What Is an Inbound Link?

Aaron Haynes
Dec 2, 2021

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If you’re new to inbound marketing, you’ve undoubtedly heard that getting more links is one strategy to increase traffic… but did you know that there are numerous sorts of links you can have?

We categorize links into three types: internal links, outbound links, and inbound links. All are significant, but inbound links are generally the most sought-after.

So, exactly, what are inbound links? And how do they vary from other types of links?

Let’s get this straight. In this article, we’ll define inbound links, discuss why we need them, what a good inbound link looks like, and how to obtain more of them.


Let’s go!

What Is an Inbound Link?

Inbound links are links that point to your website from other websites. They are also known as backlinks since they point back to your own website. A link must be clickable for search engines to consider it a backlink.

An inbound link is made up of two parts:

  • The URL to your website
  • The anchor text to which it is tied

When it comes to incoming links, there are two major distinctions:

  • Inbound links that are dofollow
  • Inbound links with nofollow

The crawler will follow dofollow incoming links, which means it will crawl and ascribe value to them. Nofollow inbound links, on the other hand, are ones that the crawler will not follow and will not assign value to.

When it comes to determining the worth of each link, this differentiation is fairly straightforward. Simply said, a dofollow link adds value to your web pages, but a nofollow link does not add value—or, at least, not the same amount of value.

You may use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to identify dofollow and nofollow inbound links for your website.

What are inbound link building services? (+ what they do?)

An inbound link building service focuses on acquiring backlinks from other websites that point to your own website.

Here are some key aspects of an inbound link building service:

  • Strategy development: Identifying link opportunities, reviewing them and creating a plan to get these links.
  • Content creation: Developing link-worthy content assets (infographics, blog posts, or research reports)
  • Outreach and promotion: Contacting website owners and influencers in your industry to secure links.
  • Link monitoring and analysis: Tracking the backlinks acquired, monitoring their impact on  rankings, and adjusting the strategy as needed.
  • Quality control: Checking the links are from trustworthy, relevant sites to avoid penalties.

Get Inbound Links

Why Are Inbound Links Important?

Backlinks are unquestionably an important aspect of SEO. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Increased traffic

When your site has a sufficient number of high-quality backlinks, it is more likely to rank higher in search results. This pays off since you’ve boosted visitors to your site, which is likely to lead to better conversions and even purchases. In the business services market, organic search accounts for more than 70% of traffic.

  1. Increased brand recognition

When respectable, trustworthy, and authoritative websites link to yours, their powerful brand becomes connected with yours. As a result of this relationship, your brand becomes more well-known. Users regard your brand as reliable and trustworthy, much like the brand with which it is linked.

  1. A higher position in search engine results
    Google ranks websites and web pages in search engine results based on a number of variables. Backlinks are among the most powerful. For Google to consider your website authoritative, you must have a number of high-quality backlinks. According to a Backlinko research, sites with a higher number of backlinks rank higher on Google.

What do high-quality backlinks entail?

  • They come from reputable, trustworthy, and respectable websites. These websites have reliable content. The Wall Street Journal and CNN are two examples of high-authority sites.
  • They make use of anchor text. A link from a CNN piece that utilizes your company name and connects to your home page is one example. Above all, the anchor text must be descriptive. Even before they click on the anchor text, the user should be able to guess what the site it connects to is about.
  • They are varied. This indicates that they are derived from a variety of authoritative sources. Links from sports fitness websites and recipe sites, for example, might be appropriate if your site’s content is focused on personal fitness.
  1. It opens up the possibility of new commercial partnerships
    When trustworthy sites connect to yours, you have the opportunity to contact them and build business ties that will make it simpler for others to link to your site in the future. If your company is connected to theirs, these ties may even lead to consumer referrals.

Inbound Links FAQ

What are inbound and outbound links in SEO?

Inbound links

Inbound links are the most beneficial thing your link can provide for your website in terms of SEO. An inbound link is one that points to your website from somewhere else on the internet.

Assume your friend operates a food blog and you happen to be opening a new restaurant. He or she talks about your new restaurant on their blog and links to your website. That is a backlink to your website. Another example is if your website is mentioned in an internet directory. This is another backlink to your website. The more inbound links you have from credible sources, the better. This will be recognized by search engines, and your website will be ranked higher as a result.

Outbound links

Outbound links are often the source of much debate. Outbound links are the inverse of incoming links. Outbound links are hyperlinks from your website that go to another website, and there are many of them on this blog! You may be wondering, “Why would I connect to someone else’s website once I’ve finally gotten them to my own?” That’s a great concept, but remember why you’re linking in the first place.

The internet is densely packed with links, and search engines continually scan them, rating them from best to worst. So, if you have more links on your website, whether inbound or outbound, search engines will notice, and your chances of ranking higher will rise. When establishing outbound links, be sure to configure the link to open in a new tab or window so that the user retains the original window with your site open.

Are inbound links backlinks?

Backlinks are links from one website to another (sometimes known as “inbound links,” “incoming links,” or “one-way links”). Google and other major search engines consider backlinks to be “votes” for a certain website. Pages having a high number of backlinks often score well in organic search engine results.

Backlinks are particularly useful for SEO since they indicate a “vote of confidence” from one site to another.

Backlinks to your website, in essence, are a signal to search engines that your content has been approved by others. When many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines might deduce that the content is worth connecting to and, thus, worth appearing on a SERP. Obtaining these backlinks may therefore increase a site’s ranking position or search visibility.

What is the difference between backlinks and inbound links?

An inbound link is created when another website links back to yours. Google considers inbound links to be a sign of high-quality content on your site, making them one of the most essential components in search engine optimization (SEO).

In the early days of SEO, inbound links were just a numbers game, with the sites with the most links appearing first in search results. As a result, people began to use spammy link-building tactics to put their websites ahead of the competition, prompting Google to reconsider how their algorithms responded to incoming links.

Google now prioritizes the quality of inbound links over quantity. Links from reputable, relevant websites are significantly more useful to your SEO than links from low-quality sites with no relevance to yours.

What is a good number of inbound links?

The quantity of backlinks is also important. Make sure you have a decent amount, not too many or too few. A smart approach to figure out how many inbound links you need is to look at your competition and see how many backlinks they have. If they only have four, you should have at least six.

What is the age of the site that is connecting to yours? Links from sites that have been around for a while carry additional weight. Backlinks pass on their link authority to your site, increasing its credibility and authority.

The more authoritative the domain, the more important the backlink for your search engine rankings. In general, a score of 60 to 100 is excellent, a score of 40 to 50 is acceptable, and a score of less than 40 is poor.

If you want to develop high-quality backlinks, begin by constructing links from high domain authority websites that are likewise related to your field and trusted by searchers worldwide.

How do I find inbound links?

There are numerous methods for getting other websites to link to yours:

  1. Make eye-catching infographics.
    People adore disseminating infographics. People will link back to you as the original source if you produce an original infographic. You may also share your design with the sources you mentioned and make the embed code for your infographic widely accessible to improve the chance of an incoming link.
  2. Create great content.
    What exactly is great content? It must be helpful, relevant, credible, and satisfy the demands of the user. The true reason someone searched anything up is user intent. If a user is reading a post on your blog about “factors to consider before hiring a plumber,” the user intent may be that they are looking to hire a plumber.
  3. Create different types of visual content.
    Cartoons, content visualizations, charts and graphs, templates, and other visual content marketing tools are vital elements of a visual digital marketing strategy and a fantastic method to gain inbound links. Because they require time and money to create, people are likely to avoid the hassle of generating their own visual content and instead link to yours.
  1. Submit guest blog entries.
    Create an excellent guest post and distribute it to sites that would be a good match for it. If they accept, they should be willing to provide you with an inbound link in the post. Guest blogging is an excellent approach to advertise your knowledge while also earning high-quality white-hat links.

However, keep in mind that Google does not prohibit guest posting when it is used to enlighten consumers, educate another site’s readership, or raise awareness for your cause or organization. What does break Google’s link profile standards is when the main aim is to create links back to the author’s site on a wide scale.

  1. On your blog, include links to other blogs.
    A blog is intended to be used as a social tool. The more you link to others, especially in a regular, opportunity-driven manner, the more likely it is that one of those bloggers or influencers will return the favor.
  2. Produce press releases highlighting noteworthy corporate news.
    By transforming your PR strategy into an inbound one, you open up previously untapped prospects and carve out a niche for your brand, while also gaining substantial mindshare with your target consumers. Once you’ve written a terrific press release, put it on your website and then send it to one of the major newswires to receive more publicity.
  1. Look for and keep track of your rivals’ backlinks.
    Look for ways to obtain comparable relationships. This is a wonderful approach to quickly identify high-value link possibilities. Conduct competitor research on a weekly or monthly basis to identify new possibilities that can be capitalized on while they are still fresh.

To obtain a list of backlinks for one of your rivals, use link checker tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic, Google’s Webmaster, or Moz’s Link Explorer. Then, investigate which sorts of content are generating backlinks and benefiting from off-page SEO.

  1. Promotion on social media
    Publishing original and well-researched content is sometimes insufficient to generate natural inbound links to your website. More people will notice your content if you promote it on social media. The more people that share this on social media, the better. This will also aid in the discovery of your content by bloggers in your niche.

Don’t forget: check out the other definitions (over 200) in our growing SEO glossary.


Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of inbound links.

Spamming comment sections are no longer viable options. Link-building requires hard work and paying for link-building services can save you time and money in the long run. You’ll be well on your way to creating high-quality backlinks using white-hat SEO strategies and methods we’ve given. As more links point to your site, you will rise in the SERPs, increasing organic traffic and drawing more prospective leads and consumers.

Backlinks are a vital tool for your website. Search engines see them as other individuals and websites endorsing you. Your users will also be able to interact with more valuable content. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. All you need to do is make sure you have high-quality backlinks.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Aaron Haynes on December 2, 2021

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.