How To Use Ahrefs for Backlinks [2023] Boost Organic Rankings


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Are you tired of playing hide-and-seek with your website’s backlinks? Say no more! In this article, we’ll show you how to use Ahrefs for backlinks like a pro.

Get ready for some link-building magic that will skyrocket your site’s visibility and leave your competitors scratching their heads.

Stick around for expert tips, clever tricks, and a secret sauce that’ll make your backlinks shine brighter than a disco ball.

Let’s dive in, shall we? Short answer: Ahrefs is the ultimate tool to supercharge your backlink strategy. Keep reading to uncover the secrets!

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Before we dive into the intricacies of using Ahrefs for backlinks, let’s first understand why backlinks are crucial for your website’s success. 

Here are three key reasons:

1. Rankings

Search engines, such as Google, evaluate the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to your website when determining its rankings in search results. 

When reputable websites link to your content, search engines perceive it as a vote of confidence, indicating that your website offers valuable information. 

Consequently, your website is likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to increased visibility and organic traffic.

2. Discoverability

Backlinks act as virtual bridges that connect users from one website to another.

When a reputable website includes a link to your content, it opens up new avenues for users to discover your website. 

As more users navigate through these backlinks, your website gains exposure to a wider audience. 

This increased discoverability can drive relevant traffic to your website, ultimately boosting your brand’s visibility and expanding your online reach.

3. Referral Traffic

Backlinks serve as conduits for referral traffic, directing users from external websites to your own. 

When a user clicks on a backlink leading to your website, they are essentially being referred by the linking website. 

If your content is compelling and aligns with their interests, these visitors can turn into potential customers or loyal readers. 

By leveraging backlinks effectively, you can tap into new sources of traffic and expand your online community.

What Makes a Good Backlink?

Now that we understand the importance of backlinks, let’s explore the qualities that make a backlink effective and valuable. 

When building your backlink profile, keep the following factors in mind:


Relevance is key when it comes to backlinks. Search engines value backlinks that come from websites or pages within the same industry or niche as yours.

For example, if you run a fitness blog, a backlink from a reputable health and wellness website will carry more weight than one from a fashion blog. 

Aim for backlinks that are contextually relevant to your content to maximize their impact on your website’s SEO.


Backlinks from authoritative websites hold greater value in the eyes of search engines. 

Websites with a strong reputation, high domain authority, and a history of producing quality content are more likely to positively impact your website’s rankings. 

Seek out opportunities to earn backlinks from well-established and trusted sources within your industry. 

These authoritative backlinks can significantly boost your website’s credibility and visibility.


Consider the traffic potential of the linking website when assessing the value of a backlink. Websites that already attract a substantial amount of traffic can drive more visitors to your website through the backlink. 

A backlink from a popular blog or an industry-leading website has the potential to expose your content to a large and engaged audience, increasing your chances of attracting relevant traffic and potential customers.


The placement of your backlink within the linking website’s content also matters. 

Backlinks that appear naturally within the body of an article or blog post tend to carry more weight compared to those placed in footers, sidebars, or author bios. 

Aim for in-content backlinks, preferably surrounded by relevant and contextual information. 

These backlinks are more likely to capture readers’ attention and generate higher click-through rates.

Followed vs. Nofollowed

When analyzing backlinks, it’s important to distinguish between followed and nofollowed links. 

Followed links are recognized by search engines and contribute to your website’s backlink profile. 

Nofollowed links, on the other hand, contain an attribute that tells search engines not to count them as endorsements for ranking purposes. 

While nofollowed links may not directly impact your rankings, they can still drive traffic, enhance your online visibility, and provide opportunities for user engagement.

Anchor Text

Anchor text refers to the clickable text that appears within a hyperlink. It’s crucial to optimize anchor text to provide search engines with context about the linked page’s content. 

When building backlinks, aim for anchor text that is descriptive, relevant, and includes your target keywords. 

However, avoid over-optimization or excessive keyword stuffing, as this can be seen as manipulative and may result in penalties from search engines.

By considering these factors when acquiring backlinks, you can build a strong and diverse backlink profile that enhances your website’s SEO performance and generates long-term benefits.

How to Check Backlinks

To track your website’s backlink profile, you can use either Google Search Console or a third-party backlink checker tool.

Checking Backlinks in Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to monitor your website’s performance in search results. 

It also provides valuable insights into your website’s backlink profile. To check your backlinks in Google Search Console, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Google Search Console account.
  2. Select your website property from the dashboard.
  3. Click on “Links” in the left-hand menu.
  4. Under “Top linking sites,” you can see a list of websites that link to your site.
  5. Under “Top linking text,” you can see the anchor text used in the backlinks.
  6. Click on any of the websites to see the specific pages on your site that they link to.

Checking Backlinks Using a Third-Party Backlink Checker

There are several third-party backlink checker tools available that can provide more comprehensive insights into your website’s backlink profile. 

One popular option is Ahrefs, which offers a powerful Backlinks report that can help you analyze your backlinks and identify link-building opportunities.

How to Use the Backlinks Report

The Backlinks report in Ahrefs provides a wealth of information about your website’s backlink profile, including the number of referring domains, the total number of backlinks, and the distribution of backlinks by domain authority

Here are some tips on how to use the Backlinks report to improve your backlink strategy:

See All Your Competitor’s Backlinks

One of the most powerful features of the Backlinks report is the ability to see your competitors’ backlinks. 

By analyzing your competitors’ backlinks, you can identify potential link-building opportunities for your own website. 

To see your competitors’ backlinks in Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your competitor’s domain name into the Ahrefs search bar.
  2. Click on the “Backlinks” tab in the left-hand menu.
  3. Under “Referring domains,” you can see the total number of websites that link to your competitor.
  4. Click on any of the domains to see the specific pages on your competitor’s site that they link to.

Search Competitors’ Link Profiles for Specific Link Opportunities

Once you’ve identified your competitors’ backlinks, you can search their link profiles for specific link-building opportunities. 

For example, you might look for websites that link to your competitors but not to your own site. To do this in Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Referring domains” tab in the Backlinks report.
  2. Use the search bar to filter the results by specific keywords or anchor text.
  3. Look for websites that link to your competitor but not to your own site.
  4. Reach out to these websites and pitch them on why they should also link to your site.

Track Down Potentially Harmful Backlinks

In addition to identifying link-building opportunities, the Backlinks report can also help you identify potentially harmful backlinks. 

Harmful backlinks are those that come from low-quality or spammy websites and can negatively impact your website’s SEO performance. 

To identify harmful backlinks in Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Backlinks” tab in the Backlinks report.
  2. Use the search bar to filter the results by specific keywords or anchor text.
  3. Look for backlinks from low-quality or spammy websites.
  4. Use Ahrefs’ “Disavow” tool to request that Google ignore these backlinks when evaluating your website’s SEO performance.

Find Podcasts to Get Interviewed On

Finally, the Backlinks report can help you identify podcasts or other platforms where you can get interviewed and earn valuable backlinks. 

Many podcasts include show notes or blog posts that link to their guests’ websites. 

To find podcast opportunities in Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Referring domains” tab in the Backlinks report.
  2. Use the search bar to filter the results by specific keywords, such as “podcast” or “interview.”
  3. Look for websites that host podcasts and have linked to guests in the past.
  4. Reach out to these podcast hosts and pitch yourself as a guest, highlighting the value you can provide to their audience.

By utilizing the Backlinks report in Ahrefs, you can gain valuable insights into your website’s backlink profile, identify link-building opportunities, and take proactive steps to improve your SEO performance. 

Remember to regularly monitor your backlinks and adjust your strategy as needed to stay ahead of the competition.

How to Replicate Your Competitors’ Backlinks

Replicating your competitors’ backlinks can be a valuable strategy to improve your own website’s backlink profile. 

By identifying the sources and tactics that work well for your competitors, you can gain insights and find opportunities to acquire similar backlinks. 

Here are some effective methods to replicate your competitors’ backlinks:

Finding Your Competitors’ Replicable Links

To begin replicating your competitors’ backlinks, you need to identify the specific links that are worth pursuing. 

Here are a few methods to find replicable links:

Find Competitors’ Directory Links

Many websites within your industry may have directories where businesses or websites can be listed. 

Look for directories where your competitors are listed and see if you can also submit your website. 

Directories can provide valuable backlinks and increase your online visibility. 

Search for industry-specific directories, local directories, or niche directories that are relevant to your website.

Find Listicles Where Competitors Are Mentioned, But Not You

Listicles are articles that compile a list of resources, tools, or websites within a particular niche. Look for listicles where your competitors are mentioned but your website is not. 

Reach out to the author or editor and suggest your website as an addition to the list, highlighting the value it can bring to their readers. 

This approach can help you secure backlinks from listicles and gain exposure to new audiences.

Find Competitors’ Links from Interviews and Podcasts

If your competitors have been featured in interviews or podcasts, it indicates that those platforms may be receptive to similar content. 

Look for websites, blogs, or podcasts that have interviewed or featured your competitors.

Reach out to these platforms and offer yourself as a guest or interviewee, showcasing your expertise and value to their audience. 

This can lead to backlinks and valuable exposure within your industry.

Find Competitors’ Guest Posts

Guest posting on other websites allows you to showcase your knowledge and expertise while acquiring backlinks. 

Research websites where your competitors have published guest posts. Reach out to these websites and pitch your own high-quality content ideas that align with their audience’s interests. 

Guest posting can provide valuable backlinks and establish your authority within your niche.

Finding and Copying Link Building Tactics That Work for Competitors

In addition to specific backlinks, you can also identify successful link building tactics employed by your competitors. 

Here are a couple of strategies to consider:

Check for Links from Journalist Requests

Journalists often seek expert opinions or quotes for their articles. 

Keep an eye on platforms like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) or other similar services where journalists post their requests for expert input. Monitor the requests related to your industry or niche and respond with valuable insights. 

By providing helpful information to journalists, you can earn backlinks when they cite you as a source in their articles.

Check for Passively Earned Links from Linkable Points

Examine your competitors’ websites for linkable points or valuable resources that naturally attract backlinks. 

These could include high-quality blog posts, infographics, research studies, or comprehensive guides. 

Analyze the types of content or resources that have gained significant backlinks for your competitors. 

Consider creating similar content or resources on your own website, optimizing them for SEO, and promoting them to attract backlinks organically.

Finding Links You Can Loot from Competitors

Apart from replicating specific backlinks and tactics, you can also uncover opportunities to acquire links your competitors may have lost or abandoned. 

Here are a couple of methods to achieve this:

Broken Link Building

Broken link building involves finding broken links on other websites and suggesting your own content as a replacement. 

Explore your competitors’ websites using tools like Ahrefs or Broken Link Checker to identify broken links within their content. 

Then, create relevant content on your own website to replace those broken links and reach out to the website owners or content creators, notifying them of the broken links and offering your content as an alternative.

301 Redirect Link Building

In some cases, your competitors may have discontinued their websites or moved their content to new URLs without implementing proper redirects. 

Identify websites that link to your competitors’ old pages that no longer exist or have been redirected. 

Reach out to these website owners and suggest redirecting those links to relevant content on your own website. 

This method allows you to benefit from the backlinks that were originally pointing to your competitors’ pages.

Run a Competitor Link Analysis

Perform a comprehensive competitor link analysis using tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush. 

These tools allow you to analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles, identify their strongest backlinks, and uncover potential link-building opportunities. 

By understanding your competitors’ link building strategies, you can gain insights and inspiration to develop your own effective backlink acquisition campaigns.

Remember, while replicating your competitors’ backlinks can be a valuable strategy, it’s essential to focus on quality over quantity. 

Prioritize acquiring backlinks from authoritative and relevant sources to ensure they have a positive impact on your website’s SEO performance.

FAQs About How To Use Ahrefs For Backlinks

How do I get .gov and .edu backlinks?

Getting .gov and .edu backlinks can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few strategies you can try:

  1. Scholarships and Grants: Offer scholarships or grants to students or institutions, and they may link back to your website.
  2. Resource Pages: Find resource pages on .gov or .edu websites that are relevant to your industry. Reach out to the website owners and suggest your content as a valuable addition.
  3. Guest Blogging: Look for opportunities to contribute guest posts on .gov or .edu websites. Provide high-quality, informative content that adds value to their audience.

Remember, the key is to focus on creating valuable content and building relationships with relevant organizations or institutions.

How to create 1,000 backlinks?

Creating 1,000 backlinks is not a recommended strategy as it can be seen as spammy and manipulative by search engines. Instead, focus on building high-quality backlinks that come from authoritative and relevant sources. 

Here are a few effective strategies:

  1. Guest Posting: Contribute guest posts to reputable websites in your industry, including a link back to your website in the author bio or within the content.
  2. Resource Link Building: Create valuable resources, such as comprehensive guides or infographics, that others in your niche would want to link to.
  3. Outreach and Relationship Building: Reach out to relevant websites and influencers in your industry, offering valuable content or collaboration opportunities that can lead to backlinks.

Remember, the emphasis should be on quality over quantity. Building a strong and diverse backlink profile takes time and effort.

How do I automatically generate backlinks?

Automatically generating backlinks through software or tools is not recommended. Search engines are sophisticated and can easily detect manipulative tactics. 

Instead, focus on organic and natural methods to acquire backlinks. 

These include creating high-quality content, engaging in outreach and relationship building, and providing value to your target audience and industry.

Is Ahref a SEO tool?

Yes, Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool that provides valuable insights and features to optimize your website’s SEO performance. 

It offers various tools and reports to analyze backlinks, keyword research, competitor analysis, content optimization, and more.

Is Ahrefs a good SEO tool?

Yes, Ahrefs is widely regarded as one of the top SEO tools available. 

It provides robust features, accurate data, and extensive resources for optimizing your website’s SEO. 

Its backlink analysis, keyword research, and competitor analysis capabilities are particularly praised by SEO professionals.

Which keyword is best for SEO?

The best keywords for SEO depend on your specific industry, target audience, and business goals. 

It’s important to conduct thorough keyword research using tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords with a good balance of search volume, relevance, and competition. 

Focus on long-tail keywords that are more specific and have higher intent from your target audience.

What is the difference between Ahrefs and Semrush?

Ahrefs and Semrush are both powerful SEO tools but have some differences in their features and focus. Here are a few distinctions:

  • Backlink Analysis: Ahrefs is known for its extensive backlink database and analysis capabilities, while Semrush offers a broader range of SEO features beyond backlinks.
  • Keyword Research: Semrush provides a wide range of keyword research tools and features, including competitive analysis and keyword gap analysis, while Ahrefs also offers robust keyword research capabilities.
  • User Interface: Ahrefs has a user-friendly interface with a focus on simplicity and ease of use, while Semrush offers a more extensive set of features but may have a steeper learning curve for beginners.

Which tool is better to use in SEO, Ahrefs or Semrush?

The choice between Ahrefs and Semrush depends on your specific needs and preferences. Both tools are highly regarded and offer valuable SEO insights. 

Consider the features, data accuracy, user interface, and pricing plans to determine which tool aligns best with your SEO goals and budget. 

It may also be helpful to take advantage of free trials or demos to evaluate each tool firsthand.

Is Ahrefs or Semrush more accurate?

Both Ahrefs and Semrush are reputable and provide reliable data, but there can be slight differences in their metrics and interpretations. 

It’s important to understand that SEO data is constantly changing, and no tool can guarantee 100% accuracy. 

It’s recommended to use multiple tools and cross-reference data to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your website’s SEO performance.

Final Thoughts About How To Use Ahrefs For Backlinks

In conclusion, Ahrefs is a powerful tool that can greatly assist in your backlink strategy. 

By utilizing its comprehensive backlink analysis features, you can gain valuable insights into your competitors’ backlink profiles, identify high-quality link opportunities, and monitor the health of your own backlinks. 

Ahrefs’ extensive database, accuracy, and user-friendly interface make it a popular choice among SEO professionals. 

However, it’s important to remember that building a strong backlink profile requires a combination of quality content, outreach efforts, and relationship building. 

Ahrefs can be a valuable ally in your backlink journey, but it should be used as part of a holistic SEO strategy.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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