds substance to the post.
  • Regularly promotes content. You want that high-authority source to share your guest post on social media!
  • Diversifies social media pages with video, images, contests, listicles, behind-the-scenes action, and unique content.
  • Has an email subscriber list and sends regular email newsletters.

You Need to Use These Linkbuilding Tools

As you can see, it’s important to develop relationships with your backlink sources. A healthy social media presence helps you stay in touch and track your backlinks. With such large audiences to promote to, you don’t want to lose those connections, right?

Stay connected with your backlinks by developing positive relationships. Follow them on social media to reshare relevant content you like. You can also join the conversation by adding valuable comments to posts as well.

The more you engage with your quality backlinks, the more you grow your own authority online.

So what are you waiting for?

You have the SEO goods. Now, you just need strong backlinks to take you to that next level. Consult with an expert today to start building that portfolio now.

get backlinks

Get Backlinks (and other SEO Strategies) for Startups

Are you the brains behind a startup that’s struggling to get backlinks?

Don’t worry– Startups are hard. Creating a successful brand is hard. Getting people to share your hard work is (you guessed it) hard.

For any website owner, business, or brand, mastering the digital art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important step is gaining success.

Getting backlinks is just one of many aspects of SEO and digital marketing.

But what exactly are backlinks? How does one get backlinks, and how do they help a business or website grow?

Let’s go over the facts and then jump right into some tried and tested strategies for improving SEO and acquiring backlinks.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from one website to another website.

Say you own a food and drink website.

An affiliate, such as another food and drink website (or a totally different website), will reference content from your website in a blog post.

If this affiliate is popular, there’s a good chance that many people will see this link, click on it, and be brought to your website.

This simple act of linking to your website brings in an audience that could become a potential customer or fan.

The more backlinks that point back to your site, the more traffic you will get. The concept is very simple.

However, getting those backlinks is not always so simple. Luckily, we put together a list of tips, tricks, and strategies to help you get those backlinks and maximize the reach your website will have.

Top Strategies For SEO And To Get Backlinks

Let’s get right into the strategies! Building a creative and effective strategy for maximizing traffic to your website is the first step to building a successful brand.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Have a Mobile Version Of Your Website

In 2016, there are more mobile internet users than desktop users. Who thought we’d see the day? Nearly 75% of U.S. smartphone users alone access the internet via their mobile device over their desktop or laptop.

Because of this, your website absolutely must be formatted for mobile use.

Google’s mobile algorithm also punishes websites that are poorly formatted for user-friendly mobile use. This harms your traffic, and it harms your SEO.

Seek Out Affiliates

The biggest part of getting backlinks is to find affiliates.

Try writing content for a bigger publication, partnering with similar (though not competing) websites, or pitch your content during industry interviews. Look into services that can show you who is linking to your brand’s competitors.

This will give you a leg up in blasting past the competition.

Try Guest Posting

Building a relationship with an affiliate doesn’t just mean they will help you out with free linking.

Offer to guest post or guest blog for an affiliate website.

The symbiotic relationships will allow both you are your affiliate to benefit from mutual backlinks.

Purchase Affiliate Links With Link Building Packages

Link building packages are another option, and there are plenty of reputable businesses that are experienced in link building that can help you.

Consider Hiring A Content Pro

The most basic SEO strategy involves updating your website with informative and interesting content that is both fact-checked and spell-checked.

This can be difficult to manage if you’re just one person trying to make your website or brand your job.

Consider hiring a sort of “influencer” to write your website’s content, research subjects, pitch topics, and be an expert in the ever-changing stream of what is popular today.

Paying someone to work for you may seem daunting, especially when part of the appeal of being self-employed is not needing to rely on anyone else. However, your website will gain much more exposure when the content is written by a professional writer or social media expert.

Become A Social Media Master

There is absolutely no option to go without a social media presence if you wish to market your brand or website. Social media marketing can be a pain, we know!

However, getting into the habit of updating Twitter, Facebook, and other relevant social media networks with interesting and attention-grabbing content can increase your chances of your content being shared. Shared content = potential backlinks.

Have A Social Media Strategy

Simply updating your website and social media accounts with content isn’t enough to get that traffic.

If your posts are poorly written, boring, or not visually attention-grabbing, you may be wasting your time.

If your posts are poorly timed, don’t appeal to your target audience, or don’t have a call to action, you may also be wasting your time.

Sit down and plan a strategy for content marketing that works for your brand or product. Sticking to this plan with make marketing less stressful and will also help you gain more success.

Keep Those URLs Short And Sweet

SEO-friendly URLs are short URLs.

Google has even said that the first three to five words in a URL are the most important. Long, annoying links are never appealing. Also, remember to keep your top keywords in your URLs.

Avoid Click Bait Content

That probably sounds crazy.

However, studies have concluded that interesting, practical, and informative content triumphs over clickbait.

If you’re banking on going viral, your best bet is to avoid click bait and garbage content. Audiences are far more likely to share something insightful and original.

It’s All About HTTPS

The old days of simple “HTTP” are over. “HTTPS” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Essentially, the “S” means “security”.

Switching your website to HTTPS will make your website more secure, and users will be more likely to visit a secure site.

Google also gives a ranking boost to websites that are secure. That means more traffic and better SEO for your website.

Go Schema is a popular markup that your can put into your website’s code. essentially allows you to notify Google of which content goes where. Your logos, reviews, videos, location, and more can be properly arranged in Google searches using this markup. is recommended by many SEO professionals and for good reason.

Did any of these strategies help you with mastering backlinks? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Google Penguin 4.0: The Penguin, The Possum, and Your Rankings

google penguin 4.0Unless you’ve been offline for the past few weeks, you know Google finally updated its Penguin algorithm. The search giant is once again shaking up the SEO world with a new approach for qualifying links.

If you’re like us and have been riding the previous Penguin update for the past 700+ days, listen up:

Ignoring the nuances of Google Penguin 4.0 means missing out on Google’s 40,000 search queries per second. That’s 144,000,000 queries per hour.

If even a tenth of a percent of those searches were tailored towards your product, you’d have 14,400 opportunities per hour to promote your brand. Don’t let sloppy link building cost you that many potential eyes.

In addition to Google Penguin 4.0, Google also added another update in early September that you might have missed. SEO experts are calling it Possum, because of the way it has made Google My Business profiles play “possum,” or dead.

Possum focused on revamping Google’s local filter for businesses. If you woke up one early September morning and found your businesses’ rank plummeted, Possum is why.

We’re going to take you through a short introduction of Possum and Google Penguin 4.0 so you can stay in the know about Google’s ever-changing ideas on search rankings.

Remember, by the time you’re done reading this, something in the SEO world will change, so take your research beyond this article.

Google Penguin 4.0

The Google Penguin 4.0 update focused on refining the process to check for quality links. We’re actually really excited about the potential this update holds.

The first major change is that Google Penguin 4.0 is real-time. That means updates roll out continuously instead of in intervals. This is fantastic for a few reasons.

Google is now able to monitor sites trying to use questionable linking practices in real-time. Shoddy linking techniques used to hide out between updates with no problems. Google can now identify and penalize those techniques as they develop.

This means honest link building services (like us) don’t have to compete with garbage flying under the radar.

On the flip side, websites who inadvertently used a bad strategy or less than quality links won’t have to wait for another update to see penalties lifted. This gives more wiggle room for innovation.

The second part of the Google Penguin 4.0 update is a restructuring of how Google handles link penalties. Search rank demotion will now target specific web pages within a website. This means your “red dresses” web page can take a hit while your “blue dresses” page won’t see any penalty.

What Google Penguin 4.0 really boils down to is Google playing hardball, but in a friendly way. Poor link building is harder to get away with, but it’s easier than ever to make amends.


Possum came about abruptly and shrouded in more mystery than Penguin 4.0.

In early September the MozCast temperature skyrocketed to levels not seen in quite some time. No official word from Google left many of us scratching our heads.

What we noticed was a change in how local businesses were ranked.

Businesses just outside of a defined area (like a city or town) traditionally gained little from adding a local identifier to their keyword list. For instance, “home painters Rochester” wouldn’t help, and could even hurt, a business just outside Rochester’s city limits.

The update completely reversed this.

Joy Hawkins, a product consultant at Imprezzio Marketing, saw a client located just outside of the Sarasota city limits jump from #31 to #10 for the search term “Home Inspector Sarasota” after the update.

For local businesses, this means good things for targeting nearby metro areas.

The physical location of the Google searcher also comes into play more than before. Someone searching in Houston will see different search results for the same keywords as someone in Boston.

A business with branches in Boston and Houston will still rank for “Boston doctor” in Houston, though it will rank much lower than their Houston location.

Perhaps the biggest change is Google’s decision to start filtering 3-pack results based on address and affiliation. Previously only phone numbers and domain names were taken into account.

This will come as a shock to any business with multiple branches, contractors, or affiliated websites. The new Possum algorithm filters out pages that are deemed “too closely linked.”

Two lawyers from the same law firm probably won’t show up in the same 3-pack results. They share an address, an affiliation, and are possibly linked under the law firm’s GMB.

Further, if the law firm owns two locations in town, chances are they won’t return together in the results. It’s kind of unnerving at first, but Google has more knowledge than we first suspected about who owns what companies.

The last piece to the local filter puzzle is its new ability to return affiliated pages based on keywords. In our law firm example “best lawyer” might return the law firm while “best auto lawyer” will return a specific individual.

As a whole, Possum seems focused on the user experience.

It certainly will change how we view affiliated websites and their ability to return in the SERPs. The days of dominating the 3-pack seem long gone.

This all seems like information that makes it harder on businesses to dominate search rankings. And yeah, it kind of is. Though we need to remember that users are the primary reason we bother with SEO in the first place.

Some of these changes will no doubt benefit on our end as well. More focused search results could lead to more trust in your business when it does appear in the SERPs.

If you’re looking for a quality link building service, get in contact with us. We have programs for both link buyers and link sellers that can help improve your websites SEO.

We strive to provide only high-quality links that boost your page rank where other services failed. We’re also always watching new Google algorithm trends and are always ready to discuss any questions you might have about SEO.

Also be sure to check back to our blog, where we’ll continue to dissect the ever evolving world of SEO.

Backlink Builder

The Backlink Builder’s Ultimate Guide to Linking Like a Boss

Your site on Video Gaming Trends is up and running, with valuable content people need!

But no one is finding your site.

So, what do you do to fix that?

That’s where being an expert backlink builder comes in.

You’ve likely heard about backlinks at this point and have tried to do some things to improve your rankings.

It’s time to up your backlink builder game, and we’re going to show you how.

Why you should care

Your SEO score

When someone searches “video games”, you want to make sure your page is found.

Otherwise, why bother?

To do that, you’ve got to score high enough to get you onto that first page of search results (SERP, or Search Engine Results Page).

But, rankings aren’t just about having the right keywords.

Webmaster guidelines

You need to make sure you’re following the guidelines from Google and Bing.

Learn what the search engines look for, since that’s what will decide if people searching for video gaming trends find you, and not your competitor!

Organic isn’t just for vegetables

You may be running ads on social sites, or taking other steps to drive traffic to your site.

But good backlinks, on quality sites, can boost your ranking and bring you more organic traffic.

When someone searches “video gaming” or “video game trends,” that’s an organic search result. And you want your site shown on that first page of results.


Research shows that while a whopping 93% of online searches begin with a search engine, nearly three-quarters of those users never click past the first page of results.

You’re fighting for a share of a user’s limited attention span and time, so you need to make sure you’re coming up at the top of the SERP.

So, where do I begin?

We’re going to start with the basics of being a backlink builder and then go pro. Even if you’re already doing some of this, a refresher can’t hurt. Things change often, so you need to stay at the top of your game, to keep your site at the top of the SERPs.

Start here: in just 2 minutes, Joe can help you formulate your link building strategy.

The basics

You want a link to your content, on someone else’s site.

Great, go visit a site you like and post a comment, with a link back to yours.

Voila, a backlink was created!

Not so fast.

Dofollow, nofollow sounds like a new kids game, an updated version of tag. But far from it! You need a spot of history to understand where these HTML tags came from.

Quality and quantity

Backlinks aren’t just about the number of sites that link back to yours. If a site selling beauty products links to yours about video games, chances are good that site really has nothing to do with gamers (especially if the link is in the comments).

In the early days of SEO, a backlink was a backlink, and you were scored on quantity. The latest beauty product and video games go together forever, right?


Google has figured out how to make sure that you don’t get credit for something so blatant and created dofollow and nofollow.

Basically, if you jam a link into the comments section of a site at random, it will likely be marked nofollow, and it won’t improve your score.

If it’s a WordPress site, the owner can remove the automatically-added-in-the-comments nofollow tag. Having the right balance of dofollow and nofollow will round out your own profile so it appears more natural.

Not all comments are bad, though.

Links in the comments section will still bring you referral traffic: it’s a safe bet that you’ve clicked through at least once to only read the comments (it’s ok, you can admit it).

Upping the ante

One ring doesn’t rule them all

Make sure you’re creating links to individual posts and articles, not your general site. Ranking is scored on pages, not websites.

Forbes magazine even wrote an article last year about the death of the homepage (though reports of its death may be slightly exaggerated).

So make sure you’re linking to all that great content, one page at a time.

You’re not the only one

So, you want quality links. Sites that have established their own authority, and will lend credibility to yours.

But how?

Domains that end in .gov or .edu are likely run by government agencies, so those are great spots for back links if you can get them. The age of a domain is important, too. If your friend just launched his site last month, his site won’t have the same authority as one that’s several years old. Backlinks on a home page can score higher, so aim for those if you can!

Expert level

Ah-HA! You’ve conquered the basics, you’re a backlink builder, and things are looking up. Let’s hit the next level of becoming an expert.

Get your toolbox out

You need to analyze how things are going. You did your research before creating your backlinks, but it’s important to check your actual results.

There are a variety of tools to help. Neil Patel has a great list of 13 tools you can use.

Write for someone else

I know, it seems counterintuitive, to spend your limited time writing for another site.


Guest blogging is a great way to extend your influence. Contact webmasters of sites you’ve identified that would be helpful to your site, and offer to write a post for them.

You may get turned down, but you’ll likely get at least a few that will say yes. And for those that accept, don’t once-and-done them. Make sure you check in periodically for new opportunities.

When you write for someone else, you’ll likely get a byline, which may come with a bio section. That one or two sentence description of you is a good spot for backlink, but having them in the content is better.

You’re not done

Being a backlink building machine isn’t a one-time thing.

  • Make sure you’re keeping up on the changes and updates to the guidelines
  • Keep your content and site refreshed and current

Like managing your social media, or deciding on where to advertise, backlinks should be an important part of your overall strategy’s automation platform can help when you’re ready to take things to the next level.

link builders

Link Builders Talk Backlinks and Their Immediate Results in 2016

Here at BackLinks we consider ourselves to be expert link builders in a world where building connections has been undervalued.

Some in the industry have signaled the end of backlinking as a strategy. Even to the point where Google’s own John Mueller recommended businesses avoid link building.

But, why are such high ranking people in the online marketing world telling us this? It goes against everything we’ve been taught.

The problem is rooted in definitions. What do you think of when you think backlinks? If the first thing that comes to mind are active and vibrant links that lead to the content you expect to see, then you probably aren’t in the John Mueller camp.

But if the first thing that comes to mind are useless or broken links, then yes, backlinking is dead.

We are here to show you why this simply isn’t true and to help you get immediate results this year with backlinks.

1. Link Builders Talk Backlinks: Why Backlinking Is (still) Important

Search engines still monitor website quality through the number of quality links back to its content from other sites.

Google might be the giant in the search engine world, but it still doesn’t have a human brain.

While it can’t determine “quality” like humans can, it can use the number of links connected to a website (and the authority of those sites) to make a “relevance” judgment call.

Take this Moz study. They looked at the top fifty Google search results of 15,000 keywords to find out what correlated with higher search rankings.

They found that 99% of top rated websites had at least one external backlink and that 77% had at least one link extending outward to another site.

You need backlinks for your site to rank. The correlation is there. And, if the top rated sites are still using backlinks to rank, you should too.

Backlinks bring traffic. No matter your opinion on how they change your SERPS, you know they’re effective.

The only way you can rank without backlinks is with obscure search phrases. But then, again, who types in “Candle Pancake Glowworm” unless they are extremely bored?

That’s not a way to get traffic.

2. Link Builders Talk Backlinks: How Now Shall We Backlink?

Create links to content users want to read. As with YouTube’s engagement algorithm where YouTubers could get an audience to create false engagement to trick the machine into ranking videos higher, so it was with Google’s pre-Penguin algorithm and backlinks.

Spam was king pre-Penguin, and many businesses probably took part in the hack fest. It didn’t matter what you linked back to, as long as you had more links back to your content than the next guy.

Once Google figured this out, they changed the algorithm, thus changing the game.

Now Google looks at quality links and somehow factors the accuracy of the link into their algorithm. (Plus, spam is so 2001 anyway.)

Although, numbers still count. It’s no longer just the number of links.

The lesson here is that quality links will influence your rankings better than poor, inaccurate links.

And if you have many quality links, that’s a double benefit for you in the long run. Not only will you have more traffic, but those users who do click will find what they were looking for.

More satisfaction means more positive vibes for your brand.

A Quick Word on Guest Posts

For a time guest posts were hugely popular. Then, two years ago they were dead. We’re surprised nobody threw a wake.

But why were they considered dead? Well, just like the spam of yon pre-Penguin days, guest posting was also abused to trick the Googlebot into ranking websites higher.

Yet, as long as you use the tool appropriately, it will work as intended.

If you allow other bloggers to post thin, unrelated content, you will surely push away your audience.

Poor curation of your guest blogs will bring about a bad name for you and your brand.

To curate your guest posts properly, bring in bloggers from other areas of the same industry. If you are a tabletop gaming company, bring in top reviewers in that industry to write excellent reviews of games you sell.

3. Link Builders Talk Backlinks: How Fast Could You See Results

Link building takes time. This is one of the reasons why some in the industry have declared link building useless.

But those who studied the turnaround time between link creation and elevated SERP ranking used too large of data sets and extremely difficult keywords.

It’s best to look at smaller studies with smaller businesses farther down on the SERP. did a small study with their own legal clients and found much faster results.

The company performed four case studies. The words that stand out in each are “immediate” and “persistent”. None of this waiting two to three to six month for your rankings to increase.

These small businesses proved the thesis correct. That with smaller, lower ranked businesses we would see major gains in traffic and SERP ranking.

The four case studied businesses experienced immediate traffic gains from 14-65%. For a small business, that is a massive increase.

Either way, you look at those results, you cannot deny the impact link-building had on real world businesses.

Conclusion: Create Connections

As link builders, we would like to leave you with one more piece of advice. Link building is about creating connections. You want to network with people and businesses you respect and for whom you would return the favor.

Later on, partnerships and deals might arise because of earlier exchanges meant to merely help each other climb the SERP ladder.

The field of marketing is increasingly becoming a place about respect and co-creation.

No one is an island in this sea of internet connectivity. If we can’t stand together, we will never improve or survive.

If you have further questions about link building, buying links, selling links, or you just want to tell us how you feel, don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.

7 Rank-Boosting Ways to Use Ranking Data

We integrated SEM Rush Keyword Ranking Reports, right into your BackLinks control panel. But, how do you use this powerful functionality to improve your rankings?

Log into your control panel, search for a domain in your SEO Dashboard, and then use the ideas below to fine-tune your ranking strategy.

(To protect our clients, we used random sites from the internet for the examples, not customer data.)