The Only 43 Types of Backlinks You Need to Know | Get Me Links

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The Only 43 Types of Backlinks You Need to Know

Global cta alex

Written by

Alejandro Meyerhans

Published on

12 February 2024

Last Updated on

05 March 2024

25 minutes read


In this article, I’ll share with you the 43 types of backlinks you need to know.

I categorized these backlink types based on how search engine bots view them, their position on the web page, as well as the source of the backlink.

I also scored each backlink type, so you can understand exactly how can they help your website’s SEO.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks — also known as inbound links or incoming links — are when a website links to another website using a hyperlink — an HTML code.

This is what a backlink looks like:

<a href= “” rel=”nofollow”>Get Me Links</a>

A backlink has 3 main parts:

  1. The Target URL: This is the address of the page you’re linking to. In this example, it’s “”.

  2. The “rel” Attribute: This attribute describes the relationship between the current page and the linked page. There are many backlink types attributes, including “dofollow”, “nofollow”, and “noopener”. We’ll get more into what they mean later.

  3. The Anchor Text: This is the visible, clickable text that contains the link. In this example, it’s “Get Me Links”.

What Are The Benefits of Backlinks?

SEO is all about backlinks.

Well, backlinks and content mainly. But backlinks are more important.

An “ok” page with backlinks will always outperform an excellent page without backlinks — at least in today’s algorithm.

Search engines like Google can’t tell the difference between a good and an excellent page.

So, they rely on 2 factors to estimate the quality of the page.

The first one is user signals.

Google collects tons of user data from their browser and app.

If users stay on your page and engage with your content, Google takes that as a sign of quality, so they’ll rank you higher.

Now, user signals only work if you’re already getting some traffic.

Like they can boost you from the #3 position to the #1.

If you have a new page that’s ranking #70, engagement signals won’t do much.

And that’s where backlinks come in.

Google sees backlinks as votes of trust.

When someone links to you, it means that they see your page as a valuable resource — a resource worth sharing with their audience.

And if real people think your content is very good, search engines will abide.

Now, not all backlinks are equal.

A backlink from a high-authority site like Forbes or Healthline is better than a backlink from a small blog.

Both links will help your SEO, but the more authority the linking site has, the more valuable a backlink from it will be.

We have an entire guide that goes in-depth into what makes a good backlink, so make sure to check it out after reading this article.

But for now, just know that backlinks have 3 key attributes:

  1. Relevance: Relevant backlinks help Google better understand your content. which will help you rank higher for your target keyword.

  2. Trust: Different topics have different trust requirements. If I built a brand new website, there is no chance in hell that Google would rank me for keywords like “how to cure cancer” or “how to make money online”. In their eyes, I’m not a trustworthy source. Unless someone Google trusts vouched for me. So, the more trustworthy websites vouch for you, the more Google will see you as a credible source.

  3. Power: This comes from the concept of PageRank. Simply put, the more backlinks a page has, the more PageRank signals or “link juice” they’ll pass, and the higher you’ll rank.

Types of Backlinks Based on Link Attribute

Link attributes are a way to help Google understand why you’re linking to this page.

Do you like it? Did someone pay you to add the link? Are you the one adding this link?

These are the questions the link attribute answers.

1. Dofollow Backlinks

<a href= “”>Get Me Links</a>

Dofollow links are hyperlinks that either have the rel=”dofollow” attribute or no attribute at all.

These are the standard types of backlinks.

The links that tell Google “I trust this page, you should too”.

So, in short, dofollow backlinks are the ones that can help you rank higher.

2. Nofollow Backlinks

<a href= “” rel=”nofollow”>Get Me Links</a>

The nofollow tag is used to tell Google that you don’t want to be associated with the target page.

This could be because it’s unreliable, untrustworthy, or simply unfamiliar.

Don’t worry, nofollow backlinks don’t have any negative SEO impact, but they don’t have a positive one either.

Nofollow links don’t pass any link juice, so they won’t help you rank higher.

However, they’re not totally “useless”.

In 2020, Google announced that nofollow links will be used as a hint for crawling and indexing web pages.

Nofollow backlinks can also drive traffic to your site and get more eyes on your high-quality content — which is always a good thing.

Finally, having a mix of nofollow and regular "dofollow" links makes your site's backlink profile look more natural and less like you're just trying to play the SEO game.

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3. Sponsored Backlinks

<a href= “” rel=”sponsored”>Get Me Links</a>

Sponsored links are the ones that contain the rel=”sponsored” attribute and they’re used to disclose any promotional links.

Basically, they are any links that are part of a paid arrangement, such as affiliate links, paid sponsorships, advertisements, etc.

Similar to nofollow links, sponsored backlinks don’t pass any link juice, so they don’t have a direct impact on your website’s SEO.

4. User-Generated Content (UGC) Backlinks

<a href= “” rel=”ugc”>Get Me Links</a>

User-generated links are the backlinks created by — wait for it — your website users.

Think of links in forum posts, blog comments, etc.

To help search engines understand the nature of these links, they are often marked with a rel="ugc" (user-generated content) attribute.

This little detail is pretty handy because it helps search engines understand that these links are part of the conversation happening on the site, not something the site's trying to promote.

5. Noopener Noreferrer Links

<a href= “” rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Get Me Links</a>

While this isn’t really a type of backlink, many links have the rel = “noopener noreferrer” tag.

This tag is simply a security measure that prevents malicious links from gaining access to a user’s browser.

It has nothing to do with SEO, so don’t worry about it.

Types of Backlinks Based on Position

Backlinks can appear in various spots on a webpage, and where they're located can influence their effectiveness.

Let's break down the different positions backlinks can take.

6. In Content

These are the gold standard of backlinks.

Located right in the heart of a webpage's content, they're often embedded in articles, blog posts, or other textual content.

In-content backlinks are valuable because they're surrounded by relevant content, giving them more context and making them more likely to be clicked by genuinely interested readers.

7. Image

Image backlinks occur when an image on a webpage is hyperlinked.

So, if you click on the image, it takes you to another site.

These backlinks are a bit like hidden gems — not as upfront as text links, but they can pack a punch in driving traffic — especially if the image is engaging.

8. Byline

Ever read an article and seen a link attached to the author's name or bio?

That's a byline backlink, also called guest post bio backlinks.

These backlinks can be great for personal branding and driving traffic to the author's webpage or profile — which is excellent for EEAT signals and entity stacking.

9. Footer Links

Footer backlinks are those that appear in the website's footer and are often site-wide links — meaning that they’ll give you a backlink from every page of the website.

Search engines might view footer links as unnatural — especially if they're overused.

This can raise a red flag and potentially lead to penalties.

10. Hidden

Hidden backlinks are typically invisible to users, either through tiny font sizes, matching the background color, or hiding within the webpage’s code.

While they might sound cool and spy-like, they're not really above board.

In fact, they're often considered a black-hat link-building technique and can get a site penalized by search engines.

So, it's best to steer clear of these.

Types of Backlinks Based on Anchor Text

Alright, let's dive into another crucial aspect of backlinks — the anchor text.

This is the clickable text in a hyperlink, and it can significantly impact your SEO efforts.

Here, we'll explore the different types of backlink anchor texts:

11. Exact Match Backlink

First up, we have the exact match anchor text.

This is when the anchor text is a carbon copy of the keyword you're targeting.

For instance, if your keyword is "best coffee machines," the anchor text is exactly that.

While an exact match can be potent for SEO, be careful not to overdo it.

Overuse can appear spammy to search engines.

12. Partial Match Backlink

This type includes a variation of your target keyword.

Say your keyword is "best coffee machines".

A partial match could be "espresso machines".

It's less direct than an exact match but still closely related to your target topic.

13. Branded Backlink

This is where your brand or company name is used as the anchor.

If your site is "," then "GML" or “Get Me Link” is a branded anchor.

It's great for building brand awareness and is typically seen as trustworthy by search engines.

14. Naked Link Anchors

Naked or empty anchors are straightforward — they use the URL as the anchor text.

For example, "" is a naked link anchor.

15. Generic Backlinks

Generic anchors or pillow anchors are your basic, non-descriptive phrases like "click here" or "learn more."

They don't give much context about what to expect, which can be a missed opportunity for SEO.

However, they're useful for a more natural-looking backlink profile.

Backlink Types Based on Link Building Techniques

16. Organic Backlinks (Editorial Links)

  • Relevance: 5/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 2/5

Organic or editorial backlinks are the links you naturally earn without any direct effort or outreach.

They happen when someone finds your content so useful or interesting that they link to it from their website.

To get these organic backlinks, you can focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

It could be anything from a super informative blog post, a fun video, a cool infographic, or an in-depth guide.

The key is to make it so good that people can't resist sharing it.

When your content is top-notch, these organic backlinks will start coming in, boosting your site's credibility and search engine rankings.

17. Guest Posts Backlinks

  • Relevance: 5/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 2/5

Guest blogging backlinks are backlinks you get when you write an article or a blog post for another website with a link back to your site.

It's a bit like being a guest speaker at an event and getting a chance to mention your project to a new audience.

18. Link Insertions

  • Relevance: 2/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 4/5

This is when someone updates an existing article and adds a link to your website.

Niche edits are considered more powerful than guest posts, as you get them from old web pages that are indexed and potentially have backlinks pointing to them.

19. Press Release Backlinks (PR Backlinks)

  • Relevance: 1/5

  • Trust: 5/5

  • Power: 2/5

Let’s say you have some big news or an exciting announcement about your business.

What real businesses do is that they craft a press release to share this news with the world.

Now, if your announcement is interesting enough, news outlets can pick your story and publish it on their websites with a link to the original press release or your home page.

And these are simply press release links. They are links you get from press releases.

20. Reciprocal Links (Link Exchanges)

  • Relevance: 4/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 1/5

Reciprocal links, or link exchanges, are like a friendly handshake between two website owners.

It's when you agree to link to someone's site, and they link back to yours.

Think of it as saying, "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine."

It's a cool way for both of you to help each other out with a backlink and maybe share some of each other's traffic.

20. PBN Backlinks

  • Relevance: 1/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 5/5

PBNs or Private Blog Networks are a collection of websites created for the sole purpose of generating powerful backlinks.

Here is how they work:

The Private Blog Network owner buys a punch of expired or dropped domains with high authority, and then interlinks them together to increase their authority even further.

These sites can then be used to send super powerful links to money pages, which can help them climb the rankings ladder substantially.

If you're considering PBN backlinks, it's important to weigh the risks.

While they might give you a short-term boost in rankings, there's also a significant risk of getting penalized by search engines if they catch on to what you're doing.

That’s why experienced SEOs don’t build PBNs directly to their websites but to their high-quality backlinks in a process known as tiered link-building.

21. Free-Tool Backlinks

  • Relevance: 3/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 2/5

Free-tool backlinks are a smart way to get other websites to link to yours by offering something valuable for free.

Here's how it works:

You create a tool or resource that's useful for people in your industry.

This could be anything from a handy calculator to a neat template.

The key is to make something that solves a common problem or makes life easier for people in your field.

Once you've got your tool ready, the next step is to let others know about it.

Reach out to websites and blogs that talk about similar topics and tell them about your free tool.

If they find your tool helpful, they’ll often mention it on their website with a link back to you.

22. Widget Links

  • Relevance: 3/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 3.5/5

Widgets are small tools like calculators or interactive charts that users can embed on their websites — often on the sidebar.

For example, if you have a financial website, you might offer a mortgage calculator widget.

When other websites embed this calculator, the embed code typically includes a backlink to your site, the original widget creator.

Widget link-building is considered a white-hat practice when the link is relevant with a branded anchor.

However, many black-hat SEOs use widgets to build links to shady sites, which forced Google to take action.

23. Badge Backlinks

  • Relevance: 2/5

  • Trust: 3.5/5

  • Power: 4/5

This type of backlink is earned when you create a digital badge or award and offer it to other websites.

Think of it as creating a virtual trophy for excellence in a certain area, like "Best in Tech" or "Eco-Friendly Business Leader."

When you give this badge to websites that meet your criteria, they often display it proudly on their site, and this usually includes a link back to your website.

These links usually pass a lot of link juice, as the badges are often placed on the homepage or footer.

24. Infographic Links

  • Relevance: 2/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 2/5

When you create an infographic and it's shared or used by other websites, they'll often link back to your original creation.

This kind of backlink is not only good for SEO, but it also helps in visually illustrating complex data, making your content more shareable and understandable.

25. Testimonial Links

  • Relevance: 1/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 4/5

When you leave a testimonial for a product or service you've used, often the company will publish it on their site with a link back to yours.

It's a win-win: you get a backlink, and they get some well-earned praise.

Plus, businesses often display their testimonials on the home page, so these links are very powerful.

26. Podcast Links

  • Relevance: 4/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 1/5

When you're featured on a podcast, the episode's show notes will likely include a backlink to your website.

These backlinks are great for reaching a new audience and enhancing your authority in your field.

27. Interview Links

  • Relevance: 5/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 1/5

Similar to podcast backlinks, if a website or a blog interviews you, they'll typically link back to your site in the article.

These links are super valuable as they establish you as a thought leader in your industry and boost your site’s EEAT signals.

28. Resource Page Links

  • Relevance: 5/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 1/5

Some websites have resource pages that link to informative content in the industry.

If your site has valuable resources, you can reach out to these websites and suggest adding your link.

It's a fantastic way to get noticed and score quality backlinks.

However, it’s important to mention that resource page backlinks don’t pass a lot of power, as they often link to multiple resources from the same page, which dilutes the link juice.

29. HARO Links (Journalist Links)

  • Relevance: ?/5

  • Trust: 5/5

  • Power: 2/5

HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a platform where you can provide expert insights to help journalists write their pieces.

In return, they often include a link back to your site in their articles.

The competition in HARO is fierce, so if you want to build some links, you need to answer as many queries as possible.

This results in many irrelevant backlinks, but hey, they are from authoritative websites, so it’s definitely worth it!

30. Webinar Links

  • Relevance: 5/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 1/5

These are the links you get from participating in webinars.

The webinar host website will often link to your site in the speakers section, which is a great way to showcase your expertise on a topic and get a backlink as a part of the deal.

31. Forums Backlinks

  • Relevance: 3/5

  • Trust: 1/5

  • Power: 0.1/5

These links come when someone mentions your website in online communities where people gather to discuss specific topics, share information, and ask questions.

Think of forums like Stack Overflow or Black Hat World and Q&A sites like Quora and Answerly.

While they're often nofollow, these links can still drive traffic and increase your brand's visibility.

32. Social Media Links

  • Relevance: 3/5

  • Trust: 1.5/5

  • Power: 0.1/5

Social media links are the backlinks you get when someone shares a link to your website on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

It's similar to posting a photo or a status update and including a link that directs people to your site.

These links generate tons of social signals and help Google understand that you’re a real business.

However, it’s important to mention that social signals aren’t a ranking factor, so they won’t help you rank higher.

33. Social Bookmarking Backlinks

  • Relevance: 2/5

  • Trust: 1/5

  • Power: 0.1/5

Bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Digg are websites that allow users to save and share pages that they consider valuable.

These bookmarks are often public, so when someone bookmarks your website, you receive a backlink.

34. Blog Comment Backlinks

  • Relevance: 2/5

  • Trust: 0.1/5

  • Power: 0.1/5

Blogs usually have a comments section that allows users to discuss or engage with the post.

These comments can have links, so if someone mentions your page in their comment, you’ll receive a blog comment link.

Comment backlinks will have a “ugc” attribute, so they won’t help your SEO, though.

35. Ping Backlinks

  • Relevance: 3/5

  • Trust: 0/5

  • Power: 0/5

Ping links, commonly known as "pingbacks," are a type of automatic notification system used in some Content Management Systems (CMSs) like WordPress.

They are a way for one blog to notify another about a link or reference.

For example, if a website has pingback enabled and I referenced it with a link, it’ll receive a comment indicating that I've linked to it.

This comment will usually contain a link back to my site.

So, basically, it’s an automated comment backlink.

36. Profile Links

  • Relevance: 1/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 0.1/5

Countless websites and applications allow users to create profiles.

In these profiles, you often have the option to include a link to your website.

Profile backlinks are exactly that — links from these user profiles back to your site.

37. Automatically Generated Links

  • Relevance: 0/5

  • Trust: 0/5

  • Power: 0.1/5

These are links created through automated tools.

While they can generate a large number of backlinks quickly, be cautious as they're often seen as spammy by search engines and you could end up with a manual penalty.

So unless you really know what you’re doing, stay away from this link-building scheme.

38. Business Citations

  • Relevance: 2/5

  • Trust: 2/5

  • Power: 0.1/5

When you set up a profile for your business on websites like Yelp, Google My Business, review sites, or other industry or location-specific directories, you often get a chance to include your website link.

These are particularly useful for local SEO and establishing credibility.

However, it's important to stay away from building irrelevant directory links, as they could confuse search engines and negatively impact your link-building efforts.

Instead, stick to high-quality local and industry directories.

40. Redirected Links

  • Relevance: 4/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 4/5

This type of link often happens when you acquire another business website or an expired domain and redirect all the pages to your main site.

These links will have a 301 redirect status code that tells search engines that this URL has been moved permanently to the new page.

These links often have high trust and power as you usually redirect domains that have plenty of high-quality backlinks.

41. Acknowledgment Backlinks

  • Relevance: 1/5

  • Trust: 3/5

  • Power: 3/5

When your business sponsors an event or donates to a cause, the website of the event will often mention your business in the sponsors section.

This is called an acknowledgment backlink and it’s very valuable, as these event websites often get tons of backlinks from high-authority news outlets.

42. Academic Backlinks

  • Relevance: 1/5

  • Trust: 4/5

  • Power: 3/5

Businesses often get backlinks from educational institutes and universities by offering internships, staff & student discounts, or scholarships.

Educational websites (.edu domains) typically have high authority and are trusted by search engines, making backlinks from these sites particularly valuable.

43. Blogroll Links

  • Relevance: 3/5

  • Trust: 1/5

  • Power: 2/5

A blogroll is a list of links to websites that the webmaster found valuable.

These are sitewide links that can be often seen in the blog’s sidebar, so getting many blogroll backlinks might raise some red flags.

What Kinds of Backlinks Should I Avoid?

1. Low Quality Paid Backlinks

Google wants you to earn backlinks naturally, based on the quality and relevance of your content.

So, when you pay for links, it can be seen as an attempt to manipulate search rankings.

This means that low-quality paid links can result in penalties, including a drop in your site's rankings or even de-indexing from the search engine results pages (SERPs).

For this reason, it's important to stick to high-quality link-building services and avoid any shady companies that offer cheap, unnatural links.

2. Content Syndication Backlinks

Using press release distribution services to get backlinks, without any real news, isn't a great strategy.

Google’s algorithms can easily spot when you're doing this just for SEO and not because you've got something important to share.

This kind of approach can backfire, making your site look less trustworthy and hurting your rankings.

3. Spammy Backlinks from Forums

Spammy forum backlinks are links you get from posting in forums just to plug your website, without really adding to the conversation.

It's like jumping into discussions with a "Hey, check out my site!" but not caring about the topic.

Google prefers when you genuinely engage in forums, contributing something useful, and then maybe sharing a link if it's relevant.

Otherwise, you may get flagged by search engines for spammy behavior, which can hurt your site's credibility and search rankings.

4. Domains with High Spam Scores or Dropped Search Engine Rankings

Domains with high spam scores are like the sketchy parts of the internet.

If your website gets a lot of backlinks from these places, search engines like Google might start thinking your site is sketchy too.

It's kind of like getting a bunch of bad references for a job.

In some cases, if you have too many of these bad backlinks, Google might even give your site a time-out from search results.

5. Excessive Link Exchanges

While some reciprocal linking is natural, excessive link exchanges can be seen as an attempt to manipulate search rankings.

6. Links With Overly Optimized Anchor Texts

If all of your backlinks have overly optimized anchor texts (especially with commercial keywords), it can tell Google that you're participating in link schemes and potentially lead to penalties.

7. Links from Sites with Explicit or Illegal Content

Backlinks from sites that host illegal or adult content or even have outbound links to these shady sites can negatively impact your site's reputation and SEO.

8. Rapid Acquisition of Links

A sudden and unnatural increase in backlinks can be an indicator of participating in link schemes.

This can happen if you acquire links too quickly in an unnatural manner, indicating potential manipulation of search rankings.

For this reason, it’s important to pay close attention to your website’s link velocity.

9. Link Farms

A link farm is a group of websites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group.

This is a form of spamming the index of a search engine and is frowned upon by search engines.

10. Redirect Chains

Long chains of redirects that eventually lead to your site can be problematic.

They dilute the link equity and can be seen as a way to manipulate search rankings.


What Type of SEO Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are a part of off-page SEO, focusing on external factors like links from other websites to improve site authority and ranking.

What Are Tier 3 Backlinks?

Tier 3 backlinks is a link-building strategy where you acquire backlinks for your backlinks. In simple terms, tier 1 backlinks are the links that point to your site, tier 2 links are the backlinks of tier 1 links, and tier 3 links are the backlinks to your tier 2 links.

What Are Backlinks in SEO and Their Types?

Backlinks in SEO are hyperlinks from other website owners and it's used by search engines to assess the quality of your content. There are over 43 types of backlinks, including guest post backlinks, contextual links, press releases, blog comment links, and many more.

What Type of Backlinks Can Be Built to Your Website?

Various types of backlinks can be built into your website such as guest post links, niche edits, and PR backlinks.


Now, that you know all the backlink types, the next step is to build them.

Start by identifying what link signals your website needs most, choose the type of link that better matches your needs, and then go out there and build those freaking backlinks.

And if you need help, we’re here for you.

We offer free link-building consultation for website owners.

So, what are you waiting for?

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