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Ultimate Link Building Guide

Link Building Guide

The Definition Of Link Building

Backlinks - also known as inbound links - are incoming links to a website or web page. The quantity and ԛuаntitу of ѕuсh inbоund linkѕ affect directly your rankings in search engines. There are twо main tуреѕ оf backlinks; one-way bасklinkѕ and rесiрrосаl backlinks. The оnе way bасklinkѕ are far much more important than reciprocal backlinks.

Link Building - is the process of acquiring backlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (or simply a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites.

The nature, number, and quality of your backlinks massively contribute to your search engine organic rankings. This is one reason why many webmasters and internet marketers take the topic of link building very seriously.

Types Of Backlinks

  1. Directory Links: Those are the links that come from directories. Remember, the best backlinks are those which are relevant.

  2. Article Links: Those links comes from published articles. They are natural contextual links. They can be really powerful when they are coming from highly relevant and authority websites.

  3. Guest Blogging Links: Those types of links are obtained when you write a post on another blog. 

  4. Blog Comment Links: Those types of links are obtained when you comment on a blog while referring to your own website. Not all websites allow comments and the majority of them who does append the rel=”nofollow” tag to all of their posts.

  5. Forum Comment Links: Similar to blog comments, but they come from the comments placed in forums.

  6. Social Bookmark Links: Those websites organize the favorite websites of people and allow them to share their feedback on them.

  7. Web 2.0 Links: Those are popular backlinks that come from a wide range of websites that provides users a way to create their own pages, sites or community pages. Web 2.0 allows users to share their information and web sites.

  8. Press Release Links: The press release backlinks are still considered an effective type of links even after the latest Google’s update. Press release sites are similar to article websites, but they are directed to the news and media.

  9. (.GOV) and (.EDU) Links: Those are backlinks that come from reputable educational and governmental websites.

  10. Links from Private Blog Networks (PBNs): This is an extremely popular link building technique and sole powerful
    types of links. We have a full section about it in here. As a short overview, those are the links you build from your own websites and acquired networks.

  11. Link Bait and Natural Links: When you focus on the quality of the content and providing value, you will be encouraging others to backlink naturally to you. That is also called link bait if it is done intentionally.

The Elements Of Perfect Backlinks

A perfect backlink must have the following features:

  • Quality: It must be coming from a high-quality website. Quality is generally determined by the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) which are two scores developed by Moz. MajesticSEO also has two scores that predict the quality of the domain. They are called Trust Flow and Citation Flow.

  • Relevancy: It must be coming from a relevant website to your industry or niche.

  • Contextually: Natural contextual links within the content of the web page are much better than other kinds of links like (footer links or links from banner ads and such).

Anatomy Of Backlinks

Note: Google's PageRank (PR) is not a usable metric anymore as Google stopped updating it with no future interest in maintaining it since the 5th of December 2013. You should stop checking it and avoid any website that is still considering it as a main metric.

White Hat SEO Techniques That Always Work!

Best White Hat Link Building Strategies

Strategy 1 - Content-Based Link Building:


The core principle of this strategy is to create a high-quality piece of content that will attract visitors and people in your niche to engage with it.


There are several types of content that you can use:

  • Data Visualization & Infographics.
  • Tutorials & Guides.
  • Slideshows & Videos.

You create one or more of these high-quality assets that are relevant to your niche then you reach out to those people who are interested to read or see such content. Those webmasters or writers that you reach out to will link back to your piece of content if they found it relevant, useful and of high quality. Over time, you will find others linking back to you without you even asking for links or reaching out.

Strategy 2 - Guest Blogging Link Building:


Guest blogging is the process of approaching other webmasters to see if they will publish a piece of content that you write on their blog or website. This is a very effective way to earn links but you need to keep in mind that low-quality content and over-optimized anchor text submissions don't work anymore. You need to have a high-quality content that is extremely relevant to your targetted niche written professionally with images and videos if applicable.

Strategy 3 - Ego Bait Link Building:


Ego bait is a type of link building when you feature or mention a certain webmaster or website in your content or through a special section of your site. When doing so, those blog owners would feel more inclined to share the content that they got featured in. They might link to it or share it on their social networks.

Here are some examples:

  • A list of top blogs to follow.
  • A list of top influential people to follow.
  • A list of award-winning websites.
  • Top designs to consider this year.
  • Top blogs to read this year.
  • Top tutorials from a list of experts.

There are many different ways you can use this strategy and get connected with other people in your niche.

Strategy 4 - Broken Link Building:


Broken Link Building is a technique that involves finding and replacing broken links that exist on top valuable relevant websites. Broken link building is a very popular practice that works on the premise of helping webmasters fix their broken links by providing a superior alternative for them to link to.

Step 1: Find the broken links on relevant sites.

Step 2: Create the high-quality content that will replace the broken web pages.

Step 3: Outreach.

Strategy 5 - Link Reclamation:


Link Reclamation is the process of fixing or "reclaiming" links that once pointed at your site, or point to your website but fail to provide any SEO value.

There are many different types of strategies:

Not Found Pages (404): These are links that point to pages on your website that no longer exist. You can either redirect, fix these links or ask the webmaster to change the link for you.

Non-linking Brand Mentions: It is when someone writes about your website or brand without linking to it. Reaching our to those websites might allow you to get the right links with ease.

Non-Linking Images: It is when someone posts your own images or web assets without any credits or attributions. You can simply email that webmaster asking kindly for a link before considering filling up a copyright or a DMCA.

Most Popular White Hat Link Building Strategies

Most Popular White Hat Link Building Strategies

The Art Of Link Baiting

Link bait is a content on your website that other websites link to because they found it useful or important. It is good to note that link baiting is all centered around the idea of building great engaging and compelling content for your website.

Click on the below image to view it in full size:

Link Baiting Life Cycle

The Power Of Content Marketing & Link Building

Link Building Through Content Marketing

Best White Hat Link Building Techniques

Getting Backlinks The Right Way!
  • Technique 01 - Natural Highly Relevant Blog Commenting.
  • Technique 02 - Premium Press Release Writing & Submission.
  • Technique 03 - Testimonials Writing & Submission.
  • Technique 04 - High Quality & Relevant Directories Submission.
  • Technique 05 - Submission To (.EDU) Resource Pages.
  • Technique 06 - Submission To Feedback Websites.
  • Technique 07 - Submission To Audio Sharing Sites.
  • Technique 08 - Submission To Blog Aggregators.
  • Technique 09 - Links Acquisition By Donating To Charities.
  • Technique 10 - Links Acquisition By Giving Reviews.
  • Technique 11 - Links Acquisition By Giving Testimonials.
  • Technique 12 - Linking From Social Media Accounts.
  • Technique 13 - Link Aquisition Through High-Quality Content & Outreaching (following the strategies mentioned in the previous section).

Best Link Building Strategies

Best Gray Hat Link Building Strategies

The Art Of Gray Hat SEO

Strategy 1 - Tiered Link Building:


Tiered Link Building is a strategy that involves building backlinks in tiers or layers to increase the power of those links that points directly to your website. Usually, marketers create two to three tiers or four in some rare cases. Tiered link building can be extremely dangerous and harmful if it is misused or done the wrong way.

3 Useful Tips:

  1. Never use automated link building programs directly on your website. You "may" use them occasionally and very intelligently in your second or third tiers.
  2. Never buy mass link building packages or blast your website with thousands of links that take the shape of a pyramid or a wheel. Those old techniques do not work anymore and have no future in modern search engines.
  3. Never use unreadable content in any tier or link building campaign you make.

Note: Check the next section for more details about this strategy.

Strategy 2 - Private Blog Networks (PBNs):


A Private Blog Network (PBN) is a group of blogs on aged domains and hosted on different servers with different IPs. These blogs are created to simulate natural quality backlinks to the owner’s money site.

Setting up the right PBN require resources, deep knowledge, and high-quality content. For this reason, we have dedicated a whole section for it in this guide.

Tiered Link Building

The Tiered Link Building technique is one of the most popular techniques in building links and promoting your website. It can be easily misused though which can lead to terrible results. There are many variations of pyramids and formulas you can follow, but our most trusted formula for tiered link building goes as follows.

Part 1 - Elements Of A Robust Tiered Link Building Campaign:

  • The 1st Tier must be high-quality backlinks that are coming from relevant trusted sources. (Examples Include: High Authority Domain Names and High-Quality Web 2.0s).
  • The 2nd Tier must also be a set of quality backlinks that can strengthen the power of your first tier. (Examples Include: Quality Social Bookmarks, Quality Blog Comments, Wiki Backlinks, and Relevant Guest Posts).
  • The 3rd Tier of backlinks are not mandatory but surely can help if done correctly. Many search engine optimizers create them using link building programs like GSA.

Part 2 - The Labinator's Formula Of Tired Link Building:

  • Tier #1: Manually created contextual links from authority blogs using high quality, relevant, and unique content.
  • Tier #1: Manually created Web 2.0 blogs (e.g. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr) with relevant unique content, custom images and videos.
  • Tier #2: Manually created contextual links from high-quality PBNs with unique content, images, and videos.
  • Tier #2: Diverse links from high-quality web 2.0 articles, social bookmarks, and profile links.
  • Tier #3: Can be similar to Tier #2 backlinks.

Note: Between each tier, there must be a natural wave of social signals for best possible results.

Part 3  - Recommended SEO Tools For Building Tier #3 Backlinks:

GSA Search Engine Ranker: It is one of the most popular tools for finding and building backlinks. It is not recommended though to use it for your Tier #1 backlinks.

Part 4  - Generating Content For Your Tier #3 Backlinks:

At all times, your tier #1 and tier #2 backlinks must be original, unique and holds real value. Your tier #3 backlinks must also be readable, relevant and useful. If you are using a link building program - like our recommended one (GSA) - for your third tiers, then you can also check the robust tool (KontentMachine) for generating the content.

Part 5  - Using Private Proxies:

When you start using link building programs for your tiers, you need also to use private proxies to protect your links.

Part 6 - Outsource The Process:

You can also outsource the whole process and let our experts do all the work for you. You can check our high-quality affordable white label SEO gigs for that.

Building Private Blog Networks (PBN)

Private Blog Network (PBN) is a technique derived from the concept of "Marketing By Acquisition". It is the process of buying websites or domain names and converting them to properties that relate to your niche. Thereafter, those websites can be served as marketing tools for your main website. This also exists in real businesses, when one company acquire another company to strengthen its position in the market and improve its sales. Although it can add up to be a slightly expensive marketing technique, but it surely worth it when done the right way. In the following paragraphs, we will highlight the main steps for building your own private blog network.

Part 1 - Elements Of A Strong PBN:

  • All the websites that you acquire or buy must be of high quality and not penalized.

  • You must always add unique, original and useful content to your newly acquired websites.

  • All the websites must be hosted on different A-Class IPs. C-Class IP diversification is not enough anymore.

  • All the websites must have a proper decent design with clear navigation and proper on-page optimization.

  • Preferably if those sites or expired domains were previously related to your niche.

  • All the backlinks that are coming from your private blog network must be natural, within the context of the articles and not overly optimized. 95% of your hyperlinks must have your brand name, website name, website URL and other generic terms - as in "click here", "here", "this link" and such.

Part 2 - Finding, Bidding, and Buying Domains:

There are many tools, services, brokers and websites up there to find, bid and buy expired domains from. One free website for expired domain research is: ExpiredDomains.net

Part 3 - How To Find The Right Domains?

Finding the right domain can be a tedious task among millions of available domains. However, if you follow the tips below, you will be able to sort them pretty easily.

  • The domain names must have a Citation Flow of at least 17.

  • The domain name must have a Trust Flow of at least 17.

  • The domain name must have a Domain Authority (DA) of at least 20.

  • The domain name must have a Page Authority (PA) of at least 20.

  • Completely ignore the Google PageRank (PR) as it became outdated and irrelevant.

  • You need to check the backlinking profile of the domain before bidding or purchasing it. You can do that easily using SEMrush, Open Site Explorer, and Majestic SEO.

  • The domain name must not be penalized and it must be listed as the first result when typing its full name or URL in Google's search box.

  • Preferably if the domain name is at least 1-year-old.

Note 1: The "Citation Flow" and "Trust Flow" are two metrics used by Majestic-12 Ltd.

Note 2: The "Domain Authority (DA)" and "Page Authority (PA)" are two metrics used by Moz, Inc.

Part 4 - Building and Hosting Your Domain Names:

After acquiring your domain names, you need to host them on different Class-A IPs. The best way to do that is by hosting the websites under different hosting companies that operate their services in different countries. SEO dedicated hosting services are not safe anymore so be careful when registering in any of them.

Part 5 - How To Build Your Backlinks From Your Private Blog Network?

For building your backlinks, try following the guide below for best results:

  • Your anchor text must be a combination of your money keywords and niche related keywords. Always use different keywords on different domains to maintain a natural link building profile. Mix those up with the image type of backlinks.

  • Every domain in your PBN must not link to your site more than 3 times at most. Ideally, two times is enough.

  • You should not link from every page of your domain to your site. 1 to 3 links at most from the homepage will be more than enough.

  • You should not link to the same page over and over again. Target different pages across different domains in a logical natural way (e.g. home page, product pages, service pages, and blog posts).

  • The vast majority of your PBN backlinks must be contextual coming from high-quality articles with images and videos.

  • Always follow our complete on-page optimization guide to fully optimize all your pages and posts.

  • Always have an external link to authority websites like Wikipedia in all of your domains.

  • Never connect or link your blog network sites together in any way, shape or form.

  • To hide your track and marketing plan from your competitors, you need to block all SEO analysis programs, bots, and services.

  • Make sure all your posts and articles are readable, useful and of high quality.

  • Always maintain and update your blog network websites and keep them fresh and useful.

Part 6 - How To Choose The Right Anchor Text

Keeping your link building profile natural is mandatory when building backlinks. A common mistake among many marketers around is that they use certain percentages when deciding on their anchor text. A better more natural way would be to pick the right anchor text for every specific type of link you are building. A detailed guide is listed below:

  • Profile Links, Citations, and Directories: Those type of backlinks must have either Branded or Naked URL anchor text.

  • Blog Comments & Social Shares: Those type of backlinks must have Naked URL anchor text.

  • Media Coverage, Outreach, and Press Releases: Those type of backlinks can have a variety of anchor text including Branded, Naked URL, Generic, and niche related ones. The most popular choice would be Branded and Naked URL, followed by Generic.

  • Private Blog Networks (PBNs) and Blog Posts: Those type of backlinks must take various anchor text variations for best results. That includes your money keywords and other niche related keywords.

[ New Update For 2017 ]

Expired domains have now less effect in PBNs than the previous years especially when you completely change the original niche of your purchased expired domain. The best you can do in respect to that is to find highly relevant expired domains that used to feature content related to your current niche.

[ For Reference ]

  • Branded Keywords: Keywords that contain your brand name (e.g. Labinator, Labinator Solutions).

  • Naked URLs: Keywords that contain your full URL (e.g. www.labinator.com, https://www.labinator.com, www.labinator.com).

  • Generic Keywords: General keywords that can be used for anything (e.g. click here, learn more, visit us, more details, more information).

  • Money Keywords: Keywords that include your list of targeted phrases that you want to rank for. This also includes your long tail keywords.

  • Niche Related Keywords: Keywords that are highly related to your niche and your money keywords.

Note 1: It is a good practice to target different pages depending on the type of backlink that you are building. You can link to your home page, product pages, service pages, and your blog posts. For example, branded and naked URL type of keywords should logically lead to home pages rather than product/service pages or blog posts. Long tail keywords and niche related keywords are more logically to be leading to product/service pages or blog posts rather than home pages. There is no precise rule that covers that, but the idea here is to keep them natural and user-friendly as much as possible.

Note 2: Always add good value when building backlinks. Write unique useful articles and keep your readers and visitors in mind above all. When your visitors are satisfied, your conversion rate will increase along with your authority level.

Social Signals and User Interaction

Starting from December 2014 and onward, Google started paying more attention to metrics like bounce rates, user interaction, social signals and other related user-based behaviors. That is extremely important to keep in mind when building backlinks. Google became more intelligent than before at analyzing user behaviors and measuring popularity and bounce rates.

To strengthen your backlinks, you need now to improve your visitor's experience by providing high-quality engaging content and interacting with your fans on social media networks. It is also advised to get social links to your existing backlinks as that helps your rankings and current authority levels.

Outsource Your Link Building & Internet Marketing

If you are running a business and simply don't have the time or the right team, then you can let our experts handle all the marketing tasks for you. Our company can cover all your internet marketing needs. Get started today by checking our complete internet marketing services that cover everything you need to rank online and drive real targeted traffic to your website.

(Last Updated On: 27/11/2017)
Roland Zelhof
Roland Zelhof

An online entrepreneur and the founder of Labinator.com. He has more than 8+ years of experience in web development and digital marketing. He is also a video game developer and open source advocator.