Backlinks. Every content marketer craves them, but getting them seems mysteriously challenging. We all know you don’t fiercely wave a magic wand to conjure up quality backlinks.

But the search engines’ ever-evolving algorithms make it hard to know what even counts as a high-quality backlink, which forces us to adapt and learn new link building strategies.

We wouldn’t want this crucial part of SEO to be the missing link in your strategy. So today, we’ll discuss what makes a quality backlink, how to acquire them and whether you can have too many. 

What Are High-Quality Backlinks?

To get high-quality backlinks, we find it helpful to think of them like proteins. You want them from a trustworthy source, at the right amount, naturally raised and not stuffed down your throat. It also can’t hurt to have some variety.

Okay, maybe we’re getting carried away. But it’s worth pointing out that link building is not technical. Behind those quality sites are real people, and you need to build relationships to gather high-quality links. No industry expert worth their salt will offer a guest blogging opportunity or just link back if they can’t relate to you.

If search engines think you’re not serving the user, their algorithms will consider that a bad backlink and ignore it or punish your site by pushing you down in the search results. If the blog post linking to you seems irrelevant to your niche or its author seems unqualified to judge your site’s quality, guess what? They’ll ignore it or even punish your site.

While link building, combined with other content marketing strategies, certainly has a technical component, really, it’s about common courtesy. So if you’re guest posting on quality sites in your niche and recommending high-quality content your audience enjoys, you’re already doing something right.

The key is to systematize your digital marketing and make it a habit so your business can rely on referring domains confirming your expertise through inbound links.

How To Create High-Quality Backlinks to Your Site in 2023

Consistently demonstrating your expertise positions you as an expert rather than another website owner. You can achieve this by hosting podcasts, speaking at conferences, sharing visual content on social media or curating industry news.

Don’t just think of link building as “getting quality links.” Think of it as the technical equivalent of sharing your expertise and networking with colleagues.

Now that we know how to approach this, you’ve got an array of link building strategies to choose from, each coming with different backlink types:

  • Track brand mentions: Find unlinked mentions and broken links using solutions like Semrush and set up social media notifications.
  • Engage with your audience: Invite experts to your conference or podcast, join online communities and provide insights in online communities. If you’re a local brand, it also pays to curate your entries in online directories like Yelp and TripAdvisor for high-quality backlinks.
  • Push your backlink profile with a free tool: Create an online calculator, generator or questionnaire. If it’s useful, people will share it and link back to your site.
  • Publish industry insights: Whether you’re creating your own resources hub, posting an ultimate guide or conducting market research – make some noise!
  • Do your own research: Perform your own industry research and share the results with the industry. If it’s insightful and helps others, they’ll share it and link to your brand.
  • Guest blogging: Research the right outlets, craft the right pitch for their audiences and be a good guest by responding to comments – just like you would at a party.
  • Respond to journalists’ requests: Use platforms like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), Help a B2B Writer and PressPlugs to receive requests for media opportunities in your inbox and show off your expertise.
  • Create visual content: Use your visual storytelling to put a different spin on your article and share it on social media or in specialized infographic directories for additional traffic.
  • Give reactive PR a try: If your team is made for speedy responses, use the interest a news outlet already created around a headline. If it matches your brand and audience, jump on that train and use it to add value.

Every brand will require a slightly different link building strategy that is unique to their industry (or location). If you’re starting out, guest blogging will definitely help you get inbound links. Down the road, fixing broken links will become an integral part of your off-page SEO.

Can You Have Too Many Backlinks?

You might be thinking, ”How could you ever have too many backlinks? Isn’t link building always good for search engine optimization?” Well, no. So before you try to solve all your problems by using a link farm, you might want to pump your brakes.

Remember, search engines attempt to serve the reader. So if they notice a bunch of low-quality backlinks from similar-looking referring domains pointing to one blog post, that might raise an eyebrow – or whatever a search engine raises.

Beware of link farming websites offering low-quality backlinks on mirrored pages without valuable content. They’ll promise to be the only one maintaining high quality among referring domains, but usually, you’ll get penalized, which can kill your Google search traffic altogether.

Aside from link farms, you could certainly use other methods to build your backlink profile, which leads us to the next question…

Quantity or Quality – Which Is More Important?

Depending on where you are on your digital marketing journey, reaching out to big players for guest blogging or editorial backlinks may feel like an astronomical step. So before you try to get an audience with the Grand Poobah of your field, let’s discuss what their referring domain does for you.

The balance of quantity and quality for backlinks depends on your domain authority and marketing strategy. New websites will even benefit from lower-quality backlinks, but as you climb the search results, progress becomes more difficult.

Monitor your search engine ranking and establish good link-building practices while sharing them with partners. If you engage with another industry leader and they link back to you, a contextual anchor text will bring you better results than a blank “Click here.”

As you move along and grow your business, you’ll fine-tune your content strategy and focus on high-quality backlinks that push your brand to the top. You may want to get the utmost from free link building tools and techniques as well.

How Long Does It Take To Build Quality Backlinks?

Building quality backlinks is a long-term strategy. Most link building efforts will only show results after 6–12 months.

That’s why it’s crucial to make it a habit and engage with others in your field. Our brains are wired to crave short-term rewards, and if you keep checking your stats, you’re most likely to burn out. 

Make sure to integrate different tactics into a wholesome strategy; be helpful, courteous and patient.

Florian Fuehren is a Content Writer at Brafton in Germany. Before becoming one of Brafton's first German writers, Florian has worked as a ghostwriter, editor, and lecturer. When he's not brooding over puns for the SaaS or Web3 niche, he likes to go jogging or maltreat his drum kit.