SEO and the top driver of ranking: Backlinks

Page content will always be up there as one of the important factors for search engine ranking, but the #1 top spot belongs to Backlinks. Let’s go through the quickest, easiest and most effective way to drive your site’s Backlinks.

Importance of Backlinks

Google has over 200 factors determining ranking on SERPs. But without good Backlinks you are simply nowhere.

Why are Backlines so important?

A bit of e-history….

Back when Yahoo and Alta Vista ruled the search engine roost (remember then?) website content was the big decider of ranking.

Then Google appeared on the scene. Their ‘PageRank Algorithm‘ included as one of the key factors for ranking, the number of sites linking in.


And this is how it has remained for 20 years, apart from Google Penguin adding the quality of links in to the mix.

How to get quality backlinks?

First let’s understand what makes a quality link.

Page Authority

Links from high authoritative pages pass more authority to your site than low authority pages.

You can easily check the ‘Domain Authority‘ of a site – simply download the Moz toolbar as a free Chrome extension.

It will then show the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority for each site you visit.

A large site like for example has a DA of 93 (scored out of 100), and a single link from this site is worth hundreds of links from the smaller blogging sites, so you’re best to first focus on the big guys.

Page Relevance

Alongside Authority you also need relevance.

I have written on this at length before – Google has relevance at the top of it’s list, not just for backlinks but for everything it does in Search, including Google advertising.

To quote from

“Relevancy in SEO is a must. A webmaster must ask himself how relevant is his page content to the keyword query of his visitor. This mean that if you are selling bikes, your content must not go off topic and be related to bikes and not skateboards. When creating your content, you should have in mind the search terms that your “to be” customers are searching for. “Cheap carbon bikes” could be a keyword at high interest among your possible customers while “eco friendly bikes” might not trigger any interest for your audience.”

Link placement and text

Ideally the link needs to be editorially placed (part of the content, natural links).

The anchor text also needs to be relevant for Google (relevancy again!) to see the link is relevant to the page it is linking to.

Dofollow links

The use of rel=”nofollow” is a no-no. It’s a code placed on links by publishers who don’t want the link to count as an endorsement. For SEO you want “dofollow”.

Content that drives Backlinks


A SIMPLE FACT: good content is going to generate good backlinks. Let’s look at four pieces of content that will generate links.

#1: Visual assets

Use images, diagrams, infographics, charts


Because they are easy to share.

Watch the video to see how you can make free infographics in under an hour.

Or click to view How to create Infographics in Under and Hour.

#2: Do posts with lists

When BuzzSumo analyzed 1 million articles, they found list posts generated more backlinks than any other content format.

#3 Original research and data

Self explanatory

#4 Build White Papers

People love to get the full and comprehensive information in a simple download.

Now you have the content let’s go broadcast

Email is the best approach, but how do you avoid spamming? PayDay Loan Spam

#1 Find people likely to link

Enter your target keyword in to Google.

Take the url of the top site and enter in to a Backlink Checker – I’m using Ahref here, but you can also use Moz (and many others).

Press the Backlinks and the sites shown are likely to link.

Then for each site, use to enter the url of the site and quickly get the email address to use.

#2 Send personalised emails

Then compose a nice, personalised email script. The following is a good example:

Hi [First Name],
I was looking for content on [Topic] today, when I stumbled on your article: [Article Title].
Good stuff! I especially enjoyed [Something specific from their article].
Also, I just published a new guide on [Your Topic]: [URL].
As someone that writes about [Topic], I thought you’d enjoy it.
My guide may also make a nice addition to your page. Either way, keep up the awesome work with [Website]!
Talk Soon, [Your Name]
#3 Seek out Resource Pages

Look for these in tour Backlink checker – why? (These are pages that link out to other sites on a particular subject.)

As they are there to provide links. they are a good target.

If you can’t find any n the Backlink Checker process, just type in to Google: “keyword” + inurl:links “keyword + “helpful resources” “keyword” + “useful links”

Next, check the DA.

Next, check your page is a good fit for the target website.

Next, send an email, here’s a good example:

Hi [Name],
I was Googling around for content about [Topic] this morning, when I came across your excellent resource page: [URL].
I just wanted to say that your page helped me a ton. I would have never found the [Resource They Link To] without it.
It’s funny: I recently published a guide on [Topic] last month. It’s [Brief Description].
Here it is in case you’d like to check it out: [URL].
Also, my guide might make a nice addition to your page.
Either way, thanks for putting together your list of resources. And have a great day!
Talk Soon, [Your Name]

#4 Check Broken Links

This is a great one – you inform sites of broken links.

So install a broken link checker – say W3C Link Checker.

Then email to point out the broken links and offer your link – that way you are helping and adding value.

Subject: Problem with [Their Site’s Name]
Hi [Name],
Are you still updating your site?
I was searching for content on [Topic] when I came across your excellent page: [Page Title or URL].
However, I noticed a few links didn’t seem to be working:
[URLs of broken links]
Also, I recently published [Brief Content Pitch]. It may make a good replacement for the [Point Out a Specific Broken Link].
Either way, I hope this helped you out
Thanks, [Your Name]

I hope these tips have helped – please share on to others.

Read more on SEO: SEO checklist for on-page optimisation