Everyone wants to have links from websites with high authority. This article will discuss the benefits of high-authority backlinks and the challenges to the status quo regarding how to get those links.
First, let’s explain the concept of authority.
SEO professionals refer to a site’s “authority” as to whether it is a recognized thought leader in any industry.
SEO software company Moz created a ranking system called ‘domain authority, which ranks a website on a scale between 1-100. Your domain authority will improve the higher you rank.
Amazon and Facebook have a remarkably high DA score of 96.
Many SEOs no longer use the DA ranking system. Instead, they prefer the Ahrefs DR system (domain rating). It’s based upon a score between 1 and 100, but it is more accurate than Moz domain authority.
Google’s assessment of link quality
You have to know that not all backlinks will be equal.
Google trusts links
Google trusts links from trusted websites with a solid reputation.
This is a very sensible approach. Google must have a system for linking weighting. They can’t treat all links equally.
A link that comes from Vice or Business Insider will be much more effective than one from your local barber.
If only getting high DA links were this easy…
Google will rank websites higher if they have many links from authoritative sources. This is because Google believes these sources are trustworthy and should be given more visibility in search results.
What is the importance of DA?
A higher domain authority, or domain rating, correlates with better Google ranking positions.
A higher DA score will definitely correlate to higher rankings, provided that you have a strong content strategy and on-page SEO.
Despite this, there are always exceptions to SEO. Although the top-ranking pages will be those with a higher DA score than others, many websites have been successful with a lower DA score.
Google also looks for relevancy, so it is important to have many links from sites related to your industry.
Low authority links can be misunderstood as ineffective or bad. If the website is legitimate and the link is not spammy or blackhat, you will be pushing your site forward with every inbound link.
What exactly are High Authority Backlinks?
Backlinks with high authority can be described as links that are from highly trusted sources.
What is high authority for a website?
A website with a domain authority (DA) greater than 70 can be considered a high-authority website.
In some industries, however, the benchmark for a site with high authority can be lower.
A website in the pet industry would have a domain authority of >55 and be considered the high authority. This is because there are fewer sites than in a marketing or business industry.
The average authority of sites within this industry will be much lower.
There are a lot of DA75 websites that are absolute junk. So, just because a website has a high DA score doesn’t mean it’s good.
Quality over Quantity
Link volume is a major concern in the SEO industry, as studies have shown that more links lead to higher rankings.
We looked at CRM websites and discovered that a higher volume of inbound links is associated with more monthly search traffic.
We should all be focusing on increasing link volume.
This is because we tend to pursue more mid-range links than high authority links and miss out on the amazing rewards.
Ahrefs is a tool that allows us SEOs to determine the link gaps between pages. We assume that closing the gap will result in success.
Although quantity is important, I find it difficult to see the importance of quality.
Yes, you can use a link gap strategy for cherry-picking the best links your competitors have. But don’t be too obsessed with link volume.
Links from a website with a high authority >DA 75 is worth much more than 5-10 links from lower authority sites (DA 30).
How to Land High Authority Links
It is challenging to land high-ranking links. Legitimate link-building agencies will charge high fees.
We’ve listed our top 4 strategies below.
This is the best way to get backlinks from amazing websites, regardless of what they say.
But, when I refer to guest posting for high-authority links, I mean very high-quality content.
For example, a couple of years back, we a legitimate guest post on HubSpot (DA 92 website) for our client in the real estate space.
We presented them with some truly amazing ideas and explained the purpose of the article. We used the client’s persona to reach them, which gave us more social proof and credibility.
HubSpot’s team was extremely well-organized and clearly understood the value proposition.
Here’s the guest post we landed: https://website.com/blog/real-estate
This is a fair deal. HubSpot got 100% of the content for free. HubSpot’s best writer spent more than 10 hours crafting and researching content and putting together images.
This guest post has been linked to over 80 websites. It ranks first on Google for “real estate” and “starting a business in real estate.”
This guest post, if you’re honest, would be worth at least $10,000.
You can only achieve these links if you are lucky enough to have a writer cite your source without you knowing.
How guest posts always fail!
The problem with guest posting is the way they approach it. They do not use proper outreach and create content that is generically listicle-style.
Our keyword analysis helps us come up with great content ideas. We also have amazing writers who create our content. Websites find us easy to work with, as we complete the entire content creation process to an unbelievable high standard.
High authority Backlinks: HARO
HARO (help a journalist out) is a platform that connects reporters with sources.
Major publications such as Vice, Business Insider, and GQ are involved on the HARO platform.
It’s effortless: Journalists tell others what insights they are looking for, and then you email your insights to them.
If your comments are successful, the journalist will include your comment in their article and link to your site.
This is a great and scalable way of building many good links to your homepage.
Here are the secrets to successful HARO campaigns
Swaps & Link Exchanges
This strategy is very underrated in 2021 and, if executed correctly, can be extremely safe.
It is simple: Most sites have an SEO team that understands the importance of linking. They are already familiar with the value proposition for obtaining a link.
How link exchanges work
Both marketing and internal SEO teams understand the importance of link building and link to your site if relevant and as good as theirs. You must earn them a backlink.
Either link to them on your website or get them a hyperlink from another website.
It’s an easy transaction that works. You will need to think creatively and be smart about it, as engaging in link swaps is against Google’s rules.
We’ve talked about the link exchange strategy in more detail here, so use this guide if you want to do it effectively.
PR Outreach for Linkable Assets
Everyone admires this strategy, but it isn’t effortless to implement in real life.
It comes in many forms: SkyScraper and Data-Driven Content, Journalist Outreach, etc.
It’s basically the same thing: Create amazing content and share it with the right people.
If you want to learn how to succeed, I’d recommend enrolling in Brian Dean’s new course – Get Press Every Month.
Curated reports are a popular strategy. This involves repurposing data and then putting it together in a visually appealing way.
For example, Fastmetrics put together a list of broadband speeds by country.
They just used data from other sources (they mention them throughout the article), and the page also has hundreds of high-authority links pointing to it. This is a great example of repurposing data from other sources.
For more ideas on linkable assets, I’d recommend this guide from Ahrefs.
Follow evergreen keywords journalists are looking for
My opinion on PR outreach is that you want to create content to help you get links on autopilot. For example: If you helped one of your clients create content around ‘Marijuana tax revenue’ and launched outreach campaigns to build 6-7 high-quality links to the page.
This strategy has a wonderful advantage: you can build some good links to give the page an initial push, and then all the other links will follow on autopilot. Because the content began showing up in Google results, we only built a few links. We ended up landing tons of great links passively.
These are keywords journalists and writers love to search for. Journalists love to search for keywords related to statistics and data points within any industry.
In another example, Junto Digital released an article a few years ago called ‘SEO statistics.’ They use data from other sources on the internet, and the page has thousands of high authority links pointing to it.
Strategies like this are a great way to build high-quality backlinks.
What to Avoid
There has been a murky underworld to link building in the past. Unscrupulous vendors have sold links of ‘high authority on sites such as Forbes magazine and Huffington Post, charging up to $2000 per transaction.
The Huffington Post’s tumultuous link builders:
Huffington Post decided in 2016 to remove all contributor articles from their index. Articles that an editor of Huffington Post did not feature are no longer visible on Google. This means that almost 99% of contributor articles aren’t visible on Google, and their links don’t affect your rankings.
Forbes and Inc magazine added Nofollow tags to most external links from contributor accounts, much to the chagrin of link sellers on forums like Black Hat World.
Only legitimate editorial accounts can publish content linking to them.
Buzzstream is another classic example, with tons of contributor accounts. However, Buzzstream is another classic example. All articles have been set to ‘Noindex,’ which means that Google has been instructed not to read any articles.
We found a vendor who sold useless Buzzstream links to unsuspecting customers for over PS40,000.
Many sites have exceptionally high DA scores, but all content is user-generated. SelfGrowth.com is one example. Google is aware that most of the content doesn’t get visibility, and those sites have an excessive number of outbound hyperlinks, which can greatly reduce the value of these links.