How to Get High Quality Backlinks – Building the Fortress

by Jason Acidre on February 24, 2011 · 43 comments · Search

Getting links pointing to your site is easy, as easy as typing your own username and password in an instant. But getting first rate backlinks is very hard and sometimes rare to find. To begin with, what does make a backlink high in quality anyway?

Anatomy of High Caliber BacklinksQuality Linking

  • Topical relevance of the anchor text used with the linking page’s main content.
  • The page title and the content of the linking page are relevant to the destination of the backlink.
  • PageRank of the linking page is 4 or greater.
  • Usage of targeted keywords or rich keyphrase as anchor text.
  • Backlink has a dofollow attribute.
  • Authority and trust rank of the linking domain.
  • Backlinks from .gov and .edu sites.
  • Placement of the backlink is within the body copy if possible.
  • Natural-looking or more likely placed as a reference by satisfied users.
  • Placed on a page that has less than 30 external links.
  • Uniqueness of the linking root domains.
  • Age of the Backlink.
  • Anchor texts used vary in building links.
  • The Backlink’s anchor text meets the needed keyword density in page title (40% or more), body text (1-2%) and anchor text of the destination page.

It’s almost impossible for one incoming link to provide all of the given standards and it only means that you have to find good places in order to get them. So how do we find pages that can provide us with these strong links that are highly favored by search engines and obviously highly beneficial to your rankings?

Let’s go Duck Hunting

Before we get started with “how you can get high quality backlinks”, it’s important to know where to get them first. There are many ways that can be done in searching for where you can leave your links, and I’ll try to give you some of the simplest ways to finding them.

  • Search through It’s best to search for sites within your niche using your targeted keywords (ex. “engagement diamond ring”). After seeing the results, it’s important to find a way how you can get links from them, which I will explain later on.
  • See where your competitors get their links from. You can use SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer to spy on your top competitors’ external links, and then try getting links from them as well.
  • Use dofollow search engines. There are a lot of dofollow search engines that you can use to find sites within your niche such as Pagerush.
  • Manual search for .edu, .gov and dofollow sites. You can directly search them through Google and here’s how:
    • For .edu sites – “loads of shiznit useful links” or “add comment”
    • For .gov sites – “loads of shiznit useful links” or “add comment”
    • For dofollow blogs – “loads of shiznit yourname@yourkeywords” (to target blogs that have keywordluv and commentluv)

While searching for pages to get links from, you will also need to be sure that they are good pages before including them to your list of prospects. For every page/site that you visit, you will always need to check these things:

  • The Pagerank of the homepage should be at least 3, if not, just skip it!
  • See if the blog allows dofollow links on their comment section and you have to make sure that they do if you find some. You can use tools such as Affilorama SEO Toolbar (a Mozilla Firefox plugin that can be downloaded for free) in detecting dofollow and nofollow links.
  • If they don’t allow dofollow attributed links on their comments, you will have to find other chances of getting a link from them, like possible guest blog posting or link to them as resource if you think that your site has something of more value that fits the place.
  • Check if the blog regularly updates. If the last update is further than 5 months, pass over it, even if it has a very high page rank.
  • See the numbers of external links the page is linking to. Skip the page if it has more than 50 links on it.

How to Get High Quality Backlinks

  1. Blog Commenting – you may think that this one is easy, but it’s not, especially when you are shooting for quality. The key to a successful plot here is to “add something valuable and compelling” to the discussion or to the post itself and DON’T SPAM.
    • Target blogs that have “top commentators” to gain links from all of the site’s active pages. Be sure that it’s dofollow!
    • Befriend the site owner/manager by commenting first on his most recent post before digging through his high PR pages/posts.
    • Contribute to the topic and don’t glorify the author too much.
  2. Guest Blog Posting. Contact the site manager and request for a guest blog post, if it’s possible. Try searching through his topics and see if something is missing, then there you can suggest what you can do to complement his existing topics. It’s also important that you follow his guidelines as well as to make sure that your site and his are completely relevant with each other. Provide informative content! Oh, one more thing, be nice!
  3. Link Request. I’m not really a fan of reciprocal linking, so as long as you can find chances of having one way links from them just grab it. You can always try, right? Just contact them and ask nicely if they are interested to link to you and give reasons why they should. And also, always tell your prospect to feel free to suggest if they have any other ideas in mind that can both help your sites’ objectives.
  4. Bargain for the Link. If the first three are not possible to be attained, try bargaining for it. You can email or call the site manager personally to threaten him, nah, I’m just kidding. Ok, here’s the deal, contact the site manager and offer a deal that he can never refuse to. Here are some samples:
    • Try asking for a link placement or just by being mentioned on a particular post/page and in exchange you’ll give them 50 dofollow backlinks from other sites (not including yours) in 24 hours. Well, I have managed to do this once and I’ll probably discuss this on a future post.    
    • You can also suggest an article exchange in which you will have both quality links for each site. If you’re desperate, you can suggest that you’ll be making both articles for a much enticing offer. Though I don’t recommend this step, perhaps I’ll do this if the site partner has PR 7 to 9.
    • Don’t offer to purchase links! Google hates paid links. Just ask nicely and barter your way around it. There are a lot of ways you can offer or arrange to get a single link through them.  
  5. Target in-content links. It’s said to have more value than any other links, knowing that they are absolutely relevant and they are certain to stay for a very long time. Chances of having these placements can only be possible through guest postings (if allowed) and if you have successfully persuaded some through link requests (particularly with .edu and .gov resources). However, there are other ways that you can do to get this kind of powerful backlinks for your site’s long term goals. Here are some:
    • Create quality content and submit to authority and trusted article submission sites such as,,, and Search engines index these sites fast and by building links on your submitted articles or syndicating their RSS feeds will help improve their page rank as well. In addition to that, if your article gives a lot of good information, it can be picked up and posted on other sites, which will give you more quality and in-content backlinks.
    • You can also try paid article services like SEOLinkVine if you are in a hurry in getting quality and in-content backlinks. Well, it’s an online service wherein you can submit your articles and will be automatically picked up by thousands of sites/blogs within their network to be used as their content with your links not removed of course.

I’m not really done with this list yet, but I feel that this will take so much space if I keep on going. So I’ll just keep my finishing touches crisp and short. Stop reading more SEO tips and start acting on things for them to happen!

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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