In this blog, I’m gonna show you Nine Best Ways To Build FREE Backlinks to increase your Google rankings for free. what I really mean is that the techniques I’m gonna show you cost exactly $0 to put into practice.
However, just because these tactics are free doesn’t mean that they’re not effective.
These are the same techniques I use to build links from sites like the New York Times, HubSpot, Inc.com, and Search Engine Journal. In case we haven’t met before, my name is Towhidul Jayan and I’m the founder of Digi Skill Grow Marketing
Build FREE Backlinks
This article is all about build free backlinks. A link, also known as a backlink, is when one website places a clickable link to another website in its content. When someone clicks that link, they jump to that new destination.
For example, if someone clicks this link in this article on zapier.com, they get taken to my website. Why do we care about build free backlinks? Links are one of Google’s most important ranking factors.
In this study by Backlinko, they found that websites in the top positions on Google have more backlinks than websites in lower positions. That said, link‐building is easier said than done. It takes time and requires you to learn a new skill set, Which is why many people just end up paying for backlinks.
But you really don’t need to pay. There are always ways to build free backlinks or should I say there are correct ways to build free backlinks for free and there are incorrect ways. As I was researching for this video, I found tons of videos recommending outdated techniques, like blog comments, as a way to build free links.
Bro, blog comments haven’t worked since Pokemon Go was a thing. So in this blog, I set up to spill the beans on free backlink techniques that’ll actually give you massive results. and I’ll even give you outreach scripts so you can start putting these techniques into practice today.
And here’s the kicker. The best links on the planet are the ones you can’t pay for. So whether you pay for links or not, pay attention to this blog if you want the best links possible. And make sure to stick around to the end because the last technique gets the best of the best.
1. The Fixer Upper
The first technique is what I like to call the fixer‐upper. We’re gonna look at where our competitors got links and persuade those websites to link to us instead. This one works like crazy. It’s the exact technique I used to get a link from Typeform, a DR 93 website.
Here’s how to do it. You’re gonna look for articles in your same niche that have a lot of backlinks. Preferably ones that are older and might reference outdated facts such as cow’s milk being a miracle food or blog commenting being actually useful.
Sorry, I’m really just picking on blog commenting today. If I were to Google “blog commenting guide,” I’d find this guide here with 188 referring domain backlinks, according to my toolbar. And if I open it up? Sure enough, it’s old as dirt.
2013, which might as well be the Middle Ages when it comes to SEO. Next, you’re gonna figure out who is linking to this article using a tool like Ahrefs or the free trial of Ubersuggest. Here’s what a backlink report looks like for that blog comment article in Ahrefs.
I wanted to highlight this article from Bluehost. Bluehost is a major internet brand. I’m sure they want their article on what to do after you start a blog to be relevant today, not for 2013. So that leads us to the final step.
Send them an email pitch asking them to link to our up‐to‐date article instead. Here’s how that’ll look. First, you go over to their contact page and snag the press email. This one typically works best. Then you send them an email like this,
Hey Bluehost Team,
This article you wrote, insert URL, is referencing some outdated advice.
You recommend blog commenting as a viable way to promote your blog.
But this article from Search Engine Journal quotes a Google employee saying that it ‘doesn’t work anymore and hasn’t for a long time.’
I notice you don’t have HARO as a promotion strategy in your article.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on HARO here. Would you mind linking to it in your article?
I’ll write you the paragraph if it would save time.”
It’s as easy as that. And then you repeat it again and again for all the sites.
That is linking to that outdated article Since we just mentioned HARO, let’s jump on over to that.
What is HARO?
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. A service that lets journalists request quotes from expert sources for use in their articles. It’s gotten me tons of links from Forbes. For example, let’s say that a journalist is writing an article in the New York Post about people that work online and they wanna a quote someone who works online.
So, they might propose a question like, “What’s the best thing about working online that most people don’t realize?” Well, that’s convenient because you work online.
So you hit them up and drop some knowledge bombs about being a digital badass. When they use your quote, they’ll give you a link back to your website. Easy breezy.
Here are the tactics that you need to use to get the best results from HARO. Each day, HARO will send out a list of opportunities for expert quotes. You need to jump on this right away and give your quotes before anyone else does.
Speed is the key. These journalists have deadlines so they’re trying to wrap up their articles ASAP. Next, don’t get lazy. After you do a few of these, you might start giving half‐assed answers to their questions.
You want to answer each question as if you know you’re gonna get that backlink. Visualize, focus, see the end goal, whatever you gotta do.
Just keep trying to hit a home run. Lastly, answer as many questions as you can. If your website is about knitting, if you sit around waiting for only knitting quotes to come up, you’re gonna die before you get five links.
Remember, you work from home. You might manage people and you’ve had other jobs. You could essentially write content on anything related to business like hiring, self‐motivation, or whatever.
3. Article Round Ups
The next step on the list is to get your content placed in article roundup posts. You know those posts where people recap the best content in a particular industry, like my monthly SEO news roundup where I highlight the most interesting news in SEO, or this expert roundup that I participated in for Rank Ranger.
Let me give you the perspective of someone who actually puts content like this together. Scouring the internet for the month’s best articles in the SEO space is a bit of a time sync.
It takes time to sort through basically the entire web for qualified content. It’s a huge pain in the ass, to be honest, and it’s much easier when people send me their articles proactively. But the thing is after I’ve put up a post, I can’t go edit the article and add your article to the list.
It’s written. It’s done. The goose is cooked. So, to get your content placed in these articles, you need to get ahead of them.
Here’s how you do that. Here’s a bunch of search terms you should use to make a huge list of the roundups in your niche. Keywords, like SEO, plus link roundup, keyword plus roundup, keyword plus best of, this week plus a keyword, and this month plus keyword.
Next, you wanna get the email addresses for these publications using a tool like Hunter.io or just using their contact form. Now, as soon as you write a piece of content and it goes live, you want to email these guys with an email template like this.
“Hey Jayan, I just finished up a piece of content on SEO optimization that would be a great fit for your SEO news roundup. It highlights five tested ways that AI can be used to build rankable content.”
This is where you highlight the unique benefits that your article would add to the readership. “If you could include it in one of your roundups, I would be more than happy to share that roundup with my readers and get them to sign up for your newsletter.”
Here’s where you explain why they’d want to use your product. Put this process into a repeatable system and you’ll have free links on autopilot.
4. Broken Link Building
The next free link‐building technique is broken link‐building. Broken link building is when you identify when a site links out to another URL, but the URL they’re linking to is dead. Maybe the other website deleted that post or the website completely shut down itself.
So either way, the link is not working and that’s bad for your SEO. So what people usually do is email a website with a broken link and say,
“Hey there, in your article, you’re linking out to, <insert broken URL>, which no longer exists. I recently wrote an updated, <current year> version of that article here, <insert your URL>.
If you’d like to update your broken link, we’d really appreciate it if you considered our article instead.”
But before we start saying “Broken link building is so 2018, it doesn’t work anymore,” you’re right. It doesn’t work anymore unless you add a little twist to it. I got this tip from my man, Brian Dean.
The reason it doesn’t work is that just like I don’t wanna update old roundup posts, people don’t care about fixing their old content even if it had broken links.
But if I posted something fairly new that I know people are reading, then hell Nah. I want it fixed. Find a big site in your niche that has a lot of links going to it. So, for me, let’s use Backlinko.
Plop them into Ahrefs’ site explorer and search best by links. Then set the HTTP filter to 404 not found. This will bring up a list of articles that don’t exist anymore ordered by how many domains link to them. This “Prevent Google Penalties” article at the top has 32 domains linking to it.
If you click on that number, you’ll see a long listing of all those referring domains ﴾or subdomains﴿. But if you order by first seen, you’ll get the most recent articles first.
These are your target sites. Now go back and send that same template and watch your conversion rate double.
5. Link Exchanges
The next free link‐building technique is link exchange where you trade someone for a backlink. You link to them and they link to you. Are link exchanges Google safe?
Here are the Google guidelines on link exchanges. They say “Excessive link exchanges, ‘Link to me and I’ll link to you,’” are listed under what they call link schemes. The keyword here is excessive.
As long as you don’t do this too much and make it your primary link‐building technique for crying out loud, you’ll be fine. Now, the problem with link exchanges is it’s not the most efficient way to outreach and build links.
This is what I mean. If you’re gonna take the time to find websites you want links from and send them emails offering them more value like through a guest post, which we’ll get to later, is much more effective. Simply asking for a link swap wastes the attention that this person graciously gave to you.
So, here’s what you do instead. As you very well know already, your email inbox gets spammed a billion times a day by people trying to get a link on your website. But if you actually take the time to see who is asking, you’ll see that many of these websites are actually quite good.
And since they reach out to your site asking for a link, they’re gonna be super relevant to you. Instead of just ignoring these outreach requests, respond to the people with the websites that you’d wanna link from and ask for a link exchange.
Just look at all these amazing links. I’ll let you guess how many of them were landed simply because I decided to take a look at who wanted a backlink.
6. Linkable Assets
Next up, we have linkable assets. This is the art of making content that attracts links like a magnet. There are various types of content pieces that work best as linkable assets. Research studies and statistics pieces do really well.
Ahrefs ran a case study where they built an SEO statistics page. It’s still pulling links like crazy. Why does this work? Because writers need to reference statistics when they’re creating content. And typically, when they reference data, they link.
Another linkable asset type is a free tool. HubSpot made an online calculator for advertising ROI based on some super simple math and it’s pulled a butt load of referring domains. Then we have definitive guides.
There’s hardly any search volume for anchor text optimization, but I made a definitive guide anyways and it’s pulled massive links. Now that you understand what types of linkable assets can be made, here’s a framework on how to create them.
know your audience. What are their likes and dislikes? SEOs like data and guides so that’s what I create. But people into fitness like hot bodies so I’d make something that helps them achieve that like a fitness calculator, or helps them look at more of them like a roundup of the fitness people on the planet today.
Step two, figure out what’s already working by reverse engineering your competition. If videos are working, make a video. If free tools are working, make one.
Step three, start to collect data. Make sure you’re getting data from multiple sources of information. It helps with credibility and, of course, linkability.
Step four, make it look beautiful. Trust me on this one. Looks matter when it comes to linkable assets.
Step five, share it. Post it on your blog. Then share it on social media, your email list, and outreach about it.
Step six, rinse and repeat. Every year or so, update your asset and begin promo again. 7.
7. Guest Posting
Next up, we have an oldie but goodie, and that’s guest posting. What is a guest post? It’s when you offer to write free content for someone. And in that content, there’s an expectation that you’ll have a link to your website.
Many people say that guest posting can’t be done for free these days because all online publishers are expecting money for a guest post. But that’s because these people are going about guest posting the wrong way.
You see this article I wrote for Inc.com, a DR 92 website. Inc doesn’t accept money for backlinks. You have to think outside the box to get on sites like this. One of my favorite techniques for getting free guest posts is the rank‐able content guest post pitch.
What you’re doing here is offering the right content that a website should be able to rank for you. Offer to do free SEO for someone.
If you want to get a link from HubSpot, DR 93 website, the first thing you need to do is figure out who are their weaker competitors.
Next, you’re gonna use Ahrefs’ content gap tool to figure out what the keywords that these other weaker sites rank for but HubSpot doesn’t.
Right away, you can see this DR 76 website, WiseStamp, ranks for the term “email signature examples” and HubSpot doesn’t. And considering that HubSpot has 138,000 articles on email, you’d think that they want to. Now, you just send them an email pitch like this.
After researching, I found some topics that you could easily write and publish content for. In fact, WiseStamp ranks for this and they have a fraction of your authority, DR 76 versus DR 93. Title: 43.
Next‐Level Email Signature Examples. I’d like to write this for you, free of cost, in the form of a guest post.
I’ve actually done this before on, <insert example website>, which is now ranked number three for their topic. If this sounds good, let me know, and I’ll start this evening.”
This script converts crazy as hell.
8. The Favor
The next technique is called favor. It’s when you do someone solid and they feel obligated to help you out in return. What are some nice things you could do for someone else’s website, but also don’t take a huge amount of work to do?
How about a list of unlinked brand mentions? Where people mention a website, but they don’t link to them. You’re giving someone a list of opportunities for themselves to get links.
The way you do that is to go to Ahrefs’ content explorer and type in someone’s brand name at the top, then minus their domain name. This will give you a list of all the content on the internet except that person’s site that mentions their brand.
Now you select highlight unlinked and type their domain name to pull up who doesn’t link to them. Now export and you have something to send out in your pitch email.
I created a list of 94 different websites that are mentioning you and your research but do not correctly cite you for it with a backlink. Please find it attached.
If you find this useful, would you mind if I get a link myself from this article to my article?” It’s as easy as that.
9. Digital PR
Next, we have digital PR. Which is not only the way to get the best links on the planet but the most in a single effort. What you’re doing here is creating newsworthy stories and getting them in front of the eyes of journalists in the biggest online publications.
I wrote this article on which tech companies have had the biggest impact in the 21st century. It leverages data and polls to achieve its conclusions. And it’s picked up 65 backlinks including the New York Times.
To do good in digital PR, you need to start with a relevant story. What subject is particularly important today? Then you wanna make your content as linkable as possible.
This almost always means that you wanna include a lot of hard data. And lastly, you wanna be able to get this in front of journalists that are interested in that subject.
In this blog, I’ll discuss 9 different ways that you can build free backlinks to increase your Google rankings for free. Hope you like this research and recourses.