Types of Backlinks: A Comprehensive Guide

Backlinks are a crucial part of the search engine optimisation process. But what are they, and why are they so important?

Types of Backlinks

In this guide to the types of backlinks, we'll break down the basics of backlinks, explaining their role and why they matter for your website. If you're looking to understand the value of backlinks in SEO, you're in the right place.


The Role of Backlinks in SEO and Their Importance

Backlinks in SEO

Backlinks function as references from one website to another. When a reputable site links to yours, it's an indication to search engines that your content is credible and authoritative.


Not all backlinks are equal. Links from established, well-regarded websites are more valuable than numerous links from lesser-known sources. It's important to focus on securing high-quality backlinks for best results.


Backlinks play a significant role in determining where your website appears in search engine results. High-quality backlinks can enhance your site's visibility, positioning it higher in search rankings.


For users, backlinks serve as pathways to additional relevant information, helping them explore related content and deepening their understanding of a topic.


Backlinks are critical for search engine optimisation. They help search engines trust your website and guide users to valuable content.


Understanding Backlink Quality

Why Backlinks Matter

Backlinks work best when they make sense. If you have a website about pet care, a link from a trusted veterinary site is a big win. It's like getting a thumbs-up from someone who knows their stuff. 


This type of relevant link can help your website rank better in search results and attract more visitors.


Not all websites are seen as equals. Some have built a strong reputation over time. When such a respected website links to yours, it's a big deal. 


It's like getting a recommendation from a top expert in your field. Tools like Ahrefs' Domain Rating can help you figure out how respected a website is. Remember, a few links from these top-tier sites can do wonders for your website's reputation.


Where a link is placed on a page matters. Think of it this way: a link in the main part of an article is like a speaker giving you a shout-out during their main talk. In contrast, a link in the footer is like a mention in passing at the end. Naturally, links in the main content get more attention and are more valuable.


Exploring Different Types of Backlinks


Imagine the internet as a bustling city, and backlinks as the roads connecting different neighbourhoods. Just as roads vary in size, purpose, and quality, so do backlinks. 


Let's start our journey through the diverse avenues of backlinks, understanding their origins and significance.

A Guide to Backlink Types

By Link Building Process:


Natural Recommendations - Organic Backlinks:


These are links you earn without actively seeking them. When another website finds your content useful and links to it on their own, that's an organic backlink. It's a sign that your content is valuable and recognised by others in the digital community.


Collaborative Content - Guest Post Links:


This involves writing content for another website in exchange for a backlink. It's a mutual benefit: the hosting website gets quality content, and you get a valuable link back to your site.


News Mentions - Press Release Links:


When you share news or updates about your business and it gets picked up by media or news websites, you can earn backlinks. It's essential that the news is genuine and newsworthy to be effective.


Community Participation - Backlinks from Forums & Q&A Websites:


Participating in online discussions, like those on forums or platforms like Quora, can earn you backlinks. The key is to contribute meaningful insights and only link to your content when it adds value to the discussion.


The Controversial Shortcut - PBN Backlinks:


Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are groups of websites set up to link back to a primary site. While they can provide a boost in backlinks, they come with risks. Search engines can penalise sites using PBNs, as they're often seen as trying to game the system.


Active Engagement - Outreach/Niche Edit Type Links:


This is about contacting related websites and asking if they can add a link to their content or make new content that links to your site. It's a hands-on way to make sure your links fit well and help both sites.


High-Value Endorsements - Government & Education Links:


Links from government and education sites are valuable. They're trusted and can help your website rank better. But to get a link from these sites, your content needs to be top-notch and relevant.


Listing and Sharing - Directories & Web 2.0:


Directories are like phone books for websites. Some are good, but others aren't. Web 2.0 sites, like Blogger, let people make and share content. You can get backlinks from these places by making good content and linking to your main site. Just make sure your content is fresh and helpful.


By Payment Type:


Freely Given - Free Links:


These are links you earn naturally. When your content is valuable and relevant, other websites might link to it as a resource. It's a sign that your content is appreciated and recognized in the digital community.


Business Deals - Paid Links:


Some websites offer link placements for a fee. While this can quickly increase your backlinks, it's important to label them as "sponsored." Search engines require this transparency, and not doing so can lead to penalties. Always ensure you're following guidelines when opting for paid links.


Barter System - Links Acquired in Exchange for Services:


At times, you might offer a service or product to another website in return for a backlink. For example, giving a product for review can result in a link back to your site. It's a trade-off, beneficial for both sides. However, it's important to be transparent about such exchanges to maintain trust with your audience.


By Page Position:


Main Content - Links in Text:


These are links found within the main body of articles or blog posts. They're directly related to the topic being discussed, making them valuable for readers and search engines alike.


Visual Cues - Links Inside Images:


Some images, like infographics or banners, can be clicked on to redirect users to another site. If the image offers useful information, it can be an effective way to gain a backlink.


Endnotes - Links in the Footer:


Links at the bottom of a website, often showcasing partners or clients, are called footer links. While they're less prominent than main content links, they still provide some SEO benefits.


Interactive Tools - Links in the Widget:


If you've created a tool or small application that others use on their website, it can include a link back to your site. This is a more indirect way to gain backlinks but can be effective if the widget is valuable to users.


By Link Attribute:


Green Signal - Dofollow Links:


These are standard links that allow search engines to follow them and pass authority to the linked page. They positively influence search rankings and are a sign of endorsement from one site to another.


Proceed with Caution - Nofollow Links:


These links instruct search engines not to pass authority to the linked page. They're commonly used in situations where the linking site doesn't want to vouch for the authenticity of the linked content, such as user-generated comments.


Paid Endorsements - Sponsored Links:


When a link is the result of a commercial arrangement or advertisement, it should be designated as "sponsored." This ensures clarity and transparency, indicating to search engines and users that the link is a paid placement.


Community Contributions - User-generated Links:


Links that originate from user activities, like forum discussions or product reviews, fall into this category. Given their user-generated nature, they often carry a "nofollow" attribute to ensure they don't unduly influence search rankings.


Backlink Types: What to Watch Out For and How to Do It Right

Backlinks The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Backlinks are like recommendations for your website. But just like in real life, not all recommendations are good. It's important to know which backlinks help and which can harm your site's reputation.


PBNs (Private Blog Networks):


PBNs are groups of websites made to help one main site. But search engines don't like them and can penalise you. It's better to avoid PBNs and get real backlinks from good sources.


Guest Post Links:


Writing for other sites can get you backlinks. But if you do it too often or for low-quality sites, it can hurt your ranking. The best way is to write for good sites and make sure your content is helpful. When you reach out, be genuine.


Sponsored Links:


If you pay for links, you must tell search engines they're "sponsored." Also, the content around the link should be helpful to readers.


User-generated Links:


Links from comments or forums can look spammy if they're not related to the topic. When you join discussions, be helpful and only share links that add value.


Real-world Examples and Case Studies


Backlinks have been a game-changer for businesses working with Marketix Digital. Take Pro-Fit Insulation as an example. They saw a big jump in people visiting their website, and a lot of this was thanks to the right backlinks pointing to them. 


Snap Shades had a similar experience. They became a top name in the car shade market, and a big part of that success was getting backlinks from the right places. 


Then there's Lonely Kids Club, a clothing brand. They managed to rank at the very top for terms like "Cool Hoodies", beating out even the big names. This was possible because they got backlinks from trusted fashion sites. 


In simple terms, these backlinks told search engines that their content was good and trustworthy, helping them climb to the top of search results.


What's Next for Backlink Types?


Backlinks are crucial for websites. But as technology changes, the way we get and use backlinks will too. Let's explore what's on the horizon.


People are increasingly using voice commands to search online. This means websites that answer these voice questions clearly and directly might get more backlinks. It's about being a helpful voice answer.


Search engines are also now using AI to help rank websites. This could mean that the quality of content becomes even more important. Websites with genuine, useful content are generally favoured for backlinks.




Backlinks are a big deal in SEO. They're like votes of confidence for your website. By knowing the different kinds of backlinks and building them the right way, your websites can rank better and be seen by more people.


This guide gives a basic idea, but there's always more to learn. Depending on who's reading, you might want to go into more detail or use examples to explain things better.


Now, if you're looking for experts in SEO, think about Marketix Digital. We’re an SEO Agency based in Sydney and specialise in just a few things: SEO, PPC, and Google Ads. This means we really know our stuff. 


Whether you're a small business or a big company in Australia, Marketix can help you get more customers and grow. We focus on getting real results for our clients.