How to build high quality links in a natural way.

Are you struggling to get natural backlinks? Do you want to learn how to acquire organic ones with less effort? If yes, then read on.

natural links

The history of backlink building.

While the history story is long, there are only a few points worth mentioning here. There was link building before, and link building after the search engines. In the before days, there was only proper organic link building. In the after days, people got motivated to do it for the wrong reasons. Why? Because more links meant higher rankings in the search engines. Unfortunately.

Due to this very reason, people started placing links on other websites not because it made sense, but because they hoped to get some link juice and boost their search engine positions.

While the latter approach may gain some quick wins, it never lasts in the long run. These links don't stand the test of time because search engines pick up on these tactics and discredit these links. Sometimes, they also disappear because there was never a real motivation for the website owner to keep them there.

backlinks history

Looking at the old way of building links, it is a very opposite experience. The reason is simple. Before the search engines, there was only one motivation to get any links - providing value to the readers.

If you were the one who was requesting them, it only made sense to do so under if 3 circumstances were present. The first was for you to have a helpful piece of content. The second was for you to find related content where your content would be complementary. And the third was to reach out and request a link, while answering a simple question for the receiver - what's in it for them?

Unfortunately, most people skip this part which is fundamentally crucial. And, why is that so? Maybe asking yourself a simple question will explain it...

If you were the person receiving a backlink request, would you ever accommodate it if these 3 circumstances were not present? Exactly. And if they were? If the content was super helpful to your readers - but in a complementary, not competitive way? Would you accommodate that link request and place it on your website?

There's your answer. If your link provides real value to everyone and not just you, and if it complements existing value, you will most likely get it.

Understanding the natural backlink funnel.

As you just learned, the circumstances described above are crucial to the success of your linking campaigns. However, creating them is easier said than done. And even more so in today's environment which is suffering from infobesity.

The real question is, what is the distinctive value you can provide to your target niche? And when you decide on it, are you really sure someone else didn't do similar content better than yours already? I'm not trying to demotivate you, but you really need to be self-critical here if you want to be successful. Because if you are not, owners of the websites from where you want links will sure be.

Now, good news is - there are proven ways to come up with such content at any time. There will always be opportunities in the form of content gaps in your niche. We're going to reflect on that and give you a surefire way to identify them in subsequent Postbag guides. But, for now, let's leave it at this to avoid losing the main point...

backlink funnel

Assuming you got the above part right and produced quality content your niche is craving for - what do you do next? You need to find opportunities where the link to your perfect content would provide value - and again - not for you but for everyone involved.

And after all that hard work - producing content and identifying linking opportunities - what do you do next? Reaching out is the answer, but, as always, the devil is in the details. Who do you reach out to, and what do you say?

There's a lot of subtle psychology involved in the process if you want to get that link though. Who, what, how, and when you contact will make a whole world of difference. These are all areas that we will cover in subsequent Postbag guides as well.

For now, the point is, requesting a backlink is not a single step. It's a funnel that people who will potentially link to you go through. Like buyers do with a purchase. And to be successful, you need to understand that funnel in backlinking. Just like you would need to do with marketing or sales.

And that's what subsequent Postbag backlinking guides will help you do. To understand this funnel and execute your backlinking plan a lot easier and faster.

The definition of a high-quality backlink.

Some webpages indeed have more authority than others. It's natural to want to have backlinks from them, instead of from less authoritative websites. However, there is an important concept you need to keep in mind here.

That is - an authority from a page will pass onto yours via a backlink ONLY if the page is tightly relevant. The more related the page, the more authority it will pass.

backlink definition

Unfortunately, this is a concept people often seem to disregard. But there is an easy fix to avoid getting caught up in this. Every time you wish for your link appearing on some page ask yourself this - If there were no search engines, would I still want to have my link here?

If the answer is yes, then pursue it the hardest you can. If not, then it's probably not worth the effort.

If you keep this in mind, your links will stand the test of time. And not just that. They will also bring new targeted business to your website, instead of just artificially boosting your rankings. A win-win situation that everyone wants to be in.

Exercise: Getting the free tools needed for the course.

Register for a FREE Postbag account here to get tools for effective link building. You can start building your personalized outreach list as described here. Play with it and get a sense of how Postbag works.

However, hold your horses just a bit until you finish this course. Namely, with outreach campaigns, you have only one shot. And you want to do it in the best way possible. So again, play with Postbag, but ensure you've learned all the best practices from subsequent guides you'll receive from me before you start using it for real backlink requests.

And food for thought before I send the next piece of content in the series is: How would you come up with ideas for content that people want to link to?

About the author
Karl has been working for 15+ years on the intersection of big data search technologies, artificial intelligence, and search engine optimization. He has gained international experience by working in 4 countries so far. As a husband and a father-of-3, if there's any time left, he likes to spend it on sports and hiking.

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