sly : marketing

How to get backlinks

I need to start focusing on how to get backlinks. Finally. I figured it was time to write about something I have neglected for a very long time. I have been blogging for a while, and about a year ago, I received a lot of traffic from the search engines. But now, after the recent updates from Google, I am not receiving the same amount as before. I believe that one of the reasons is the quality of backlinks to my blog, and the quantity of backlinks. That’s not all, I have some issues I need to resolve on my blog as well, but I’ll be focusing on backlinking from now on.

There are two reasons why I am writing about how to get backlinks today, the first one, is to list the various methods on how to get backlinks, and to show you that it’s not that hard if you focus on backlinking. The second reason I am writing about how to get backlinks, is to ask you which method you are using and if you are focusing on backlinking at all.

how to get backlinks

The reason we should focus on backlinking and methods on how to get backlinks, is first of all, to get more traffic from search engines. But, it’s also a way to get direct traffic from the sites that are linking to us. We shouldn’t just focus on the quantity of links, but it’s more important that we focus on relevant links and the quality of our backlinking strategy.

Like I said, I haven’t been focused on a strategy on how to get backlinks at all. But, now that I’ve finally started, here are the various methods I am using to get backlinking to work for me.

How to get backlinks by asking

This is probably the easiest method to get relevant and high quality backlinks. Let’s assume that I have an interesting blog post, like the one you’re currently reading, and I want other bloggers to link to it. The first thing I could do, is to search for relevant articles on blogs about how to get backlinks, and ask if they would add a link back to my article. If they enjoyed reading it, and if they think that it will benefit their readers, they might want to help me out.

Quality content

I still need to focus on writing quality content. The method I am using when it comes to how to get backlinks is still about interaction between people, and not a single person would want to be backlinking to low quality content. I believe that if we create great, or even remarkable content, we will get found by the search engines, and we’ll get shares and likes via social media, and eventually, other bloggers will add a link back to our content; focusing on quality content alone is not good enough.


I have discovered that many times, because I have a good relationship with a fellow blogger, they’ll go out of their way to help me out. They will share my posts via social media, and they’ll be linking back to my blog post, not because of the high quality content that I have created, but because we have a really good relationship. I am focusing on creating strong relationships for as part of my backlinking strategy.

Guest posts

It’s been a while since I wrote any guest posts. Writing guest posts is necessary for any strategy when it comes to how to get backlinks. Find blogs that are relevant to your niche, and contect the owner and ask them if they’ll let you submit an article – but be sure that you add a link back to your own blog with the proper anchor text.


I used to comment on blogs every single day. In fact, I used to comment on more than 10 blogs every single day. It was part of how I was promoting my blog posts, and it was part of how I was building a relationship with other bloggers. I stopped commenting for a while, since I was just too busy starting my business as a solopreneur. I still believe commenting on other blogs is a great way to create strong relationships, and it will be part of my backlinking strategy starting in 2014.

Buy quality backlinks

I don’t buy quality backlinks, I never have. But, there are many good resources online that can help you buy quality backlinks. You can either contact the blog owner direct, or your can use a service. I won’t include this method on how to get backlinks as part of my strategy.

Your methods on how to get backlinks

I have listed all my methods above, they’re all part of my strategy for 2014 on how to get backlinks. Now, I’d love a discussion on what methods you are using as part of your backlinking strategy and are you focusing on how to get backlinks to your blog?

43 responses to “How to get backlinks”

  1. Tim Bonner says:

    Hi Jens

    I focus now on writing quality content and building relationships in order to build backlinks.

    I still comment on blogs too but I’m the same as you. I don’t do it as much as I used to. I believe it’s still an important strategy to consider though in building backlinks.

    I’ve only ever done one guest post which was on Adrienne’s blog. I keep meaning to do more but then I’m so busy doing other things I never get around to it!

    I sometimes post to blogging networks like Blog Engage, Biz Sugar and others. That hasn’t been particularly successful for me though.

    Backlinks are easy to get other than with comments but I don’t want to rely on them solely otherwise it might look suspicious to the likes of Google!

    I’ll be interested to hear what others have to say.


    • Hi Tim,

      I don’t think that I’ve ever tried blogging networks like Blog Engage and Biz Sugar, if I have, I have forgotten all about it. I have thought about if I should publish to some networks and directories, or if that will have a negative impact in Google. I haven’t read that much about the latest updates, so I guess that’s something I should do first.

      Thank you for your feedback Tim.

      – Jens

  2. Ben Lloyd says:

    Thanks for the tips Jens. I believe that blog comments are set to become less important for back linking because Google are now actively discouraging the practice. The last advice I saw was that all blog comments be set to nofollow to avoid ranking penalties.

    The received wisdom according to Matt Cutts now seems to be to focus solely on creating great content.

    • This is very interesting Ben, and it’s news to me. I mostly do blog commenting to tell the blogger that I enjoyed his or her post, and to provide my views and hopefully some interesting thoughts. And, I’m doing it to create a relationship with the blogger and his or her readers. But, I liked the thought that I would also get a link back to my blog and hopefully a better ranking.

      I understand why Google are discouraging it, there are a lot of spammers and it’s probably hard to filter out what’s spam and what’s high quality comment that deserves the link juice.

      Thank you for your feedback Ben.

      – Jens

    • Alisa Meredith says:

      Enjoyed your article and our discussion on Twitter, Jens. On the topic of commenting for backlinks, I’ve heard as well that that is not a good tactic for creating links. However, like you, I use them more to build genuine relationships with other bloggers.

      In the process, I have found that people sometimes DO get to my website and even become leads because of the comments I leave. So, while I’m not counting on it to help me with Google exactly, it does help with traffic and lead gen., so it’s worth doing for many reasons!

      • I actually didn’t know that it wasn’t a good tactic to not comment on other blogs for creating links. I have thought that as long as the comment was a good comment that provided value, the link back to my blog would actually be counted as a “good” link. But, like you said, it doesn’t really matter, because commenting on blogs provides value in building the relationships.

        Thank you Alisa.

        – Jens

        • Ben Lloyd says:

          Google’s war on blog commenting actually serves to highlight the shortcomings of current indexing algorithms which cannot accurately divide good comments from bad. Thus it is easier for Google to rule all as bad – that way they push more site owners towards paid search or Google+ for “real name” commenting. Either way, Google wins, even if it comes at the expense of your site.

          • This makes me wonder. Shouldn’t we add links back to our blogs in the comments on other sites, or should we add the Google+ commenting system on our blogs? What’s your take on this?

            • Ben Lloyd - Tech Copywriter says:

              I think Google are going to increasingly integrate Google+ in everything they do under the guise of “authorship” and establishing credibility for the commenter on the web. Although this is partly true, Google+ is actually making a large grab for personal data across the web so that it’s users need to leave the Google ecosystem less and less.

              Consider how far down the results page organic listings now appear. Or how often you can answer a query directly from the Google search results page.

              If things continue in this fashion, Google+ may actually result in LESS traffic to your website.

              • I’ve seen this too, and I’m a bit worried about how much data Google has and what the future might bring if our data is “owned” by Google and we won’t even get traffic or recognition for our content. I’m hoping that this won’t happen, and that we’ll still get traffic to high quality content.

  3. Ed King says:

    Well said Jens! I saw this post notification in my email and read it this morning but was on the move out the door so I wanted to make sure I came back and left you a quick note. I read the article again and you and have a lot in common except I’m blogging about my photography.

    I too have some issues that I need to work on with my blog and I am slowly fixing it, finally realized one big issue that was creating a bunch of 404 errors.

    I’ve just really started commenting on blogs I get good information from like yours, for me it is about the relationship value more than any link value. I feel when someone shares information that is honest, sincere and worthy I think the least I can do is spend a few minutes to thank them.

    Link building hasn’t been part of my program but really I don’t have a rigid program that I follow. I know I need to develop links but as a photographer I think it is a bit harder unless I am creating content to educate other photographers, there are plenty doing that so I really don’t feel the need.

    I think you provide great value and content already but looking fwd to 2014.

    Happy Holidays

    • Hi Ed,

      I have some big issues with a bunch of 404 errors as well, and I have been blogging for a long time without knowing what I was doing. So, there are a lot of images that’s not there anymore and all sorts of things I need to clean up. It takes time, but I’m getting there.

      Like you said, I’ve been commenting on other blogs to build relationships; to help teach and to learn from fellow bloggers. I was thinking that a link back to my blog from a comment is a good thing as well, but now I’m not as sure. Some of the people commenting are saying that it might not be a good thing. Well, the comment is a good thing, but not the link. I’ll have to read more about that, and it might turn out to be a new blog post.

      I’ll be visiting your blog soon, and I’ll let you know what I think. It sounds great to be blogging about photography though. Do you have a targeted audience? I didn’t have one when I first started blogging, but now I’m writing mostly for myself (to become a better writer) and for other bloggers and people interested in marketing. My business is in Norway, so I don’t earn money by blogging in English – at least not yet.

      Happy Holidays.

      – Jens

  4. Josh May says:

    Hi Jens,

    I’m a newer blogger myself and so building backlinks is something that I’m just now beginning to work on. In the end, I think that writing quality content and building relationships are probably two of the most effective ways to build quality backlinks.

    Likewise, I also use a variety of blogging communities many of which have pretty decent Pageranks (which get indexed in Google well too).

    I may try the asking thing too a bit as I’d bet it works better than we’d all think.

    Nice post man!

    Josh May

    • Hi Josh,

      I haven’t been involved with many blogging communities, and I would love a list of some that you recommend. So far, I haven’t added communities and directories as part of my strategy, but that might be changing sometime soon.

      – Jens

  5. Ben Lloyd says:

    Hi Jens,

    You can find out more about the risks of blog commenting for backlinks on Search Engine Journal – they posted an article with a video from Matt Cutts on November 14th 2013. I would post a link but your commenting system prevents it!

    Hope this helps,


  6. Aahna says:

    Hi Jens,

    Some useful steps in acquiring backlinks, but I believe buying backlinks is not a good strategy. As Matt Cutts is working like a hawk to catch all link selling networks and penalizing those links. And to be safe from Google penalties, you should avoid this strategy.

    • Hi Aahna,

      I’ve read that buying backlinks is not a good strategy as well, but on the other hand, I have heard about people that are very successful buying them. I have never done it, and I will probably not do it myself. It might be a quick solution to get more traffic and higher ranking, but if it’s a thing that Matt Cutts says we shouldn’t do, then we shouldn’t 🙂

      Thank you.

      – Jens

  7. Ed King says:

    Hi Jens – I do have a target audience of corporate art I’d like to target but I do have active sales being self represented. I have about a 70/30 split of new visitor / returning visitor. My site is producing active sales and I also have a pretty good social following that brings in about 900 visits to my site as well. I freelance for a magazine too which helps and a strong business following as a Google Trusted Photographer.I’d love to focus on corporate and personal art while mixing in more travel.

    Photo education is an option down the road too

    • Wow. You have a lot more control over your blog than I have. How did you get that many followers on Google+? I just visited your blog and you have more than 28K followers on G+, is that right?

      I have actually never heard of a Google Trusted Photographer before. What do you do, are Google paying you to take pictures?


      – Jens

      • Ed King says:

        Yes that is the correct amount of followers, it has been the network that has produced the most results for me. I’ve since branched out some but my following continues to grow on G+ at a pretty steady rate. I started with G+ during the beta test and that may have something to do with it, but my surge in following came well after it opened to the public. I have actually given a few talks on G+ for business and sat on a panel of experts on social media, not that I consider myself an expert I just put the time in to build good relationships that I value. I place a high importance on help brand advocates in their own mission in a sincere interested way, not just pushing noise and fluff online.

        As a Google Trusted Photographer I was selected, trained and tested on their software and my camera skills to provide businesses with Google Virtual Tours on Google Local. The businesses pay me and not Google, I am only contracted with Google as an independent and they have no input on my business other than me following their guidelines.

        I think G+ is the way to go and I have had nothing but good results while using it actively. I just conducted a test the past few weeks and cut out Facebook all together, my online site sales increased and I noticed some of my following on Facebook searched me out on G+ to stay connected. I didn’t make any announcement but people who were active in following my work made the jump to see where I was online.

        I’m hoping to work on better ranking for my blog posts, I got better at writing but I have much further to go.


        • Wow that’s very interesting Ed. I have only experimenting with Google+ and I am using Twitter active, and I’m on Facebook as well, but that’s about it. I publish a link to my posts on both LinkedIn and Google+, but that’s about it.

          I have thought a lot about using Google+ for my clients in Norway, but I am not sure where to start. Not that many people or businesses are using it in Norway, but I believe it’s just a matter of time before things starts happening and G+ will be evolving into something huge and interesting in Norway as well.

          I should have been using you for Google Local and virtual tours, but too bad you’re living that far away 🙂

          – Jens

  8. Adrienne says:

    Hey Jens,

    Ah, the good old backlinks. Well I recently did a post myself about this topic when it came to dofollow/nofollow tags. I know a lot of people here are saying that blog commenting isn’t holding it’s weight any longer and it’s not really.

    Google is just saying that the quality of a comment link isn’t as valuable as a link that is in someone’s post linking to your blog. So to comment you would need to leave like 100 on one blog for your links to add up to having any value. You also have to beware of the quality of that link which I had mentioned in that same post. Those can be n/a to low PR, a very young domain, etc.

    That’s why I love CommentLuv Premium because we can give those low quality links a nofollow tag and just not have to worry about it at all.

    As for the other methods I do share my posts on all the social sites accept a good bit of them are nofollow sites. Of course I get mentioned a lot in other people’s posts which is very helpful and my content gets shared by a bunch of people because of the relationships I’ve built. I need to pick up that pace and do more backlinking which I’ll be implementing myself in the coming year. Trying to get back in the good graces of Google, if that’s even possible. LOL!!!

    Thanks for sharing this Jens and good luck with this. I have a feeling you’ll do just fine.


    • Hi Adrienne,

      I have actually never thought about using CommentLuv Premium to add nofollow tags on links. Are you using it for each comment, or have you set it to have nofollow on all links from comments?

      Thank you.

      – Jens

      • Hi Jens, Adrienne and I recently discussed this. CommentLuv Premium has the option to allow Do Follow after 10 comments have been approved from that commenter. That way you reward your most loyal commenters without having to deal with the fly-by commenters who swoop in just for the backlink.

      • Adrienne says:

        Hey Jens,

        Well I just typed my response and then when I hit enter it went to the white screen of death so if this ends up being a duplicate comment just please disregard.

        As I had said, I use CommentLuv Premium on every single comment. As Carolyn stated here as well with the addition of the Anti Backlink feature you can have no links at all show up until you specify whether you want to give them dofollow or nofollow links.

        I like to give my faithful commenters what little dofollow juice Google will allow but if they’re out of my niche or a brand new blog altogether I’ll make them nofollow. This way I’m not hurt down the road. That’s what I love about CommentLuv Premium.

        Good luck!


        • Thanks a lot Adrienne. I have just adjusted the settings in CommentLuv Premium. And, I am now only allowing links from people who have commented at least 10 times on my blog. I hope that will help.

          Btw, I didn’t receive a duplicate comment.

    • Ed King says:

      Hi Adrienne, Good information as well ! Another email subscription I love 🙂
      I have to run back and check that article out too!

  9. Khaja Moin says:

    Hi Jens,

    My back linking strategy for next year will be guest posting and blogging commenting.

    (also going to try few paid links for my niche sites, wanna test how fast Google can catch me ;))


  10. Hi Jens, I really, really don’t worry about backlinks. I used to have one every week when I had articles at The Philadelphia Inquirer website. My PR was 3. I stopped publishing there about a year ago and my PR went up to 4 in the spring but my Google traffic plummeted with the Panda update. I’ve built my traffic up from other sources now but my PR went back down to 3 recently. I’m thinking backlinks don’t matter.

    That being said, you are welcome to publish another guest post at The Wonder of Tech any time. I’m not sure how helpful it will be to you as a backlink because it’s a different niche, but you can publish there any time!

    Also I will be backlinking here on January 3 from my site. Stay tuned! 🙂

    • That’s very interesting Carolyn. It would be a lot easier if we didn’t have to worry about backlinks, and just focus on creating high quality content and build relationships with like-minded people. And, from your experience, it sounds like that’s something we could be doing.

      Thank you so much for the guest posting opportunity. I will definitively write a guest post for your blog in 2014. And I can’t wait for January 3 🙂

      – Jens

  11. Susan Neal says:

    Hi Jens,

    I have to admit I don’t have a very robust strategy for getting backlinks. Like Tim, I mainly focus on building relationships and trying to publish high quality content – and hoping for the best (not very scientific!) I also do a lot of blog commenting, but find it’s extremely labour-intensive and time consuming. I’ve only done a couple of guest posts, due to time constraints.

    I belong to Triberr and I’m trying to be more active on there – I know I should probably submit my posts to more blogging groups, but it’s a minefield knowing which ones to join – there are so many of them, I find it all a bit overwhelming.

    I picked up a tip from John Paul Aguiar recently that I’m going to try, and that’s creating a blog on Quora and publishing posts on there, linking back to the articles on my blog.

    Last, but not least, I’m being much more careful about which links I allow on my blog via CommentLuv, and I check for broken links regularly, to get rid of these.

    I must admit, I’ve never thought about asking for backlinks – but I think that’s a better idea than paying for them.

    Thanks very much for these tips, Jens 🙂

    • Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I haven’t had a strategy for backlinks either, and I am creating my first one right now.

      Creating a blog on Quora sounds like a good idea. I haven’t joined any of the blog communities, but that might be something I should do as well.

      I have just adjusted the settings on CommentLuv Premium, and I won’t allow any links from the first 10 comments on my blog, and that might help me to get more high quality links from my blog.

      – Jens

  12. sherman smith says:

    Hey Jens,

    I would have to say as far as getting backlinks that commenting on other blogs is my strongest way.

    I have notice last year when I wasn’t commenting, but was writing like 6 post a day for a month that I wasn’t getting the traffic I wanted. If any for that matter.

    Once I started commenting and engaging, I made a 180 degree turn. My alexa went from over 2 million to 179K Globally thus far. Although this isn’t as impressive compared to must, but it’s definitely a big jump, especially with all the Google Algorithm updates.

    Although I haven’t done any guest posts as of yet, I would like to do some for the new year. I believe this will make a bit of a difference similar to when I started commenting!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Sherman,

      Commenting on other blogs is my strongest way as well. Like you, I used to comment a lot, and I stopped for a while, because I thought I was just too busy with my work and didn’t have the time to comment. But, I kept writing posts and I published more than ever. During that period, I got few comments and I didn’t get as much traffic either. The only thing I did different was the commenting (I think).

      I’m a bit worried though that Google doesn’t look at the links from commenting as important. On the other hand, we’re creating relationships with fellow bloggers, and the value of that is very important, and it probably can’t be measured in links or money.

      I’m thinking of guest posting more in 2014 as well.

      Thank you for your comment Sherman, let’s keep in touch.

      – Jens

  13. Josh says:

    Blog commenting is the best way I know of for building relationships with other bloggers. Those relationships help pave the way for guest posts and being linked to so I see it as a valuable tool that I should use more frequently.

  14. maxwell ivey says:

    Hi Jens; Thanks for sharing your tools for accumulating back links. I’m glad to hear you have never paid for them. I haven’t either and don’t see any good reason that any blogger ever should. I am heavy into blog commenting. Which is how i came to your blog read this post and am leaving this comment. You were nice enough to visit my site and read a post. My niche is the amusement industry which is quite a bit different than yours but anyone who has been a mom and is still raising kids can find a way to relate to most topics. thanks so much. I used to do guest posts. I enjoyed doing them, but don’t enjoy chasing them; so at least for now I’m only doing guest posts or collaborating with other bloggers if asked. And relationships are key. Not only will a good friend support your blog, but in my case they have helped fix problems improve the site and generally make my life easier. Take care, max

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