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12 Different Types of Links and How To Get Them

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 14 years and 266 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Been meaning to do a revisit of the types of links that I discussed from “Balancing the Link Equation”, which is based on the thought process from a couple Pubcon presentations. Andy and Aaron just put out an excellent guide of 101 link building tips, and it kicked me in the butt to get it done, so I could give their article the proper link love it deserved.

Types of links and how to get them

Using a arbitrary ficticious example of an informational site about real estate law. **I do not currently work with any sites of this type.

In this example, we have two specific themes to dive deeper into that are relevant to our search – real estate and law. Starting at this level gives us hundreds of thousands, if not millions of sites to start to filter from (not to mention the backlinks of THOSE sites), and sites that share similar themes.

1. Authority links
How to obtain them: Start with your related category in the Google DirectoryWhat to look for:
-Top rankings for big terms – city or state + real estate, vertical category + lawyers

  • -Sites that currently offer links out
  • -Sites that would benefit from offering users your content
    Examples: real estate law
    Other Notes: Authority links are an absolute must for improving your trust score these days. This is a MUST for a new site, and should be where you start your efforts, and always be dedicating SOME time. Suck it up, and take the time it takes to get some quality, trusted links. The existence of trusted authority links will make or break your site. Find the 800 lb. gorillas in your field, and **find a way to get on a dozen or so of them. Failing that, hunt their backlinks, and find a way to get on some of those pages. Use some creative queries with the combination tool. Give the tattler a shot.

    **Find a way – How? – Buy, borrow, beg, and barter.

    2. Directory links
    How to obtain them: Pony up some cash
    What to look for: Generally easy to find niche directories, don’t go overboard with more than a few directories per month, quarter, etc.
    Examples:law directories, real estate directories
    Other Notes: My gut feel is that too many directories triggers a filter. I wouldn’t go over 10 – 15% of my total link ratio on my own sites for my own sites at any given time. Start with a few highly trusted directories. (Yahoo dir,, MSN SBD, BOTW), and add some others after you have many more links added to your profile.

    3. Reciprocal links
    How to obtain them: Make some friends – Don’t go overboard What to look for: Strong links that are complementary to your site.
    Examples: Private investigators may be useful to a client that is in need of information on real estate law. Focus on content for your niche, and use your resources to build strategic linking partnerships.
    Other Notes: Reciprocal links are NOT dead – relying on reciprocal links is. They are not a magic bullet anymore, but they do occur “naturally”. They are a piece of the equation – use them to your advantage but don’t get carried away. Using a number out of the sky (read: untested) – I would say under 10% of most sites links should be reciprocal – make them count.

    4. Run of site links
    How to obtain them: Easy to buy
    What to look for: Sites that are highly on topic to you.
    Examples: You’re on your own on this one – not outing anybody – sorry.
    Other Notes: ROS links can spell trouble, but they can also help to balance your equation. If MOST of your links are from unique IP’s/domains – you can get add a couple, and get some great anchor text easily. Make sure to use some specific 2nd tier keyphrases that you might be able to hit some rankings for. Caveat: ROS links can really hurt a site’s link profile if not used wisely. Use with caution.

  • One way links from friends or related sites.
    How to obtain them: Go to conferences and tradeshows, e-mail folks and make friends, offer something useful in return.
    What to look for: People in complementary niches
    Other Notes: Don’t link ALL your sites together and stay on topic.

    6. Edu and .Gov links
    How to obtain them: Be nice to future interns. Offer some career assistance and/or advice.
    What to look for: .edus and .gov TLD extensions – Da ‘hoo recently changed some things to use siteexplorer, so most the good tools broke (sorry, I’m not a developer), but you can still used advanced search to restrict searches to these TLD types.
    Examples: real estate law resources
    Other Notes: There are plenty of ways to encourage .edu and .gov folks to link to you (mainly good content or resources). It should be noted that there is most likely NOT special weight on these TLD’s, but they generally have much more trust score associated with them because they are generally of higher quality.

    7. Radio station, television, magazine, or newspaper links
    How to obtain them: Buy ‘em, or find a journalist
    What to look for: Local news or someone looking to write a story.
    Examples: real estate law news
    Other Notes: Do some traditional media advertising, and negotiate for some extra special link love.

    8. Press release links
    How to obtain them: Find sites that offer press release submission services and submit your NEWS (*note – this does not mean any crap you just want to link stuff)
    What to look for: People in your niche who want news as content.
    Examples:,, and many more
    Other Notes:Press releases are generally NOT a great way to get links, but you can pick up some that may be of value. Every little bit helps, and remember (again) this is only a small part of your overall link profile.

    9. Article bio links
    How to obtain them: Write a few articles, or have some written for you. Rinse, repeat.
    What to look for: Industry authority sites that accept submissions from guest writers
    Examples: “real estate law” + “submit articles”
    Other Notes:
    This can be a GREAT way to get some good authority links from high profile sites. They’ll appreciate (or demand) great content in return for the exposure and link pop you’ll receive. The better the site is, the higher quality content they will require. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    10. RSS/ Blog aggregated links
    How to obtain them: Pretty easy – start your blog and aggregate – also known as scraper links.
    What to look for: Blog and RSS directories to submit to, and tagging sites.
    Other Notes: Not worth a whole lot, but you’ll pick up a whole bunch of links this way. They’re “power” is minimal at best and highly debated. There are, however, plenty of legitimate sites that aggregate content where you may pick up some decent links.

    11. Comment and Profile Links
    How to obtain them: Contribute to others websites – yes, REAL contributions.
    Examples: Look for sites that don’t use the nofollow tag and show up in other folks backlinks.
    How to obtain them: Contribute something worthwhile to a community or blog. Stick around awhile – don’t be a jerk and jus’ spam sites, you’ll probably get turned off or blocked anyhow.
    What to look for: Sites without nofollow tags or redirects.
    Examples: Sorry, you’re on your own, this is not hard.
    Other notes: Not much to add, people have been using forum links, comment links, and profile links for a long time. Again, these links’ value is marginal, and only a very small piece of the puzzle.

    12. Presell Page Links
    How to obtain them: Obtaining presell pages takes link negotiations to a whole new level. Good luck outsourcing this. There are opportunities to purchase presell pages.
    What to look for: Sites open to advertising that aren’t going crazy with it. Look for the happy medium.
    Examples: You’ll have to write a page of good content. Create a whole webpage based around the target sites template. Make it as little work as possible for the person you’re requesting a presell page from (they’re already doing you a big favor).
    Other Notes:Welcome to link builder zen. Get as many as you can possibly get. They offer direct traffic and rankings as well as highly targeted link pop.

    Balance is the key term in a link profile. If you tip the scales too far on near any type of link you are going to setoff alarm bells to the algos. Don’t be dumb. Use all the tools at your disposal to achieve balance in your link equation. My guess is that link juice for rankings these days is pretty close to the pareto principle 80% of your “power” is going to come from the top 20% of your links.

    **Added – Courtesy of Cameron, I found Neil’s real nice 5 piece series on getting links.

    This post has even been translated into German!

  • More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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    • Nadir

      Great list Todd!

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    • Cameron

      Great stuff!!

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    • Loren Baker

      Excellent post Todd. This should be printed out and tacked to the bulletin board (or the forehead, depending on your ruthlessness as an SEM Manager) of every SEO and Internet Marketing Specialist from the ranks of link building lackey to sales strategist.

    • K.Ching

      great postTodd!
      thnx for sharing

    • Stuntdubl SEO

      K. Ching – that header on your site is awesome. Lovin’ it man. Can’t read the site, but the top rocks.

    • Presell Page Man


      this is another high quality post – I love your analytic way to structure your lists and posts… and while Aaron/Andy’s Linking 101 is great, this one is SUPERIOR!

      Thanks again for putting this together!

      Presell page man

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    • Bart Gibby


      Sweet blog bro, Dave Bascom of told me about your blog. He said I should take a look at this post specifically becasue it would help me create a “balanced link building effort”.

      So I appreciate all your work in researching and writting this blog post inparticular. Oh and thanks for giving it away for free!

      I love blogs!



    • Eric Ward

      Well done Todd! -Eric

    • Lancer

      A good, practical, down-to-earth “white hat” guide. It’s important as it’s difficult for individual, smalller businesses to get good rankings on Google, because they aren’t a great big authority of anything, and they aren’t necessarily providing huge amounts of imformation to the general public, but still deserve to be recognised (and found) as useful online shops.

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    • Martin Araujo

      These are great tips and I thank you for your advice thanks.

    • dave is now using no-fiollow tags so their links, for SEO, are worthless. Do you agree? TY

    • Web Server India

      Very informative post. I like this post it’s too much informative for me because all the links type you have listed at one place.

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    • Dave Dugdale

      Great post. I heard you on webmasterradio and thought i would stop by. I also saw you at SES.

      I will stop by again in the future.


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    • Elena

      Thank you for great post.
      Thanks Jim Boykin blog link I have one more source to read.

    • Keith Holloway

      Great catalog and explanation of link Types, Todd. I agree with PreSell Man – While Aaron’s post on 101 ways to get in links in 2006 was very cool – this is superior. Some useful information here in between the basic overview of links types.

    • AZ Land Man

      The best way to get links back is write a post such as this, Todd. I followed to this from a respected forum.

      Great Job !

    • Tony Kawaguchi

      I’m confused about the link services like linkmarket dot net and linksmanager dot com, because some of the sites that use them a lot have great success. If you google hawaii real estate, one site that comes up is dot com, and have tons of links – i think most from linksmanager dot com.

      so i have lots of people telling me not to use them, but then i see sites having great success. so what is the story? should I use linkmarket dot net or one of these other sites or not? what do you think?

      *admin note – sorry, no outing of sites

    • Jeff

      these are very good suggestions, but i think when posting to web directories like and others you should always choose the most targetet category since there is a huge diffrence between the url description in categories like and URLs description in the category

    • IndigoSEO

      Excellent categorisation but simplistic to suggest 12 distinct categories/themes when many links will not neatly fit into brackets and the fact that there are varying qualities of each within the themes, However post will be useful for those new to link building and for you to get some link love yourself ;o)

    • Jeremy

      Good list and I enjoy your concise writing style. Found the list from the Website Services article. Working on some of the things you are talking about on my site experiment over at

    • lusin

      nice:)thank you for your site list address

      i’m just try to learn english seo

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    • Tim

      Nice list.

      I have a question about links that are some how separated from the body of the text (placed in locations like the footer) vs. links that are built into the text (wikipedia style). Do they have more value?

    • Kristian

      Great list ! But it’s hard to get links.

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    • Everett

      Came here from your playbook. Both great posts. Keep up the stellar blogging.

      Hint: Write something related to health and fitness and drop me a line so I can give you a link.

      See you in San Jose?


    • Vijay Gupta

      Nice article that provides ways to obtain links with fine examples and other links like 101 ways to build link popularity.

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    • LinxJinx Narsi

      Great post, and I mean it.

      I like this post especially because of the meticulousness with which you have classified the various types of links…sure, there is really nothing new mentioned here, but you have been able to tell the important things in a new way…and it is cool to have tips on how one can go about getting each type of link as well…

      Many thanks! Have included this link at my page “LinxJinx – The Inbound Links Encyclopedia” @

    • Brian

      Great post Todd. Being a new blogger I found this advise very handy

      Thanks for sharing

      My New Tech Blog

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    • Barry Cox

      Seriously, this was so helpful to me . I am a new webmaster. Thanks so much!

    • Jeffrey Smith

      Excellent post, on link building. I think I missed the boat on this one after looking at the date, but the fact remains that this page is still dominating the serps when searching for link building strategies. Great job Todd.

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    • Jem Smith


      You done a good job for SEO professinal.


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    • Jenna Ryan

      How do you feel about paid-links in light of Google’s recent PR slap? (November 07)

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    • Boston SEO

      I believe press releases are the best way to get inbound links since its easy and it dosent require a lot of work on your part. Also, its a good way to show up on search engines news when people search for you services or products. The best one is PR web but it also expensive about $360 per article.

    • Erica DeWolf

      Great list! But remember, creating quality content will urge others to link to you naturally, with little or no work on your part. Great post, thanks!

    • SEO by SEO

      Thanks for the advice, great site lots of quality seo constants here. I agree with the last post prweb is the fastest way of getting links and I would recommend just pass the cost onto the client. They are the ones who want to get up to the top or they just carry on paying google for PPC>

    • ravi

      good one. i really thank full to for good information.
      link bait also to get the good back links.

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    • Billy

      Wicked article keep up the good posts :)

    • Budi

      Great post! Definitely going to subscribe to your feed!

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    • SEO Training

      I find article links and forum links work pretty well and are easy to get.

      Thanks for a great post.

    • AuterOR

      gave me an wonderful idea about the Press release links … thanks !

    • Canvas Art

      Great post because it clearly briefs about 12 different types of links and the way to implement it,useful for SEO dummies and experienced guys


      Wow its the wonderful information this article had gathered all the possibilities of link building at one place to refer.Surely helpful for beginners

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    • Carmen B

      I find hunting through the back links of my competitors especially useful. It is a great easy way to find relevant linking partners or directories.

    • ambreen11

      Great its a very good information which you provided. It is very much useful to the new people in this field.

    • H M Zahidul Basher

      Easy examples would be more good.

    • Sofie Pennetta

      what is then the virtual hyperlink, relative and absolute hyperlink. tell me in a simplest form as i m a student of grade 8.

    • Samuel Roy

      These are the different types of linking process that everyone should know, it is more effective information.

    • Sascha Rutledge

      Hello Sir,

      Thanks share information for link types related give information for to many used tips and some attractive.

      Thank You.

    • Sofie Pennetta


      Thank Share information for link types to seo marketing related give tips and some useful to user read and some give feedback for blog post.

      Thank You.

    • PackingSupply

      Thank you very much for sharing informative article which is very useful seo marketing. Here are some most attractive tips for back-links. Keep it continue!

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