7 Ways To Get High Authority Backlinks

Adam Steele
Jun 3
Quick navigation

In our previous link building guides, we established that while backlinks continue to heavily influence search engine rankings, Google’s PageRank algorithm doesn’t treat all inbound links as equals.

There are now up to 15 different types of backlinks. And when it comes to SEO, they are all broadly categorized into two groups – low-quality and high-quality links. This is what forms the basis of PageRank’s backlink analysis, along with quantitative factors like the volume of inbound links, and the number of referral domains.

As it turns out, though, the search engine’s algorithms have now evolved to point of prioritizing link quality over link quantity. This is according to Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, who even goes ahead to encourage webmasters to focus less on the number of backlinks, and more on getting quality backlinks.

The qualitative analysis itself covers a wide range of metrics and variables. But, if you ask around, SEO experts will tell you that nothing is as impactful as high authority backlinks. So powerful are they, in fact, that it takes hundreds of regular links to match up to the influence of one high authority backlink.

The problem with high authority backlinks

But then here’s the kicker. Word on the street is, high authority backlinks don’t usually come easy. And if you try to purchase them, each high authority backlink will cost you, at the very least, hundreds of dollars.

Tell you what, though. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the digital marketing team at Loganix is giving you not one, not two, but seven solid ones.

Here are all the insights, starting with the basics…

What Are High Authority Backlinks?

High authority backlinks, in simple terms, refer to inbound links from credible sources.

Now, to put that into perspective, think of backlinks as some form of confidence votes within the interwebs. As search engines crawl across various web assets, they index backlink instances as direct recommendations from external web pages.

Such link referrals, however, don’t bear the same weight. The amount of influence that each has on your search engine rankings depends on, among other factors, the quality of the referral domain.

This “quality”, in the SEO world, is defined as domain authority. The more established a website is in a particular field, the higher its domain authority score. That means that “high domain authority” is reserved for, say, highly resourceful thought leaders.

This contributes greatly to the impact of an inbound link on the SERPs rankings.

You see, just as you’d trust recommendations from family and close friends, search engine ranking algorithms consider high authority backlinks as the most credible sources. Every Dofollow link that you get from high authority domains is considered to be high-quality, which then translates to more voting power than regular inbound links.

That notwithstanding, however, it’s worth noting that “Domain Authority” isn’t really an official PageRank metric. Rather, the measurement system is only used by third parties as an industry benchmark for proportionally quantifying the relevance and dominance of a website in the SERPs.

The original concept was developed by Moz, an all-inclusive SEO tool suite renowned for not only backlink analysis, but also rank tracking, site auditing, and keyword research.

On its platform, you’ll find this domain analysis tool, on which you can enter URLs to establish their domain authority scores on a scale of 0 to 100.

Untitled

Moz Domain Authority Checker

The assessment is based on more or less the same web parameters that PageRank reportedly uses to validate website quality.

This includes:

  • Link profile.
  • Organic traffic.
  • Linking root domains.
  • Nofollow links.
  • Dofollow backlink profile.
  • Social media shares.
  • Domain age.
  • Spammy links.
  • Ranking keywords.

Typically, high authority domains have been getting a score of 70 and above. But, the scale is not absolute – its authority weighting system varies from one industry to another.

What might seem like an average score in one field could turn out to be comparatively high across another industry.

That said, Moz doesn’t have to be your sole reference. For increased accuracy, you might want to perform additional checks on alternative rating platforms.

Some of the most credible metrics that could be used in place of Moz’s domain rating include:

  • Domain Rating – DR is a proprietary metric created by Ahrefs to measure the depth of a site’s backlink profile compared to others in the same field.
  • Authority Score – AS is a compound metric that SEMrush uses to represent a domain’s relative quality and SEO performance.
  • Alexa Rank – AR is a global ranking system developed by Alexa to rank websites in the order of their popularity.
  • Trust Flow – trademarked by Majestic, trust flow assesses the level of influence that you might get from a domain based on the authority and quality of the websites that link to it.
  • Citation Flow – also created by Majestic, citation flow evaluates the level of influence you stand to get from a URL based on the number of websites that link to it.

Whichever metric system you select, you should be able to establish the relative authority and influence of various domains. Then by comparing the scores, you can identify where to publish your high authority backlinks for higher rankings.

Read more: How to Increase Domain Authority

Why are they important?

All in all, high authority links are exceedingly important because they offer the following link building benefits:

  1. They boost your site’s credibility –  High authority sites are regarded as the crème de la crème by not only search engines but also web users. So, of course, their recommendations are taken particularly seriously.

That means that every single high authority backlink that they publish reflects well on your site. Both search engines and web users interpret the inbound links as a vote of confidence from a trustable source, which in turn boosts the credibility of your website on the subject matter.

  1. They improve your SERPs rankings – Of the more than 200 ranking factors that Google evaluates, backlinks and content happen to be the most important. This was revealed in 2016 by Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google.

Then, in 2021, John Mueller further clarified that the emphasis isn’t so much on the number of external links, but rather on the quality.

In particular, the PageRank algorithm tends to favor those backlinks that come from “reputable sources”. An analysis of 11.8 million Google search results established that, indeed, the top rankings correlate with the Moz/Ahrefs/SEMrush authority rating of their referral domains.

  1. They bring in referral traffic –  Not all web traffic comes from Google. Organic search accounts for about 53% of all trackable website traffic, paid search controls about 13%, while the rest mostly comes from social media and third-party referrals. This is what drives digital marketers to supplement SEO with omnichannel campaigns.
Untitled

Web traffic sources. Source: BrightEdge

Now, the good thing about high authority backlinks is, they’re versatile enough to cover two of these bases at once. They’ll boost your SEO while, at the same time, linking your web page to authoritative sites that are already popular with relevant audiences.

Each backlink basically doubles up as a referral link, through which you get to pull in traffic from an external audience base.

  1. They increase brand awareness and conversions – Speaking of referrals, keep in mind that this is no ordinary traffic.

You see, by pointing you out as a credible source, the high authority backlinks will be vouching for your website. As such, audiences get to positively associate your brand with the content that they sample from authoritative sites.

And the links don’t have to be formatted as dofollow. Even nofollow backlinks are capable of making a lasting impression on the many visitors who flock to high authority sites.

In the end, therefore, the referrals will come in the form of warm prospects who’ve already been convinced of your credibility. So, you should be able to qualify and convert them much faster than regular prospects.

7 Ways To Get High Authority Backlinks

As SEO experts would tell you, building high authority backlinks is no walk in the park.

The demand, for instance, already far exceeds the supply. Hundreds of millions of websites are competing for recognition from the few domains that make up Alexa’s top 1%.

And then get this. Not all high DA opportunities would be ideal for you. The best results only come from the backlinks that connect contextually-related web pages.

This has been the case since 2012, when Google first rolled out its Penguin algorithm update to clamp down on low quality backlinks. It’s now significantly more intelligent than ever before, and you can count on it to flag up and penalize any backlinks that appear unnatural or spammy.

So, you have no choice but to approach this with finesse and precision.

Here are the top seven strategies that you could use to secure high authority backlinks:

  1. Replace broken links

Before you even begin to build high authority links from scratch, you might want to capitalize on the already available free opportunities.

Consider, for instance, overturning potentially invalid links. We’re talking about those broken backlinks that point towards 404 pages or “dead” URLs.

Chances are, you should be able to find several of them across various popular websites. The current average prevalence of broken links is about 5.92 per 100 web pages.

The identification and conversion process itself is pretty simple:

  • Get yourself one of the reputable automated broken link checkers. Examples include Dead Link Checker, Ahrefs Broken Link Checker, and SEMrush Backlink Checker.
  • You can then enter your competitors’ domains and run searches to discover potentially their broken links.
  • With Ahrefs, for instance, you’ll get a list of both dead inbound and outbound links for each domain. You can then sort them out based on the domain authority of the referral sources, as well as the anchor text. The objective here is to identify the most relevant opportunities for your website.
Untitled

Ahrefs Broken Link Checker.

  • Another way to identify solid opportunities would be searching through the popular domains directly, instead of tracking the broken links from your competitors’ sites. This is particularly recommended for people who already have target referral domains in mind. You just have to specify the high authority websites and Ahrefs will do the checking for you, before generating a list of their dead outbound links
  • Whichever approach you choose, ensure that you select the broken links that feature your target search keywords.
  • Once you’re done, you should reach out to the admin of each referral domain, and then present them with alternative URLs that point to resources on your website. Many of them will gladly proceed to replace the broken links with your inbound hyperlinks. Potentially a win-win situation for you and the high authority domains.
  1. Publish guest posts

Guest blogging has always been one of the most effective ways to promote your brand on external high authority sites. You get to engage their audiences, drive referral traffic, as well as boost SEO through strategically-placed backlinks.

Now, for the best results, you might want to publish not just one guest post – but rather, as many as possible across a wide range of relevant sites.

So far, about 50% of bloggers tend to reach out to 10 or so contacts per month for guest blogging opportunities, whereas 7% go the extra mile by pitching guest post ideas to at least 100 blogs per month.

That means you can always expect stiff competition from other bloggers, and it gets even worse on high DA sites. Almost everyone is trying to get noticed by the likes of Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, Investopedia, Mashable, Business Insider, etc.

Now, as it turns out, editors across these sites have the bandwidth for only about 1 – 10 guest posts per week. And, in particular, they typically publish submissions that are perfectly aligned with their content marketing goals.

With that in mind, you should:

  • Start by running your target publishers through the Moz DA checker to confirm their respective authority ratings. The most suitable blogs are not only authoritative but also relevant to your specific industry.
  • Once you’ve identified the best domains, you can proceed to pitch them guest post topics that would resonate well with their audiences, as well as give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise and products.
  • If accepted, you can proceed to write an insightful blog post in a format that is aligned with the target publisher’s default writing style.
  • And while you’re at it, remember to feature your backlinks and anchor text naturally within the context of the article. But, don’t overdo it – just have maybe one or two appropriate attributions for every 1,000 words of text.
  • Otherwise, for paid guest blogging opportunities, you can expect to fork out about $77.80 per guest post.
  1. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

HARO, in full, stands for “Help a Reporter Out”. This is a well-renowned platform that journalists popularly use to gather expert input from individuals across a wide range of topics and industries. You can think of it as an extensive database that connects media houses with relevant insights and commentary for their stories.

Untitled

The HARO platform.

In total, HARO provides access to about 75,000 journalists and bloggers from highly respected news sites and media outlets. Combined, they run about 55,000 queries on the platform per year, each of which translates into a potential link-building opportunity.

You see, when you respond to any of these queries with relevant information from your site, the news platforms proceed to run the stories with attributions that link back to your web page. So, in a way, HARO is a viable link building strategy for setting up backlinks on high authority sites.

The capitalize on it, you should:

  • Go to the Help a Reporter Out website and then register as a source. You’ll find the signup option on the homepage.
  • Once you’ve filled in and submitted the registration form, you can go ahead and set up your profile. This is where you get to specify your preferences, including the industries in which you’d like to offer your expertise.
  • When the profile is up and running, the platform will start reaching out to you via email. You can expect about three emails per day, each with queries from journalists seeking information on various topics.
  • Feel to respond to the queries with expert commentary, complete with links to assets on your web pages.
  • If the investigating journalists find the sources to be helpful, they’ll publicly acknowledge the contribution by publishing your backlinks on their high authority sites.
  1. Run PR outreach campaigns

At times, you might need to take the bull by the horns and engage in PR outreach campaigns.

While the strategy might be laborious and potentially costly, at least it’s guaranteed to pull public attention to your own website. Plus, if your outreach campaign manages to make a good impression on influential individuals, it’ll ultimately get you multiple high authority backlinks.

That said, there are different feasible options for pulling off PR outreach campaigns. But, for the sake of link building, they should all be centered around relevant assets on your website.

You could, for example:

  • Start off by building interesting but deeply insightful content on your website. You need the type of stuff that’ll convince editors and bloggers to feature your brand in their highly popular publications.
  • For content ideas, you could check out the trending topics in your industry. SEMrush has a pretty neat topic research tool for this, as it provides data-backed suggestions on the type of stuff your target audience would be interested in.
Untitled

Topic research on SEMrush.

  • You can then go ahead and create an extensively-researched piece of content that offers unique industry insights in an engaging manner. Consider even throwing in a controversial twist to the content just to spark conversation.
  • With the content fully developed, you can start reaching out to influential bloggers, podcasts, social media personalities, YouTubers, journalists, and reviewers in your industry.
  • A press release, for example, would be a good way of pitching the stories to media platforms. Otherwise, you could feature brief but attention-grabbing versions of the content on popular podcasts or maybe social sites like Linkedin.
  • If the content is thought-provoking enough, the publications will pick it up and run the story, or maybe use it to develop their own versions but with high authority backlinks to your site.
  1. Form link exchange partnerships

It’s also possible to build links through mutually beneficial link exchange programs.

The strategy is very straightforward. You just link up with high DA sites that are looking to boost their SEO, and then you both agree to publish reciprocal backlinks.

You can think of it as the link-building version of  “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Each outbound link that you publish earns you a reciprocal inbound link from your link exchange partner. So, it’s a win-win SEO strategy for both parties.

The only problem is, Google is not a big fan of link exchanges. The search engine’s guidelines strongly discourage webmasters from engaging in such inorganic link building techniques. And, in particular, it identifies link exchanging as a black hat scheme that could negatively affect your site’s rankings.

Well, we too admit that bit is true. That Google search could penalize your site for participating in link exchange programs.

Here’s the thing, though. Not all reciprocal backlinks are flagged up as link exchange schemes. Google only cracks down on those low quality backlinks that appear unnaturally, without any contextual relation between the content pieces.

As such, it’s safe to conclude that link exchanges can very well be used as a white hat SEO strategy. You just need to stick to a well-calculated system and you’ll be okay.

Ahrefs itself confirmed the efficacy of this tactic through a research study that sampled roughly 140,000 high-traffic domains. The findings were that 43.7% of the top-ranking pages on Google’s SERPs host reciprocal links.

Untitled

Research findings on reciprocal links. Source: Ahrefs

  1. Get featured on link roundups

Another resource that you might want to take advantage of is link roundups.

These are web publications that share curated lists of the best content pieces on a particular subject or topic. They come in the form of monthly, daily, or weekly compilations.

One popular example of a link roundup is Discover WordPress, which curates leading content pieces on a daily basis. Other roundups operate in more or less the same manner, complete with links to various featured articles.

Now, as you’d expect, these lists are exceedingly popular with web audiences across all industries. They use them as directories for sampling the trending topics and developing news.

That qualifies link roundups as high authority sites, capable of not only boosting SEO but also generating loads of referral traffic from the featured high quality links.

And, in case you’re wondering, the answer is no – you don’t have to wait until they discover your content to land a feature. That could take forever.

You should, instead, take the initiative by reaching out directly to the publishers in your industry. You never know – quite a number of them would be open to featuring your content on their link roundups.

Here are the steps that you should follow:

  • Start by identifying the most dominant link roundups in your field. You can do this by running a simple search string that contains the focus keyword, plus an identifier for the specific type of link roundup that you’re targeting.
  • You can, for instance, combine your keyword with the phrase “weekly roundup” or maybe “monthly roundup”. And while you’re at it, keep in mind that the keyword and the roundup identifier should each be punctuated with double quotes, and then separated by a plus sign.
  • Therefore, the search string for, say, the marketing industry would be something along the lines of

marketing” + “weekly roundup”

or

“marketing” + “monthly roundup”

Untitled

How to format the search strings.

  • When the search results come in, you might want to sort them out based on when the publications were made. This will help you eliminate the directories that haven’t been active recently.
  • The trick to doing that is clicking on the “Tools” button that appears on the Google search results page, after which you should proceed to the time filters section and specify your preferred range.
Untitled
  • You could, for example, narrow down the results to the link roundups that have been active over the past week or past month.
Untitled
  • Once you’ve generated your preferred list, you can proceed to export the links to a spreadsheet. This is what you’ll be using as the outreach reference.
  • The outreach process itself might take some time, as you’ll be contacting the admins individually.
  • Many of them might turn you down, but if you’re persistent, you should be able to convince a couple to take you on.
  1. Build quality content through the Skyscraper Technique

Finally, we have that ultimate strategy that can be engaged separately, or in conjunction with the rest of the tactics.

Skyscraper Technique is the name, and it was developed by Brian Dean, the “SEO genius” behind Backlinko. The whole purpose of this tactic is to maximize high authority backlinks by creating quality content.

So, in a way, the Skyscraper Technique fine-tunes the two most critical factors of SEO – content and links. You can think of it as some form of high-level content marketing that’s uniquely specialized for link building.

The procedure itself is pretty straightforward:

  • Use an SEO research tool like SEMrush to identify the most popular search keywords in your field. Then by reviewing the top-ranking web pages, you should be able to point out the one piece of content that enjoys the highest number of inbound links. This is the competitor page that you’ll be seeking to outdo in the long run.
Untitled

SEO keyword research on SEMrush.

  • Once you’ve established the keywords and the main topic of interest, you can go ahead and create a much more insightful article.
  • An analysis of 912 million blog posts shows, for instance, that referral domains tend to favor “What” posts, “Why” articles, and infographics over “How to” guides and videos. Combined, the three happen to attract more than 25.8% more links than the latter two.
  • But, don’t be content with just publishing the content. Instead of passively waiting for high authority sites to discover it, try to mobilize them through PR outreach campaigns.
  • You can start from the list of domains that are already linking to your competitors. Run their domain authority checks on Moz and then reach out to the most dominant referral domains.
  • When you present them with your deeply insightful content pieces and infographics, many are bound to respond positively. So much so, in fact, that you should be able to convince them to replace your competitors’ URLs with links to the much fresher content on site.
  • Also, you might want to scan for broken links and then convert them into high authority backlinks for your website.

Over To You

There goes the whole truth behind the inner workings of high authority backlinks.

We can now agree that they indeed came about due to Google’s growing obsession with high-quality backlinks. More specifically, you can blame it on the PageRank algorithm, which now prioritizes qualitative analysis over quantitative evaluations for the sake of providing web users with more relevant results.

The outcome has been mixed for different parties. Web users now enjoy the highly optimized search experience, while webmasters are struggling to keep up with the ever-morphing SEO rules.

Gone are the days when link building was all about distributing inbound links across random sources. You now need to invest in sophisticated quality-oriented strategies. Otherwise, you risk setting off the alarm bells for possible quality violations, which could then lead to expulsion from the SERPs.

Now, this all means one thing. That the stakes are much higher for webmasters than ever before. And the situation is not getting any easier. On the contrary, link building is getting more challenging as Google’s PageRank algorithm continues to develop.

Luckily for you though, you’ve got Loganix covering your back. We’re consistently updating our search engine optimization strategies based on Google’s algorithm tweaks.

So, when it comes to link building, you can count on us for the full package of advanced quality optimizations. We’ll build and expand your high authority backlinks by strategically leveraging guest posts, HARO links, brand links, press releases, backlink gap analysis, link audits, and content marketing.

Written by Adam Steele on June 3, 2022

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.