Backlinks are not for nothing that is the topic of a good half of the articles on SEO: the reference profile of the site plays an important role in the promotion. At the same time, the item of financial expenses for the purchase of links constitutes a significant share of the total budget for SEO.
As part of our post, we will talk about how to save on the purchase of backlinks and share 15 different ways to get backlinks to your website for free (or almost free).
1. Social networks
Using social networks is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to get backlinks and increase the visibility of a company (brand) in search results. Some social networks allow you to get dofollow-links, some – only nofollow-links. Despite the fact that the value of the first is significantly higher, the second type of links should not be underestimated: the natural reference profile should include not only dofollow but also nofollow-links.
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s blogging platform allows users to easily place nofollow links in their articles, which are useful for organic dilution of your link profile. But do not despair: LinkedIn is not limited to this alone. Competently composed posts are perfectly ranked in the organic search, so you have every chance to promote yourself or your product.
- Pinterest and Tumblr. The two main global platforms for the exchange of visual content allow you to publish materials with dofollow-links and, in addition, successfully advance in organic search through pictures.
- If your content strategy still does not include promotion within the framework of Youtube, it’s time to think about it seriously. At least for the sake of cherished dofollow-links and increase visibility in the organic issue of Google.
- Google Plus. We have already managed to devote a very heavy paragraph to the social network Google+ and its significance in one of the previous articles in the WordPress SEO cycle. Links from the active profile of the social network Google+ can be very useful for your site’s SEO and will be taken into account (at least in part) not only by the search giant Alphabet holding but also by other systems, in particular, by Yandex.
- Facebook, Twitter. Even if you are not inspired by the thought of the endless (one might even say ungrateful) work on nofollow-links in social networks, we still advise you not to ignore the most popular global and regional social networks. They can become not only sources of nofollow-links but also attract targeted traffic to the site, as well as increase the company’s visibility by branded queries in organic search results.
- Reddit is one of those services that extremely negatively react to link spam and require conscious and appropriate link placement from users. This may sound scary, but once you understand the laws by which Reddit lives, the link placed on it will not only become an additional adornment of the reference profile but will also lead targeted traffic to the site.
2. Blog platforms
Independent blogging platforms, as well as blog services from leading search engines, can also be a source of backlinks and additional traffic. Placing your publications on them, do not forget that the publication of the same content on all platforms clearly does not play into your hands. In addition, each of the sites has its own unique features that should be considered when developing content.
- Blogger (ex-Blogspot). Blog service from Google, which provides the ability to post dofollow-links.
- Large independent service, popular in professional circles. Alas, Medium references are supplied with the attribute rel = “nofollow no opener”.
- Backlinks media. The recommendation service, which includes personal and corporate blogs linked to your main site. Links are closed in nofollow but can give good referral traffic and, as we said earlier, dilute the reference profile.
3. Question and Answer Services
The main usefulness of question and answer services in the context of promoting your website or brand is not so much the generation of backlinks, but the increase in awareness, as well as directing traffic to the landing page. As a rule, question and answer services automatically assign the attribute rel = “nofollow” to all links, but this does not mean that your site does not need such links.
Separate attention should be paid to several basic Q & A services that can be useful for promoting your projects:
- Quora. A large international service of questions and answers, much of which is sharpened for questions of a professional nature. Useful for those who are advancing in foreign markets.
- Yahoo Answers. Popular western service from search engine Yahoo. It is useful to those who work in Western markets.
Commenting on forums using links is one of the simplest and most common link building methods. To use it, it is enough to find relevant forums with topics that best fit your niche.
You must first check:
- does the forum have traffic
- is there a regular activity on it
- who “lives” on the forum: real users or link builders.
In the process of writing comments, pay attention to the rules of each of the forums: some of them suggest that the user must earn a certain reputation for posting links, or else they exclude this possibility altogether. Violation of the rules may result in a temporary and even life ban.
5. Company / Product Lists
If the topics of ratings or lists (products/companies/ tools) are relevant in your industry, you can analyze existing options and try to add them with your product with reference to the site.
To find all the most popular niche lists, you can use one of the tools Serpstat – Analysis of key phrases → Analysis SERP `a → Top by phrase.
The way you add your site to the list will depend on the format of the list itself. If it is in the form of an article, you will need to contact the author directly. If it is generated automatically, follow all the necessary procedures for registering your site (product) to get into the overall rating.
6. Guest posts or blog posts on thematic media.
The “Blog” section in the thematic media can be considered the next link in the evolution of “author columns” and the column “letters from readers” in classic print media. The only difference is that now posting is much easier than before. Now for publication, it is enough to log in, download the material, take care of the formatting and availability of the necessary links, and click on the “Publish” button.
Such a scheme successfully works in relation to such niche media as, for example, VC.RU and Spark. Within these two projects, user-generated content passes basic moderation but does not require long approvals and large-scale editing. On the one hand, this is an ideal way to leave an organic link on a trusted website, and on the other, to earn excellent traffic directly from the site’s news feed and organic search (provided that your material will interest readers and cause a resonance).
In a word, whatever one may say, publishing in blogs of popular niche media is a profitable venture 🙂 Your part will require only time and little effort to write unique and valuable content that must be approved for publication by moderators of the chosen site.
7. Link building by broken links
In the case when generating content for external sites or placing it turns out to be problematic (the ideas for publishing are out, or the site owner is asking for too high a price), you can use another link building technique. It involves searching for broken links to the sites you are interested in and then replacing them with the correct working links – already to your site, of course. The method includes several stages:
- We select sites.
- We conduct a technical audit of selected sites in Netpeak Spider to search for broken links.
- We unload and analyze broken links.
- We write to the author (owner) of the blog and offer to write a new material of similar content so that it can be referenced and, thus, organically replace the broken link.
8. Posting reviews on the sites of the services you use
Many foreign companies that provide goods or services for business willingly post feedback from their users, indicating, along with the name of the company or website that is especially important for us.
Take advantage of this small vanity weakness and ask your colleagues to leave reviews on the sites of all services that you use in your work.
9. Participation in conferences and specialized events
Participation in specialized events can not only benefit you from the point of view of traditional public relations but also open up additional opportunities for link building. Send an employee as a speaker, become an information partner or sponsor, and you are guaranteed to receive your cherished backlinks from the event website. Do not forget to voice the requirements for links at the start of cooperation with the organizers of the event.
10. Collaboration with bloggers
In an ideal world, affiliate (advertising) materials in blogs include an active dofollow link (and not even one), and therefore they are of interest to both content marketers and SEO specialists.
Can this method be classified as free? If your company has enough authority in social networks or a large email subscriber base, a PR blogger on your part can be a good argument for cooperation. Otherwise, you can always offer a barter payment format, if a blogger can really need your product.
This method of link mining can be called the most resource intensive. Speech at all about money: in this case, we speak about the expenses of time and your nerve cells. Creating a page on Wikipedia will require perseverance from you: you will be faced with a whole series of edits before the publication is approved by the administrators. However, when the page is published, you will receive your cherished trust backlink.
12. Journalist inquiry services
There are a number of specialized services for journalists in the world that allow them to quickly find experts in a particular field and receive professional feedback.
Within the framework of such services, registration is provided for both parties, and you, in turn, can register as an expert, to which journalists will be able to refer to their materials.
13. Search for references to a company without references.
If your company (and its website, respectively) is known outside its office, then surely it is sometimes mentioned in thematic media and blogs (both personal and corporate). Some of them put links that can be easily tracked (for example, using Google Analytics or Serpstat), others are limited to text references. In the case of the first, everything is clear, but what about the references without references? Of course, correct the situation and everywhere put down beautiful and correct links to your site!
In order to find all the text references and provide them with relevant links, you need to perform the following steps:
- Find References.
This can be done in Google search, using several basic search operators. To create a search query, it’s enough to use a template like:“brand name” —your website.ru —twitter.com -facebook.com -google.com -vk.com Quotes are used to exactly match the key phrase, and hyphen – to exclude references from the search results from your own site and, for example, from social networks. It is also useful to set up regular tracking of references. To do this, use the free functionality of Google Alerts or any other specialized service such as Mention.
- Write to webmasters with a request to put the links in the required places.
And it’s all? – you ask. Yes, everything is very simple. Make a grateful, polite and friendly letter asking you to add links. If necessary, send another letter in a few days, but without excessive fanaticism.Do not forget that before placing (or attempting to place) links on sites with references to your company, you should first make sure that the site is not spammed and does not automatically parse content, as well as selling links. You can check this with the help of various metrics available in Netpeak Checker, in particular – Moz Spam Score.
14. Sites .edu (partnership with educational institutions)
Domains of government and educational institutions, as a rule, have high trust rates and therefore are especially attractive for link building. To get links from government sites is somewhat problematic, while with educational sites it’s quite realistic to agree.
There are only three scenarios for placing backlinks on educational sites: in the comments, in the field of broken links and directly in the text.
The first technique relates to ordinary spam and will not bring you any good: Google is negatively tuned to sites with hundreds of reference comments, regardless of their domain zone. We already talked about the second in paragraph 7, and it, in fact, works for most sites, regardless of subject matter.
The third technique will require much more effort from you than the previous two, but it also promises to bring more benefits 🙂 To get an organic mention and a link to your site inside the main content of the site, you should find relevant local educational institutions and offer them some mutually beneficial cooperation – exchange of information, admission of students for internships and so on.
15. Platforms (catalogs) for publishing reviews
Another place for free placement of links can serve as specialized directories for publishing reviews. They can be focused on a specific topic (information technology, gastronomy, the beauty industry, etc.).
Link building is one of the most resource-intensive processes within search engine optimization. However, you can avoid significant financial costs by using free backlink sources. These include:
- social networks,
- blog platform
- question and answer services,
- sites with lists of companies/products
- topical media blogs
- sites with broken links,
- reviews on the sites of the services you use
- websites of conferences and other relevant events,
- relevant author blogs,
- journalistic inquiry services,
- sites with references without references,
- .edu sites,
- platforms (catalogs) for publishing reviews.
Know other free sources of quality backlinks? Share your experience, and we are happy to add your recommendations to the list.