What Is a Backlink? And How You Can Build Them in 2021

What Is a Backlink?

More so or not, if you own a business, do SEO, or any amount of digital marketing, you’ve heard the phrase, backlinks, thrown around.

If like us, you didn’t have the vaguest idea as to what backlinks were, we’re here to clarify that for you in the simplest form.

Simply put, backlinks are essentially other websites that link back to your website.

Having a profile of high-quality backlinks (websites that link bank to yours) signifies to Google that you’re an authoritative, informational website and that you should rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP).

Now that you know what backlinks are let’s talk about how a website receives backlinks, again, in the simplest form.

How Do I Get More Backlinks?

When you first launch your website, whether it be a website for your local business, an eCommerce store, or an affiliate blog, don’t expect the websites to begin linking back to yours immediately.

Sorry to break it to you – but that’s not the way it works.

Think about it; you’re a new website, you’re buried in search results, or probably not even indexed in Google yet; why would a website link back to yours?

They won’t.

So, how do you build backlinks?

Funny, you ask. Well, there are many ways to build backlinks, but we’re going to discuss the three most popular and effective forms of link-building in 2021.

Guest Posting

As you begin to learn about SEO and link-building, you’ll start to hear a lot about guest posting.

Guest posting is probably the most popular form of link-building because it essentially helps both parties involved; the website publishing the content and the site getting the backlink.

Guest posting is done by a person, website, or business, submitting content to another website with a link included in the post that links back to their site.

Not every website will accept guest posts on their blog even though there are massive benefits of accept guest authors on your blog, but it’s your job, the business owner, SEO, or link-builder, to locate which blogs accept guest posts and are willing to accept one from you.

Often, to ensure that the quality of content remains high, some websites will charge a small fee to publish a guest post on their site. If a website gets 50,000 organic visitors per month and has a domain authority (DA) of 60+, they’ll charge more than the site with 100 organic visitors per month with a DA of less than ten.

Remember, start small, focus on great content, don’t over-optimize the article, and you’ll soon have sites begging you to guest post on their site!

Okay, maybe not soon, but keep at it.

Press Releases

Building backlinks through press releases were a lot more popular in the early days of SEO but has since become something Google recognizes.

If you’re a new website, writing and distributing a press release is an excellent way of building a foundation for your backlink profile.

These links will typically register as no-follow links, meaning there won’t is any direct SEO impact from them, but trust us, they still benefit your site by laying the foundation.

It’s almost like laying the foundation before building the home. The same principle applies to link-building.

Google is smart. A new website doesn’t start receiving in-content links right away.

Take your time. Don’t overuse press releases; use them a few times per year.

Self-Created, Non-Editorial Links

These kinds of links align with how you should approach and utilize press releases. Don’t overdo them, do them strategically and periodically.

These kinds of links are typically like:

  • Blog Comments
  • Non-Moderated Directories
  • Guest Post Signatures
  • User Profiles

While Google does view these as backlinks, they’re typically no-follow, like press releases, and provide minimal SEO value.

They contribute in other ways, like allowing you to diversify your anchor text (what is anchor text?) and build your foundation of links.

Similar to press releases, use these sparingly and do not engage in any spamming activity.


As you can probably now tell, there is a lot involved in SEO, specifically link-building. It’s one of the most tedious SEO tasks, but it also typically carries the most weight and value.

These are only three ways to build backlinks for your website. There are other ways to do so, but you’ll find that most sites and link-building experts will tell you that when building credible backlinks, manual guest posting and outreach is your best bet.

Good luck, and remember, do not try to outsmart Google!

You will lose.

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