10 Types of Links that Really Matter and How to Get them

By on Feb 21, 2013 in Search | 37 comments

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Links will always be important in digital marketing (and will definitely remain as an important element of the web). It won’t ever be devalued as a mean to market a website, because links simply move people across places over the web.

There are so many methods that can be used to build links, but there are only a few that can really make an impact and help brands achieve their business goals (awareness and/or revenue more often than not).

Links that really matter these days are links that can hit businesses’ bottom line, as very well explained by Paddy on his recent post on SEOmoz.

It’s imperative to be smart when it comes to link acquisition campaigns to really add value to your client’s business and to truly take more steps ahead of their competitors.

And in order to accomplish that, you’ll need to start focusing on high-value tactics to get maximum results. Because at the end of the day, results will always be more important than the volume of links you have acquired for your client.

So how would you do that? Try applying the 80/20 principle in choosing the strategies you implement. Think and aim higher for the links you try to acquire, for them to meet what your client actually needs.

Links that are intended for traffic generation, sales/conversions and branding serve as strong signals that search engines can use to reward you with better search rankings.

Great results will always be existent if you embrace that principle and approach link building with that mindset.

So in this post, I’ll be covering the kinds of links that are capable of touching all these 4 points (traffic, conversions, branding and rankings) and the marketing activities and processes that will help you get them.

Contextual and Editorial Links

I’ve written a post 2 weeks ago about how to get contextual links (and 2 years ago about getting editorial links), which explain why they are so powerful.

Links placed within the body of a content benefits sites in so many ways, given that it’s one of the strongest signals around that search engines use to assess sites’ topical relevance, popularity and authority.


Notable advantages of having been featured on other publications/blogs’ content are:

How to get them:

Courtesy of: Informly

Links from Ranking Webpages

Getting links from pages that are already ranking on search results for both short and long tail queries matter a lot for so many reasons. But the first reason that really comes into mind is because, in a way, they are already considered as trusted sources by Google.

Why these linking pages matter?:

How to get them:

Join popular discussions in your online space (popular blog posts, forum threads, discussions on Q&A sites like Quora and/or online communities like News Hacker, Reddit and Inbound.org).

Popular discussions are more apt to be more visible on search results (especially for long-tails), since they contain most of the signals that search engines look for when ranking pages.

Adding value to these discussions and making sure that your contribution will standout will help you entice more of their incoming visitors to check out your site.


Seed content on high authority UGC and document sharing sites (like Slideshare, Youtube, Pinterest, etc…). These sites have strong search share, which means your content hosted on these sites have better chances of ranking for your targeted industry terms.

You’ll be able to absorb continual traffic and build brand awareness, as your content on these sites get search-driven traffic.

Guest blog on authority sites in your field. Use some of your targeted keywords when contributing content on other publications in your industry, to get long-term value from your guest posts.

Get links from resources and/links pages that are already ranking for industry terms using the broken link building technique.

Basically, there are 2 ways to get links from pages that have good search rankings:

Links from Authentic Reviews

Links from positive online reviews are definitely one of the most sought after marketing opportunities by any business that offers products/services.

Why does it matter?


How to get them:

Links from Strong Social Brand Pages

Integrating content strategy with social media is a very effective approach in link building. Many people discover great content through social sharing, and that’s why it’s very vital to have strong social brand pages on social platforms where your target audience is.

Why does it matter?

brand pages

How to build a strong following base for your social brand pages:

Interview Links

Interviews can be very powerful as a marketing arsenal. I’ve received ton of client inquiries over the past years just because of this marketing method, wherein many have found my business through these interviews (even from group interviews/crowdsourced content).

Why does it matter?

How to get them:

Newsletter Links

One of my blog posts last month got featured on SEOmoz’s newsletter 2 weeks ago.


Knowing that their Moz Top 10 newsletter series has thousands of subscribers, getting viral traffic was almost certain. My blog received 7,000+ hits through that single link.


Why does it matter?

How to get them:

Recurring Links from regular contributions (columns)

I strongly believe that this method is the future of scalable and effective link building, content marketing and online branding, which I will be explaining why shortly.

But before that, I’ll first give an example. Julie Joyce is one of the most respected link builders in the industry. She’s also a regular contributor/columnist on these sites:


Why does it matter?

How to get them:

Constantly creating useful content on your site and promoting them effectively can also lead to getting invitations to become a contributor on larger sites. For instance, I was invited before to become a columnist on Technorati for that very reason.

.Edu and .Gov links

Links from .edu and .gov sites are known to be authoritative, since these domains are highly trusted by search engines.

Why do they matter?

How to get them:

Press Coverage

Press mentions are definitely a powerful way to make a brand look more amazing to its target audience. It’s also a great way for a brand or a product to be discovered by people.

press mentions

Coverage like that – can simply result to this:


That’s why having a great product and a good marketing strategy is a force to reckon with.

Why does it matter?

How to get them:

Don’t be afraid to pitch, if you have something that’s really newsworthy.

Natural Links from Online Discussions

This is quite similar with how you can get contextual links. The only difference is that they are placed within the discussions (comment threads).


Why does it matter?

How to get them:

Bonus:  How to Earn Visibility and Links

I just want to share this awesome slide presentation by Kevin Gibbons on using content marketing to get higher visibility and more links.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and you can follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.


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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  1. Joshua Dorkin

    February 21, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Awesome post as always, Jason. Great tips. I would just warn those people who are thinking of plugging their sites in forums to be sure of the culture on the different sites. Quora doesn’t have a problem with related links, but MANY other sites do not like that stuff and will quickly label you as a spammer for it.

  2. Ali

    February 21, 2013

    Post a Reply

    guest posts are most safe part for taking backlinks.. i preferred newbies to do , guest posts and share quality posts in their own websites.
    Forums, you can get backlinks and visibility among readers, if you answer their problems…

  3. Rank Watch

    February 21, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I like the way you have put in different perspective of link building. Very clear and articulate information. The more you follow detailed and specific step-process, the better you have chances of building your network way superior than others. Being unique, clear and perfect is the key.

  4. Crackethill

    February 21, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Thanks a lot for these posts. Very Relevant content that helps anyone who is looking to improve their search engine visibility.

  5. Marko Saric

    February 22, 2013

    Post a Reply

    This is very extensive and very useful. I’ve written down few things that are now on my list to try out. Perfect example of useful content you are talking about in the post itself.

  6. Dean Marsden

    February 22, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Great selection of different links you can get and the reasons why. Thanks Jason, picked up some useful tips from this post. Good post to explain to SEO’s how hard they should be working to get good quality links instead of wasting time on quick wins from low quality links.

  7. Jeff Machado

    February 22, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I really like the idea of creating an affiliate program for getting the types of links that matter. Of course, everything you pointed to about relationships seems to be the foundation of getting the types of links that matter so it’s worth it for all of us to focus relentlessly on getting to know others and not just being anonymous web people.

    You’re doing great stuff here – epic resources indeed that I know I’ll be referring back to.


  8. Tariehk

    February 22, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I like the idea of offering guest blog post an opportunity to be in your affiliate program. Our company makes it easy for anyone to setup an affiliate program and we often tell our users that now that they have an affiliate program setup, they should go after guest blog post and let users know they have an affiliate program.

  9. Willem de Vries

    February 23, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Great post Jason. I agree that in today’s scenario links are significant in online advertising. Acquiring quality links to your website is the toughest thing to do in the field of SEO. I also think content is the most important aspect and a crucial component in getting links and driving quality and targeted traffic to your site.

  10. Devesh

    February 24, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Another fantastic post, Jason. I think communities, discussion boards and forums are great way to get backlinks, but one need to be very careful about what he shares with those users.

    I’ve been using sites like DigitalPoint & Warrior Forum and they have done a good job in sending me hundreds of visits every month (apart from the quality links).

    Thanks for this epic post, Jason. Have a great week ahead.

  11. Salman Ahmad

    February 25, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Thanks for the great tips. I can’t wait to start putting some of them to use, especially the tips on using reviews to attract links. People are starving for experts to filter out some of the noise on the web, so if you can convince them you know about a particular subject, they will listen and tell others, as well.

  12. jossef

    February 28, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Just amazing, i think one of your strategy can cover all the worthless link buildings everyone is doing, being unique effective and targeting the high value with link building is how to play this game. thanks for this amazing very rich post

  13. Rupert

    March 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Thanks for the post jason. yes, links are very important for web marketing but publishers should be very careful when doing this. With the latest update on google, everything that is too much is bad for your site.

  14. It looks like it’s difficult to follow this awesome tips but I would love to try this out for my own site. Very impressive post and what I uttered while reading this was just “wow!”. I was astonished with how much effort you put into this worth reading post. Thanks for this heads-up post.

  15. Rambo Ruiz

    March 5, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Been trying to learn how to do SEO and all I know is how to build links but never did I came across any link building technique like you have here Jason. Salamat!

  16. Wow, epic post. To the commenter above that is getting links from Digital Point and Warrior Forum, I’d stop. Unnatural links are going to get you penalized. Produce good content, and market it using some of the methods mentioned in the article above and you’ll get your results in a much safer fashion. What good are results if they don’t last?

    • Bryan,

      Those methods are most definitely not going to help for much longer. It’s harder to achieve these types of links that Jason speaks of but their worth it.

      From my own marrketing stand point, I’ve found it harder to try and stand out and more contextual links. Outside or writing guest blog posts, you have to do some special to get a link from a well trusted site like this. It’s as if the smaller markets need to work together to link to eachother since all the big wings tend to link to eachother. I guess I’m saying it’s harder to break through.

      For clients, it’s really easy to stand out!

  17. Patrick Tasner

    March 14, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Getting links from quality sources is very important than having a huge quantity from low quality sites. This info inspires me to keep going in spite of tough competition online. Thanks Jason for sharing such awesome and worth reading information here.

  18. Jessica

    March 20, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Great post Jason. I agree that in today’s scenario links are significant in online advertising. Acquiring quality links to your website is the toughest thing to do in the field of SEO.

  19. great post i think it covers the wholec concept of seo i follwed almost the same pattern nd now have a good traffic to my site !! i wish i could find this post earlier would have saved lot of time 😛

  20. Donna Menner

    April 22, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Link building is very difficult for the newbie, especially when you try to find blogs or forums to post on that have some relativity to your products that you sell on your website. So, would “do follow links” from say for example sports blogs that link to my business which is senior products, would that be good or bad in Google’s mind? The subjects aren’t related at all.

  21. It’s impressive that you not only tell us what to do to get more and better links, you give us a process on how to achieve those goals. Thank you.

    I am really interested in getting links to my sites in newsletters. And I also like the idea of posting job openings at colleges to get an .edu link. I’ve been thinking of adding a job listing for an intern at some local colleges. If they have an online listing, that’ll provide me that .edu link.

    Thanks again,

  22. Sharath@TechWeirdo

    December 30, 2013

    Post a Reply

    How on earth did I find this page this late. Wonderful post. With 2014 in a couple of days, I think the type of links mentioned in the post are going to gain a lot of weight.

  23. Zahid

    November 19, 2014

    Post a Reply

    HI Jason Acidre,

    I think you have almost explained all the links we need to do for our website to bring site up in google.

    I will try to create these for my own blog

  24. What a fantastic list of resources – we have just recently discovered your blog while researching some unpopular SEO strategies. We have quite a list ourselves once our marketing website is populated, but we will be keeping tabs on your website.

    Thanks again for this article – we will be recommending to other webmasters locally.

  25. Dan

    May 30, 2015

    Post a Reply

    Hello Jason. My name is Dan and I am a founder of Self Employment Ideas website. Thanks for a very inspiring and informative article about on-line marketing and link building. It’s a great value and a perfect example for the people (and myself) looking for the fresh ideas on-line and the new ways to succeed in internet marketing world.
    “The path to success is to take a massive, determined action” – Tony Robbins.
    Cheers and have a nice day!
    My regards,
    Founder of website http://www.selfemploymentideas365.com
    Self Employment Ideas – From Opportunities & Challengers to Prosperity

  26. Siddaiah

    October 15, 2015

    Post a Reply

    Hi Jason,

    I am recently started building backlinks to my blog because I have 130+ articles on my blog not able to get huge traffic from search engines because I don’t have many backlinks to my blog, I was searching articles regarding backlinks strategy and I found this article on Backlinko website.

    This is very informative article backlinks I am bookmarking this article to refer it later, thank you very much for sharing complete information about types of links and how to get them.


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