What is a Backlink Profile? (Guide for 2024 with Examples)

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Trying to rank your website without strong backlinks is like building a house without a proper foundation. 

According to Semrush research, a site without backlinks has a 55% chance of not reaching the first page of Google.  

This means that without working on your site’s backlink profile, you most likely will never hit your ranking goals.

However, if you are new to SEO and link building, you might wonder what a ‘backlink profile’ is exactly. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through what a backlink profile is and why it is important for your search engine rankings. 

We’ll cover the types of backlinks you should use, how to manage your backlink profile, and much more.

Let’s go!

Key Takeaways

  • Your website can get a boost from having lots of different types of quality backlinks.
  • Focus on getting links from sites that rank and get traffic.
  • Diversifying your backlinks may help keep your site safe when Google updates its algorithm.
  • Varying up your link anchor text and keeping your links natural looking keeps you out of trouble.
  • Creating awesome content and reaching out to other site owners can get other sites to link to you.
  • Stay away from sketchy and spammy links to keep your site healthy and strong.
  • Monitoring and managing your backlinks can help you find ways to improve your backlink profile.

Understanding Backlink Profiles

A backlink profile is the total collection of links that point to your website. It’s like the internet’s way of giving your site a thumbs-up recommendation. 

We like to look at it this way. 

Google’s search engine spiders are constantly combing through the internet. They look at the backlinks as an important ranking factor to gauge the websites’ popularity and authority.

A full view of Ahrefs Backlink profile report showing sirlinksalot.co link graph and more.

The higher the quality and more relevant the links, the higher Google values your site. If your backlink profile is strong and well-structured, you’re more likely to rank higher in search results. This means more visitors will find your website.

In fact, we’ve noticed Google shifting to favor sites with strong backlink profiles much more over the past 10 years.

Where once you could find SERPs with many low-authority sites ranking, this is becoming less and less common with each core update Google releases.

So even though Google says backlinks are no longer a top-3 ranking factor, we definitely disagree!

Why is Your Backlink Profile Important?

As you can tell, a site’s backlink profile is extremely important. In our experience, backlinks don’t only boost your site’s rankings but also help to establish trust and authority with search engines.

In fact, Gary Illyes from Google has been quoted as saying that EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust) is based largely on backlinks.

We see a few more benefits that a strong backlink profile brings to your site:

  • Enhanced visibility in search engine results.
  • A rise in organic and referral traffic, driving more visitors to your site.
  • Positive growth in your domain authority, brand reputation, and website recognition.
  • Build solid relationships with other websites and content creators.
  • Reach a wider audience and gain more potential customers.
  • More stable rankings during algorithm updates.

In short, if organic traffic is important for your business, then so is your backlink profile.

How to Create a High-Quality Backlink Profile

Good backlink profiles tend to have a common characteristic – diversity

They feature a rich mix of high-quality links that come from relevant and authoritative sources. 

This is one of the main things we look at when we audit clients’ websites’ off-page SEO as part of our Managed Link Building application process.

And boy oh boy, do most people get it completely wrong!

Step 1: Diversify Your Link Sources

We prefer to get links from multiple types of different websites to help emulate a more natural backlink profile. 

These include: 

This diversity shows that your website is trustworthy because real sites get links from many different sources, just like this. It also lowers the risk that Google algorithm updates will affect it negatively.

Step 2: Prioritize Relevance

You should get backlinks from relevant sites and pages related to your niche. 

For search engines, getting backlinks from relevant sites means that your website is credible and authoritative. 

For example, if your website is about SEO and you get a link from a technology blog, this would be seen as relevant.

However, if your SEO site got a backlink from a dog blog, Google probably would not give you credit for that link.

We focus primarily on article-level relevance, where the article your backlink is coming from is relevant to your page topic. We see site-level relevance as the icing on the cake, but not something we want at all costs.

Step 3: Chase Authority

Focus on securing links from high-authority blogs.

Look for sites that consistently produce quality content and have high domain authority (DA) or domain rating (DR), as these links can considerably enhance your site’s credibility.

List of domains linking to SirLinksalot website from Ahrefs in referring domains report.

Essentially, you want backlinks from websites that have strong backlink profiles (high authority).

Their strong backlink profiles pass link juice to your site, making your backlink profile stronger.

Step 4: Vary Your Anchor Text

Using exact match anchor text sparingly works fine. However, if you use the same anchor texts many times, Google can see that you may be trying to manipulate search results.

When linking, we always vary the anchor text to avoid search engines discounting overused anchors or, even worse – penalizing your site.

Instead of using so many exact match and partial match anchors, you could instead use more:

  • Branded anchors
  • URL anchors
  • Generic anchors
  • Long-tail topical anchors

This will make your backlink profile look much more natural and trustworthy.

Step 5: Encourage Natural Linking

Try to attract backlinks organically by producing valuable content that other websites will want to link to naturally.

This is generally known as PR link building – the process of creating link bait articles.

When doing so, aim for steady, organic link growth over time. But if an article goes viral, we often see that the links will come in large numbers and cause this link graph to spike – that’s totally normal.

If an article can go viral in the real world and attract many links organically, Google cannot penalize you in such a situation.

Step 6: Focus on Contextual Links

Focus on links placed within relevant, informative content. 

These are the links we recommend focusing on because context gives Google more information about the backlink and can make it more relevant and powerful.

List of 4 high DR contextual links pointing to SirLinksalot website from Ahrefs in referring domains report.

Non-contextual links can help your SEO as well, however, contextual links are always the better choice and help create a well-balanced, natural backlink profile.

Step 7: Avoid Toxic Links

Avoid spammy and toxic links. Google claims to spot and discount toxic, low-quality links made to game the search engine, but it’s good to keep control in your hands. 

And while getting these 50,000 blog comments on Fiverr sounds like a bargain, using them can hurt your site’s search result rankings.

If you have a lot of toxic backlinks in your link profile already, you could consider a disavow. 

However, we really don’t disavow links often and much prefer to balance out the backlink profile by building new, high-quality links instead.

Types of Backlinks to Build Your Profile

Learning about the most effective backlinks is crucial for enhancing your profile. 

Next, I’ll explore some high-quality backlink options that we like to use at SirLinksalot and how to get them yourself. 

Gaining Backlinks Through Editorials

You can get editorial backlinks when other websites recognize and mention your site as a reliable source within their content. 

That’s what we call ‘niche edits’ or ‘guest posts.’ These links can drive much authority and some referral traffic.

To get these valuable connections, focus on making engaging, up-to-date content. It should establish your website as a top authority in your field. Then, reach out to other webmasters and ask them to link to your website from a specific article on their website or to let you contribute a guest post to their blog.

Backlinks From Existing Relationships

Cultivating connections with journalists and webmasters who have previously linked to your site can result in valuable relationship-based backlinks. 

Don’t hesitate to express your readiness to offer further insights and explore opportunities for link-building. While these connections may require time and effort, they’re worthwhile in the long term.

Earning Backlinks via Business Profiles

You can create digital profiles on many platforms, including business listings, social networks, and review sites. 

These platforms let you link to your website, which assists search engines in acknowledging your website as a well-established presence within your industry. 

Homepage of Better Business Bureau website that is a trusted source of backlinks for a business website.

Google explicitly mentions that they look at social profiles to help establish trust and credibility with an online business.

Backlinks Through Public Speaking

Participating in public speaking engagements, podcasts, and conferences is an excellent chance to earn backlinks as an expert in your field. 

Webinars and their recordings, for instance, generally link to other websites. That’s one reason why I take part in industry podcasts almost every week, and why experts like to appear on our podcast as well. 

Another good way to get links from speaking at events is to make web pages for each event. These landing pages should have details about the event, slides, forms for signing up, things to download, and extra stuff.

Recognition-Based Backlinks

If you’re uncomfortable with public speaking but want to participate in events, you can try sponsoring an event to get links.

A simple way to do this is by making a webpage about the event on your company’s website. Then, share it with directories, local news, and PR folks who care about it.

Ahrefs dashboard showing a backlink from the SEO Mastery Summit website.

We recently earned a backlink this way because we sponsored the SEO Mastery Summit in Vietnam.

Backlinks from Free Tools

Offering free tools, calculators, or widgets that others can embed on their websites can lead to backlinks. But ensure your brand and site link are visible within the tool’s interface.

This tactic works well in specific niches.

ChatGPT is a great way to create these tools without having to know any kind of coding yourself.

Simply create the code using ChatGPT, then upload it to your website with a code plugin.

Comment-Based Backlinks

Genuine blog comments on high-quality blog articles often allow you to provide a link back to your website.

Engaging in meaningful discussions on other articles can increase traffic and brand awareness. This is another link type that should not be overdone to avoid looking spammy.

Local Backlinks for Businesses

Local businesses can get backlinks from local directories, community websites, and neighboring businesses. 

These links can boost local SEO efforts. 

I have seen the importance of local backlinks are important for ranking in location-based SERPs when I was running my local SEO agency – even a few local backlinks can be all a site needs to jump onto page one.

We recommend combining this with social media promotions to indirectly contribute to your backlink profile.

Types of Links You Should Avoid

While many specialists believe that every link can be beneficial, there are a few things you should not try at home.

Here are a few examples of the backlinks we suggest you avoid in your SEO strategy:

1. Obvious Paid Backlinks

Paid links involve purchasing backlinks to boost your site’s ranking. However, search engines like Google say that they may penalize sites for using this practice. 

They may also discount these links, as it goes against the principle of getting links naturally.

At SirLinksalot, we have built thousands of backlinks, and we have never seen any of our client sites penalized for this because it’s actually pretty hard for Google to tell if a backlink is bought if you are following link building best practices. 

That being said, avoid buying links from sites known for selling links or aggressively soliciting paid guest submissions.

Menu bar of a website that may sell links.

Some things to watch out for are sites that have “write for us” pages, are listed on public link selling lists, and so on.

2. Link Schemes

Link schemes entail using unnatural link exchanges to manipulate your site’s ranking in search results. 

Examples of link schemes include reciprocal or three-way link exchanges, and link wheels. 

According to Ahrefs, almost 74% of sites have reciprocal links, and we believe that a reasonable amount of such links will not harm your site. 

However, over-engaging in such practices can lead to search engine penalties and damage your site’s rankings. 

So if you’re going to do link exchanges, we highly recommend doing them in moderation.

3. Low-Quality Forum Backlinks

Forum postings can be valuable. But, it’s better to limit your brand’s link placements to reputable forums and meaningful discussions.

Attempting to spam forums with links using tools like Xrumer can yield undesirable results. Such links, when pointed directly at your site, are often considered low-quality and can harm your SEO efforts in the long run.

A forum post with low quality forum backlinks in an unmoderated Russian forum.

4. High Spam Score Domains

Websites with high spam scores are generally considered spammy or low-quality by search engines.

Backlinks from these domains can have a detrimental effect on your website’s SEO. We suggest to avoid acquiring backlinks from such websites.

Best Practices for Enhancing Backlink Profile

Building a robust profile can seem challenging for beginners. So here are some top tips from our experience building backlinks for over 1,500 clients to improve your backlink profile.

Optimizing Your Anchor Text

Anchor text holds significant importance in shaping the quality of your backlink profile. But why is this the case?

Here’s why:

Both search engines and readers rely on the anchor text to comprehend the linked page’s content. If a page discusses SEO tools and the anchor text is “best SEO tools,” it’s clear what the linked page contains.

In short, we like to use relevant, descriptive anchor text, and then Google understands what we’re up to and boosts the rankings.

And don’t forget natural anchor text (branded, URL, generic) as well!

Prioritizing Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to backlinking, quality far outweighs quantity. We prefer to build a handful of high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources rather than a large amount of low-quality ones. 

So, focus on nurturing relationships with reputable websites. Create content with authentic value to the readers to attract valuable links rather than forcing them.

Fiverr backlink seller offers 50,000 dofollow backlinks.

If you’re struggling with ranking your site, an excess of low-quality backlinks may be the culprit. Consider disavowing them.

We suggest caution and using disavowing only as a last resort. Do it only when you are sure the links caused the problems. Then, focus on building new high authority links.

Investing In Link Monitoring Tools

Using tools is another great practice for improving your website’s search rankings. Backlink analyzer tools, such as Ahrefs or Semrush, help you understand the metrics of the websites linking to yours.

Some of these tools offer link monitoring and management features, making it easier to keep track of your links and fix any problems. 

If you are considering using a link monitoring tool or service, here are a few options to begin with:

  • Google Search Console
  • Ahrefs
  • Semrush
  • SEO Spyglass
  • LinkResearchTools
  • Serpstat
  • Majestic
  • Mangols

These tools will help to track your backlinks and simplify your link management process.

Final Thoughts

At SirLinksalot, we believe that crafting a compelling backlink profile is a key strategy for boosting your website’s rankings. 

In this guide, we have discussed the importance of a strong backlink profile, its impact on search engine rankings, and strategies for building one that can significantly improve your site’s visibility and authority.  

After building thousands of links, we have witnessed how a powerful mix of high-quality backlinks can increase your site’s rankings and help drive organic and referral traffic, elevating your domain authority and brand recognition. 

We outlined some strategies that include diversifying your backlink sources and prioritizing link quality over quantity. They offer a blueprint for building a solid foundation for your website’s SEO efforts. 

Focus on getting helpful links and avoiding toxic low-quality ones. This will help to protect your site from search engine algorithm updates and boost your rankings.

Hope this helps!

Article by: Chris Tzitzis
Hey I'm Chris, one of the founders here at SirLinksalot. I'm into building internet money machines (affiliate websites) and specialize in building backlinks. Find out more about me and my link building team.

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