Contextual backlinks: 5 safe link building strategies

Link building is still crucial for a successful SEO strategy – and especially contextual backlinks.

This blog post will explain what contextual backlinks are and share a few ideas about building links.

But first, let me address one of the typical questions regarding link building and SEO: Is link building legal?

Google states: “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. “

OK, we need to dissect this statement: “Any links intended to manipulate Pagerank” – so if you get some juicy links, you are improving your rankings. You are manipulating PageRank.

So right now, you are left with two “legal options.”

A: Build it, and they would come – sit back and hope that someone would link to your content
B) Forget about SEO and spend all your hard-earned money on Google Ads 

Let me be brutally honest – YOU NEED LINKS to rank in Google!

No matter how well you optimize your content, links are vital to your success, especially contextual do-follow links.

What are contextual backlinks?

A contextual backlink is a link within an article (a piece of content) – it is a highlighted word (anchor text) that points from external sites pointing to your website.

If you can gain contextual backlinks from external authority domains, the benefits would be that you boost your domain authority and make it easier to rank in Google for the keywords you target.

The best contextual links you can get are from authority sites within the same niche or industry. The content should be related to the topic you want to rank.

If your website is about pet food, it would be highly relevant with contextual links from authority sites within the pet niche.

It makes perfect sense to follow a natural link to a relevant external source from a user perspective – as long as it is topically related. 

That is why it is important to use the anchor text to pre-inform the user (and the Search Engines) what external content is all about.

What you should NOT do with your anchor text

Even the anchor text is important. You mustn’t keyword stuff your anchor text. If the article you link to is about “pet food,” all your anchor text should not be “pet food.”

It would be best if you had variations in your anchor text – and also generic anchor text like “read more,” “click here,” “For more info,” “Read this article,” and similar.

You can also make variations to the keyword like “best price of pet food,” “petfood discount,” and similar – the most important is to make the anchor text look natural.

A spammy anchor text link profile can cause a Penguin penalty– so consider this advice.

Contextual link Building – how to get started

As I mentioned, a good backlink is a link from a website or blog within the same niche/industry related to your topic and your audience.

One thing is the SEO value, but if the external site is related to your audience, there is a bigger chance that they would click on the external link and bring traffic to your site.

Here are some ideas for your link building: 

Guest blogging (outreach)

The guest posting strategy has been around for quite a while, and it is brilliant for contextual backlinks. 

It is quite simple to find a website or blog that shares the same niche with a similar target audience and contacts the website owner.

The idea is that you offer the webmaster to write an article (quality content) that they can publish on their website or blog, and in return, you get a backlink to your website.

It is a win-win for both businesses – the website owner gets a well-crafted piece of content and topic that fits his audience, and you get a contextual backlink to your site.

It is easy to optimize the email outreach process, and you would be able to identify authority sites that accept guest posts. You can learn how by reading my Link Assistant review.

Broken links 

Most big websites have external broken links – and those types of links can be quite valuable if you know how to do.

This strategy requires a little research – but it is not complicated at all. 

First, you can examine the backlink profile of authority websites within your niche. If they have 404 pages, you can create a similar (and better piece of relevant content).

Then you contact those external sites linking to the dead page that is not found and tell them that they have a broken link, but you have a URL they can link to instead. (PRO TIP: Use the way back machine to determine what kind of content on the URL is gone).

Of course, not all site owners are willing to link to your site, so aim for dead links with at least 40-50 external links – if you can gain just a few high-quality links from those highly relevant websites, it is going to be a massive SEO benefit for your site.

These relevant links can boost your SEO rankings in the Search Engines and bring in direct traffic.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

Haro is a service you can signup for and uses completely free. As the name mention, it is all about helping a reporter with their research.

The site covers almost any niche, and the reporters are looking for industry experts in various topics (you don’t need to be a doctor or professor!).

The reporter would provide a guideline for the story they need, and you can then pitch the reporter. If the reporter likes your pitch, he or she might ask for additional information or ask for an interview.

If the reporter uses you as a source, you get a backlink to your website in return for your time.

These are the kind of links that carry link juice and the type of link any webmaster would love!

A fair warning: it is not easy to gain those types of authority links, and you might need to pitch a lot of times before you get lucky!.

Backlink Gap

The backlink gap strategy is to examine your close competitors and find sites that link to your competitors – but not to your website.

Then you contact those websites and politely ask if they can link to you as well.

SEMRUSH has a quite cool Backlink Gap tool, and you can try SEMRUSH for free.


You can use this strategy to find a niche outlet or a media site interested in your industry. Try to be creative and think about a story angle – why are you successful, why are your niche struggling, what kind of opportunities or obstacles do you see in the future?

It could also be the local chamber of commerce or if your industry has an organization where you can provide knowledge around a certain topic.

“How to” is the type of content that works very well in different media – if you are a roofer, you could offer an interview about how a house owner could increase the lifetime of their roof by following 3 simple pieces of advice.

If you get an interview in big publications might lead to thousands of links to your website, plus there would be a lot of buzz with social media shares and free traffic as well.

Newsworthy content is not easy to create – but if you manage it is well worth your efforts!

Hot topic and authoritative content

Being an authority site owner is a dominant factor in search engines. If you are considered an expert in your field, it is easier to attract relevant links and increase your Search Rankings.

The key is to understand the user intent behind a search query and create high-quality content.

Some content optimization tips are to examine what is already ranking in Google:

  • How long are the types of content already ranking in Google?
  • How long is the average content?
  • How are your competitors using titles and subtitles?
  • Which questions do they answer?

It might seem very time-consuming to craft high-value content, but some tools can help you craft the type of content that both Google and your target users love to see.

Surfer SEO is the kind of tool that can help you create exactly the content that Google and the other Search Engines love.

You can try Surfer SEO here for 7 days for $1 only

FAQ about contextual links

Q: What Are Contextual Backlinks?
A: Contextual backlinks are contextual links located inside an article linking to your website

Q: How can I get backlinks to my content?
A: You can do guest blogging, look for broken links and offer your content as a replacement, check for backlink gaps, or do an interview

Q: What Are Backlinks? Do They Still Matter for SEO?
A: Absolutely! Especially contextual backlinks from authority sites within the same niche as yours

Q: How Many Links Does it Take to Get to #1 in Google?
A: The depends on the link profile of your nearest competitors and the quality of your content

Q: What Makes People Link To Other Sites?
A: A website owner usually links to content that provides additional value to his audience

Q: What’s Topical Link Relevancy?
A: Topical link relevancy means similarity between the site that links and the external website that receives the link (A hardware store linking to a tool manufacturer).

Q: What are the best type of backlinks
A: The best types of backlinks are contextual links from authority sites within your industry or niche

Q: What is keyword contextual targeting
A: That is a link within an article where the anchor text is the keyword


If you want to improve your rankings in Google and the rest of the Search Engines, it is a combination of high-quality content and contextual backlinks from authority sites within your niche.

If you can attract those kinds of links, you will see that your domain authority would increase,  and it would be easier to rank – sometimes for even quite competitive keywords.

So fire up your engines and start your link-building campaign! 🙂

To your success,


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