Whiteboard Wednesday: Types of Backlinking S2E11

Types of Backlinking

Types of Backlinking

 Watch the replay here:

What is backlinking?

It’s Whiteboard Wednesday. I’m so happy that it is Whiteboard Wednesday, even more, happy that it’s almost Thanksgiving.  Just came back from the Ultimate Stage Experience that was on Saturday. So today we’re going to talk a little bit about Backlinking. Backlinking is a very necessary form of a popularity contest. What? Popularity contest? What do you mean? Imagine that a website getting Backlinks is much like someone saying “Oh you don’t know who Jeff is. Jeff is that guy”. You should hear that. It’s a referral. Think of it as a virtual referral.

A Backlink is a virtual referral. I want you to let that sink in a little bit. A link from one website to another website is a referral. There are some different ways of getting those referrals. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. I’m going to use the virtual whiteboard called “AW app”. It’s a whiteboard app online. It’s pretty cool. Again, I want you to think about a Backlink as being a virtual referral.

Difference between Backlinking and Internal Linking

There are a few different types of Backlinks.  You probably heard about Backlinking. If you haven’t, I already told you a little about it. It’s a referral. It’s basically when one website sends you to another website using a link. Now there’s something called internal linking which is when you link from one page to the other.  By the way, you all do that even if you don’t know that’s what it’s called. If you have a menu on your website, you’re actually linking from one page to the next because the menu goes directly to that page. Menus play a big factor in how Google rank certain pages on your website. I want you to think about how important the pages on your website are. There’s a good chance that if they’re in the menu, Google actually ranks them more. So that’s your own internal thinking without external Backlinking. That’s something you can do right away to improve the ranking your website.

How does Google’s Algorithm Affect Backlinking?

I’m just going to dive right into it here – Web 2.0. You must have heard about Web 2.0 properties and things like that. These are websites that are like communities or blogger, tumbler, and WordPress.com. These are sites you can sign up and you can get your own blog. Then you can post blogs up there and link them to other pages. Before we go too far, I want to tell you about Google. Google has a couple things like Penguin and Panda. You probably heard about these different animals that Google has. These are just algorithms. They’re just computer bots that try and look at your website and see if you have any unnatural links. They’re like “Hey, is someone going out there and paying somebody to massively add a bunch of links to their website?”

White Hat vs Black Hat

Usually, the ones that get heard ‘white hat’ versus ‘black hat’. White hat means that you’re doing things legitimately and you’re actually creating those links. It’s probably done by a person. Black hat is associated with doing things undercover. It’s using bots and automated methods. They’re doing it on a large scale. Those are the ones that get messed up. You don’t want to do anything Blackhat. But now, Google has actually been cracking down a lot on the white hat which has a lot of people scared. It’s been really fantastic for me because we have done things legit forever. I knew sooner or later Google is gonna get smart with all these scammers trying to hack Google to get to the top.

Google owns the Internet. Most of the people that are trying to find something online use Google. They’re going to Google and they’re going to type something into the search bar.  It’s a really important that the content that you’re creating is actually being useful. What? Useful? Yeah, that’s right. You should have a focus. You should have a little bit of research done beforehand. For me, I have one yearly research. I do a very hard, thorough search. I look for hundreds if not thousands of keywords around topics that I’m going to discuss. Some examples are funnel marketing, virtual assistance, and email marketing. I look to see what people are looking for and I just write about it or I develop a product around. That’s all you have to do online.  

What is an unnatural link?

An unnatural link is when someone is over utilising the fact of a keyword. Take for instance, the keyword virtual assistant team. Go to Google and type in –  virtual assistant team. VA Staffer is number one. You will actually see a picture of me and my team. I positioned us to be that because a virtual assistant team is really exactly what we are. We’re really unique to other services out there. There are other services that are team based but we’re doing better on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I could go to different websites and type the words virtual assistant team and hyperlink it to that page (virtual system team), that used to be a good method in the past. Google would look at that and they’d say “Oh look, this person is talking about a virtual assistant team and it’s linking back to that page. This is a virtual assistant team.” Google today is like, “Dude, there’s no way that 50 Websites are gonna be saying the exact same words ‘virtual assistant team’ and linking it to that page”. This person is trying to scam Google and actually trying to manipulate the rankings. They actually squash it.  That’s not ethical. It’s actually unethical to do that practice.

Types of Backlinking

Web 2.0 Properties

These types of links are signing up for communities, or website blog type sites (like blogger.com, Youtube, Tumbler etc). The links are fast to acquire and can get at least 5 of these created in an hour. They are what we consider entry level backlinking and require no approvals and long-term. Simple to do, but time-consuming – this is also the lowest form of backlinking so Google doesn’t give the links as much strength as some of the others. You just go to a website and sign up. You then confirm e-mail address, create an account and add some content. You put a link back to the website and that’s it. That’s all you got to do. But it’s something that you can actively do. 

Directory Listings

The second type of backlinking is directory listings. These are listing directories that could be for local, or niche specific industries (think yelp, bestofweb, DMOZ, yellow pages, craigslist). These links are also entry level backlinking but could require some approval, confirmation of business validation. Links are typically fast but do vary depending on site for submission approval.

These are a double edged sword. Directory listings are very good and they can also be very bad. You need to make sure that the calibre of your directory is good. Always look for high domain authority website directories. There’s a bunch of free tools out there. Moz is a good one. You can check the Domain Authority (DA) and even Page Authority (PA) of those actual websites. An example of a trusted one is DMOZ – that’s an online directory for websites. There’s a bunch of other directories out there. We personally have a database of about 8000 sites that we’ve collected over the years. We’ve used them to get Backlinking done for our clients. Those are also entry level Backlinking because it can be actually be done.

They do take a little bit longer because instead of just like an instant e-mail verification like a web 2.0 property, those will actually require verification. Usually, for directories, they’ll say “Is this a legitimate Website?”. Sometimes they’ll ask you for a description of what it is or what category should be in. 

Directory Listings vs Web 2.0 Properties

  • They’re faster than other forms we’re going to go into but they’re a little bit slower to get than just Web 2.0 properties.
  • They’re simple to do.
  • They’re time-consuming.
  • They require some approvals and checking on e-mails and stuff just to make sure they go through too.

Guest Blogging

This is where you create content with a link back to your site. You would engage websites that discuss products or services you offer and propose that you would love to write an article/ interview to feature on their website about your products.This is a strong form of backlinking that yields great results, but it is HIGHLY time-consuming as there will be no guarantee they want your article, and custom content will need to be written. You also need to have a strong proposal with a topic you’d like to discuss and how it will benefit their community. It needs to be customised and suited for each individual site. These links are dependent on life/ owner of the website and could be removed by them in the future. You can do it for any website you choose. You wanna write some articles and link it back to your website, feel free. I love content. This is really strong Backlinking if you do if you do it right. So it ties into the next topic on our list.

Now guest blogging can also get you in Super-Duper trouble. You have to make sure that you’re not being paid. Google will check and you will get burned for that. Do not do the guest blogging post on people that are offering to accept payment for you to post on their page. Why? Because they’re also accepting payments from other people. Google says, “Whoa! BIG RED FLAG”.

There’s a big difference between paying someone to do a service for you or paying someone to be featured or paying someone to put a link. There’s a huge difference between them so you need to be very careful about that. Why? Because if you get reported or if Google’s algorithm catches you, it will penalise your website. You’re actually going to lose rank because they know that you’re playing games. There’s good guest blogging. This is when you connect with other people in the industry you say, “Hey I’d like to be featured on your website.” Then you offer some valuable ideas of how you can create value to their community and they’ll feature you. They’re looking for those genuine opportunities. If someone came to me and gave me some really great content and they had a link back to the website, heck yeah I’d do it. I have copywriters and they’re not cheap. Interested in writing some articles for VA Staffer? Send them through. 

Here are the links to our website and products:

Interviews and Podcasts

If you are putting yourself out there and you’re getting notoriety, you can get some interviews on podcasts. It’s obviously a very common place. It is expected that if you are featured on a podcast they will have some sort of a write up about you as well. It will link back to your website. Another way that you can get backlinks to your website is by having really great engaging interviews and conversations with people in your industry. You want to try and keep them industry specific. Now you can go to like any business type magazine. If you own a business, guess what that’s everybody. There’s a million business podcast out there so, find them. I went to that event on Saturday I was asked to be interviewed on six different podcasts. I got some stuff already in the works for next week. Blow it out. So no excuses here.

Of course, they take time and coordination. It’s the same with guest blogging. They take a long time because you have to email them and see if they’re a good fit. You need to find opportunities to do guest blogging and they’re going to require some research.You’ve got to put yourself out there. It takes time. It might take a couple of weeks or two to find a valid, coordinated backlink. But if you get a really strong backlink from other community members or other blogs that have a good following, that’s pretty good.

So get interviewed or attend podcasts and ensure that your website link is listed accordingly. It’s a great way to drive traffic and get a “voice” to your product and services. SLOWEST way, since there is more than just an article created – it requires participation and scheduling.

Benefits of Interviews and Podcasts Backlinks

  1. You’re going to be getting driving traffic from that community to yours
  2. Google’s going to say, “Oh look, another quality backlink.


Cross Promote links are where you work with allies/ partners and include links to your website on product/ service pages or partner pages. These are long-term, or as long as your partnership. These are strong links but you HAVE to be careful because it can penalise your website if it looks like an elaborate ring/ network. It can either be good or bad. It depends on how you do it. Make an informed, thetical decision. 

Here’s why! Cross-promote follows the motto of ‘I’ll scratch your back and you’ll scratch mine. It’s like, “Hey, I’m going to put a link to you and you’re going to put a link to me.” It’s not always bad. It’s not always good but there should be something there. There should be some content created to at least justify that the link. You can interview that person. If it’s your friend, do an interview and have him/her write a guest blog. There’s are different ways to do this right. Do not do direct link cross promoting. For example, if you just had like a box or a widget on your WordPress site this has a bunch of links to your buddies and they do the same. That is called a Network. That is actually is against Google’s terms. So if you have a network just linking back to each other it can get you in real trouble. It has been abused in the past. That is one of the reasons why they are constantly doing all these updates and upgrades.

Summary of Backlinks

 So we discussed all of them. There are five different types of backlinks. It’s very important to know the different types of Backlinks that there are and the benefits to each of them. I think you should probably use a variety of all of them except for the link networking. Guest blogging and interviews are high-quality backlinks. Make sure it’s super legit. Make sure it’s very industry specific. Make sure it has a purpose. If it doesn’t have a purpose, you’re going to get in trouble. Directory listing submissions and Web 2.0 properties are easy to do and just as valid.

Market your brand. When you create social media accounts and accounts on other websites, always use your brand. You should always own your brand and every single thing associated with it. So think of those Web 2.0 properties as owning your brand. My Virtual Assistant Team can do it for $7 USD an hour. If you’re confident that you can do it yourself, get it done. Are not seeing the results you want to see online? Do you want the popularity contests to start pointing at your website? Isn’t it time to start getting those referrals? Try it yourself and see what you think. When you’re ready to stop wasting your time, give me a call!

I hope that you learned a little bit from here today and I’m very honoured to have you on my way over Whiteboard Wednesday as usual.

Thank you again and Happy Awesome Blessed Thanksgiving! Please spend it with your families and friends and try not to engorge too much. I bid you adieu, Goodbye.




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Jeff J Hunter
Jeff J Hunter
CEO & Social Entrepreneur at VA Staffer
Digital Marketing Strategist with background in Information Technology, Project Management, and Business Process Outsourcing. An expert in content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and dependent on Virtual Assistants to survive.