Different Types of Links & How to Build Them

Whether you are familiar with SEO or have touched it merely on its surface, you would know that links are crucial. 

SEO backlinks showcase evident significance on PageRank, a crucial ranking factor. You must understand the essential types of links crucial for your SEO.

So here are:

7 Types of Links and Ways to Build Them

1. Natural Editorial Links

One of the most influential links that pass you authoritative PageRank are Natural Editorial Links. 

Natural editorial links on your page showcase the superior value of your content. So, as you post exclusive and valuable content on your site, many relevant webmasters link to your site.

Google values relevant Natural Editorial Links the most, owing to their value to the searcher. 

How to Build Natural Editorial Links

The key to attracting links naturally is building superior-quality content and marketing it. 

a) You must utilize the “content explorer” tab in Ahrefs to check the top-ranking content around a keyword. 

These insights will assist you with developing resourceful content in your niche. Take a look at the screenshot below showing the links that top-ranked articles on the “keyword research” topic received.


b) Another way to explore valuable content inspiration is through competitor analysis. Use SEMrush or Ahrefs to analyze your competitors' best backlink-generating content resources. 

You can also plan content around these topics and get the right reach for it through paid and social sharing. 

As more webmasters start using your content as a linked resource to their pages, you witness growth in authority. 

c) Also, try converting the brand mentions and Nofollow links into Dofollow backlinks. 

Many webmasters might link to your content through Nofollow links or place brand mentions. You can check the referring domains through Ahrefs or track your brand mentions through

Next, request these admins to convert these Nofollow mentions to Dofollow links.

2. Manual Outreach Links

These links are obtained through manual link-building efforts. You need to connect with different webmasters and request their link to your content. 

However, this doesn’t work that easy, and these webmasters must deem your content a valuable resource. 

These resources include your blogs, ‘How To’ guides, PR contributions, etc. You must find the most relevant referring domains and pitch your link requests to them. 

Moreover, Google weighs valuable manual outreach links for the same value as natural links.

How to Build Manual Outreach Links 

Start by finding the potential referring domains. A smart way is to use SEMrush orUbersuggest. These tools help you check which referring domains offer Dofollow links to your competitors. 

You can look for the blogs or pages on these domains. And you can pitch them with relevant updates (in the form of links) to add value to their content. 

Here is a good manual outreach example by Ahrefs: 


3. Self-created Links

Another category is self-created links. These can be links you create through practices like forum submissions, blog commenting, etc. 

However, most of these links are Nofollow and pass no authority to your site. 

Moreover, excessive blog and forum commenting are a Black Hat SEO practice

Google may consider it spamming, and you can witness a drop in your site authority. But when you get these links from high authority sites like Brian dean’s site, as shown below, even these links will have some value. 


How to Build Self-created Links?

You must understand that self-created links would pass you little to no SEO value. However, you can still create some valuable and ethical links through the forum and micro-blog submissions. 

These links can drive relevant referral traffic to your site and build brand awareness. 

You can post valuable answers to relevant questions and Subreddits on Quora and Reddit

Also, you can repurpose your blogs as micro-blogs and post them on Medium and LinkedIn Pulse. Link these to the main blog to build relevant value and traffic.

4. Citations and Directory Submission Backlinks

Certain niche business directories and listing sites can be crucial for your business. These sites attract relevant users searching for businesses in your niche. 

Take a look at the below screenshot showing a directory receiving huge traffic that businesses can afford to lose. 


So, you cannot miss out on claiming your business presence on these directories. Moreover, if a reputed business listing site offers a Dofollow link to your business, you gain considerable authority. 

Some business review platforms are also likely to offer unstructured citations to you. And these citations source a higher authority to your site. 

How to Build Citations and Directory Submission Backlinks

Most niche directories allow you to create your business profiles with ease. Some of the popular local citation platforms include:

Ensure to add authentic and consistent business info across these profiles. 

Next, you must use aggregators like Express Update and Neustar Localeze. These platforms help you establish listings on many niche-specific directories. 

This is a useful list for finding local citation sites in the US. 

Also, a good way to find niche-specific listing cites is to track your competitors’ mentions. The idea is to check where your successful competitors are listed and list your business here.

5. Social Media Profile & Post Links

These refer to the links you develop by indexing your business across social media. The social media profile links are Nofollow and do not share link authority. 

However, some organizations still tend to make hundreds of business profiles on a single social media platform. And when Google comes across these unnatural social links, it can penalize your site. 

Moreover, the links you gain through social media posts are post links. 

The social media links help you build brand awareness and increase referral traffic to your site. 

How to Build Social Media Profile & Post Links? 

You must enlist your business across several popular social media platforms. This includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc. 

See the screenshot below of how businesses can get links from social platforms. 


Next, you must regularly build engagement by posting relevant content, offers, and promotions on social media. 

Also, utilize several social media features like: 

  • Business pages on Facebook
  • Stories, Feed posts, Rich Pins
  • Micro-blogs on Tumblr for backlinks

These activities also grow your social signals and give an indirect push to your SEO value. 

6. Review-specific Links

These are the links that you gain through the review-generation process. These can be natural or outreach-specific links. 

E.g., A review platform reviews your SEO tool and links to your site; it is a natural review link. Meanwhile, you can also request influencers to check and review your business. 

The below screenshot shows an example of a site with a backlink to the tool’s site. 


How to Build Review-specific Links

You can use to track your reviews. Next, you can request some of your positive reviewers to add a link to the review. 

Also, find the bloggers and influencers in your niche and plan email outreach to generate reviews. 

7. Guest Blogging Links

Guest blogging links are a type of manual outreach links. However, you must not confuse it with the outdated article directory submissions. 

Unlike the low-quality article directories, the guest blogging links can drive you significant authority. 

Here, you must outreach to relevant guest blogging sites and other businesses in your niche. And you can pitch them your guest blogging ideas to post on their sites. Meanwhile, you can add valuable backlinks to this submission. 

How to Build Guest Blogging Links

Study the link profile of your competitors to check their guest blog submissions. If these domains are relevant to your business, you can pitch them your guest blog ideas. 

The below screenshot shows that competitor links can be gathered using SEO tools


Use this list to find some of the most reputed guest blogging sites following strict guidelines. Sort the most relevant sites and pitch them through personalized email outreach campaigns. 

Also, ensure that you produce quality content and pitch it to a highly-relevant site.

Read: Importance of Guest Posting & Tips to Strategize It

Types of Links – FAQs

Q1. Which Types of Links help me Grow My SEO Value? 

Ans. Some crucial SEO links that you must build: 

  • Natural Editorial Links: You gain these links naturally, owing to your quality content. Webmasters find your content valuable and link out to it. 
  • Manual Outreach Links: These links result from your content outreach campaigns. You need to pitch your valuable content resources to relevant webmasters for backlinks. 
  • Guest Blogging Links: Similar to the manual outreach links, you gain these links by submitting guest blogs on authoritative sites.
  • Citation and Directory Submission Links: You gain these links by creating business profiles across niche-specific listing sites and directories. 
  • Social Media Profile & Post Links: You gain these links by establishing your business profile on social platforms. Links to your engaging social posts further help you gain regular referral traffic.

Q2. How to Gain More PageRank-passing Backlinks? 

Ans. Some crucial link-building practices are: 

  • Build quality content on the most valuable topics and promote them to gain natural backlinks
  • Assess the referring domains of your competitors through Ubersuggest or SEMrush. You can then pitch them guest blogging requests and value-adding link requests. 
  • Use HARO and ProfNet platforms to get your PR contributions on niche-specific media sites. Sign up to receive multiple content requirements that promise a backlink in return. 
  • Track your product or brand mentions using or Google Alerts. Request links from the sites offering you positive brand mentions. 

Q3. Why Should I Build More Dofollow Links than NoFollow Links? 

Ans. The Dofollow links source you link juice or link authority from the referring domain. So, Dofollow links from authoritative domains significantly add to your SEO value. 

Meanwhile, Nofollow links do not share any link juice or authority from the referring domain. 

However, both these types of links share referral traffic. 

Key Takeaways

  • Find the most popular content around your crucial keywords using ‘Content Explorer’ in Ahrefs. Use these insights to produce valuable content resources and attract natural links to this content.
  • Pitch your exclusive content resources (blogs, surveys, guides, etc.) for link-building requests. 
  • Research and answer highly relevant questions on Quora and Reddit. 
  • Build structured citations by listing on GMB, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Yelp, etc. You can also find relevant directories through competitor analysis.
  • Make business profiles and business pages on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Also, plan highly-engaging posts on these platforms. 
  • Analyze guest blogging platforms and pitch highly relevant guest blogs for backlinks. Also, plan PR contributions through HARO.

Rank Your Website

Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.


Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.

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