Link Building 101: 5 Simple Ways to Build Links that Have Authority AND Great Anchor Text


When it comes to link building, anchor text is really important. So is domain authority. Often the types of links you'll be able to build will force you to sacrifice one or the other. You can create an infographic that gets a lot of unique, authoritative domains to link at your site with suboptimal anchor text, or you might be able to use some article directory submission sites to get great anchor text from low-value link sources.

Ideally you would do both at the same time, and get great links from authoritative sources with exactly the anchor text you want. We'll walk through a few relatively simple ways that you can do just that.

1. Guest Posts

Guest posts are probably the most powerful example of how you can get a link on an authoritative domain (and even on an authoritative page) with precisely the anchor text you want. The process is also a very "pure" way to build links as you're giving something (a piece of content) in exchange for the link. This also often means that:

  • You can get your content hosted on a powerful domain
  • That the domain will have its own syndication and will attract its own links
  • And that you'll be permitted to create a link with great anchor text

Not every blog will allow you to use exactly the anchor text you want, but using services and tools like the Ontolo link building tool set you'll be able to find a lot of great targets, and you can then vet which are a bit more liberal with guest posting anchor text than others.

2. Ask Employees for Links

Depending on the size and focus of your company, many of your employees may have blogs, personal sites, or other link sources that you can push some of your link building efforts off to (be sure to give them good instructions). Nepotistic links are often an outstanding way to get links from quality sources that allow you to manipulate anchor text as you like.

3. Testimonials

We've talked about using testimonials to get great links before, and it's a tactic that's definitely deserving of a spot on this list. This is another example of nepotistic link opportunities that can often offer you a great link on a trusted site, and like guest posts you're trading something (your testimonial) for the link. Here are some good examples of the types of vendors who could make sense here:

  • Contractors – We’ve worked with two freelance copy writers on the site and other marketing collateral. They have their own sites where they promote their services. We reached out to them and offered testimonials in exchange for a link.
  • Consultants – Are you using a specialist who consults on some aspect of the company or other? Are they doing good work? Do they have a website? Offer them a testimonial!
  • Hardware Providers – If you’ve bought a product from a company, you could take a second to shoot them an email saying you’re happy with it and would love to give them a testimonial for the site.
  • Customers You Think Would Help – If there’s someone who’s very enthusiastic about our offering and you think that they wouldn’t mind linking to us from their site, this might be an opportunity.

4. Target Keywords in Your Meatier Content & Free Tools

The Free Keyword Tool drives a significant amount of traffic not only because it's a great utility, but also because the tool's name includes a high-volume keyword and the tool itself ranks highly for that term. By naming your cornerstone content strategically, you can attract quality links interested in pointing to your great content or free tools and get the ideal anchor text to those sources. Sometimes this means sacrificing somewhat on the link-baity title front, but it can pay dividends if the links you do attract contain exactly the anchor text you're after.

5. Internal Links

Internal linking is one of the most overlooked means of getting targeted links from trusted pages (your own domain!). It's not as sexy as "link baits" but it can be just as powerful in helping you to actually rank, drive traffic, and increase leads and sales. Here are some great resources to help you learn more about optimized internal linking:

The bottom line is that tactics that allow you to develop quality links with targeted anchor text is an outstanding opportunity to accomplish two things with one tactic and build links that will last regardless of which way the Google algorithms blow.

Find out how you're REALLY doing in AdWords!

Watch the video below on our Free AdWords Grader:

Visit the AdWords Grader.


Jan 27, 2011

Great post and very informative. Certainly testamonials I totally agree with. Haven't done guest posting but sounds like a cool idea many thanks

Tom Demers
Jan 30, 2011

 Sure thanks Toby good luck!

Richard Kraneis
Jan 28, 2011


I just wanted to assure you that people are reading your blogs and learning, a lot.

I learned two things that I won't soon forget in the first paragraph: using infographics for domain authority links and using article directory submission sites for anchor links.

I had skimmed WordStream articles in the past on infographics as link bait but thought it was a service (reading is a skill I guess). No, infographics is just data/information presented in a compelling visual. And the way WordStream uses it, it's an art form. I found myself wondering if any firm that is not in the SEM world has a corporate strategy on the periodic use of infographics to generate inbound links with domain authority. Very few is my guess.

The second reference to article directory submission services saved me some money. Last month, I did subscribe to a service that presents your articles to other bloggers for backlinks. I wrote seriously articles, submitted them to this service, and was disappointed in the blogs pointing to my website. Your first paragraph pointed me to other articles that suggested legitimate article directory submission services.

And then I read the rest of your article with great interest.

So the spectrum of link building services you recommend range from the mundane yet important article directory submission, to the unglamorous daily work of the SEO writing guest blogs, asking for testimonials, and doing internal links, to the high powered infographic link campaigns managed by WordStream (and perhaps your new consulting firm).

I actually thought about your article overnight. Thanks for the useful article.

Richard Kraneis
Chicago, IL USA

Tom Demers
Jan 30, 2011

 Hi Richard,
Glad you found value in the article! Yeah an important thing to note about article directories is you don't want to "waste" high quality content that you're pouring a lot of time and effort on them, even those listed in Ken's post. They're not very discerning re: quality and you really only find value in the anchor text. If you have some high quality posts you've spent time on guest posting and identifying great blogs in your space is a great way to get exposure and higher quality links that mediocre backfill type content won't get you.
Thanks Richard!

Jan 29, 2011

Richard Kraneis is right. I agree with him. I learned two things that I won't soon forget in the first paragraph: using infographics for domain authority links and using article directory submission sites for anchor links.

Tom Demers
Jan 30, 2011

 Thanks Harminson!

Feb 01, 2011

Thanks for the tips, was having trouble finding ways to build links that count and still kept my anchor text. Will start up on this today.

Feb 01, 2011

Very insightful article. Lots of great information for me to use. Thanks.

Feb 03, 2011

Thank you for the sharing us your ways on how to build a links with great anchor text. I really appreciate it. It can help me somehow with my business.

DIYSEO – The Best New Google SEO Tips for 2011
Feb 23, 2011

[...] Guest blogging is one of the best ways to garner good quality back-links, so make sure it’s in your 2011 SEO roadmap. [...]

Mar 09, 2011

I love your post this is very interesting.The infograhic idea is very interesting. I also tried using video marketing to create links but some reason I can't find any video distribution sites that will allow me put a link in that is do follow and also allow anchor text. If you know of any you can let me know.

79 Link Building Resources - 2011 Edition
May 24, 2011

[...] Five Simple Ways to Build Links That Have Authority and Great Anchor Text [...]

link building services
Jun 25, 2011

Informative blog. It is such a great help for those who is planning to hire an SEO.

shnae knight
Nov 08, 2012

Thanks for the great tips for placing Links which stay longer and overcome the effects of panda and penguin a must readable share

Κατασκευή ιστοσελίδων
Jan 06, 2013

There is a lot of discussion going on right now about this topic; especially after the recent de-indexing of blog networks built for links.Do you think Panda algorithm is just looking at junk links internally or also from incoming links? So, should I build incoming links with junk anchors like visit website, click here, etc?

Aug 03, 2016

Hello there! Quick question that's entirely off topic.

Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4.
I'm looking for a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this issue.
If you have any suggestions, please share.

Many thanks!

Muhd Hanis Harun
Jul 01, 2013

Natural link building is quite hard for me and most of beginner. I would love to read if you can provide an article on how to monitor backlink and how long will it take for a backlink to be active when you are doing blog commenting. I am sure that this information is available anywhere, but less information i gain from them.

Oct 10, 2013

Is there any point in getting nofollow links?  Do they pass any kind of authority at all?

Daniel Obaja
Nov 03, 2013

What about creating free blogs, like blogspot or

Jan 14, 2014

Which links are better for SERP's? Day by day google changing their strategy. What is the best away for quality link? 

Apr 26, 2014

As per matt cutts guest post is not work for seo ranking in 2014.

Oct 31, 2014

This is great. Its unbelievable!! in just 10 days I have learnt alot about SEO through wordstream. I am just a beginner and started my own website to learn more about SEO but I think I have learnt more than this and feeling like expert now.

Nov 11, 2014

I still feel that guest posting is a good way to build links despite what Matt Cutts says.However I would use extreme care in doing it and only post comments on sites that are relevant to your sites content.

Dec 09, 2014

Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my website. 

Apr 21, 2015

Very useful article. Lost of information for me
thanks for share it

Jan 04, 2016

Really great ways to link building. very useful, i will apply it for my site. thanks for great article

Bill B
Oct 31, 2016

Thanks for the helpful content. Who doesn't want better, more powerful links. This gave me a better understanding of how they work.

Sep 26, 2017

Thanks Very useful contant.

Leave a comment