A backlink is a link from another website to your site, which can positively influence your site’s search engine rankings, especially if it comes from an authoritative source.

What is a backlink?

Backlinks come in various types based on factors like their attributes, the context in which they are placed, and their impact on SEO. Here are some of the common types of backlinks based on these factors:

  1. Dofollow Backlinks: These are standard backlinks that allow search engines to follow the link and pass on SEO value (link equity) to the linked page. They have no special HTML attribute associated with them.
  2. Nofollow Backlinks: Nofollow links have a “rel=nofollow” HTML attribute. Search engines don’t follow these links when crawling web pages, and they don’t pass on link equity. However, they can still drive traffic and provide some exposure.
  3. Contextual Backlinks: These backlinks are embedded within the content of a webpage and are usually more valuable for SEO because they are highly relevant to the content of the page.
  4. Editorial Backlinks: Editorial links are natural, organic links that are earned because other websites find your content valuable and choose to link to it. They’re typically seen as high-quality backlinks.
  5. Image Backlinks: When an image on your website is linked to from another site, it’s known as an image backlink. These are less common but can still provide value.
  6. Anchor Text Backlinks: These are links where the anchor text (the visible, clickable text) is the keyword or phrase you’re trying to rank for. It can be a valuable signal to search engines if done naturally.
  7. Profile Backlinks: Profile links are from user profiles on forums, social media, or other platforms where users can include a link to their website. They’re often of lower quality and can be considered spammy if overused.
  8. Forum and Blog Comment Backlinks: These are links obtained by leaving comments on blogs or forums, typically in the form of a username linked to your website. They’re usually nofollow links and should be used sparingly to avoid spam.
  9. Guest Post Bio Backlinks: In guest posts, authors often get a brief bio section where they can include a link to their website. These are usually nofollow links.
  10. Internal Backlinks: Commonly referred to as internal links, these are links from one page on your website to another page on the same domain. They help with website navigation and can distribute link equity throughout your site.
  11. Footer and Sidebar Backlinks: Links placed in website footers or sidebars are often seen as less valuable and can even be considered spammy if overused.
  12. Reciprocal (or Link Exchange) Backlinks: When two websites agree to link to each other, it’s called a reciprocal link. These were once a popular link-building strategy but are less effective today.
  13. Co-Citation Backlinks: These occur when your website is mentioned alongside your competitors or in content related to your industry, even if it doesn’t link directly to your site.
  14. Brand Mentions: Even if a website doesn’t link to your site, a mention of your brand name can be valuable for building brand recognition and trust.
  15. Sponsored Backlinks: Paid for or sponsored by one party to promote their website or content on another website, typically labeled as “sponsored” to disclose the commercial arrangement.

Why are backlinks important?

Backlinks can be interpreted by search engines as a vote for your content. A site that links to yours is essentially vouching for your content.

But ranking algorithms are far more sophisticated than ever. They use machine learning to evaluate and weigh factors, signals, and make decisions. Once upon a time, backlinks were the predominant ranking factor. That’s no longer the case.

Why does a content strategist need to know about backlinks?

Google aims to reward the natural acquisition of links, so avoid aggressive and artificial link-building tactics. Instead of building links, look to build relationships that can move your B2B SaaS forward.

Spend time on forums and blogs where you can connect with those in your target market. Write guest posts on the sites they visit so that you can elevate your profile among this important cohort. Look to be a guest on podcasts that resonate with your ideal customer profile. Do this consistently and the rewards you reap will far outweigh those of traditional SEO linkbuilding.

Related Terms

Discover More About Backlinks