How to Create Backlinks in 2018

9 min read(Last Updated On: December 20, 2017)

Hey. Hoz here with a guide on how to create backlinks to your website or blog post Hummingbird.

Gone are the days when you could throw up a site and run a piece of software to generate thousands of fake forum profiles with backlinks back to your site.

Those links are not worth anything now and, at worse, can get you penalised.

Same thing goes for many types of directories.

There is a new way of doing things when it comes to link building safely, and this is what I’m going to cover in this tutorial.

So let’s start by going over what no longer works.

How Not to Create Backlinks to a Website

The following link building methods of yesteryear are obsolete and you should under no circumstances be doing these – especially if you care about your blog or website:

  • forum profile links (I mean, seriously…)
  • business directories (don’t do this unless your website is actually a business website)
  • article directories (these guys have lost all their once-impressive power)
  • buying link packages (come on… seriously? That stopped working 10 years ago!)
  • blog commenting (waste of time – there’s more effective things you can be doing with that time)
  • sitewide blogroll links (these are overused, looks too spammy now)

The above are the usual suspects.

The issue with SEO is that many SEOs read an ebook in 2007 and are still following what they read.Click To Tweet

But this is good news for you: those guys are naturally extinguishing themselves out of the competitive landscape. The more idiots, the better for you and I.

What About Software to Automatically Create Backlinks?

Remember Scrapbox and SEnuke? Ah, it was so easy back then…

SEO software is designed to secure links fast and automatically from easy places.

Automated tools spin content and mass post to forums and blogs, inserting a link back to your site or article. Those are the ‘easy places’, without gatekeepers (i.e. WordPress blogs that have comments enabled an no moderation in place).

That, my friend, means those places are crap.

What About GSA Tools?

Before Penguin and Panda, there were many methods to create backlinks quickly, and to be fair, many of those techniques were very inventive.

GSA tools are heavy duty. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can burn your site faster than you can say yikes.

Let me clarify something:

Some automated tools are effective. SEO masters dominate niches with them because they understand how search algorithms workClick To Tweet

When I say SEO masters, I mean Masters with a capital M. I’m not talking about script kiddies hanging out in a black hat forum bitching about what new tool is best and what backlink package worked for them last week.

So it’s not that these tools don’t work (although most are absolute trash now) – it’s that, for most people, using the few tools that do work is a bit like a drunk driving a steamroller in a packed car park.

Since you’re reading this post, I can safely assume that you’re not a Master, so don’t delve into this voodoo if you don’t want to crash and burn your main site (ahem, do learn all you want – just don’t use your good sites as your training wheels!)

Some DO NOTs:

  • don’t buy link building packages from anywhere (especially ‘multiple’ links)
  • avoid SEOs in Fiverr who sell backlinks (seriously?)
  • avoid people who sell GSA gigs and link wheels and other snazzy-named methods

What About Web 2.0 Sites

They can work when done and used correctly. But seriously, if you buy web 2.0 links from somebody for a few dollars, they’re almost always going to be creating brand new Web 2.0 sites on WordPress, Blogger etc – how much value do you think those pseudo-English articles with a questionnable backlink are worth?

The Real Problems With Buying Backlinks

Well there are several, but the main ones are:

  • you’re not going likely to get quality links from a cheap gig
  • your anchor text is going to be all over the place unless you know what you’re doing, and that’s going to kick you in the backside big time

Forget also about .edu links and .gov links bought through a cheap gig. They all claim to be super powerful and they always tout high authority quality websites using obsolete measurements like PR8 and PR9 (page rank) instead of DA (domain authority).

Some gigs add the word manually to their listing and some people mistake this work with real or legit or high quality. Don’t be one of those people.

Other gigs promise permanent tier 1 links (like in Wikipedia) or thousands of edu links for a few dollars. Seriously…

So How Do You Do Link Building And Create links Safely?

Well, let me tell you the best way to do this these days, but first, let me make another statement:

Google’s terms of service state that you must not attempt to manipulate the SERPs (search engine rank positions). By my reckoning, that’s exactly what you’re doing when you create backlinks…

One of the most laughable terms to emerge in the last few years is Whitehat SEO (WTF is that?).

If you build links to your site in any way, then you are by definition attempting to manipulate your position in the search engines, so let’s not pretend that there is a safe, whitehat, uber nice, Google-loving method.

White hat is a marketing term, just like 5 a day (a term supermarkets coined to con you into buying more fruit and veg. It’s 5 a day if you’re in the UK, but I believe it’s 14 a day in some places in the US. Think about that).

White hat is what people want to hear. Thus marketers boast about being white hat and lovely. It calms nerves.Click To Tweet

A hyperlink is a hyperlink.

Tweeting a link back to your website does not make it whitehat when you manufactured the content in order to score a link. Duh.Click To Tweet

Now, before you lose all hope, let me tell you a secret:

Links are what makes the web work. How else can a page be found?Click To Tweet

This is excellent news. It means that, to an extent, Google is BS’ing.

The reality is that if you got a million links to your website, you would rank like a rocket. The sticking point is that Google will find those links and intervene to stop you from ranking because you manipulated the SERPs.

Make sense?

So links aren’t bad. They have never been bad. What we’re dealing with here is search engines that have filters for what they deem is ‘good’ backlinking practices. A bit hypocritical that, don’t you think?

But it’s also a good thing because it means that you and I can rank and the deep pocket corporations can’t dominate just by buying a gazillion links. Like they used to.

Whether some corporates have carte blanche to rank is another matter…

So here’s how we tickle those post-Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird filters these days:

  • create quality content as often as you possibly can (daily, if you can)
  • promote that content on your social media properties (obviously, with a backlink to your article)
  • get yourself set up on Google Search Console and make sure your Sitemap is up to date
  • get yourself set up in Bing Webmaster Tools and submit your Sitemap
  • keep your eye on Google’s Search Console to make sure your impressions are increasing
  • secure guest posts (post content in other higher authority blogs in your niche, with a backlink to your own blog, in order to eventually raise your domain authority)
  • create and publish videos in YouTube and link back to your content in the description
  • if you can create a podcast, do
  • create infographics (or have them created) and post them in infographic sites, letting others use them on the condition that they create an attribute link back to you
  • create slide shares and do the same as with the infographics
  • if you can afford it, secure a guest post in a top-tier publication like Business Insider or the Huffington post, but wait until you have a bit of content

Those are the most cost-effective methods of creating backlinks ‘safely’ these days. The premise is that you are promoting your own content on your own sites (just be smart about it).

Web 2.0 sites done correctly are hard work and in my opinion not worth the effort. Making a web 2.0. property look like an independent blog and creating quality content to only link a tiny percentage of it back to your own site is a waste when that content can be published on your own site and get you traffic.

But if this is part of your strategy, then I recommend:

  • WordPress
  • Blogger

More lower-level things you can do (optional):

  • you can set up other social media sites and syndicate to them
  • you can set up a FeedBurner account to syndicate your RSS feed but make sure you syndicate only part of your posts – not the full article

Other things that you can add to the list, include posting to Instagram and Pinterest (both work very well right now) and I do recommend those as a pretty risk-free way to build traffic and gain exposure.


The best way to build backlinks these days is with content.Click To Tweet
Create quality content often and in as many formats as you can (text, video, pdf, podcast, infographic) then distribute that content everywhere you can.Click To Tweet

Once you have a growing number of articles, invest in guest posting and infographics to acquire backlinks on websites with higher domain authority than yours as well as websites you don’t own.

I hope you enjoyed this guide. Stay safe and rank higher!

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