Understand Your SEO: Diving Into the Different Types of Backlinks

In the ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization (SEO), website owners and digital marketers face numerous challenges in their quest for online visibility and higher search rankings. 

One of the critical hurdles they encounter is the struggle to attract organic traffic and establish their websites as authoritative sources in their respective industries. This is where the power of backlinks comes into play.

Imagine this scenario: You’ve painstakingly built a website with compelling content, visually appealing design, and user-friendly navigation. But despite your best efforts, your website remains buried in search engine results, receiving little to no traffic. Frustrating, isn’t it? This is a common problem many website owners face, and the solution lies in understanding and harnessing the potential of backlinks.

Understanding and effectively leveraging these backlink types can propel your website’s visibility, increase organic traffic, and establish a solid online presence. Let us help you explore the various types of backlinks and how they can help your SEO. 

Basics First: What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks, or inbound or incoming links, are links from external websites that direct users to your site. They act as ‘votes’ from other websites, indicating to search engines that your content is high-quality and relevant. Search engines, such as Google, consider backlinks a crucial ranking factor in determining the credibility and authority of a website.

The Types of Backlinks

Here are some common types of backlinks, how they benefit your business, and the sources through which they can be acquired.

1. Natural Backlinks

Natural backlinks are links that websites willingly create to your content because they find it valuable and relevant. These links are genuine endorsements, reflecting trust and authority.

Natural backlinks happen organically, unlike manipulated or artificial links. They emerge naturally when others recognize the quality and credibility of your website. So, they are spontaneous and emerge from a genuine interest in the information or resources provided on your website.

The Benefits and Significance of Natural Backlinks

Unlike backlinks acquired through directories or guest posts, natural backlinks are often highly visible. They contribute to your SEO efforts and showcase your website and content prominently to users on other websites. This increased visibility can initiate a snowball effect, where web administrators and writers discover your valuable content through these linking websites, utilize it, and subsequently connect back to your site.

One of the most significant advantages of natural backlinks is their ability to build your website’s trustworthiness and authority. When reputable websites and influencers organically link to your content, it signals to search engines that your website is a reliable and valuable source of information. This, in turn, can positively impact your search engine rankings and overall visibility.

The beauty of natural backlinks is that they continue to attract more backlinks without any additional effort on your part. Once you have created unique and in-demand content, the organic dissemination through natural backlinks sets off a chain reaction, increasing your website’s exposure and attracting additional backlinks.

By focusing on creating valuable, high-quality content, you increase the likelihood of earning natural backlinks from authoritative sources. This strengthens your SEO efforts and establishes your website as a trusted resource within your industry.

The Sources of Natural Backlinks

Natural backlinks can originate from various sources, and here are a few examples:

  1. Industry Recognition: When your website is recognized as a valuable resource or thought leader in your industry, other websites within the same niche may naturally link to your content. Achieving industry recognition can be accomplished through original research, sharing unique insights, and offering expert opinions can further establish your website as a go-to source of information.
  1. Content Relevance: Websites often link to content that complements their own. Creating highly relevant content complementary to other websites’ topics or discussions increases the chances of them linking to your site. This could involve producing informative articles, comprehensive guides, engaging infographics, fact sheets, or even interactive tools that add value to the existing content landscape.
  1. Online Mentions and Reviews: Positive mentions and reviews of your brand or content across the web can result in natural backlinks. When people talk about your website or products and share their positive experiences, other websites may link to your site to provide their audience with additional information or to validate their endorsement. Encouraging and engaging with your audience to leave reviews or testimonials can help generate these natural backlinks.

2. Editorial Backlinks

Editorial backlinks originate from authoritative websites, blogs, or online publications within your industry. 

Unlike self-created or promotional links, editorial backlinks are earned through the recognition and endorsement of industry influencers. These backlinks hold significant weight in the eyes of search engines due to their organic nature and association with trusted sources.

Obtaining Editorial Backlinks

Building relationships with industry influencers and bloggers is vital to acquiring valuable editorial backlinks. Here are effective strategies to secure these coveted links:

  1. Identify Relevant Influencers: Research and identify influential individuals or organizations with a solid online presence within your industry. These influencers are more likely to link to high-quality, relevant content.
  2. Engage and Establish Connections: Reach out to influencers through social media, email, or industry events. Show genuine interest in their work, share their content, and contribute to their discussions. Building a rapport and establishing relationships increase the likelihood of them linking to your content in the future.
  3. Create High-Quality Content: Focus on producing exceptional content that offers unique insights, solves problems, and provides valuable information to your target audience. When influencers find your content valuable, they may naturally link to it as a reference or resource.
  4. Look for Guest Contribution Opportunities: Offer to contribute guest posts or articles to industry blogs or online publications. By providing valuable content to these platforms, you can earn editorial backlinks within the body of the article or in your author bio.

Remember, when pursuing editorial backlinks, the emphasis should be building authentic relationships and delivering value to influencers and their audience. The goal is to earn their recognition and endorsement, leading to valuable backlinks.

Incorporating editorial backlinks into your overall backlink strategy can significantly boost your website’s authority, visibility, and search engine rankings. These links strongly signal to search engines that your content is trusted and recommended by respected figures within your industry.

By proactively engaging with influencers, creating exceptional content, and nurturing relationships, you can position your website as an authoritative source and earn valuable editorial backlinks that drive organic traffic and enhance your online presence.

3. Guest Post Backlinks

Guest post backlinks are links acquired by writing and publishing articles on external websites within your industry or niche. 

These backlinks are embedded within the content or author bio, and they let you showcase your expertise, reach a new audience, and earn valuable backlinks.

Guest Posting Guidelines and Strategies

To effectively leverage guest post backlinks, consider the following guidelines and strategies:

  1. Finding Relevant Guest Posting Opportunities: Research authoritative websites, blogs, and online publications that accept guest posts within your industry. Look for platforms that align with your target audience and have an engaged readership.
  2. Crafting Compelling Guest Posts: Create high-quality, well-researched, and informative content for your guest posts. Tailor your articles to the specific audience and guidelines of each hosting website. Ensure to include relevant and natural backlinks to your website within the content or author bio.
  3. Building Relationships with Editors and Bloggers: Connect with editors and bloggers who manage guest contributions. Engage with them through email or social media, expressing your interest in contributing valuable content. Nurture these relationships over time to increase your chances of securing guest posting opportunities.
  4. Providing Value to the Hosting Website’s Audience: Focus on delivering content that educates, entertains, or solves problems for the hosting website’s audience. By providing genuine value, you increase the likelihood of readers engaging with your content, visiting your website through the backlinks, and becoming loyal followers.

Guest post backlinks offer a range of benefits for your SEO and online presence. They allow you to tap into new audiences, build authority and credibility, and improve your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.

By strategically selecting relevant platforms, crafting exceptional guest posts, and nurturing relationships with editors and bloggers, you can harness the power of guest post backlinks to establish yourself as an industry expert and drive targeted traffic to your website.

4. Social Media Backlinks

Social media backlinks originate from various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. These links are generated when users share, like, or comment on your content, directing their followers and connections to your website. 

It’s worth keeping in mind that Google indexes social media profiles and aims to connect websites with their respective social media pages. So, whereas social signals aren’t a direct ranking factor, they do help your website’s visibility. 

A study conducted by CognitiveSEO revealed intriguing findings regarding the relationship between social media shares and SEO. Their analysis of 23 million social media shares across various platforms uncovered a noteworthy connection between these shares and search engine optimization. The engagement metrics, including shares, likes, and comments garnered by your posts, serve as crucial signals that Google and other search engines consider when determining the ranking of your website

Leveraging Social Media for Backlinks

To harness the potential of social media backlinks, consider the following strategies:

  1. Engaging with Influencers and Followers: Actively engage with influencers and followers within your industry or niche. Participate in relevant discussions, share valuable insights, and establish yourself as a reputable source of information. As you build relationships and gain visibility, influencers and followers may naturally share your content and provide backlinks to your website.
  1. Promoting Content on Social Media Platforms: Create compelling and shareable content that resonates with your target audience. Utilize social media platforms to promote your content, encouraging users to click on your links and visit your website. Incorporate social sharing buttons on your website to make it easier for users to share your content with their networks.
  1. Participating in Social Media Communities: Join relevant social media communities, groups, or forums where discussions and conversations related to your industry take place. Contribute meaningfully to these communities by sharing valuable insights, answering questions, and assisting. When appropriate, share relevant links to your website, ensuring they add value to the conversation.


5. Web Directory Backlinks

Web directory backlinks are links obtained by submitting your website to online directories that categorize and organize websites based on their topics or industries. 

These directories act as centralized hubs, providing users with a curated list of websites related to specific interests or niches. Web directory backlinks contribute to your website’s backlink profile significantly and can positively impact your search engine rankings, as they’re very relevant to you.

Choosing Quality Web Directories

When considering web directory backlinks, focusing on quality over quantity is important. Here are some factors to consider when choosing web directories:

  1. Reputable and Relevant Directories: Identify reputable web directories with a strong and well-established reputation within your industry. 

Select directories trusted by search engines and have a good track record of providing valuable resources to users.

  1. Niche-Specific Directories: Look for web directories that cater to your niche or industry. These directories will attract a targeted audience that aligns with your website’s offerings. 

Being listed in niche directories can lead to more relevant traffic and potential conversions.

  1. Directory Guidelines and Policies: Review each directory’s submission guidelines and policies before submitting your website. Ensure the directory follows ethical practices and does not use link spamming or black hat SEO techniques.

The Impact of Web Directory Backlinks

Submitting your website to quality web directories increases its visibility to users and search engines. It allows potential visitors to discover your website while browsing through relevant categories. 

Additionally, search engines consider backlinks from reputable directories as indicators of your website’s relevance to a certain niche.

Provide accurate and descriptive information about your website when submitting your website to web directories. Choose the most appropriate category that aligns with your content and offerings. Some directories may require a reciprocal link, where you link back to the directory from your website.

While web directory backlinks may not carry the same weight as other types, they contribute to the overall diversity of your backlink profile. They help build a strong foundation for your website’s search engine optimization efforts.

6. Forum and Blog Comment Backlinks

Forum and blog comment backlinks are acquired through active participation in discussions on relevant forums and blogs. 

By leaving valuable comments contributing to the conversation, you can obtain backlinks that drive traffic to your website and enhance its online presence.

The Right Way to Get Forum/Comment Links

Here’s what you must do when looking for forum backlinks:

  1. Find Authoritative Forums and Blogs: Identify reputable platforms with active discussions in your industry or niche. Seek out forums and blogs with a strong community presence that allow comment links.
  2. Add Value to Discussions: Provide valuable insights, ask thoughtful questions, and share additional resources related to the topic. 

Avoid generic or spammy comments that offer no real contribution. Establish yourself as a credible and knowledgeable participant in the community.

  1. Include Relevant Backlinks: When appropriate and within the forum or blog guidelines, include relevant backlinks to your website within your comments. 

These links should direct readers to additional resources or related content on your website. Ensure that the linked pages provide further value to readers.

  1. Build Relationships and Credibility: Engage in ongoing discussions, respond to other users’ comments, and establish connections with fellow participants. Consistently provide valuable input to build credibility and trust within the community. This can lead to more opportunities for backlinks and collaborations in the future.

The Impacts and  Benefits of Forum and Blog Comment Backlinks

These backlinks play a significant role in diversifying your backlink profile, contributing to it, and establishing your brand as an active participant in relevant discussions. They can drive targeted traffic to your website and attract new visitors who value your expertise.

However, remember that meaningful engagement should be the primary focus rather than solely obtaining backlinks. Genuine participation and valuable contributions lead to visibility, relationships, and natural backlink acquisition.

By actively engaging in discussions, you can strengthen your online presence, build connections, and drive traffic to your website. Regularly monitor forums and blogs in your industry to identify opportunities for engagement and backlink acquisition.


Backlinks play a crucial role in establishing the value and credibility of your content to search engines. They come in various types. And yes, we know it can be a lot to track; that’s why we at The Backlink Company are here to hand you done-and-dusted website SEO solutions!

Natural backlinks are genuine endorsements that occur organically when other websites recognize the quality and credibility of your content. They can originate from industry recognition, content relevance, or online mentions and reviews.

Editorial backlinks are earned through recognition and endorsement from authoritative websites and influencers within your industry. Strategies for obtaining editorial backlinks include identifying relevant influencers, establishing connections, creating high-quality content, and seeking guest contribution opportunities.

Guest post backlinks are acquired by writing and publishing articles on external websites within your industry. This approach lets you showcase your expertise, reach a new audience, and earn valuable backlinks. 

Social media backlinks are generated when users share, like, or comment on your content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And web directory backlinks can be obtained by submitting your website to online directories that categorize and organize websites based on topics or industries. 

Lastly, forum and blog comment backlinks are acquired through active participation in discussions on relevant forums and blogs. Adding value to discussions and including relevant backlinks can drive traffic to your website and establish your brand as an active participant in the community.

Understanding the different types of backlinks and how they contribute to SEO can significantly benefit website owners and digital marketers in establishing their online presence, attracting organic traffic, and establishing authority within their respective industries. 

And remember, you can always contact us if you need help with your backlinking needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the most effective types of backlinks for SEO?

The most effective types of backlinks for SEO are generally natural and editorial backlinks.

Natural backlinks are genuine endorsements from other websites that recognize the quality and credibility of your content. They can come from industry recognition, content relevance, or online mentions and reviews. 

Editorial backlinks, on the other hand, are earned through recognition and endorsement from authoritative websites and influencers within your industry. 

It’s crucial to create high-quality content, establish connections with relevant influencers, and seek guest contribution opportunities to obtain such backlinks.

2. How can I earn natural backlinks for my website?

Earning natural backlinks for your website involves creating valuable and relevant content that others find worth sharing. 

Focus on producing high-quality articles, blog posts, infographics, or videos that provide unique insights or solutions to common problems. Additionally, you can engage with industry communities and influencers, participate in discussions, and build relationships with other website owners

By consistently delivering valuable content and establishing your expertise, you increase the chances of others naturally linking to your website.

3. Is it necessary to disavow low-quality backlinks?

Disavowing low-quality backlinks can be necessary to protect your website’s SEO performance.

Low-quality backlinks come from spammy or irrelevant sources, potentially harming your site’s reputation and rankings. It’s essential to analyze the backlinks carefully before disavowing them, as not all low-quality backlinks need to be disavowed. Focus on identifying backlinks that harm your site’s reputation and rankings. 

Using Google’s Disavow Tool, you can request search engines to ignore these backlinks and prevent them from negatively impacting your SEO.

4. How do social media backlinks impact SEO rankings?

Social media backlinks can have an indirect impact on SEO rankings. 

While search engines don’t consider social media backlinks as direct ranking factors, they play a significant role in driving traffic, increasing brand visibility, and enhancing online presence.

When users share, like, or comment on your content on social media platforms, it can increase engagement, improve brand awareness, and potentially attract natural backlinks from other websites. 

Additionally, social media signals, such as the number of shares or likes, can indirectly influence your website’s visibility and credibility, which may contribute to improved SEO rankings over time.

5. Are comment backlinks still relevant in SEO?

Comment backlinks have become less relevant in SEO than other types. Previously, leaving comments with backlinks on various websites was a common practice to gain link popularity. However, search engines have become more sophisticated and now emphasize the quality and relevance of backlinks. 

Comment backlinks, particularly those from low-quality or irrelevant sources, are often considered spammy and may even result in penalties. Instead, it is more effective to focus on earning natural and editorial backlinks through creating high-quality content, engaging with industry influencers, and building relationships with reputable websites. Although, you should note that comment backlinks add a healthy diversification to your website’s portfolio. 

Adopting these strategies can improve your website’s SEO performance more sustainably and beneficially.

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