5 Ways to Get Legit Backlinks Without Paying For Them

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), backlinks are still the most effective way to increase your rankings and get search engine traffic. While many experts suggest creating great content as a way to get lots of traffic, most people quickly discover that content itself will rarely work. It must always be supplemented by quality SEO.

Since backlinks are always the way to beat your competitors, the next question is how to get good backlinks without resorting to black hat methods like link buying?

Here are some ways to get quality backlinks.

1. Use resources like HARO

HARO means Help a journalist get out. It is essentially a service that connects journalists with experts and content providers. The idea is that journalists usually cite their sources, and if you become their source, you almost automatically get a free mention or backlink from a reputable media website.

When you sign up with HARO as a source, you start receiving daily emails from them that include all journalists who need a source for their stories. Emails include a brief description along with contact information, deadline, and media.

The emails look like the image below.


2. Research articles in your niche

The next way to get a backlink is to search for content such as top articles, link summaries, and topical resources based on your topic and suggest your website to the author of the article. This method was popularized by back link few years ago.

The best way to find such content is to perform a simple Google search using one of these combinations:

Finding Top Blog List Posts

  • “best (YOUR TOPIC) blogs 2017”
  • “best (YOUR TOPIC) blogs 2016”
  • “my favorite blogs (YOUR TOPIC)”
  • “best (YOUR TOPIC) blogs to read”

Searching for Link Digest Articles

  • “your keyword” + “links summary”
  • “your keyword” + summary
  • “your keyword” + “best of”
  • “your keyword” + this week

Find educational resources

  • site:.edu “your keyword”
  • site:.edu “your keyword” + “resources”
  • site:.edu: “your keyword” + “other sites”

Find articles in your niche

  • “fitness” + “resources page”
  • “fitness” + “resources”
  • “fitness” + “recommended sites”
  • “fitness” + “links”

Once you find the articles where you think your website would fit well, the next job is just to contact the author and suggest your website. You can do this using any method such as email, Twitter, Facebook or even a quick phone call.

Remember that when making contact, it’s always a good idea to give the author positive reinforcement before suggesting your content. Something like “I just read your ______ article and found it very interesting, especially since I have a website in a similar niche. Please feel free to check out my website at _____ and to share with your users if you think it would be useful to them. »

3. Become a guest author on popular blogs

Just as I am a guest author on several sites like this, Forbesand AllCompany, you too can become one on popular blogs. The key is to stick to the niche you know well. You must be an expectation in a niche in order to write useful articles for their users.

So what’s the best way to find blogs that allow guest authors? We will again use our handy Google search for this task by performing searches such as:

  • “your topic” + guest post
  • “your subject” + guest author
  • “your subject” + write for us
  • “your topic” + guest post
  • “your topic” + guest contributor

Once you’ve found blogs that suit you, the next step is to contact them and ask them to write for them. If you’ve written for other blogs before, it’s a great idea to show those links to the blog editors you want to write for, as it shows your experience and confidence.

If you haven’t blogged yet, it’s a good idea to write an article or outline that you think would be a perfect fit for their blog and send them suggestions and feedback.

4. Look for broken links

Another method popularized by Backlinko is where you search for broken links in your niche and suggest your link as a replacement. I’ve had mixed results with this method because it’s usually not easy to find broken links unless it’s a very popular niche.

Here are some of the Google queries you can perform to find broken links:

  • “your keyword” + close
  • “your keyword” + out of activity
  • “your keyword” + renamed
  • “your keyword” + service no longer available
  • “your keyword” + this resource is no longer updated

When you find pages where you think your link will be a great replacement, the next step is to contact the author or webmaster and suggest your link. As already mentioned before, you need to be courteous, kind, and a bit of a talker in order to get people’s attention and cooperation.

5. Answer Questions on Q&A Websites

While this method may not necessarily get you high quality backlinks, it will still get you decent and legit backlinks. And while some of them may not be tracked, they still impact your overall SEO strategy and your success.


Quora is one of the most popular Q&A websites that usually has answers provided by experts in their respective niches. That’s where you come in. You’re an expert in your niche (hopefully) and that’s why you can answer any questions users might have. Create an account and fill out your profile completely, then search for topics in your niche that you can provide a good answer to.

yahoo answers

yahoo answers was the most popular Q&A website before Quora came along. Although it was quite useful for the time, there was still a lot of spam and the questions weren’t necessarily answered by experts. Either way, all it takes is a Yahoo account and you can start responding right away. Just like with Quora, you simply search for topics in your niche that you can answer.

And remember, don’t add your answers to ridiculously old questions unless they’ve never been answered.

With Yahoo Answers, the links you post initially won’t be followed until you build a decent reputation and earn points.

Other Q&A Sites

Here are some other Q&A websites you can try to join and contribute by providing answers to questions their users have. Keep in mind that some of these are niche-specific, so you won’t be able to adapt unless you’re an expert in that niche.

Answers.com – General Q&A website.

StackExchange – Lots of different communities, but the most popular ones are related to computer science and programming.

Exchange of experts – Mainly computer-related.

Question.com – General Q&A website.

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* Adapted Main Image: Dedication to the public domain (CC0) Public domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com

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