What is a High Quality Backlink? Everything You Need to Know.

The term high quality backlink is tossed around a lot these days and frankly has been since the concept was introduced to Google and the world of SEO many years ago.

The problem is, people’s understanding of this stuff is very broad and I will admit, for a long of period of time, even though I was generally on the right side of this topic, my understanding was also pretty broad, so in a way, I “guessed” correctly what the right way to approach this topic was, although I’ll admit, it wasn’t exactly guessing, it was actually due to real experts in Wealthy Affiliate telling me the right way to do it.

Let me give you 5 different scenarios with backlinks. You tell me which ones are bad/good:

1) A person buys 1,000’s of them from a service.

2) Same scenario, except now the person buys a 1,000 of them from a “reputable source” which says they are high quality.

3) A person either makes their own or buys a PBN service (basically backlinks hidden from Google).

4) A person shares his/her website link on social media.

5) A person shares their website on YouTube or a forum.

All of these are examples of backlinks. But I would bet that most of you get at least 2-3 of them wrong. I’m giving you these examples to showcase how misinformed people are on the subject and why it’s so hard to tell them apart. A lot of people would classify all of these examples as the same thing, but they’re really not. There’s classes and tiers of this.

You probably have your own answers for these scenarios I listed, but let me break down how I see them:

1) This is an example of bad ones and it is the most common types of backlinks you should NEVER engage with. Anything regarding purchasing this stuff is a bad idea.

2) Contrary to the word “high quality” and “reputable” being used here, I’d also tell you to avoid services like these because as you’ll find out, there’s no real way to guarantee good links.

3) This is grey area stuff, but I would also suggest avoiding this approach. I firmly believe that PBN services are going to be exposed sooner or later as being the bad kind of services you don’t want (although I have some friends that still get away with using this to this day).

4) This is actually a safe link to have, but it is not exactly high quality, not unless it brings in a lot of likes and traffic.

5) Same thing here. It’s a safe option, but time will tell if it’s good or not (how much views the video will bring in and how many clicks you will get out of it).

So as you can see, in these 5 scenarios, ALL of them are examples of technically the same thing, but they are NOT all the same. Honestly only 2 of them can be considered high quality and that’s only IF they lead to a lot of traffic, clicks, likes and shares basically. 

So let’s figure this out: What is a high quality backlink?

My definition of it is a bit subjective, but after doing SEO for years, I think this is a safe way to define it:

It’s basically a link that points to your site BUT the thing which makes it high quality IS:

Does this lead to a lot of people liking it? Meaning if I share my URL on social media, does it get a lot of likes

Does this lead to people sharing it? This means that if I create content and share it on social media or YouTube or forums and such, will it lead to people not just liking it, but also sharing the content? 

Does this lead to a lot of click through’s? Suppose I share my site on a popular forum or someone famous with a big following shares my page. Does this sharing aspect lead to people actually clicking on it?  

If you can answer yes in just ONE of these scenarios, then congratulations, you have a high quality backlink working for you. But these scenario/s are circumstantial meaning that you can’t just share your site anywhere and get these desired results, there has to be something that makes this happen…

And this is key: Quality content is what leads to quality backlinks.

I really want to make it clear that if nothing else, that statement I just explained is the thesis of this whole article and frankly this whole subject. 

People still do not understand that content is where all of this good stuff comes from (how to make sure you’re doing it). If I don’t have good content to share and I don’t have good places to share it through, there is no point of worrying about backlinks…

If I have bad content but share it in all the right places, it won’t get good feedback from people because they will see it as bad content and even spam. 

Now if I have good content and share it in the right places, this will get good feedback. And also my experience has shown me that just having good content with a simple share button leads to people creating backlinks for me via sharing it on their own networks (with friends, on social media, through emails, ect…).

And I also still firmly believe in making YouTube videos and providing a URL in the description as being another good way of going about this stuff as I’ve gotten many shares, likes, and sales from doing this. 

But these are broad tips for this stuff, here’s specific things I personally do which you can mimic on your sites.

My final thoughts:

  • If you don’t have good content to offer people.
  • Or if you don’t have a following of people that appreciate and share your content…

Then there’s no point in going around, spreading your URLs everywhere or buying your way into it. Simply focus on writing great content and this is what will naturally lead to traffic and have that traffic share your stuff for you.

By doing the opposite (going around and spamming your URL or buying backlinks), you are essentially taking time away from producing good content that would lead to this desired result anyway.

Imagine this scenario for a moment…

You have a website where you create great content. You get 1,000’s of visitors daily and this eventually grows into a following. Now each time you post new content and share it with your following, that following loves it, likes it and even goes around sharing it with their followers and that my friends would be an example of high quality backlinks happening, organically. 

This is what I would recommend you aim to do with your websites because it is this kind of process that not only leads to more shares of your website, it’s what also leads to more traffic and more growth happening with your website. So focus on that! 

Now I want to conclude that I have friends who also do SEO and run some very successful websites who would say I’m being a bit too narrow minded on this subject and if you guys are of this opinion too, I’d love to know your position on this subject and if you could also provide your own examples and how it’s worked for you below:

10 thoughts on “What is a High Quality Backlink? Everything You Need to Know.”

  1. I always thought any and all backlinks were bad for SEO and that’s not the case. So I’m really glad that I have come across this post of yours.

    I DO post to social media regularly and I have had a few clicks from my following onto my website and that number grows everyday.

    However, free traffic from Google is the primary way for my visitors to find my website. It definitely makes sense to keep writing quality content and share it alongside on social media, because in my opinion, you just never know when a post might go viral.

    It also depends on the interest of your audience too and how attractive you make reading the post. I think slow and steady will win the race when it comes to increasing click-through on backlinks.

    • You are most definitely right Reyhana. But you also have to consider how popular it is for people to share links with each other these days and that is also a form of backlinking. To make this a bad policy would destroy the incentive for people to share or try to get their content out there, so backlinking is good, but from the perspective I explained.

  2. Hey Vitaliy,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about attracting high-quality backlinks. It validates my own thinking on this subject. I do agree with you that it’s better to work on making your content stellar rather than spending an awful lot of time trolling for (or buying) backlinks.

    At one point, I checked out the forum thing but it does seem to demand a lot of time and commitment that could be better spent making the website better. It’s just one more complication, I am thinking.

    • Yeah, going around forums trying to leave a link is a waste of time since most of them won’t approve your comment without erasing the link in the first place and this would make all that effort useless. 

  3. Thanks for the great information. I agree that all backlinks are not equal. But, it sounds like the better backlinks come from people really engaging with your content and sharing it. It seems like it would take a long time to get the type of following you described in your article. But, that’s my goal. Hopefully it will work. Thanks again.

    • This will all come naturally provided you write engaging content Vic, so make sure you are trying to get this done!

  4. Hello Vitaliy, thanks you for sharing your knowledge with us! I knew something about backlinks but after reading your article everything seems clearer. Some of the things that you mentioned I knew but never practiced. Where do you think is the best place to share links related to the topic of internet marketing?

    • That’s a good question. I would say make a fan page on internet marketing and share it there. Also if you make YouTube videos on making money online, that is also a good spot to place your links.

  5. Hi Vitaliy, thanks for sharing! Finally, I understand what a backlink is 🙂

    I still hesitate to share my links on forums, because I don’t know how to correctly to find the right one. Should I look for discussions that are in my niche? I also want to begin doing YouTube videos but how can I introduce my link there? Can you suggest to me some programs that I can use for doing my videos? Thank you.

    • Whatever your niche is, you can Google threads and forums for it Marta and see what comes up. The thing is though, I don’t particularly like posting on forums, because if you’re already building a niche site, that takes time away from it. If you can devote a little bit of time to it without taking it away from producing content on your niche, then you can definitely spend some time on forums, answering questions and then providing a link. 

      You may find some rules to be very strict on that stuff, so be sure to read the forum rules before you do this. Ideally though, you will want to come off as an authority and answer questions for our niche’s subject. That will make people more open to seeing your site if you do.

      Now as for YouTube, you always have a little box known as the description in each video you create, where you can leave your link. To make the video itself, I would advise starting with a free program like ShareX. It’s pretty simple to use.

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