How to Get More Backlinks and Rank Higher on Google

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get more backlinks

Backlinks are still the major indicator Google uses to determine the authority of a blog. The better your backlinks, the better you’ll rank in search results. But they sure aren’t easy to get.

Building backlinks is a tricky business because many of the “easy” ways go against Google’s terms of service.

What’s more, if you build them in a way that even looks artificial you run the risk of getting a penalty that can be hard to undo.

Today we’re going to take a quick look at the good old backlink – the good and the bad – and talk about a few ways you can start to get more.

Hope it helps!

What is a backlink?

Let’s start with the basics in case any newer bloggers are a little bit unsure.

I’d recommend you go back and read this post on the basics of SEO so that you feel up to speed. But we can quite simply define a backlink as this:

A backlink is when another website links to your blog.

For example, that link above to the article about blogging SEO counts as a backlink for that article. In that case, the anchor text is “the basics of SEO” as those are the words you click to visit the article.

What do backlinks do?

It’s also important to remember that backlinks have several purposes and lead to quite a few different results, each of them different depending on whether you are the one linking out or being linked to.

Some of the main ones include:

  • They send traffic to your site
    When you get a backlink from another blog you will get traffic from that blog as people click through to read the article. This is important even without the SEO benefits.
  • They make your blog seem authoritative
    A backlink is a lot like an endorsement from a blog which is good for your branding as you appear more authoritative if you get backlinks from other quality sites.
  • They provide new resources for readers
    When you link out to other blogs it gives your readers new information. Don’t be afraid to link out a lot as it shows that your posts are well researched and valuable sources of new information.
  • They get your noticed by the owners
    When you link to another blog and someone clicks through that click shows up as a site visitor in statistics programs. This is a good way to get other blogs to notice your blog and should form a valuable part of your blogging strategy.
  • They help you rank better on Google
    Of course, Google uses hundreds of factors to determine how well your blog ranks (site age, freshness, location, points of difference, load time, etc.) but backlinks are still a major one. If you have lots of quality links from relevant, naturally earned sources then you will rank better.

For the purposes of this post we’re just going to focus on how to earn backlinks instead of really going in to details about the different types and the effect that they have on your blog. This post should hopefully be a starting point for more research.

How to get more backlinks

Okay, so let’s jump in to the tofu and potatoes of the post and start looking at the different ways you can get more backlinks to your blog.

Remember, you always want to earn your links in a natural way. I really don’t advocate anything that is cheating or goes against Google’s terms of service. We’ll talk more about that at the end of the article.

1. Produce something different

One of the most common pieces of advice you get about SEO is that you have to produce quality content. But, to be honest, that’s not the whole picture.

If you look at the front page of Google these days you’ll notice that all the results are slightly different. For example, you’ll see tweets, long form articles, tools, calculators, news items, etc.

What this means is that it’s a good idea to try and approach your target keywords with content that is slightly different to the rest. If you can make something that stands out from the crowd it is a lot more likely that you’ll linked to because other people will see it as something valuable and exciting.

2. Link out to bloggers

A lot of bloggers seem scared to link to lots of other sites for fear of losing page rank or something like that.

In fact, linking out to other bloggers is actually a really good way to get more backlinks yourself because, as mentioned above, you get on the radar of those blogs.

linking out

For example, if you look at sites like Quicksprout you’ll notice that the articles are filled with links. This is partly that Neil wants to give bloggers more resources, and partly because he knows that when he links to people he’s more likely to get shares, links, and promotion. It’s a bit of an unspoken rule of blogging:

Try to include at least one link per paragraph and make sure it goes to an up-to-date website that is very useful and helpful. Once your post goes live you can tweet to the owner and let them know you’ve included their blog.

3. Explore local options

Many states and local councils have websites or online magazines that regularly feature local businesses as a way to support and encourage them.

Sometimes it’s just a link in a directory so that people can search by topic, but other times it’s possible to find a way to get mentioned by creating some content that helps their website.

gov backlinks

For example, the Sydney City Council has a separate website for local environmental initiatives. If your business or blog was doing something to help this issue or had some advice for other businesses it’s quite possible you could submit an article to them.

Even if you have to work a little bit harder by holding a physical workshop one evening, it can be worth it because links from government websites are extremely valuable from an SEO point of view.

It’s worth asking around your local council, suburb, etc. to see if there are any online magazines or websites where you might be able to contribute something in your niche as a way to help the locals and add content to their website.

4. Explore educational options

Another similar option is schools and universities that have separate spaces for students and teachers to write about issues relating to student life or post-grad options. Often they will be open to working on an article in order to provide more resources for students.

This is particularly relevant if you are a graduate of the university. For example, many colleges love to feature past students who have gone on to succeed in their area and would be happy to feature a story.

The most important thing here is to do your research and find the right person and topic that will be interesting. Colleges are extremely strict about what they publish and often editorials have to go through many people before being approved. A regular old guest post pitch won’t work here. We need to be creative.

5. Collaborate to host/develop something with another blogger

If you follow guys like Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker you’ll notice that they often do extraordinarily helpful business events together.

This is a really clever idea because both individuals then go away and promote the event to their own audience which has the dual effect of building interest for the event and also tapping in to the other guy’s readers.

What’s more, this type of event helps internet business people succeed and, as such, they are much more likely to link out to the event or the people that helped them.

blogging quiz

You can also develop tools like the quiz me and Slavko from Fitness Updated produced last year (you can try it out at the bottom of this post). This was a fantastic collaboration and we both earned new links from each other in the process.

Try and think about something that is missing in your niche and then make contact with another blogger who might be interested in teaming up with you to either develop it or just promote it. Often if you’ve already done the hard work and are willing to give naming rights to someone else you can get a really big link.

6. Write valuable content off-site (not just guest posts)

A lot of SEO advice is aimed at improving the content and optimization of our own blogs – and rightly so – but we should also spend a bit more time creating content on other sites.

For example, we all know that guest posts can be important in this respect (although the advice has changed somewhat) but there are a lot of other options that can really help to build backlinks.

inboung

In the Internet Marketing world there is sites like Inbound.org that have an original articles section where experts write about topics in depth. You can, of course, includes links to your own blog in these but the main advantage is getting in front of other bloggers and site owners who might link to you if they discover you through that platform.

You can also do this kind of thing on LinkedIn and Medium as they really favor long form content and well crafted stuff seems to do extremely well and sometimes even gets picked up by news sites. And that leads us on to the next point.

7. Hire a publicist

A lot of people consider publicists to be a little bit out of date and perhaps not in touch with the new digital age. But nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you’re John Miller.

While quite expensive, a good publicist can get you featured in media outlets that would otherwise be virtually impossible to crack. If, for example, you have a blogging event or launch coming up, you can hire a publicist who can help you craft an angle to an interview or a feature article.

This is a good one to explore because links from news sites are extremely valuable in terms of their impact on SEO, but they also send a lot of traffic and regularly get syndicated to other outlets around the world.

When looking for a publicist start in your local area and ask them specifically if they have contacts in newspapers that also have online versions. A mention in a newspaper will still bring a lot of traffic, but you also want that long-lasting benefit of a backlink.

And before you get started make sure you read this.

8. Help out other sites where the might not know they need it

The last idea I wanted to mention tonight is something that can be a bit hit and miss but, when you get it right, it can work wonders.

It is centered around the idea of contacting other bloggers in your niche and helping them out in some way that they might not have expected. For example, if you can notice some glaring errors with their site you could think about giving them a big solution for free and then later on pitch more improvements in exchange for a post about the process.

Similar to this is the idea of interning or helping out on projects. For example, last week I mentioned my friend Vishal who I met through the comments section on Blog Tyrant. He was always so friendly and eager to learn and, after a while, I paid him to do a few tasks and he ended up getting links from the site.

So perhaps take a look around the blogs in your niche and see if you can come up with something that is useful to them and get involved in a very non-spammy way. It might be putting together a high quality PDF audit, or assisting them with something like managing comments if you can see that they are struggling.

What about buying links?

I couldn’t end this post on how to get more links without talking about the most obvious and nefarious way: buying them.

The sad fact of the matter is that, in a lot of cases, buying links still seems to work for people. I can categorically say that I have never once purchased any single link in my whole career, but I do sometimes think I’m missing out when I see crappy sites competing in my niche who clearly didn’t earn the links they have.

That being said, those sites often don’t last for very long. All it takes is a manual review from Google and you have one of those pesky penalties.

Personally I don’t agree with buying links, but I know a lot of people hit back at that argument by saying that Google unfairly favors a lot of big websites, and they often take content off those sites and put it directly on the search results so that no one clicks through. In other words, they’ve made the playing field harder. And I can sympathize with that.

But I still believe that if you want a long term, sustainable blog then the best way to build links is to do it naturally by earning them with clever content, useful tools, and concerted outreach.

How do you build links?

I’d really like to know if you use any other link building methods that you think might be worth mentioning. This is a constantly evolving and changing space and it would be really cool to see what other bloggers are working on.

Please leave a comment and let us know.


Top photo © BDanomyte

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114 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Victor Korir

    Hey Ramsay, great post here. I am trying to build quality backlinks for my site, and this post comes in handy.

    I also tend to believe that by linking to other authoritative sites, you send an important message to Google that your content is well researched and extensive.

    However, I still consider guest posting as one of the best ways to build genuine back-links and attract tons of traffic, if done right.

    Thanks again.


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you, Victor.


      1. Yousif hussein

        I want to know where you can host websites


    2. Sunidhi

      What are authoritative sites and how can it help us in boosting our site. Does outbound link from our site to these site also considered positive by Google or it is a waste of page rank by letting it flow out.


  • Stephen Walker

    I guess I am a bit lazy. I like to comment on blogs, like yours Ramsay, for a backlink. I believe these links now carry less weight with Google.


    1. Ramsay

      Yes, unfortunately.


      1. Stephen Walker

        But, they are still valid backlinks.


        1. Artem

          Comments will get you backlinks and they are still valid. However, most of them are nofollow links these days.

          We are able to build back links with the outreach. Not a fast solution, but with the right content and good outreach strategy it’s doable. We build 20-30 links per month like that.


          1. Ramsay

            Nice work! That’s huge.


    2. Naveen Kulkarni

      Hi Stephen,

      Comments are ‘valid’ backlinks (as long as they are approved), however, no one can tell you how much weight they carry. It’s, most of the times an assumption that they are pretty useless since just one comment can’t do miracles.

      Think about this scenario of leaving 10 meaningful and real comments (not just for a backlink in mind) every day on relevant blogs in your industry for 15 days or 1 month which would leave you with at least 100+ approved backlinks with some good ‘referral’ traffic. And that ‘referral traffic’ also could be a ‘signal’ to Google that something good is going on with your site and can help you rank better organically as well.

      So, don’t close your test with just one test case. Go for numbers. And what Ramsay explained here in this post is diverse sources you can get quality links.


  • Chuck Bartok

    Regarding comments…..
    That may be true for “sophisticated SEO”.
    But I continue to receive traffic regularly for a comment made 6 years ago on a popular Blog.
    Just lucky, I guess?


    1. shumriaz shahid

      Actually, that’s interesting! Btw on which blogs you are still getting traffics.


      1. Chuck Bartok

        On all of of our blogs.
        Traffic is form comments in Blogs within same niche.


    2. Steve

      Dito Chuck.

      Not lucky at all Chuck. That is the way of business websites and blogs.

      I’m a great fan of the power of comments for many reasons and one of them is that they are ‘evergreen’ and provided by real users or consumers. You just can’t beat that for authority.

      When someone is in the mind to comment they are usually also in the mind to read other comments…….and hang around on your site longer (low bounce).

      The long-term benefits achieved from comments can far outperform any other strategy I know of, particularly for a brick and mortar local business and sales continue to come from them, either directly or as word of mouth.

      And if reliant on Google traffic then Google loves comments on websites or blogs for local businesses. Another win-win.

      Customers love comments on local business websites. Win-Win. They get drawn in, interact and they buy, they book courses and appointments and they share because they feel part of a community.


      1. Chuck Bartok

        Yes, we are strong advocates of Comment.
        One series of post has had over 7,600 comments.
        Al personally answered


        1. Ramsay

          Nice work guys! Great to see that strategy still working.


    3. Naveen Kulkarni

      I totally echo you, Chuck!


  • Dibakar Bala

    I am a firm believer of this strategy. But one of the biggest problem with this strategy is slow publishing. It takes a huge time to promote a single content which slows down the publishing rate. Which even pushes you to write only the best of the best article since it’ll be done only once in a bluemoon.


    1. Steve

      Hi Dibakar.

      It can be tough and drawn out but that’s the way it should be because that’s what works.

      Promoting your content is far more important than publishing it or writing another post.

      Very few bloggers who publish every day or even once per week gain any real traction because they don’t focus on promoting that post.

      They jump into another post instead.

      They only websites or blogs who benefit from publishing frequently, often 50 times per week, are magazine and news types that have freelance writers or staff and extremely large audiences with a variety of interests.

      For the majority of us, our posts gain more traction and gather interest quicker if they are viewed by as many people as possible the instant they are published.

      But your promotional content and material need to be prepared and ready BEFORE you publish.

      You should be writing a post (or 2 or 3 if they complement each other) then you should concentrate on your promotion……..before you publish.

      So as your post or posts are sat gaining a little dust whilst waiting as draft documents, you should be preparing your promotional content.

      Drafting your email list promotional content. Drafting you Facebook promotion content. Drafting your Pinterest promotion content. Drafting your Instagram promotion content. Drafting your YouTube promotion content. Drafting your tweets and images. Have a few forum comments prepared and ready to go.

      It’s in this preparation that your post and your blog really gain traction.

      Once all that post promotion content is ready to publish then you publish your post.

      Then you email your subscribers. Then hit Facebook, then hit Pinterest. Then hit Twitter. Then hit Instagram. Then hit the forums. Then hit YouTube.

      Then come back to your comments and interact with your visitors and readers, who you have pre-prepared to share for you.

      This could all take 7 days to prepare for one post. So what?

      It could take longer, depending on how many promotional strategies you have set up. The more the better.

      You can then return to that post in a few months time and give it another life by following the same promotional process.


      1. Dibakar Bala

        Yes, I was one of those bloggers who used to publish 10-12 blog posts per day and start praying to get them ranked on google. I’ve learnt the hard way that it doesn’t works.
        Finally, now I’ve controlled myself and I’m determined to publish 1 post in every 2-3 weeks. Now it gives me so much freedom to learn and market my work.
        Thank You for such an elaborate answer Ramsay.


      2. Chris

        Thank you for this… exactly what I am looking for. Invaluable advice for someone who is just starting out in the big world of blogging.


        1. Ramsay

          Fantastic comments here!


      3. Chuck Bartok

        Well stated and I concur.
        We have a weekly Printed newspaper, which we publish digitally also and that gets good comments even though we publish 9 pages on same day once a week.

        Other sites we promote older, quality posts frequently


  • Santanu Debnath

    I think the most possible way to get back link is by blog commenting in relevant niche sites with higher authority. Besides that, looking for free guest post options and building web 2.0 is also another good way to build links with time.

    Getting a backlink from an authority site is always difficult for beginners, even if you write some awesome content. But still this works and one should try blogger outreach for mention from their articles.


    1. Ramsay

      Yep it is hard but definitely worth it.


  • Scott Kindred

    Hey Ramsay. So I was having tofu and potatoes with John Miller the other day… kidding. I always enjoy the humor you inject in your writing.

    Internal backlinks, like the one you cited at the top of your post, can still a bit tricky for me unless I have a written plan/roadmap for intentional internal backlinks. For example, if I have a page on my website that offers SEO services, I will link back to that page from posts that are written on my blog. Or from other, subordinate, pages on the website. Those other posts and pages that contain internal backlinks to my SEO page need to have content that is relevant to SEO. Is this an approach you would recommend?


    1. Steve

      Hi Scott.

      Are you talking about ‘SILO’ pages?


      1. Scott Kindred

        Hi Steve,

        Yes.


    2. Ramsay

      Hey Steve. I’m glad someone got the John Miller thing.

      I do internal linking like that but I make sure the anchor text is varied and it’s always relevant. I’m not sure if it’s the best practice but I haven’t really noticed any down sides.


  • Steve

    Hey, Ramsay. Great post as usual.

    There is so much focus on backlinks = authority = page rank = more site visitors.

    Although I agree that backlinks are important for some and to some degree, their importance is also dependent on who you are, what you do and where you do it from.

    If you have a blog or website that you run from home or whilst sat on a beach in Thailand and your audience is a global audience then you are likely to be competing with many more in your niche who are also trying to reach a global audience.

    For example, Ramsay and Blog Tyrant are in a very competitive niche trying to attract that global audience and if you want to get ahead of the rest within that niche then perhaps backlinks will get you there and help keep you there as opposed to any other strategy.

    Conversely, if you are a local business owner with a website or blog combo then backlinks are not so important to get you on page one of Google unless your local area is saturated with the same type of business.

    I fall into both camps with a local business and a ‘global’ personal blog and they are completely different animals requiring completely different systems and strategies and are also viewed by Google completely differently.

    So for that reason alone, it is also important to remember that it is your interaction with the very people that you serve that is proving to be more important in the long term.

    Google is working damn hard every day to ‘perfect’ its algorithms to search and look more and more for real human interaction on your blog or website.

    This makes sense given that Googles’ user base are real people who need pleasing and there is nothing better than satisfied customer interaction to show Google, or any other business for that matter, how popular or authoritative you are.

    Backlinks go some way in highlighting your potential as being authoritative in Googles’ eyes but even quality backlinks do not guarantee any rise in visitor numbers or authority unless what they are visiting is worthwhile, worth hanging around for and coming back for.

    Improve your offerings, diversify your lead generation and good backlinks will come naturally. It takes time to be able to benefit from backlinks.

    Unfortunately, so many bloggers are impatient, want instant recognition and instant gratification so they chase backlinks from anywhere and anyone and then wonders why they get bounced by Google.

    Backlinks are good and bad depending on who you are, what you do and where you do it from.

    It’s really important that website owners and bloggers aren’t chasing a system or strategy that they don’t need to chase or that won’t benefit them in any way other than to send them to the abyss of page 1000.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Steve.

      Thank you for all the great comments on this post. I appreciate it.

      I agree with your sentiments here but I still see so many instances of backlinks trumping other good things. For example, a friend of mine has a local physio business with more 5-star reviews than anyone else, a site filled with helpful information and some good backlinks, but a crappy non-responsive practice is ranking #1 #2 and #3 for the main keyphrase due to a couple of solid links.

      But, like you said, I don’t think it’ll be long before Google changes this environment to something totally new.


      1. Steve

        My pleasure. I’m always willing to pop away when I’ve got something to contribute. You’ve got a great blog with a good bunch of troops.

        In regards to your friend with the local physio business. I can relate to their position because I’ve been in that exact same situation, although in a completely different industry.

        It’s frustrating because the top 3 slots are key for sure. Even harder today because Google has done some strange tweaking and more ads seem to be appearing at the top than usual and pushing us none payers below the fold.

        I had my business at #1 and #2 and occasionally this would alter to perhaps #1 and #3 or #2 and #4. Always being pushed by the same competitor, who operated just 2 miles from me. I knew him very well. He didn’t have a clue about websites, blogs or SEO but he knew a man who did, or who at least knew how to fudge things black hat style.

        Link farms and large linking sites he had created that pointed only to his site and ‘white ink’ that hid high search volume keywords inside his content that were unrelated to his business that attracted huge visitor numbers. All false.

        He was bounced by Google eventually but I’d estimate that I lost in the region of £60,000 in business because of that based on subsequent gains in the same time.

        So I fully understand what Google is doing and why they are doing it. They need to do it. They have to do it.

        Good, honest, hard working and long established businesses would go bust otherwise because they can’t compete with charlatan traders who use black hat.

        Practices that could effectively put thousands of people out of work whilst benefitting a few.

        I’ve seen how it can affect my business and how it can affect someone else’s when they are caught. He almost went bust. Lost a lot of respect and custom as a result.

        Sad thing is that my competitor didn’t know what his ‘SEO expert’ was doing and he was so reliant on this web dev that he couldn’t even log into his own site. He’s currently on page 7, whilst my website (now with a blog) is sat firmly at #1 #2 and #4.

        Not that this is anything special because local business marketing and SEO is nowhere as difficult as ‘Blogging SEO’ with a wider audience.

        We live and learn.


        1. Ramsay

          That’s very interesting. I wonder how many people have fallen victim to that kind of SEO agency?


          1. Steve

            I think in some industries this was the norm. Still is! But BUT…with the changes afoot we are going to see more sites dropping away.

            Those who have been avoiding the mobile first changes because their sites are full of the junk that mobile picks up.

            Those sites who are avoiding moving to https.

            Those sites who can’t use Structured Data or Schema Markup because they don’t have any relationship with their audience and therefore have no comments, no feedback, no reviews and no real testimonials. All key signals that Google is working towards.

            Many SEO businesses have been fudging this for years but they can no longer fudge it, unless they can buy you comments, feedback and customer reviews and are repaired to re-write all those keyword rich articles and posts that Google will be crawling, reassessing and bouncing.

            Articles and posts that many bloggers have links too and from.

            So it isn’t necessarily SEO bods that are too blame.

            Pat Flynn, Darren Rowse, Derek Halpern, Neil Patel have been choosy for years about links and guest posts. Rightly so but they can probably sidestep an infraction or two due to the size of their audience but for the majority who have links too and from dodgy sources it won’t be so forgiving.

            Billy and other link shorteners will cut bad links. They have too. How many shortened links do affiliates have ? How many can they afford to lose.

            Time will tell.


  • Barbara

    I’m a really big fan of your blog Ramsay. Thanks for the tips on backlinks.
    I try to avoid doing guest post as I don’t have much time to create posts for other people. If I do have some time I prefer to spend it on creating my own content.
    Your tips are definitely helpful, especially the one about using different type of keywords, where is not such high competition in search engines.
    Saving this for future reference.
    Have a great day!
    Barbara


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Barbara.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      What is your main traffic strategy?


  • Chump Lady

    If you’re scared of hiring a publicist, one good place to put yourself out there is HARO (“Help A Reporter Out”). https://www.helpareporter.com

    Subscribe. Every day you’ll get an email or two looking for subject matter experts — finance, wellness, IT, relationships. If the reporter chooses you, you’ll get your blog (and probably a link to your site) mentioned in a major media outlet.

    I responded, not knowing the reporter, to one of these, and wound up in a large Associated Press article on the Ashley Madison hack. I recommended the site to another blogger friend (who does financial advising) and she got mentioned in the Wall St. Journal. Results may vary, but it’s a very good place to get your name out there, and help a reporter out. 🙂

    Also, unpaid though it is, when I starting blogging, writing for Huffington Post threw a lot of traffic to my site as a newbie. And the posts are evergreen. I still get links from them.

    Thanks for the other tips, Ramsay. I need to be better about forging bloggy alliances. Thanks for the reminder.


    1. Ramsay

      This is awesome!


  • Linda Joyce

    Hi Ramsay,

    I appreciate the great roundup on backlinks. Getting quality backlinks from authoritative sites is indeed a huge challenge for relatively new bloggers. I’ve experienced some success by participating in forums like Quora.

    How do you feel about the effectiveness of that approach?

    Thanks,
    Linda


    1. Ramsay

      I think those sites are good for getting your name out there. I’m not sure about the quality of the links but the answers often rank high on Google anyway so you end up doing SEO in a roundabout sort of way which is totally fine to my mind.


  • Amrita

    I think writing great guest posts on good sites still has a lot of potentials.Also mentioning great blogs in in-depth posts on own blog help a lot.No buying links.Also, I heard even no follow links shouldn’t be ignored.


    1. Ramsay

      No follow links still count in some ways, for sure.


  • Anand

    Hi Ramsay,

    Very nice post as usual.

    I am blogging since one & half years and one of the toughest challenge I faced is getting backlinks.

    Before this I had tried many of Brian Dean’s idea (eg: Skyscraper & moving man) but failed. His suggestions are exhausting, takes lots of time to execute & frustrate when did not get any results.

    Now I give up backlink building strategy, I get most of the my traffic from my organizations internal communication portal & LinkedIn groups.

    So, now just focusing on that micro niche audience and creating posts which can help them.

    I do hv some surprise when I found some random sites link to my post.

    Right now I am getting 10 users a day from Google which is frustrating. 🙁

    After reading your post I just got an idea that why should not I contact my college and ask them to link some of my content in alumni section or I will specially produce some content which can help student by publishing on their site.

    I will let you know if it works.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    Regards
    Anand


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Anand.

      So, why do you think all of those other strategies failed up until now? Do you have any feedback or analysis in that regard?


      1. Anand

        Yes!

        What I can understand that I am blogging in an extremely competitive niche (Digital Marketing & Branding). This segment is going through the tsunami of content.

        So just Good content is not enough to earn the link. Actually, content should be surprising excellence and should have a fresh perspective.

        I have listed following reason and working on that.

        a) Quality of content
        b) Authority of blog
        c) Build a true human connection before asking the backlink

        [ I am not getting organic traffic but irrespective of that blogging has transformed me. ]

        Regards
        Anand


        1. Steve

          Hi Anand,

          Keep at it. Keep writing. Keep creating. Always improving.

          a) Quality of content – Try Grammarly. The free version is good enough.
          b) Authority of blog – Need to sort a) and c) first
          c) Build a true human connection before asking the backlink – Build your own audience first. Go and play where they play and not where they work.


          1. Anand

            Hi Steve,

            Thanks for the valuable suggestions. Grammarly is awesome, I use it.

            Regards
            Anand


  • Ryan Keiner

    Hi Ramsey,

    Thanks for the creative methods for link building, and I think you nailed it with the words “sustainable blog”.

    I don’t mean to be redundant, but I think the over arching theme here, and my theory behind link building, is relationship. Whether it’s your school, the news, the government, or a fellow blogger like Vishal, the focus should be on relationship. Let the links be a result of good relationship building.

    I’m a huge believer in long term, honest, sustainable growth, and I truly admire your commitment to natural link building as I think it reflects well in your person and business.

    Will definitely be looking to some of these sources for links in my future!

    Thanks,
    Ryan


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah, totally right. It constantly amazes me how many opportunities come from just knowing someone.


  • Ahmad Imran

    Ramsay, good post on backlinks.

    I will stress the importance of core ingredient for getting backlinks.

    That is the quality of your post, its authenticity, depth and usefulness. I have gathered from many bloggers that long form tends to perform better for getting shared and people linking in to it. To earn a backlink in today’s competitive blogosphere is truly hard. Just because there is so much of information floating around.

    Great post as ever, always something to learn from your write ups and experience. Keep up the good work. Cheers.


    1. Steve

      These are just a few of the things that will begin to affect the rankings of more and more sites as time goes on, including those currently perceived as being authorities.

      Just like Skynet from Terminator but in real life, AI and RankBrain are evolving and with Penguin updates being implemented on a weekly if not daily basis I think you will begin to see daily surges, dips and changes in your site stats over the coming 12 months. All geared towards stepping away from poor/spammy backlinks and guest posts for the majority.

      All those keyword posts that have been written will become defunct as RankBrain determines that people speak and ask questions in different ways than we write. What the algorithms accepted yesterday will be changed tomorrow.

      Quality content, long form content and a good name will eventually mean very little for anyone unless they have the basics in place and many simply do not.

      Ask most bloggers what Structured Data is or what Schema Markup is and they won’t have a clue. Ask them if they are writing content for the mobile first user and they will look at you with a blank face. Mobile first is not mobile responsive!!

      This is a double-edged sword because those who want a backlink or guest post must be on the ball with their own site because those who give you a back link or a guest post will be looking at your site stats and structure first.

      On the other hand, there is no longer any guarantee that the authority site that you want to get a backlink or a guest post from will remain an authority site. Particularly if their own site structure is in question and they have concentrated on keyword content strategies that Google will eventually no longer recognise.

      Regardless of how all this pans out over the next 12 to 24 months, Googles page one will eventually be for the best only. It will be for those who can afford to spend the time and money on keeping up and implementing it’s algorithm requirements.

      The bigger picture would indicate that although backlinks and guest posting may give you an edge today they are only here for the short term and may well benefit some but for the longer term and for the majority they are best concentrating on the audience that they gain and keeping hold of them using alternative strategies rather than focussing on appeasing Google.

      Google is trying to weed out the ‘easy in’ and ‘ easy out’ business of blogging and bloggers.

      With the introduction of WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Joomla etc it has become too easy for just about anyone to get into a business and this ultimately attracts those who fill the internet with junk.

      Google is attempting to sort that junk and kick it out. We know this.

      So those who operate in and who concentrate on backlinks and guest posting are being sniped and flagged every day. This explains why many authority sites are reluctant to give you a backlink or a guest post unless you are exceptional…..and most are not. Stop chasing it.

      I keep saying this but it is important that your own offerings are good and plenty, that you diversify your lead generation as much as possible and that you concentrate on the community that you have built. They will build you a bigger one, not Google!!


    2. Steve

      And it will only get harder to gain backlinks for many reasons, none more so than the evolving emphasis that Google is putting on site speed, AMP, mobile first and even more focus on referencing those who use structured data/Schema Markup for everything that they offer. All human factors that Google likes but are basic blog set up processes which many continue to ignore and fail to implement.

      These are just a few of the things that will begin to affect the rankings of more and more sites as time goes on, including those currently perceived as being authorities.

      Just like Skynet from Terminator but in real life, AI and RankBrain are evolving and with Penguin updates being implemented on a weekly if not daily basis I think you will begin to see daily surges, dips and changes in your site stats over the coming 12 months. All geared towards stepping away from poor/spammy backlinks and guest posts for the majority.

      All those keyword posts that have been written will become defunct as RankBrain determines that people speak and ask questions in different ways than we write. What the algorithms accepted yesterday will be changed tomorrow.

      Quality content, long form content and a good name will eventually mean very little for anyone unless they have the basics in place and many simply do not.

      Ask most bloggers what Structured Data is or what Schema Markup is and they won’t have a clue. Ask them if they are writing content for the mobile first user and they will look at you with a blank face. Mobile first is not mobile responsive!!

      This is a double-edged sword because those who want a backlink or guest post must be on the ball with their own site because those who give you a back link or a guest post will be looking at your site stats and structure first.

      On the other hand, there is no longer any guarantee that the authority site that you want to get a backlink or a guest post from will remain an authority site. Particularly if their own site structure is in question and they have concentrated on keyword content strategies that Google will eventually no longer recognise.

      Regardless of how all this pans out over the next 12 to 24 months, Googles page one will eventually be for the best only. It will be for those who can afford to spend the time and money on keeping up and implementing it’s algorithm requirements.

      The bigger picture would indicate that although backlinks and guest posting may give you an edge today they are only here for the short term and may well benefit some but for the longer term and for the majority they are best concentrating on the audience that they gain and keeping hold of them using alternative strategies rather than focussing on appeasing Google.

      Google is trying to weed out the ‘easy in’ and ‘ easy out’ business of blogging and bloggers.

      With the introduction of WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Joomla etc it has become too easy for just about anyone to get into a business and this ultimately attracts those who fill the internet with junk.

      Google is attempting to sort that junk and kick it out. We know this.

      So those who operate in and who concentrate on backlinks and guest posting are being sniped and flagged every day. This explains why many authority sites are reluctant to give you a backlink or a guest post unless you are exceptional…..and most are not. Stop chasing it.

      I keep saying this but it is important that your own offerings are good and plenty, that you diversify your lead generation as much as possible and that you concentrate on the community that you have built. They will build you a bigger one, not Google!!


      1. Ramsay

        Fantastic stuff Steve! 🙂


        1. Steve

          OOPs – I double bubbled a comment. Perhaps you could delete the first version thanks.


          1. Ramsay

            Na it boosts my comment count! Ha.


  • Steve

    Hi Ramsay. I must say this is a nice piece.
    Here’s my contribution:
    Getting Backlink is one KEY marketing strategy which every blogger must focus on.
    Blog + Content + Marketing = Profit

    The Marketing is so vital and focusing on getting quality backlinks gives you tonns of traffic from Google Free of Charge.

    Two of the strategies I have used and has worked for my website are:
    Guest Posting and Giving Value adding Comments on other blogs.

    So, I’ll conclude by saying that it’s not the number of post spun out per week, it’s the effort that goes into marketing those posts that matters most


    1. Ramsay

      Glad it’s been working for you! Thanks for sharing.


  • jessica

    I believe that my first ever backlink was from leaving a comment on this page! I had absolutely no idea at the time that leaving comments could do that. These days most of my backlinks are from collaborative posts and comments.


    1. Ramsay

      Perfect!


  • Vishal Ostwal

    Ramsay,

    This is something I was thinking about this week.

    A few days back I ended up feeling like an idiot – that’s because I didn’t know this unsaid rule – “you’re supposed to notify authors and influencers when you link to them.”

    I really didn’t.

    Mostly, whenever I created a piece of content, I just linked generously to whichever posts I liked regardless of how that that would affect the SEO of my site.

    Now I feel like I’ve been too innocent. Or ignorant maybe. Asking for backlinks from the people I’ve never engaged with seemed mean, so I avoided doing that as well.

    But it feels great spreading the word of those who are working hard and creating great content – I link to them often.

    Most of the time, I’ve relied on the hard way of guest posting, because I knew no other way. Recently i.e. a few months ago, I had started publishing on Medium for the same reason.

    I remember getting an e-mail from Neil’s newsletter when he was promoting his book, Hustle. “How may I help you?” was the subject, as far as I remember.

    So I asked for a backlink to the pre-launch strategy article which I had dedicated to you – and Neil did it. I’m thankful to him. I promoted his book a couple of times to thank him later.

    I can’t help it – I put people before search engines. I hope that works. And I don’t mind when it doesn’t…because ultimately it does a lot of good.

    Yesterday, I created an account on inbound.org. You’ve already talked about it a couple of times…so I’d rather give it a shot.


    1. Ramsay

      It’s a hard balance I think. I personally really hate self promotion so I think I miss out on a few opportunities because I don’t want to bother anyone.


  • Elle

    What an interesting read. I struggle with linking. I have link-phobia unless I know that person links back. I am actually working on this at my part time job for a company that is in a niche market–industrial gases but localized. It’s extremely competitive in this market so I’m trying to go through, page by page and use long tail kepywords and an SEO strategy. It’s a bit different with my own blog though. I could backlink more often. I need to rethink my strategy. I can hire a guru at my job but at my blog, it’s just me. Takes a lot of time and trial and error. You throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks lol. Thanks for the ideas. I’ll have to start linking to more blogs and hoping that helps.


    1. Ramsay

      Let us know if any of them help!


      1. Elle

        Will do! Thanks!


  • Krista Negro

    I actually do not pay much attention to backlinks, and even though I run a free domain WP blog on a local sports club, it never did us any harm. We’re still on page 1 od SERP, so when things happen organically, there’s nothing that can beat that.


    1. Ramsay

      Ah to be in a niche like that! Well done!


      1. Krista Negro

        Well, thanks. In fact, several articles I wrote about how to rank #1 on Google against all SEO odds are the result of everything we’ve done so far. One of my best bets for such a high position in SERP is that you can neglect ALL SEO rules but one – content. Content should address the reader each and every time, be written for the reader the way you would like to read it. Google will appreciate it and do the magic for you. At least it did for us 🙂


  • Susan Velez

    Hi Ramsay,

    Wow an article that brought back old memories. Back in the day, I was one of those marketers who used to buy backlinks to get faster rankings. If I remember right, I purchased them from Build My Rank (I think that was it?)

    It was great, my site flew up the search engines and my traffic soared. However, when Google came out with the Panda update, my site dropped like a rock.

    My income dried up overnight and I ended up not being able to recover that site. Maybe, because I had no desire to, as I was just in that niche for the money.

    With my current blog, I am NOT playing the backlink game. Like you, I’d prefer to do it naturally as I’ve seen what playing the system can do. It sucks and it’s not something that is easy to recover from. (at least it wasn’t for me.)

    With my current blog, I am using social media, YouTube and guest posting. I also take the time to comment on blogs, but I am not in it for the backlink. I am using backlinks to build relationships with other bloggers.

    Because of blog commenting, I’ve already managed to guest post on 5 blogs. I know that I wouldn’t have been able to do it had it not been for me taking the time to build relationships with those bloggers.

    So blog commenting is definitely a great way to open up the relationship with other bloggers. However, it has to do be done correctly. You have to visit the blog several times before trying to reach out for others.

    I am sure Vishal could give us some tips on how he uses blog comments to build relationships. I am still learning, but it seems to be working 🙂

    Another thing, when you’re done commenting on their blog, you want to make sure that you’re sharing their content. So comment and share, this eventually gets you noticed by some people.

    I also got mentioned by another big blogger because of using this method not too long ago. So while it does take time and it’s a slow process, it’s the only process I am using.

    I don’t ever want to worry about being penalized again. Nothing is more heart-breaking than seeing all your hard work going down the toilet because you tried to game the system.

    I haven’t checked out inbound.org or Medium. Thanks for the heads up on those, I may have to spend some time this week looking into them.

    Great article on getting more backlinks, I know that it will help so many bloggers think twice before trying to game Google.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan


    1. Ramsay

      What a fantastic comment! Thank you so much Susan. Really helpful.


  • Jitendra Dabhi

    Good read.

    Some time we need to contact with more blogger to make our blog post more natural and interesting for readers.


    1. Ramsay

      Agreed.


  • Melanie

    Thanks Ramsay for a well-written informative article. As a new blogger, I’m just getting a handle on link building so this was very helpful.


    1. Ramsay

      Hope it helps!


  • Adisa tolulope Joshua

    thanks for the info man,

    i wish to be a problogger like you

    tolulopeworld.blogspot.com


    1. Ramsay

      You are most welcome.


  • Charles Onwugbene

    Hi Ramsay,
    I have always been amazed at the quality of useful information you put out on your blog. Backlink is one aspect of blogging that I need to work on and I cannot thank you enough for this post. I have learned so much from this post.
    Thank you for helping direct my perspective on the importance of linking out to another blog. I have looked at it as watering down a blogs ranking but you have helped correct that viewpoint.
    The key takeaway for me is producing something different and linking out to another blog.
    Thank you again for your time in producing blog posts that add value.
    Keep it up.


    1. Ramsay

      Make sure you have a read of Backlinko as his information is much better than mine.


  • Hassaan Khan

    Hi, Ramsay!

    I have a clear stance. I don’t go after backlinks. A couple of years back, I published a blog post on prepaid debit cards. The intent was genuine. Do you know how? Because once I struggled to get a prepaid debit card. So, based on my personal experience, I stepped up and tried to help others with a helpful blog post. The blog post got ranked on the first page on Google. It has had a few social shares and a couple of mentions on other blogs, though.

    The bottom line is that I realized that you don’t always need to have lots of backlinks to get ranked high on Google. It might sound cliche, especially for SEO geeks but this is what I learned from my experience.

    So, I have been focusing a lot on the quality of content ever since, without looking at the backlinks. At the end of the day, one should be writing for humans. That’s it.


    1. Ramsay

      I see your point but I think we’ll have to agree to disagree a bit on this one. 😉


  • Careerdost

    Thanks Blogtyrant. This is a nice blog on how to get Back-links.

    Closely observing your blogs from last week. And really liked your blog specially the one with 9,000 words. 🙂

    Few doubts:
    – Can you please elaborate on 4th point – “Explore educational options”
    – Also, if you can post something on “how to get a good ranking for Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA)?” or what strategy to follow to get it?

    Best,
    Careerdost.in


    1. Ramsay

      What are you confused about in regards to the educational options?


      1. Careerdost

        Thanks for the reply Ramsay.
        It’s not confusion, was just expecting a case study for the same (if possible?) – should have mentioned earlier…sorry to be unclear.

        Best,
        Careerdost.in


        1. Ramsay

          I don’t really have a case study that I want to share publicly, but it’s a good idea to start with your own college or ask your friends if they know anyone who works at one.


  • Deji Okufi

    Hello Ramsey, great post as usual!

    I like your last point about helping other bloggers in your niche. I’m working on a project with a couple of bloggers in my niche and I was recently thinking about how I could back more to them. Then I thought, there are some glaring errors in their blogs that I could help them point out. I’m no pro, at best I’m an amateur that is still learning but I feel with these obvious changes, their blogs will do better. Right now I’m trying to write a report on each of their blogs from them.

    I’d also appreciate if you could suggest any softwares I can use to analyse blogs/websites. Thanks.


    1. Ramsay

      Majestic and AHREFs are nice.


  • Mads

    One way I’ve been able to get a few good backlinks (from The Independent newspaper and HELLO! magazine) is by trolling the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter. Journos are looking for experts in an area to interview or answer a question and when I can see they’re from an online site that could help me, I agree to answer a few questions if they’ll link my name back to my site.


    1. Ramsay

      Clever!


  • Arvind

    one more helpful post for me ramsay….i was missing to link my blog post to other websites for fear of losing my blog ranking and traffic…the more I read your articles the more I fall in love with your blog…thanks for sharing all these amazing information…!!

    Arvind


    1. Ramsay

      Yep, linking out is very important IMHO.


  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Ramsay,

    I have #1 down well. I create something kinda different 😉 But really, by carving out my little niche I instantly noted more traffic from Google, more backlinks and greater success, happiness and freedom flowing to me. Folks are caught up with fitting in and following; I focus on standing out and leading….or just walking my own path. Why do anything different?

    I do get the fear of criticism deal but I’d rather have fun, be me, be happy and succeed, living my life by design, versus trying to fit in because I feared what others thought of me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan


    1. Ramsay

      That beach animation on your home page makes me want to go on holiday. Ha.


  • Kinder Lernspiele

    Ramsay,

    Thank you for this post. Backlinking works both way it’s sharing. If you allow natural links build from your page, you can improve your ranking as well.

    I guess it’s important to not only be a leecher but a giver as well.

    Keep up the good stuff!

    Best,

    Kinder


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Kinder!


  • Pravin

    It is vaguely known to all that backlinks can help in enhancing the SEO rankings. But this blog has wonderfully explained the actual functions of backlinks for a website. Everyone is sure to be benefitted from the given tips that tell how to obtain more backlinks for any site or for a blog.


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you for the kind words.


  • Slavko Desik

    Great article man! And thanks for mentioning me as well.

    Links are still the blood-life of the internet. I owe everything I have today to building links for the last couple of years. The best part? They stick over time.

    My two cents…

    1. For everyone who is still wondering what is the power of building links, make sure to read this.
    https://rocketshipgrowth.com/peek-inside-hubspots-multi-million-dollar-saas-growth-strategy-2ddf276731c6

    It’s how HubSpot managed to create millions in revenue, by simply creating relevant content and ranking it high.

    We are trying to replicate the same for Fitness Updated, and you should too.

    2. No-follow links MATER! I tested this myself and saw incredible results. But instead of putting links everywhere you can think of, try finding relevant blogs to comment on, and write relevant Medium articles. Instructibles.com also offers users the opportunity to generate content and link to wherever they want.

    Wanna proof? Check this out – ( https://www.lifestyleupdated.com/how-to-lose-belly-fat/ ) This baby ranks 31st place with only two do-follow backlinks, and 30 or so no-follow ones. The volume? 200k searches per month.

    3. Interlinking is also incredibly important! Try writing relevant articles daily, and link internally on your site. Tell me what happens after 2 months.

    4. Relevance, relevance, relevance…. The more niche your website is, and the more topically relevant your articles are, the higher the chances that you’ll need 3 links instead of 30 in order to rank high.

    5. Check out HARO.

    6. Translate articles in other languages, and pitch websites that operate locally in their countries. One original idea for an article, can easily translate in 30 languages. The best thing? It’s not duplicate content 🙂

    P.S. Admire your dedication to stay on the white-hat path for so long! Inspiring!


    1. Ramsay

      I only just learned about HARO and have been playing around with it for a week or so. Will be very interested to see whether it works. Seems like such an amazing resource if you can get it right.


  • Fahim

    Hi Ramsey,

    You nailed it by covering legit ways of building links. No doubt, building links is a challenging task, but you can make it easy, if you are using right methods and resources.

    I am building links with many ways including your mentioned ones. But, I find broken link building as a great opportunity as well. Initially, I make a list of relevant websites or blogs by using following sort of search queries:

    Targeted keyword + links
    Targeted keyword + resources
    Targeted keyword inurl:links

    Then, sort-out the broken links (404 links) on the specific pages by using chrome extension: Check My Links

    Then, contact the owner of the website and mention, they are linking with the resources which are not available now. Also, share some resource links including yours, to replace with the broken links.

    Most of the time it works but in some scenarios, website owners refuse to link mine website.

    Thanks for sharing such a nice stuff and keep writing on such a helpful topics.

    Regards,
    Fahim


    1. Ramsay

      I am happy to hear that works. I am a little surprised too. How many links do you think you have gotten this way?


      1. Fahim Safdar

        I managed 30+ links in 6-7 months time frame. It’s little bit hard and time consuming to get good links as i had to contact 100s of websites to have placement.


        1. Ramsay

          Very nice!


  • Rahmat Fajar Alam

    I want to try your way. And I want to ask how the easiest and the best way to build link. Because I try with comments to build links I think is not good. And the best how?


    1. Ramsay

      The answers are in the article my friend.


  • PJ

    Well, I always had problems with getting backlinks in my previous blog. I think I haven’t seen that many times getting backlink is a win-win situation both for me and other website. Now when I realized it I can get more backlinks than previously.


    1. Ramsay

      Hope it helps!


  • Ticiano Sgarbi

    Hi Ramsey! First time on your blog. It is simply awesome, a lot of good stuff to read.

    I think that the best way is to build links based on website’s authority. We have to create or provide quality content to get these links. I know no other way to do it. Buying links leads to penalties from Google, I know a lot of people that have fallen into this trap.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah, I will never buy links.


  • Gran Bonera

    What do you think about creating back links through scholarship program?


    1. Ramsay

      Can you give an example?


  • Anand kumar

    Thanks for this info…


  • Tyler Adler

    Great post, I am starting a blog and this kind of information is great. Getting SEO on a site is not easy nowadays.


  • Bijay Gupta

    Hello Ramsay,
    Thanks for awesome tips on building backlinks..Have just started with building backlinks for my site and hope so the above tips will definitely help me in achieving the purpose…
    Could you please provide insights into the internal linking strategies?


    1. Ramsay

      For me, the main point for internal linking is to create a story or a pathway that leads people to the desired outcomes for your site. So maybe you’ll link people mostly to your 5-6 best pieces that target your main keywords.


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