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Backlink Types to Use for SEO: Building a Strong Foundation

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Backlinks, often referred to as the backbone of SEO, play a pivotal role in enhancing a website's domain authority and overall search engine ranking. By understanding the difference between valuable backlinks and those that can be detrimental, one can pave the way for a successful SEO strategy. Let's delve into the world of backlinks and understand which types to use and which to steer clear of.

Backlink Types to Use for SEO

Social Profiles

A fantastic way to establish an online presence, social profiles provide a means to share content, engage with followers, and, most importantly, gain valuable backlinks. By ensuring your website is linked on major social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can improve your site's visibility and SEO value.


Predominantly valuable for local businesses, citations refer to online mentions of a company, typically in local directories. Not only do they boost local SEO, but they also increase trust among potential customers. Consistency in Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) across various platforms is key.

Reference Sites

Earning a mention from reputable reference sites, such as Wikipedia or industry-specific directories, can considerably enhance your site's credibility. The trick lies in offering valuable, citation-worthy information.

High Authority Editorials

Links from top-tier media outlets, like Forbes or The New York Times, are golden in the world of SEO. They signify trust, authority, and credibility. While challenging to obtain, they provide unparalleled SEO value.

Niche Edits

Inserting links into already existing, aged articles is the essence of niche edits. By doing so, you leverage the page's existing authority, leading to enhanced credibility for your site.

Guest Posts

By contributing content to reputable platforms in your industry, not only do you establish yourself as an expert, but you also earn quality backlinks. The key is to provide valuable insights, not just links.

Press Releases

A well-crafted press release, distributed to the right channels, can generate buzz and valuable backlinks. However, it's essential to ensure the content is genuinely newsworthy.


With their visual appeal, infographics can be powerful tools to earn backlinks. By creating engaging, informative visuals and distributing them effectively, you can attract numerous backlinks.

PBN Links (Careful with these!)

Private Blog Networks (PBNs), while risky, can be rewarding when used by pros who understand the landscape. They involve creating a network of sites to gain backlinks but tread with caution, as penalties can be severe.

Backlink Types to Avoid for SEO

Forum Links

While forums can be great for community engagement, using them primarily for backlinks can harm your SEO. Google often devalues such links, considering them low-quality.

Web 2.0 Links

Sites like Blogger or Tumblr fall into this category. While they may seem tempting, these links offer limited SEO value and can often be seen as spammy.

Sitewide Links

Links that appear on every page of a site (like footer links) can be flagged by search engines, leading to potential penalties. It's best to approach them with caution.

Link Exchanges

The age-old "you link to me, and I'll link to you" doesn't sit well with modern SEO practices. Such reciprocal linking strategies are outdated and can harm your site's authority.

Guest Post Farms

Platforms that churn out countless guest posts with little to no editorial standards can be disastrous for your SEO. Recognizing and avoiding them is crucial.

Algorithmically Hit Sites

Backlinks from sites penalized by Google's algorithms can be a death knell for your SEO. It's essential to regularly audit your backlink profile and disavow harmful links.


Backlinks are the pillars of a robust SEO strategy. While the allure of quick links might be tempting, focusing on quality, relevance, and strategy will ensure long-term success in the ever-evolving landscape of SEO. Stay informed, adapt, and remember: it's always quality over quantity.

Higglo Digital is a full-service SEO and web agency. From Hulu to Blizzard, we’ve worked with clients across many industries and markets including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, New York City and Sydney. We have the expertise and experience to take your brand to the next level. We create memorable brand experiences and award winning websites.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can one discern between a high-quality backlink opportunity and a low-quality one?

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Research the domain authority of the site, the relevance to your niche, and ensure the site hasn't been penalized by search engines.

Would forum or Web 2.0 links ever be beneficial for my website?

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While these links are generally considered low-quality, genuine engagement and participation in forums or Web 2.0 platforms can offer some value, especially in community building.

If a site has been algorithmically penalized, how can I find out?

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Tools like Moz, SEMrush, and Ahrefs can help identify such sites, along with Google's Webmaster Tools.

Are all sitewide links harmful?

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Not necessarily. It depends on the context. A genuine sitewide link, like from a sister company, can be valuable. But if it's spammy or unrelated, it can harm your SEO.

What are some risk-free backlink methods?

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Focus on organic strategies like content marketing, guest posting on reputable sites, and engaging in legitimate PR activities.

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