The difficulty of getting backlinks

Rich get richer and poor get poorer is not the only unfairness and vicious circle that we have in our society. The same applies to search engine results and website authority. Websites with the most backlinks steal most of the new backlinks with no effort at all, while websites with little or no backlinks don’t get any links unless they work hard to get them.

It understandable why most websites originally link to high authority websites only. When you write about a topic and research it, you search for information, and obviously, high authority websites rank first. Thus you use them as references and link to them. Most people are completely unaware of content that doesn’t rank high in search engines; they only consume what the mainstream media feeds them. This is particularly sad in a society where information is supposed to be free and available for everyone, but due to unethical practises on search engines, it simply gets erased.

However, search engines are not the only ones to blame. While doing SEO for my own website, I noticed that most people are extremely reluctant to link to medium or low authority websites, no matter what the content is.

What I’m going to share in this article might come as a surprise for those who are new to SEO.

Link building outreach

It’s quite common for non-popular websites to reach to colleagues of the same industry to offer them interesting content for their blogs. The logic is quite simple; since the writer constantly links to other websites, so why wouldn’t he be interested in linking to my content as well?

However, for some webmasters, this isn’t as obvious as it is for us. Somehow they link to high authority websites all the time and get nothing in return, but when you propose to link to your site, suddenly, their scepticism and materialistic spirit wakes up. Out of the blue, your article is not good enough for them; or they either want to get paid for linking to you, get free promotion in return or offer some other barter that they never ask from high authority websites. Where’s the logic?

I understand that no one does anything pro-bono in business, but they could at least not be so openly cheap. I seriously lose respect for that kind of people instantly. It’s also funny that many of these people actually proclaim the idea of being nice and helping others. But when you ask such a minor aid as linking to you, it’s overwhelming difficult for them. It seems that these people are just a bunch of hypocrites and do not deserve the fame they have.

Some webmasters try to protect their views by claiming that high authority websites have better quality content. While this is partially true, it’s not the whole truth. Yes, high authority websites usually have good content. But low authority websites do not usually have bad content. They may actually have as good content as a high authority website, but the webmaster will still not link to them. There are seriously comical situations where a person writes for and simultaneously in his own blog. Obviously, he gets a lot of backlinks for his articles, but none for his own website. Somehow the same people who constantly link to worry that quality in his own blog might not be good enough.

Broken links

Broken links are a nuisance for everyone who uses the Internet. It’s a dead end in cyberspace, a disappointment of clicking a link that takes you nowhere.

However, even in the case of broken links, some webmasters are for unknown reason reluctant to change the broken link to a working link. I’d really like to understand the motives of webmasters that don’t fix their broken links.

1. It’s clear that it’s bad for the user experience to have a broken link on the site.

2. Even linking to not so good article is better than a broken (or no link), especially when the context requires a link.

3. If a website has broken links, it’s obvious that the owner does not use any tools to find them, and thus is unaware of them. For such a non-tech person, it’s a great help if someone shows the broken link to them for free. Because otherwise, they would have to hire someone and pay for that.

4. I think it’s obscene for the blog owner to start asking favours, from the person who helped them for free. Seriously if someone on the parking lot would tell you that you have a broken tire and would offer a replacement tire, would you ask them to “provide more value”!?

5. It’s also strange, that these same people originally linked to a website, in most cases without asking anything in return, but now, when that link became broken, they suddenly want some personal gain from linking to you.

Some SEO experts say that simply finding a broken link is not enough to get a backlink from that website. I would disagree with that. Finding a broken link on someone else’s website and getting a link to your own website for that is a fair trade.

Broken link spam

Some SEO experts claim that broken link building is an overly used tactic and that webmasters hate it due to excessive spam. I have to disagree with that. If it was overly used, there wouldn’t be still so many broken links around. There are websites with thousands of broken links. Obviously, they haven’t been contacted to replace them, or if they have been and still haven’t done anything, then they don’t deserve the high website authority they have.

Crying about broken link related spam is just stupid. Don’t want to get spam – fix the link. It can’t be that hard. It’s an ultimate solution that will kill two birds with one stone: end spam and fix the user experience for your website. People who outreach to fix broken links, not only help the webmasters to keep their websites in good shape, but also improve the user experience of the web for all of us.


Filip Poutintsev, the Chief Editor of Honest Pros and Cons, is a long term business writer, who has been featured in various online publications such as Forbes, CoinTelegraph and HackerNoon. Now he writes exclusively for Honest Pros and Cons.