SEO Backlinking: An Easy to Understand Explanation of How it Works, Why You Need Them, and How To Find Just the Right Links

    Many people try and make back-linking more complicated than it is. Really, the sole purpose of back-linking is to make your website more powerful, more authoritative and more relevant for whatever the product, service or niche is that you are in. Backlinking is referred to as an “off-page” SEO technique.  You should familiarize yourself with on page and off page SEO techniques if you don’t completely understand them. Before we dive into what backlinking is, how it works, and how to get started, keep in mind that backlinking is just one part of the overall recipe for SEO success.

    Most likely right now your site is like an aspiring singer that is performing to no audience at all, no one sees you, no one hears you, no one is listening to you. It’s your job, in trying to get your website to rank or in working with an agency that’s trying to get your website to rank, to turn your website into a huge rock star with a lot of power, a lot of authority, and to make it become well established and well known. This is what you want to happen to your website. So the question is, how do you make that happen and how do you get your website to rank on page 1 of Google? Well you do that through what is called back-linking and what I mean by that is, it’s your job to go out and find other rock star websites that want to link to your website. That’s all a backlink is- it’s another website that puts a link on their site that goes over to your website. So your job or the job of the agency that you’re working with, whoever it may be, is to go out and find rock star websites.

    Again, think of your website as an aspiring singer nobody knows of, nobody has heard of, and nobody sees. Then one day, Justin Bieber or Katy Perry or Garth Brooks goes out and says hey you should check out this singer, they’re really good, they’re really up-and-coming, and you won’t believe how great they are. All of a sudden, you become an overnight success through the power and reach and authority of somebody in the industry that is talking about you. That’s really how you have to look at backlinks. Backlinks are like a popularity contest. How many powerful, authoritative, relevant websites can you get to link (i.e., talk about) your site? Hopefully, we have made clearer what backlinks are and the purpose behind them. Now you have to go out and find these Rockstar websites.

    So how do you find a rock star website? Well really, what you’re going to look for is just a couple of things. You’re going to look at the relevance of a site. Is it closely related to your topic or your niche? You’re going to look at how powerful is that website? You can do that by looking at different metrics called domain authority, page authority, and referring domains. Referring domains refers to how many websites are talking about the website that you’re looking at (wanting to get a link from), and the age of the site that you’re looking at. Also, does that website get traffic? Does it have a lot of visitors to it?    You can use a software like ahrefs or majesticseo to find these metrics.

    Then you want to think about the type of link coming from that site.  Is it dofollow or is it nofollow? We’re not going to get into any of these details that I just mentioned about dofollow links versus nofollow links, but typically you want to be looking at just do follow links.  Links and metrics could be discussed for eternity but what I’m trying to give you the 80/20 rule where you’ll get the most bang for your buck so what you want are dofollow links.

    Once you find a website that you believe is a rock star site, all you need to do is reach out and contact the owner of that website and simply ask them can you or how can you get a link from their site.  Some of them may be willing to do it, and others may charge you for it. I’m not getting into the different types of SEO that people will talk about such as white hat, black hat, etc. and I’m not talking about the Google Terms of Service in this article. I’m simply talking about, if you’re interested in trying to get a link from a site, one of the ways you can do it is by contacting the owner of the site and asking them how you can go about getting a link from their website.

    There are a lot of different types of links out there and if you’ve spent any time on the internet or you’ve talked to different people or watched videos about it you might be familiar with a lot of them. In this case, I’m going to give you a short list of links that I believe are the type of links that you want to stay away from or at least be cautious of.  Again, I’m going back to the 80/20 rule where will you get the most bang for your buck. Everything listed below could be used with SEO, but it’s not really going to drive any results.


  •   Article submissions- one of the things to keep in mind is to think about how difficult is it to attain a link from the source that you are trying to get one from. Everyone can get a link from an article submission.
  •   Forum submission- anyone can get a link if you sign up on the right forum sites.
  •   Blog commenting
  •   Social bookmarking- this is a dinosaur tactic, and no current data indicates these links are useful at all.
  •   Link building software– there is a place for this but for purposes of this article, and if you’re not advanced in backlinking I recommend you stay away from any automated link building software.
  •    Private blog networks- these still work very, very well, however, if you’re not familiar with backlinking stay away from these because if not appropriately utilized they will do a lot more harm than good.
  •    Directory links- there’s a place for directory links, however, don’t go to one site that allows you to submit directory links to a hundred places at one time. This is a very outdated technique and could actually harm you so I would not recommend that.

    Anything that you see in the above list you should be very cautious of and I would recommend staying away from. Yes, there are places where you could use these particular techniques, but some of these techniques listed are simply worthless. They’re entirely outdated, they offer no relevancy in today’s world of backlinking or search engine optimization, and it is just simply a complete waste of time.

    So what type of links should you look for? You should be looking for links from real websites that offer dofollow contextual backlinks.  A contextual link means that your link is inserted within a particular article on the site linking back to your website. Again you want that site to have good metrics like I talked about and also be relevant to your particular niche if possible.

    Now in a perfect world, you would want to find a website that has all of the things that we’ve just talked about here.  You would want a site that has great metrics, that’s relevant to your niche or the product or service that you offer, and that provides a contextual link. If you had all those variables on one site that would be a home run. However, that doesn’t always exist in the real world so sometimes you have a mix of the type of links you need to look for.  Sometimes you can find a really powerful site but it may not be terribly relevant to your niche, and that’s okay. If it has excellent metrics, it would be worth getting a link from. Likewise, you may find a site that may not have the best metrics in terms of power and authority, but it may be extremely relevant to your niche, in that case again that would be worth getting a link from.

    It’s challenging to cover all of the ins and outs of backlinking in a single blog post, and you could talk about this for days or weeks on end. It was my goal to give you a very high-level overview of what backlinks are, and a basic understanding of how to use them.  If you have any specific questions about backlinking you can reach out to us at, and we will answer your question either privately by email if it’s very specific, or if it’s something many would benefit from then we will answer it in our weekly online marketing mastery Q&A session.

    If you would like to get a free video analysis for your business that analyzes your market, your business, and your competition in terms of how you can make more money through increased online visibility click here to see if you qualify.  You can also grab your free website report card to see how you stack up against the online competition.