Types of backlinks in SEO: What is the best backlink

Alexandra Belski Alexandra Belski
Reading time:  5  min.

While working with SEO, you will come across the term “backlink” sooner or later. What is a backlink in examples of SEO? Being properly applied, backlinks happen to be effective building blocks that determine the content’s ranking and visibility in search engines. Simply put, backlinks in SEO are the signal for search engines that your website is more relevant in search queries. In this article, you’ll learn about the main types of backlinks in SEO.

Types of backlinks in SEO: What is the best backlink

Why do you need backlinks for SEO

Top search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo tend to give more credit to the sites with the best SEO linking.  Hyperlinks allow search machines to recognize your website and rank it properly. Below, you can see statistical data on the relationship between your website ranking on Google and its backlinks. 

Why do you need backlinks for SEO

Basically, backlinks are either dofollow or nofollow:

  • Dofollow links positively influence your PageRank and SERPs. All links have the dofollow status by default.
  • Nofollow links don’t affect your website ranking but still send traffic and can increase conversion rates. They are created with a nofollow HTML tag. 

To improve the ranking algorithm, Google is now implementing changes in the whole linking concept that went into effect on March 1, 2020. Earlier, search engines were clearly instructed to disregard links with nofollow status, but now it will be more of a “hint,” and nofollow links may start affecting your domain authority. Google also distinguished two new link types: sponsored links for the paid ones and UGC links for those that were built with user-generated content. 

As many dofollow backlinks as you may have, not all of them will be treated equally by Google. First, backlinks should come from authoritative resources such as editorials, guest blogging, niche directories and others, while links from comments, general directories and other less credible sources can damage your reputation. Then, backlinks should generate clicks to prove their relevance to Google, so try to present your links in such a manner that readers will be motivated to click on them.

Types of backlinks to avoid

Even though the significance of link building can hardly be denied, there are still some aspects you need to know to distinguish bad and good backlinks. There are some negative linking experiences which can deindex and penalize web resources. These experiences usually involve links added within a short period of time so their origin can hardly contribute to the content’s efficiency.

Paid backlinks

One of the least reasonable ideas you could think of is buying links. Why? 

First, purchasing backlinks is a direct violation of Google’s guidelines. Search engines constantly update their algorithms and become closer and closer to banning all the websites that try to game the system. It is always suspicious if your website suddenly has a lot of backlinks, and it will definitely attract Google’s attention.

Second, paid backlinks sometimes come from low-quality websites and can damage your link profile. Only backlinks from reputable resources will increase your Domain Authority and PageRank. Thus, this strategy can become a complete waste of money, as backlinks won’t be useful. 

Links from spammy resources

Even if you managed to get backlinks for free, some of them can still be dangerous if they came from low-quality resources. First, the majority of such backlinks are nofollow, but they are still able to get your website penalized. For example, spammy resources advertising casinos, porn, etc. won’t do you any good. To identify the level of Domain Authority of a website and get appropriate backlinks, try the following services: 

Furthermore, links should be placed in a relevant context in terms of both the article and the website. Thus, the proper environment and the right audience are crucial for successful link building. 

Another spammy technique is to improve the link building by manually clicking on your backlinks or resorting to dedicated services. No matter how easy this approach might seem, it can still get you in trouble if search engines discover this fact.

Types of backlinks to look for

Compared to low-quality link building, the very best backlinks for SEO provide an unsurpassed long-term SEO efficiency. Powerful backlinks should be added step by step over a period of time in order to bring meaningful results. They are always relevant to the topic and keyword backlinks on websites and generate higher ranks than average inbound links. The best backlinks always generate organic traffic, so no matter how reliable the resource you leave a link on is, the latter should be presented in the right way to incentivize people to open it. 

Editorial mentions

Editorial mentions are the most appropriate backlink examples. Basically, this content is an editor’s opinion about a particular topic, and if your website gets cited, it reflects your authority in the niche. That’s why editorial mentions are so powerful. Here is how you can get one: 

  • Adding someone’s direct speech to your web content by specifying the initial source of data
  • Addressing your web content as an authoritative source of information
  • Marking your web content as the initial source of statistical details
  • Conducting an interview with a person that is somehow associated with your web content

It is highly advised to explain your website’s relevance to the topic when introducing editorial mentions. In this way, your web resource will happen to be more interesting for current and potential users.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging is another tactic to get more backlinks. This is how it works: you write an article for another blogger or resource for free and receive a high-quality backlink to your blog in return.

Guest blogging is a great way to develop mutual trust, build relationships with other influencers within the niche, get bigger exposure and raise brand recognition. The trick is to choose credible platforms and write a decent article that would be useful for another resource. It takes a lot of effort and time but is a fair way to acquire backlinks.

Business directories

This type of linking comes from business records, social media sources and market-based directories and serves as an indicator of advanced structure to the search machines.

To collect some business profile backlinks, you will have to set up the profiles on reliable directories. Alternatively, you can use such services as Synup, Yellow Pages or Yext to develop and manage profiles, depending on your business orientations. Take into account that not all directories are credible and you need to do proper research on the resource authority before getting listed on it.


In general, people post their comments to highlight present inaccuracies, reveal more details on the subject matter, as well as discuss controversial statements. If a comment is relevant and informative, it attracts a lot of attention and brings traffic to your website. Remember that blog comment backlinks are as credible as are the resources where you leave comments. 

This is such a popular strategy in link building that Google has established a nofollow attribute to all links from comments in 2005. Thus, blog comment backlinks can’t significantly influence your PageRank score, but they can increase your traffic and conversion rates. 

Webinars and free tools

Webinars are not only a great way to share valuable content, but they also help build the best free backlinks. People tend to link back to such resources and, by uploading a webinar, you can organically increase your PageRank, traffic and conversion rates. 

If it is not possible to record a webinar of your own, consider translating content from another language. People would also appreciate your effort and link back to your website. 


If you’ve ever sponsored an event or made a donation, it can get you backlinks as well. Many platforms accepting grants consider it fair to mention the sponsor. Such links are of great SEO value so that they’ll provide you with bigger exposure to your target market.

You can look for a platform to donate to on Google by entering “sponsor wanted,” “donations accepted” and so on. Or, check special listings on reputable platforms. 

The backlinks your blog really needs

To get to the top of search engine results, you’ll need strong backlinks. You may ask, “How many backlinks do I need?” The number of backlinks is only the second aspect to worry about, as their quality should be your number one priority.

Links coming from reputable domains will increase your domain authority, while the ones from spammy platforms and paid blog backlinks may get you penalized on Google. You can start by analyzing your competitors’ backlink profile and acquiring as many appropriate backlink types as possible.

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