Link building is essential for ensuring a website ranks high for specific search queries. While it may be tough and time-consuming, using the right strategies, tools, and techniques will ultimately benefit your SEO efforts over the long haul.

One significant aspect everyone must know is that unethical link building is more harmful than good for your websites, which brings us to natural links and why Google loves them! This also ties in with the quality of your content, relevance, and value it adds to the readers.

Natural links may be challenging but completely doable.

So, how do you build natural links? Let’s find out.

Natural Backlinks Explained

In simple terms, a natural backlink is usually one that your website receives organically because another website finds your helpful content; this means your company doesn’t create them. 

Backlinks gained via outreach may not fall under this in the strict definition of the word, but as long as they are generated without any manipulative tactics – they at least look like “natural links”, and portray white hat practices. 

Google’s algorithms love this and consider it the best method to attract more natural links. That’s why PageRank’s algorithm will improve a website’s credibility and SERP rankings when it receives relevant, natural backlinks from third-party sites. 

When another website trusts your work enough to share it with its audience voluntarily, it works as a recommendation for your content and its reliability. This makes Google happy, and in return, your content will rank high among search engines for relevant queries.

Although Google tries to keep this process clean, there’s no doubt that this isn’t the sole method used to earn backlinks. 

Black hat practices are desperate attempts by web admins to enhance their SEO efforts, and they often resort to unnatural and manipulative link-building strategies. 

On a side note, Google considers these unnatural links to violate its guidelines and has implemented complex algorithms to crack down on these backlinks. Penguin was the first in a long series of these updates in the past several years, and it uses AI to flag and penalise low-quality links.

Here’s an example of what a natural link looks like:

Example of how a natural link looks like

This is a link we secured on a Hubspot article about link building. As you can see, it’s on a page which is about link building, and within the context of a section talking about HARO link building. They have linked to us with the generic phrase “like this guide”, but it still makes sense from an editorial point of view, since they have linked to an article which is a comprehensive guide to HARO. 

To be natural, it’s not necessary that the anchor text is generic, but simply that it makes logical sense for that link to be there, and that it adds editorial value.

What links are considered unnatural?

As per Google’s guidelines, “any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

This means, links that are created artificially to manipulate a website’s credibility and search engine rankings.

Google’s algorithm aims to detect unnatural links, identify them as inauthentic, and not pass any link equity to them. 

Even if you manage to go undetected and boost your rankings, be assured that this is short-lived. Google’s ever-evolving algorithm will suspect it, rendering your website undiscoverable in the search results.

So, what type of backlinks could get you in trouble with Google’s guidelines?

  • Link Exchanges: Google doesn’t penalise genuine reciprocal linking between two websites. It’s only when pages or “directories” are created to generate link exchanges with loads of unrelated sites, over-optimized anchors, and no editorial comments Google considers them “forced followed backlinks by contract” and won’t tolerate it.
  • Link Schemes: Also referred to as link spam, these are an umbrella term for different black-hat link-building practices, such as link farms, buying or selling links, creating irrelevant or excessive content to push links, and using automated link-building software.
  • Injected Links: Those who use automated link building services or software to generate backlinks often inject their links into already published content without the webmaster’s control.
  • PBN or Private Blog Networks: These sites only exist to provide backlinks to other sites, which look and match the aspects of high quality backlinks. In reality, Google sees PBN backlinks as an artificial boost.
  • Comment Spams: Spam bots or people exploit the comment sections of forums and blogs with high rankings to place their links in the comments they leave. Google will penalise sites with many spam comments, so it’s a good practice to maintain and monitor your website to avoid them.
  • Over-Optimized Press Release Links: Articles with spammy, repeated anchor texts that don’t naturally fit with the content. Since Google closely monitors such malpractices, these links will be flagged, and you may face a penalty until you clear your backlink profile.

Now in the very strict definition of “unnatural links”, it would appear any attempt to proactively ask for links via outreach, is unnatural.

But, even Google knows this isn’t something that can really be policed. 

What we advise is to stay away from automated link building techniques, or vendors that provide low-quality link building services. Build trustworthy links using white-hat techniques with a reputable agency like TLG by your side.

How Can You Benefit From Natural Link Building?

Natural link building strategies bring high quality backlinks and are essential to helping Google assess the quality of your website. Being in Google’s good books has many obvious benefits.

Remember that building natural backlinks is a long-term strategy that requires patience and impeccable content creation that offers value to the readers. 

Although it takes more resources or time, when executed correctly, this strategy directly impacts your website’s rankings in the long run by generating organic traffic, improving your visibility, and avoiding Google’s penalties.

Some of the benefits of natural link building include the following:

  • Brand Awareness: Appearing at the top of SERPs not only increases your website traffic but also improves brand value by showcasing your website as a trustworthy source for search engine users, encouraging people to purchase your products or services.
  • Acknowledged by Google: While Google considers over 200 factors when ranking your website, natural backlinks are among the top three factors. They act as a direct validation from external websites, and their algorithm sees them as a vote in favour of your authority over the subject, which leads to increased rankings among search engines.
  • Build Authority: Since high quality backlinks boost your website’s credibility, the number of links and domain authority of the external websites also determine your website’s authority. For example, getting a backlink from a high-authority site will improve your domain authority score. Domain Rating (DR) on Ahrefs, DA on Moz, and Authority Score on Semrush are some tools that assess your backlinks and give you a score out of 100, and the higher the score, the better it is for your website’s reputation. (Although it’s important to take third party metrics with a pinch of salt as well.)
  • Diversified Backlink Profile: Natural backlinks do not follow a specific set of keywords because external websites will place them with their preferred anchor texts; these links also come from different domains, some with high authority while others are in the mid-range across various sources like social networks, blog comments, forums, etc. These variations create a diverse backlink profile, expanding your Google search rankings beyond just the keywords you target.

6 Ways To Attract Natural Backlinks

As mentioned above, active or passive solicitation of backlinks is technically, against Google’s guidelines. Still, you can’t just sit back, relax, and wait for high-authority websites to link to your page, because its unpredictable, and you also won’t always be able to steer links to the pages you want, as the velocity needed.

Creating inbound links doesn’t necessarily have to be unnatural. You can naturally pursue backlink opportunities for your website with white-hat link building strategies that don’t violate Google’s guidelines.

Here are six ways you can safely and naturally, attract backlinks:

1. Data-Backed Content Creation

It’s no rocket science that you must create high quality content that people find worth linking to, and one of the first steps to doing that is to ensure data and research back your information.

Start by gathering data from your competitors and analysing their link profiles to see what’s trending or popular in your niche. 

Once you collect this data, topic ideas will pop up, but the key is to select one that stands out the most and won’t require you to deliver mediocre content like other websites.

You also need to choose the content form to use. Examples include interviews, infographics, case studies, collaborations, resources, reviews, and tutorials.

2. Leverage Influencer Partnerships

Leveraging influencer partnerships is also a great way to build natural links. You must start by researching and identifying relevant influencers in your niche and reaching out to them with collaboration proposals that are mutually beneficial for both parties involved.

Always remember that relevance is key. The more you focus on topics closely related to your content and audience, the more value you add; the more valuable the outcome of your partnerships, the more reputation, organic traffic, leads, and conversions you will garner.

Regarding backlinks, partnering with influencers within your industry means they will place links to your website in their content. Since they have a solid audience base, this could even direct their audience to your brand’s sales funnel, especially when done through interviews or reviews.

When the influencers link you as a credible source, your services and products take the spotlight, making it a valuable natural backlink opportunity.

3. Create Newsworthy Infographics

Infographics are engaging, attention-grabbing, reader-friendly, and easy to remember, making them the perfect recipe for capturing people’s interest in reading even bland content. They are also one of the most shareable forms of content that produces impressive results.

You can convert unappealing content or boring statistics pages into visually appealing images and text, making them more digestible for readers. 

In fact, surveys have found that infographics outperform even videos with content-rich visuals on “what” or “how” posts, generating 25.8% more backlinks than “how-to” videos.

Plus, if you want to ask your audience to participate in sharing your content, infographics get 300% more social shares than regular posts. 

The only caveat is the design aspect of it, but you can use web-based editors like Visme, Canva, or Piktochart; you can either take a course that teaches you the basics of such software, or hire a graphic designer to simplify the process.

4. Create Long Form Content

Backlinko and Buzzsumo conducted an analysis that revealed long form content had 77.2% more shares than short articles, and articles with long headings had 76% more shares than shorter headlines.

As far as SEO efforts are concerned, text-heavy articles are important because they provide adequate information suitable for both novice and expert readers. 

According to HubSpot, the ideal word count for a long-form article is between 2,000 and 7,000 words. It should explore complex subjects and provide credible resources.

But long form SEO articles are pretty competitive, and only those that truly stand out end up attracting natural links. 

You can secure your backlink by going the extra mile to maintain a higher word count and go beyond the generic information. Hence, readers will have new, valuable information they won’t find elsewhere.

Start by identifying popular topics in your industry to generate content ideas using Semrush’s Topic Research. You can also use Semrush’s SEO Content Template to gather data from the top ten competitors to create your article outline.

5. Create Linkable Assets

Pieces of interesting, informative content that others can use are a valuable way to earn natural backlinks from credible sites. The higher the quality of your assets, the more authoritative links you’ll receive from websites with high-end websites.

Creating free tools or calculators, how-to tutorials, statistics pages, case or research studies, and valid opinions that are useful enough for people to use automatically ensures these link placements are natural.

This is because generating original data and research that isn’t available anywhere else encourages others to use your information to reference their websites and audiences. 

In return, these linkable assets get you reputable site links, improve your rankings across search engines, drive organic traffic, and enhance user experience.

6. Leverage Social Media

Social media is generally known for only yielding nofollow links – but you can use them indirectly, to increase the ranking of your original company website as well. 

Plus, having a social media profile for your brand is good practice because it makes your brand more legitimate for Google. And with the way things are developing with Google’s updates in 2023 and 2024, it’s all becoming about brand!

Sharing content from your website on your social media indirectly helps you get a few natural links; this is because it will introduce your content to a large audience, leading to more organic traffic and time spent on that page, increasing your chances of people building links to it.

The more viral and emotion-evoking your content is, the better it will appeal to others. With that, as your followers increase, so will the awareness about your main site.

Similarly, whenever you update content on your website, share it frequently on your social media pages to spread awareness about its existence. 

This way, you won’t just build a following for your brand and website, but you’ll attract collaborations from influencers within your niche without having to approach them first.

TLG takes pride in building high-quality natural links using updated techniques. Let us assist you with professional link building services that improve your SEO efforts.

How To Choose Natural Link Building Services?

Many SEO experts offer natural link building services. They have extensive knowledge of Google’s algorithms and carefully vet websites in your niche to obtain backlinks that Google recognizes as authoritative.

Since this isn’t just a day’s job, many companies hire such services to do this complex job. Unfortunately, some use black-hat techniques that could get you penalised.

This brings us to the question of choosing natural link building services. Let’s find out.

Set Clear Goals and Budget

  • Link building experts cannot read your mind, so define your goals and expectations before you start looking for a service provider.
  • Consider what you want to achieve through linking building, the type of websites you want to target, the number of links you want, and what factors you wish to use to measure success.
  • Ask questions about how they evaluate link quality or relevancy. How they answer this will be really important.
  • Even if you don’t know the answers to these questions, having them will help you better communicate your needs.
  • Set an approximate budget so the service you choose can give you the best deal for your money.

Evaluate Different Service Providers

  • Only finalise a service provider after evaluating the others by doing a basic background check of their reviews to know their industry reputation.
  • Ask questions about their link building process and methods to get a comparative baseline, allowing you to judge their knowledge about whether they follow Google’s guidelines, if they will employ manual outreach, or are simply buying off databases.
  • Look for a proven track record with a portfolio and samples of previous work to know what kind of websites they’ve worked with and the success rate they achieved.
  • Compare their prices and availability of different packages to ensure you receive fair and transparent services that match your expectations without going out of your budget.

Consider Long Term Partnerships

  • Building trustworthy links takes time, so keep your link building efforts active if you don’t see results within a month or so. Be patient.
  • Suppose your service provider uses sustainable link building strategies. In that case, it will take some time to see results, but that also means your backlinks are natural and keep you out of harm’s way as far as Google’s guidelines are concerned.
  • Link building sometimes involves trial and error, dealing with unknown issues, and reorganising strategies before finding the best one, so the longer your company entrusts one service provider, it gives them the opportunity and time to offer ongoing support and correct the course as required to get the results you want.

In-House vs. Agency vs. Freelancer Service Providers

There are different ways to build natural links at scale—you can do it in-house or outsource it to link-building agencies or freelancers.

However, choosing between these options requires careful consideration based on the pros and cons each of them has to offer.

Here are the details when deciding how to approach link building for your website.

In-House Link Building

Pros 
  • Decide what links to build, giving you complete control and ownership of the process.
  • Have full knowledge of every detail involved, allowing you to identify and minimize any mistakes.
  • Adjust KPIs and strategies as and when you deem fit and based on how your SEO objectives evolve.
  • Opportunity to network directly within your niche based on the blogs or journalists you communicate with.
Cons
  • Finding link building experts to join your team comes at a high cost because of their vast strategic knowledge. If you hire newbies to the field, then there’s the training implications.
  • Accessing all SEO tools and learning how to use their insights is an additional cost because of subscriptions and training.
  • Scalability will be low because you will have a small team dedicated solely to link building, which means fewer daily outreach emails.
  • Identifying the major players in your niche and establishing a solid network takes practice and time, especially if you’re new to link-building.
Estimated Execution Cost
  • Software and infrastructure costs can range between $1,100 – $1,500.
  • Staffing costs, including the salary of the in-house team, range between $3,000 and $4,000 per link builder.
  • The total cost of full-time in-house link building operations may range between .$14,000 – $20,000 per month if you are building at reasonable scale.

Link Building Agency

Pros 
  • Faster results because natural link building services already have an extensive network, know niche-based link building strategies, and constantly communicate with content publishing websites.
  • It is much cheaper than setting up in-house link-building operations, which comes with many additional costs other than just staff costs.
  • Link building is stress-free and consistent because you place an order with the agency, and they deliver results that encourage natural links.
  • Years of experience in the field give agencies the upper hand in terms of up-to-date methods and knowing what works best, from the first outreach email to monitoring and auditing your link profile.
  • Your company can prioritise other tasks and projects, increasing the efficiency of your internal operations and strategies.
  • If you find the right partner, you’re assured to receive high quality backlinks and referral traffic that improves your SEO and SERP rankings.
Cons
  • Choosing a cheap link building agency could mean losing control and transparency over the process and quality of acquired links.
  • Google constantly updates its policies; agencies that don’t stay up-to-date may use shady or outdated techniques like spamming, PBNs, buying link farm placements, and irrelevant link placements, which can harm your site’s ranking and reputation.
  • There may be gaps in communicating or coordinating your ideas and expectations, especially if the agency is in another location and follows a different work culture.
  • If you don’t check your contract thoroughly, you may incur additional costs through third-party vendors, including hidden fees, legal liabilities, or disputes.
Estimated Execution Cost
  • A basic package should cost around $1,000 – $2,000 per month. Beware of cheap pricing because this indicates low-level automated link building.
  • A standard manual outreach package tends to average around $3,500 to $5,000 per month.
  • Premium packages tend to be around $5,000 – $10,000 or more, depending on your specifications.

Link Building Freelancer

Pros 
  • It may cost less than recruiting an in-house team or hiring a link-building agency.
  • Since they’re independent contractors, you get more flexibility by working on a project-to-project basis.
  • Working with a freelancer requires one-on-one interaction. You can discuss your expectations, receive personalized link-building strategies, and give feedback on what’s working.
  • Some freelancers specialise in specific link-building niches, like building broken links, or even industries such as medicine or IT, where technical knowledge is necessary.
Cons
  • Work quality and strategies can largely vary among freelancers, so you have to be very careful. Unlike established agencies, where a team is working on your backlinks, freelancers only have themselves.
  • Consistency in getting backlinks is also an issue because freelancers may prioritise another client’s projects.
  • They may change their techniques, making it less clear whether they’re using only white-hat techniques or some spammy approaches.
Estimated Execution Cost
  • Most link building freelancers charge hourly rates ranging from $50–$100 per hour

Comparison Table:

Comparison table between Freelancers, Link Brokers, In-house team and The Links Guy

Why Choose TLG as Your Natural link Building Service Partner

As a white hat link building agency, TLG’s process always follows industry standards. We stay up to date with Google’s ever-evolving policies and algorithms, which means you don’t have to worry about being blacklisted or penalised by search engines.

Our strategies involve thorough analysis that will make a real-time difference to your rankings and web traffic.

Let’s explore some key areas that set us apart from other agencies:

Business And Link Profile Analysis

We closely work with clients to understand their business niche and target audience. Next, we will identify the website’s weak and strong points by analysing its link profile and finding where we need to build links. Not only does this help us with creating suitable strategies, but it also helps maximise results.

Strategy and Competitor Analysis

We perform a competitor analysis to gauge what other websites in your niche are doing and then select industries that work for them. Considering your specifications, we formulate a strategy and select link building tactics that will help us achieve the desired results. We encourage total transparency and share a live project tracker with our clients so they know exactly what we’re doing.

Targeted Data Prospecting

Executing these strategies requires rigorous data mining to find relevant websites and their contacts. Our expert prospectors scrape large data sets, manually prospect through Google, and even extract specific lists from directories to create targeted lists of websites and people more likely to relate to and accept our client’s link placements.

Outreach Campaign and Link Acquisition

Once we have our targeted lists of contacts and websites, it’s time to start sending outreach campaigns. Our skilled outreachers are highly trained in email copywriting and understand the fine line between persuasion and adaptability to communicate with different people correctly. We also follow a highly personalised approach to ensure we maintain cordial and long-term relationships that bring in customers for our clients.

Calibrated Process

We love to learn, and our entire process works as feedback to maintain positive results and avoid stagnation. If some strategies work well, we will learn from them and implement them accordingly. Similarly, if something doesn’t work out, we will analyse the drawbacks and identify how to improve them for the following cycles.

Dynamic Packages

We use different tried-and-tested natural link building techniques because we understand that the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for all industries. We don’t restrict ourselves to specific link building techniques; we utilise guest posts, resource pages, HARO and PR outreach, and relationship link building based on each client’s needs.

Getting Started With Natural Link Building

Natural link building requires patience, determination, and a complex understanding of industry standards. There’s more to it than simply identifying websites, placing the links, and calling it a day. 

Google’s strict guidelines may complicate the process by limiting opportunities, which means you must be very selective to avoid being penalised. Vetting these websites and their data, along with outreach and finally receiving a link, is a lengthy process but one that’s worth it to improve a website’s SEO in the long run.

Since this process takes time, it’s better to approach natural link building services sooner rather than later; this way, you can understand how it works and keep going as you see positive results.

Building natural links holds great power to transform a company website’s SEO game. With TLG’s link building expertise, now’s your chance to improve your link profile and make Google fall in love with your website. Let’s Chat!