Gaining external backlinks is probably the most difficult part of off page SEO since it requires extensive work to gain the links that are the most valuable and can have the greatest impact on both referral traffic and competitive rankings. Many companies make the mistake of taking shortcuts by hiring “SEO experts” from 3rd world countries that promise thousands of backlinks which will guarantee immediate boosts in their ranks. What these experts end up doing is over-optimizing thousands of low quality backlinks with keywords that are an exact match for their client’s main products or services. Unfortunately as is the case, the clients get penalized by Google for trying to game the system, and spend large amounts of money to disavow all the bad links and months of time in what is known as “the sandbox” where their organic search traffic is absolutely dismal at best.

The key to having a natural high quality backlink profile is to not only gain links from trusted resources, but also not over-optimize them with keywords that focus solely on the primary products or services. Listed below are the various types of backlinks, examples of backlinks, and the percentages you should try to maintain when gaining backlinks.

What are the Different Types of Backlinks?

  • Branded Text – A hyperlink that uses company name or website name in the anchor text
  • Naked URL – A hyperlink that uses the URL as the anchor text
  • Generic Text – A hyperlink that use generic terms such as “Click Here” or “Website” in the anchor text
  • Empty Text – A hyperlink that has no anchor text
  • Image or Video without Alt Text – Images or videos with hyperlinks and empty Alt tags
  • Image or Video with Alt Text – Images or videos with hyperlinks and Alt tags with variations of keywords
  • Exact Match Text – A hyperlink with an exact match oftargeted keywords for anchor text
  • Partial Match Text – A hyperlink with targeted keywords and additional related text for anchor text
  • Exact Match with Branded Text – A hyperlink with targeted keywords and company name for anchor text
  • LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Text – Search terms found by Google to be related to intended keywords

What are some Examples of Backlinks?

For the purpose of illustration we’ll use the topic of this article as the “exact match” keywords and our company name to identify a brand.

Branded Text

Our company name Wise SEO is an example of a branded text link

Naked URL

A naked URL is simply the URL as the hyperlink:

Generic Text

Many companies link to their contact pages with generic text like Click Here

Exact Match Text

Backlink ratios is an example of an exact match backlink

Partial Match Text

Examples of backlink ratios is an example of partial match

Exact Match with Branded Text

Backlink ratios from Wise SEO is an example of exact match with branded

Example of LSI Backlinks

Example of Image Backlink with Partial Match Alt Text


Example of Image Backlink without Alt Text

An Example of an Empty Text Backlink

What are the Best Ratios for a Backlink Profile?

In terms of what percentages you want to make sure your backling profile has in terms or best practice ratios, here are our recommendations that have proven to be the most effective for off page optimization:

Branded Text – 70%
Naked URL – 15%
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Text – 4%
Partial Match Text – 3%
Exact Match with Branded – 2%
Generic Text – 2%
Image or Video with Partial Match Alt Text – 1.5%
Empty Text – 1%
Image or Video without Alt Text – 1%
Exact Match Text – .5%

Please note: Even though the exact match has the lowest percentage, any backlinks that you can obtain from the absolute most trusted and valuable resources should be reserved for those instances.

In summary just remember that having a natural ratio of backlinks is only half the battle, and the most important factor for backlinks is their quality. It’s better to have 1 backlink from a resource Google sees as trusted and natural than it is to have thousands of backlinks from sketchy resources.

In the next part of this series we’ll look at various ways to gain backlinks through methods and resources that will ensure your backlink profile is always seen as natural through Google’s eyes.  

1 reply
  1. Jobayer Rahman
    Jobayer Rahman says:

    At first thanks for your nice article. I am a trainer, I made a lecture for my students following your information. Your article is great because we have used an example of each section. Thanks again.


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