Link Building for SEO: An Expert Roundup on Its Relevance in 2023

Sumeet Anand

Sumeet Anand

Table Of Content

In today’s digital world, search engine optimization (SEO) has become an essential part of any successful online marketing strategy.

Link building, which involves getting other websites to link to your site, is a crucial component of SEO and plays a significant role in determining your search rankings.

But you must have heard of Google’s October’22 spam update, which aims to combat link spam and manipulative link building. The update places even greater emphasis on the quality of links over quantity.

With Google Search’s algorithm changes, the strategies you use to rank on page 1 evolve and so do the tactics used for link building.

This expert roundup is the perfect resource for anyone looking to enhance their link building strategy and improve their search rankings.

If you’re one of them, keep reading to discover:

  • The latest trends, strategies, and best practices for successful link building
  • The key metrics for measuring your link building success
  • The benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing link building to agencies or freelancers
  • And much more

Let’s dive in and learn from the experts on link building for SEO!

Who Are These Experts?

We’re thrilled to have a diverse group of experts participating in this link building expert roundup, providing valuable insights into the relevance of link building in 2023.

Here’s a bit more information about our participants:

Company Type

Marketing agencies25%
In-house SEO specialists23%

Work Experience in SEO roles

1-3 years52%
3-5 years27%
5+ years21%

We have got a good mix of experts in terms of their backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

With a better understanding of our participating experts, it’s time to delve into the results of our expert roundup on link building for SEO.

The Impact of Link Building on SEO Today

In this section, we’ll explore the impact of link building on SEO based on expert insights.

We’ll discuss the key questions we asked our participating experts and the resulting statistics that shed light on the current state of link building in SEO.

These insights are a valuable resource to help you optimize your link strategy in 2023 and beyond. So, let’s get started.

How much of an impact do backlinks have on search rankings?

We asked the experts how much of an impact backlinks have on search rankings, and the responses were unanimous:

“Backlinks are still a crucial factor in determining a website’s search rankings.”

impact of backlinks on search rankings

Most of our participating experts agreed that having high-quality, relevant backlinks is essential for achieving high rankings in the SERPs.

However, there is a very interesting answer that emphasized how the impact differs from keyword to keyword.

“As an SEO professional, you need to understand how the impact of link building on SEO differs from keyword to keyword to be successful with link building.

First, backlinks work best on long-tail keywords. This is because more than 90% of blog posts never get backlinks, but that number is almost 100% when it comes to long-tail keywords.

This means that getting one link to a page that targets long-tail keywords is enough to rank that page because your competitors will have none.

Second, if you’re targeting medium-competition keywords, then building links alone won’t be enough to rank.

Instead, you’ll need excellent on-page SEO, topical authority, social signals, and more. Once you have that and you’re competing with your competitors on equal footing, then links will make the final crucial difference.

Third, when you’re competing for the best, most lucrative, and hardest keywords, you need to have perfect SEO in all fields and then you need to build more links than your competitors and over time you will rank.” – Nikola Roza, SEO for the Poor and Determined

Therefore, it is important to approach link building strategically.

However, there was another finding in our experts’ answers:

“The number of backlinks alone is not enough to improve rankings. It’s the quality and relevance of those links that matter most.”

Their responses highlighted the importance of earning links from authoritative and trustworthy sources.

So, it’s time to focus on getting relevant links from authoritative sources to boost your website’s SEO performance.

What are your top strategies to acquire links from top publications?

We asked our participating experts about their top three strategies for acquiring links from top publications.

Here are some of the most popular link building tactics they shared:

popular link building tactics

Overall, the key to acquiring backlinks from top publications is to focus on building relationships, creating high-quality content, and promoting your brand through various channels.

“Creating link-worthy content is the best way to generate links by far. You don’t have to harm your email deliverability by sending thousands of cold outreach emails and you don’t need to continuously write new content for different guest posts.

The key is to create something that provides an original statistic – such as a data study by surveying your customers or testing a hypothesis.

Statistics naturally generate links as it’s important to cite sources for editorial transparency. If you can create a statistic that other people can use to back up their claims, you’ll generate consistent links organically.” John Butterworth, Digital Marketer

Which key metrics do you use to measure the ROI of your link building campaigns?

When it comes to measuring the ROI of link-building campaigns, our experts suggested a range of metrics they trust.

ROI of link-building campaigns

Ultimately, the most important link metrics for you will depend on the goals of your link building campaign and the specific needs of your business.

“I think one does link building just to get better rankings, so not evaluating the improvement in them after a backlink campaign is quite pointless.

Of course, backlinks take a while to kick in, so keeping track of your DA or DR might be an acceptable proxy for the most anxious site operators.

It’s important to know, however, that those metrics are made up, very easy to doctor and Google doesn’t take them into consideration.”

Ramiro Somosierra, Founder, Ormiga Media

What share does content marketing hold in your link building efforts?

We asked our participating experts about the share of content marketing in their link building efforts.

Here are the responses:

content marketing in link building efforts

The majority of experts indicated that content marketing plays a significant or moderate role in their link building efforts. This finding reinforces the importance of creating high-quality, engaging content that other websites would want to link to.

“If you aren’t engaging in tactics such as replacing dead links on a publisher’s website with something updated, then you need to have a way to add value to the website/publication you’re hoping to get a link from.

Your unique content – when pitched with the appropriate angle, such as how it’s different and how it serves the publication’s audience – is the best gateway to success. You’re trying to add value instead of simply selling something in hopes of getting a link.”

Caleb Rule, Revenue Marketer

Some experts also highlighted the need to integrate content marketing with other link building strategies, such as blogger outreach and guest posting, to maximize their effectiveness.

What are your two favorite tools to track backlinks and analyze your link profile?

We asked our participating experts about their two favorite tools to track backlinks and analyze their link profiles.

Most of the experts included Ahrefs in their favorites, citing its comprehensive backlink data, easy-to-use interface, and ability to track competitors’ link profiles.

Semrush also gained a spot for its extensive link analysis and link opportunity identification capabilities. This is also a great tool to track your keyword rankings and website traffic, making it a good choice to measure the results of your link building campaigns.

results of link building campaigns

Most marketers and SEO consultants favor Ahrefs and Semrush for backlink analysis and link building. But one of our participating experts chose an offbeat tool – SEO SpyGlass.

“I am an SEO consultant with over 10 years of experience in link building for businesses. My proven link-building process and thorough data analysis have most recently grown organic search traffic for a client by 320% in 24 months.

I find Semrush and Ahrefs very useful SEO tools in general but for tracking backlinks and analyzing link profiles, my favorite tool by far is SEO SpyGlass (from SEO PowerSuite). It’s not on your list, but hopefully, you can include it in your roundup!

SEO SpyGlass helps you easily find good sources of new backlinks and assess the quality of existing backlinks. That’s, of course, what I’d expect from any link profile tracking and analysis tool but where SEO SpyGlass really stands out from the competition is the way in which it presents data for expert analysis.

It is designed for serious SEO specialists doing a thorough analysis of link profiles.

For instance, I can see at a glance:

  • What percentage of backlinks are “dofollow” and when they were acquired (or lost)
  • The linking domain age, IP address, and country
  • Add and remove columns of data that are of particular interest or no interest
  • Analysis of anchor text diversity and over or under-use of keywords, general words, and branded terms in anchor text

It’s the spreadsheet-like interface and level of detail that makes SEO SpyGlass such a useful tool. But it also offers visual interfaces for presenting the data in a simpler format to clients.

In short, it has the interface and tools to satisfy the in-depth analysis requirements of SEO link-building experts and also the reporting requirements of their clients.”

Michelle Symonds, SEO Consultant

It’s important to note that each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s worth exploring a few different options to find the one that best suits your specific needs and budget.

Which strategy do you use to build links in a way that is natural and not spammy?

The experts we surveyed recommended their favorite strategies for building links in a natural and non-spammy way, including:

  • Guest posting
  • Broken link building
  • Skyscraper technique
  • Link reclamation
  • Building relationships with influencers
  • Participating in online forum discussions
  • Creating share-worthy content that naturally earns links
  • Resource page link building
  • Brand mention link building
  • Linking out to relevant sources in your content

“When building backlinks, I focus on creating relevant and high-quality content. I can link back to my blog posts or other resources, such as infographics, original research, and videos.

Relevant links on relevant content won’t be spammy. So I focus on linking my resources to related content.

Creating original research is an excellent way to build links. In some of my posts, I provide curated research findings and statistics related to my industry. I also create expert roundups. These types of posts are informative and provide first-hand expertise. They are linkable for many other writers and journalists, making link-building goes naturally.

I also create visual content, mainly infographics and explainer videos, to explain specific topics or findings. Visual content is also a great way to gain links more efficiently.”

– Natasha Rei, Digital Marketing Manager, Explainerd

What’s the best tactic to avoid penalties and other negative consequences from link building?

The best tactic to avoid penalties and negative consequences from link building is to focus on creating high-quality content that naturally attracts links.

This approach is often referred to as “link earning” rather than “link building.”

You should focus on creating high-quality, shareable content that naturally attracts links. By prioritizing content creation and avoiding manipulative link building tactics, you can minimize the risk of penalties and other negative consequences.

Here are the strategies that most of our experts vouched for:

link building strategic approach

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these strategies can vary depending on your niche, audience, and competition.

Therefore, you should approach link building strategically and focus on providing value to your audience while also attracting natural backlinks.

Guest posting is one of the most legit ways to build backlinks. First of all, the idea behind this is to share valuable content that would attract a target audience. Link building is an additional benefit you get.

Furthermore, guest posting allows you to insert links that lead to product pages and blog posts. And you have an opportunity to suggest links that are contextually right. In other words, the links will look natural. It will help you avoid penalties for doing link building.”

Sergey Aliokhin, Marketing Specialist

Which pages do you build the most backlinks to?

When it comes to building backlinks, the pages that receive the most attention can vary depending on the website’s goals and priorities.

However, our panel of experts offered some general guidelines on which pages to prioritize for link building efforts. Here are the results:

link building efforts

However, these guidelines are not set in stone.

The best pages for your link building efforts will vary depending on the specific goals and priorities of your website.

Additionally, the quality and relevance of the backlinks are more important than the quantity to improve your search rankings, website traffic, and sales.

“When it comes to building backlinks, the primary focus should be on targeting specific types of pages that have the potential to generate significant value and engagement for your website.

  1. Resource Pages: These are pages that provide valuable, educational, or informative content, such as guides, tutorials, infographics, or case studies. By creating a high-quality resource piece, you’ll naturally attract backlinks as others share and reference your content.
  2. List-Type Pages: List-type pages, such as “Top 10” or “Best of” lists, are highly effective at attracting backlinks due to their easily digestible format and appeal to readers.
  3. Pillar Content Pages: Pillar content refers to long-form, comprehensive articles or blog posts that cover a specific topic in depth. These pages are great for building backlinks as they provide a strong foundation for your site’s content strategy, and tend to draw in traffic over a more extended period.

By focusing your link-building efforts on resource pages, list-type pages, and pillar content, you’re likely to see enhanced SEO performance and improved organic traffic to your website. Don’t forget to engage with other experts and influencers in your industry to gain increased visibility and foster strong relationships, ultimately leading to more valuable backlinks.”

Ahme Durmusoglu, Founder, Roketfy

How many SaaS companies are using agencies or freelancers to build links?


Our panel of experts agrees that link building is a time-consuming process that requires dedication and effort to yield results.

It involves:

  • Identifying relevant websites
  • Crafting compelling outreach messages
  • Reaching out to site owners or editors
  • Earning their trust and persuading them to link to your content

This process can be particularly challenging for SaaS companies, as the industry is highly competitive and there are many other businesses vying for the same links.

Therefore, it is quite common for SaaS companies to outsource their link building efforts.

Value of link building in SEO

Overall, it is clear that many SaaS companies recognize the value of link building for SEO and are willing to invest in external resources to help them achieve their goals.

“In the SaaS space, choosing between agencies and freelancers for link building depends on the company’s growth phase, budget, and goals.

Agencies usually work well for more established companies looking for extensive services. Freelancers tend to attract startups and smaller companies seeking affordability and customization.

Ultimately, it depends on aligning the service provider’s strengths with the company’s unique needs.”


If you choose to outsource your link building efforts, pick a reputable and experienced agency or freelancer to ensure efficiency and comply with search engine guidelines.

How many of you think A-B-C link exchange does not affect your SEO?


The experts we reached out to generally agreed that A-B-C link exchanges are not an effective strategy for improving your search rankings.

While there may be some cases where such exchanges could result in some benefit, they are generally considered to be a black hat tactic that can harm your website’s reputation and rankings.

We asked our participating experts about their views on this A-B-C link exchange practice and here are the results:

why A-B-C link exchanges are not effective

One of the main reasons why A-B-C link exchanges are not effective is that they are often viewed as a manipulative practice by search engines.

These exchanges involve two or more websites exchanging links solely for the purpose of improving their rankings, without providing any real value to users.

Therefore, you should focus on building high-quality, relevant links through genuine relationship building, guest blogging, and other ethical tactics. That’s the best way for any SaaS company to achieve sustainable growth and success in the digital landscape.

Some companies practice link exchange with a greater number of companies, not the A-B-C approach.

“Though participating in a link exchange is not a great idea, but it works.

Often people have 5-7 sites for link exchange for various niches, and they exchange links for their particular main sites. In this practice, it is hard for search engines to catch them as there is no specific footprint.

It is not like A links to B, B links to C, and C links to A. So, now people are doing link exchange like A gives a link to D for a C, and on behalf of that, asks for a link for B.

So it does not impact their rankings. If sites are good, it can increase referring domains and traffic too. Both take a link for their main sites and give links from another site that does not belongs to their main sites.

However, if you do it excessively, there is a chance that search engines can identify and penalize your websites.”

Krupa Trivedi, SEO Specialist

How much budget does a SaaS company have for their link building campaigns?


The budget for link building campaigns can vary greatly depending on the size and goals of your SaaS company.

As per our participating experts, many SaaS companies allocate a significant portion of their marketing budget to link building.

marketing budget for link building.

The specific amount will depend on a variety of factors such as the company’s size, industry, target market, and the competitiveness of your niche.

SaaS company should allocate to link building

While there is no set amount that every SaaS company should allocate to link building, our experts emphasize the importance of investing in high-quality, link building tactics to achieve sustainable growth.

One of our participating experts is doing great just by investing €1K on link building.

“We are spending less than €1K, focusing solely on producing high-quality content and effective outreach strategies.

By incorporating unique storytelling, we aim to captivate our audience and create an authentic connection with them. This approach not only fosters organic growth but also ensures long-term, sustainable success for our brand.”

– Ilija Sekulov, Marketing & SEO,

The Key Takeaways From Our Link Building for SEO Expert Roundup

Successful link building requires a combination of strategic planning, patience, and a focus on creating high-quality content and building genuine relationships with other websites and influencers in your industry.

Here are the key takeaways from this expert roundup:

  • Link building is still an important factor for SEO success.
  • Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to acquiring links.
  • Diversify your link building strategies to avoid reliance on a single tactic.
  • Build relationships with relevant websites and influencers to secure high-quality links.
  • Keep track of your backlink profile and regularly audit it for potential issues.
  • Prioritize creating high-quality content that naturally attracts links.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates to adjust your link building strategy accordingly.

We hope these insights from our participating experts will help you solidify your link building and SEO strategy. And, we’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our participating experts for their time.

Need help with link building? Connect with our experts for advanced SEO services.

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