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Forum Backlinks: Do They Work in 2024?

Global cta alex

Written by

Alejandro Meyerhans

Published on

12 January 2024

Last Updated on

29 February 2024

9 minutes read

Contents

I don't care what anyone tells you.

Forum backlinks still work.

They just don't work as SEOs want them to.

In this article, I'll share with you the benefits of forum backlinks, the right way to build links on forums, as well as a list of the top forums for link-building categorized by niche.

Key Takeaways

  • Consistently providing high-quality responses in forum posts can improve your EEAT signals, which is crucial for SEO.
  • Employing pillow anchors (non-keyword-dense anchor texts) in forum backlinks helps to maintain a natural backlink profile and avoid search engine penalties.
  • Building forum backlinks can direct targeted referral traffic to your site, which not only increases your visibility but can also contribute positively to your site's SEO.

What Are Forum Backlinks?

Forum backlinks are simply links from online forums, such as Reddit, Quora, Stack Overflow, etc. back to your website.

When used wisely, these backlinks can help you build connections within your niche, establish authority, and get noticed by a crowd that's already interested in what you have to offer.

They're a way to engage with the community, answer questions, and contribute valuable insights — all while leading people back to your website, where they can learn more about your products or services.

Are Forum Backlinks Good for SEO?

Forum backlinks are good for SEO.

The problem with SEOs is that they value links solely based on the link juice they can pass. However, off-page SEO is more than just backlinks.

There are social signals, brand exposure, referral traffic, and many more signals that can boost your site's search engine rankings.

Remember, SEO is a form of marketing, and engaging with your audience by offering support or insights can lead to organic traffic and genuine interest in your brand.

What Are The Benefits of Forum Backlinks?

1. Boost Your E-E-A-T

Google is all over Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EEAT) now.

It's their way to differentiate between real, legit people and SEOs who spam the internet with AI-generated content.

Now, EEAT signals are mostly off-page — meaning that while having an author bio, address, and a contact form helps — what really positions you as an expert are mentions on other sites.

When you consistently provide high-quality responses or initiate thoughtful discussions on forum posts, you bolster your credibility.

This active participation can lead to mentions and citations, which Google can recognize as markers of a legitimate and authoritative source in your field.

2. Diversify Your Backlink Profile

Think of your backlink profile as your investment portfolio.

You wouldn't put all your money in one stock, right?

The same goes for your backlinks.

Having links from a variety of sources is key.

Forum backlinks are a smart addition to your link-building strategy.

They're like the mutual funds in your portfolio — not too risky, but with the potential for a good return.

Here's how you can make them work for you:

  • Stay relevant: Join forums that make sense for your business. If you sell baking supplies, get active in baking forums, not car repair.
  • Be a regular: Don't just drop a link and ghost. Be an active member. Answer questions, provide insights, and be helpful.
  • Quality over quantity: A few thoughtful, well-placed comments are better than a hundred "Nice post!" remarks.
  • Help first, link second: Your priority in forum posts should be to assist and provide value. Only include a link when it enhances the conversation or provides a resource related to the discussion.

By diversifying, you're not only avoiding putting all your eggs in one basket, but you're also showing search engines that you're a real player in your industry, with a presence in all the right places.

3. Pillow Anchors

Google relies on anchor texts to understand the topic on the linked page.

If you get links from many websites with anchors like “buy protein powder”, “protein powder”, “whey protein”, etc. Google will be like: Hmmm, this page is probably about protein powder.

Now, if you want the best results, you have to use Exact or Partial Match anchors — anchors that contain your main keyword.

But here's the catch: Anchor texts are one of the few ways Google can tell that you're building links — which is against their guidelines.

If you went so heavy on Exact Match anchors, you could end up with a penalty.

So, how to get around that?

By using pillow anchors.

Pillow anchor texts are anchors that don't contain your main keyword.

Think of generic things like “click here” and “read more”, your page URL, your brand name, etc.

These types of anchors dilute your backlink profile, making it appear more natural and less like you're trying to game the system.

Now, links are expensive.

And that's why people often use forum backlinks for these types of anchors.

4. Tiered Link Building

Tiered link-building is about building backlinks to your backlinks.

It's a grey hat technique that can boost the power of your links.

While do-follow forum backlinks don't really pass a lot of link juice, building thousands of them can have a noticeable effect.

What grey hat link builders do is that they build real, high authority links to their websites — tier 1 links.

Then, build hundreds of forum backlinks to these tier 1 links to boost their SEO value— tier 2 links.

Some even go further by building tier 3 and tier 4 links.

Now, I must say that I prefer to use PBNs in tiered link building, as they're way more powerful.

But you can still use forum links, blog comments, and any type of Web 2.0 links.

5. Increase Brand Exposure

Think of forums as networking events.

Each forum post or comment is a handshake, an introduction to someone new.

You're not just another face in the crowd; you're the one starting conversations, the one with answers.

That's how you get remembered, and that's how your brand starts to grow wings.

6. Get Referral Traffic

Forum participation drives referral and targeted traffic to your site.

Engage in discussions, help out, and when it feels right, drop a link to your website.

That's it — no need to overcomplicate.

The more helpful your forum activity, the more people click through to your site.

This won't only boost your customer base but also signal to Google that people love your content, which can help your website rank higher.

7. Get Valuable Feedback

Jumping into relevant forum discussions isn't just about dropping links — it's a two-way street.

You give advice, sure, but you also get real talk back.

It's like a live Q&A for your brand. Use it.

Ask questions, poke around, and see what the crowd thinks about your latest thing.

It's a goldmine of insights straight from the horse's mouth — your audience.

They'll tell you what rocks and what doesn't, and that's priceless.

Act on that feedback, and you're not just building links, you're building a better brand.

How to Get Forum Backlinks

1 Find Relevant Communities in Your Industry

Start with a simple search.

Plug in your niche plus "forum" into your favorite search engine and see what pops up.

Make a list of the top forums that appear and have a good mix of recent posts and active members.

2. Filter Out Inactive Forums

Time is valuable. Don't waste it in ghost towns.

Check the dates of the latest posts. If the most recent discussions are collecting dust, move on. You want vibrant, relevant forums where the conversation flows daily.

3. Carefully Read The Community Guidelines

Every forum has its rulebook. Read it.

It's usually pinned at the top or in a dedicated section.

By reading the guidelines, you'll know what's a no-go, and following the rules keeps you from getting the boot from forum moderators.

4. Jump Into Discussions

Offer help. Share insights. Ask questions.

The more you engage, the more you're seen as a contributor, not a leech.

Be the person with the answers, and the community will respect your voice — and your links.

5. Add Links When They Make Sense

Now for the main event — adding your links:

  • In Your Profile: Your homepage link here is like your business card. It's expected.
  • Introductions: Say hi, mention your project, and if it feels right, include that link.
  • Valuable Content: When you post, enrich your content with links that add more substance.
  • Use Promo Spaces: If there's a spot for self-promotion, that's your cue to shine — modestly.
  • Informed Replies: Giving advice? Cap it off with a link to your content for the full story

Remember, it's about blending in your links so they're helpful, not spammy.

Stick to the guidelines, and you'll be golden.

Best Online Forums for Backlinks

Best Tech Forum Sites

Best Finance Forums

Best Fashion Forums

Best Recipe Forums

Best Marketing Forums

Best Health Forums

Best Fitness Sites for Forum Link Building

FAQs

What Is Forum Linking?

Forum linking is the practice of creating backlinks to a website from online forums.

It involves participating in forum discussions and including website links in posts or signatures, aiming to drive traffic, establish authority, and improve search engine optimization (SEO).

Are Forum Backlinks Nofollow?

Forums backlinks are often nofollow, however, even the dofollow links don't pass a lot of SEO juice.

So you shouldn't worry about getting dofollow or nofollow links and focus on the many benefits forum sites can provide for your SEO.

Are Forum Backlinks Worth It?

Forum backlinks are worth it as they help establish authority, provide referral traffic, and contribute to a diverse backlink profile.

However, their worth depends on the quality of the online forum community and the relevance of the discussion.

Conclusion

Forum backlinks are solid for showing Google that there is a real, invested person behind the website.

But if you're serious about climbing up Google's rankings, you need the heavy hitters: dofollow backlinks from high-authority websites.

We build thousands of these links per month for our clients.

We have experience in working in different niches from local law firms to large international institutions.

And since we know that each site is different, we offer a free link-building plan that is customized for your niche — no strings attached.

Just call us, and let's talk about how to get your site all the way to the top.

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