Inbound Links: What are they, and how can they help you?

If you have been with people who are passing through the streets of search engine optimization (SEO), you may have heard something about an obligation to use hyperlinks to improve what you are already doing. Well, just make sure you have trusted what you heard before because all of them are true and vital.

Different kinds of links are used to boost your SEO level when trying to make an impression on your audience. So, what is an inbound link? In this text, I am going to get you familiar with the answer to these questions;

  • What is an inbound link?
  • What is a 401 inbound link?
  • How can we benefit from inbound links?
  • How do I get inbound links?
  • Inbound links vs. backlinks
  • What is an inbound links checker?

What are inbound links?

We all know about the links pointing out to another website when we just click on them; the inbound link is also one of them. What is an inbound link? An inbound link is a hyperlink on a third-party web page that points to a webpage on your website. Although the definition is interchangeable with the “backlinks,” they are entirely different in some aspects.

Two types of principles will appear when we talk about SEO techniques (which are on-page SEO and off-page SEO), and inbound links are the most important element of the latter. Note that more than 50% of your ability in off-page SEO has enough power to insert inbound links both high in quality and quantity.

The history of inbound links is tracked back to when dinosaurs were still roaring on the planet. In the first days of the World Wide Web, primary search engines such as Excite and Altavista based a large part of their research results on how often a keyword was present on a web page. It means that the more you use a keyword (regardless of how ridiculous and unreadable the final text would be), the more SEO score you will get from them.

But this messy situation ceased in 1996 when two Stanford students named Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked on a research project called “BackRub,” where they tried to make a massive graph of how the budding World Wide Web systems were interconnected. This was when the principle of “inbound links” came to life.

What is a 401 inbound link?

In some cases, you may have encountered an internal or inbound link that cannot be rendered properly, and you will see a “401 error.”

What is a “401 unauthorized 401 error” message? This emerges when there is a problem with an HTTP response status code indicating that the client could not authenticate a request. Remember that all HTTP response status codes in the 4xx category are client-side error responses. But note that the appearance of a 401 error code or any 4xx error doesn’t necessarily mean the client is the issue, where the client is the web browser or device used to access the application.

How can we overcome this issue? Since the 401 Unauthorized Error is a client error response code, it is better to start with client-side objects;

  1. Check your requested URL once more.
  2. Log out and log into your page again.
  3. Clear the cache of your website.
  4. Debug some common platforms, such as Common software packages and content management systems (CMS).
  5. Roll back your latest upgrades if you have.
  6. Check for any unexpected database changes
  7. If available, uninstall any extensions or plugins you have recently implemented.

If none of those work for you, continue your fixing procedure with server-side methods, like checking your web server configuration and confirming the WWW-authenticate header on the top.

How can inbound links help you?

The importance of inbound links is extremely obvious to everyone; these days, you can find a single website with no inbound link.

Why are inbound links so crucial for our SEO homework? Let’s explain the reasons;

  1. You can get a higher ranking in search engine results

The first goal of writing SEO content is reaching higher positions when a user opens his or her web browser. In fact, search engines like Google use several factors to rank websites and webpages in search engine results, which backlinks and inbound links are the strongest.

Your mission here is to find and insert the inbound links which are high-quality. I mean;

  • They should use anchor texts.
  • They need to be extracted from authoritative, trustworthy, and credible sites.
  • You should have your inbound links from a diverse range of sources.
  • They should be relevant to the soul of your written text.
  1. You will have your brand awareness increased

When you use trustworthy inbound links on your website, you are actually knotting your business brand to the giants. This association will result in an increased awareness of your brand, and the users will also view your icon and brand as credible and trustworthy, just like the associated website within your inbound link.

  1. Make your web traffic bulkier

As you have understood, we are here to increase our referral traffic with inbound links, so they are also ready to help us with that. When you use a reasonable number of high-quality inbound links or backlinks on your website, your SEO ranking will be increased. As a result, you will have your site’s traffic rose, which is highly likely to further result in higher conversions and even increased sales.

  1. Create more chances for business relationships

More referral traffic, SEO ranking, and brand awareness will convince business people and other website owners to sign a cooperating contract with you. With high-quality inbound links, you will get more chances for new business relationships that will make it easier for people to link to your website in the future.

How do I get inbound links?

To get and have powerful inbound links in your texts, it is recommended to follow these steps as a guideline for your work;

  1. Start with writing content

Everything starts with providing excellent content, even those non-SEO articles. In other words, if a user on your blog is reading an article about a specific subject, your text must be deserved to give almost all the necessary information and tools the user needs.

  1. Use your keywords wisely

As a part of writing high-quality content, you should be acknowledged to use the keywords in the correct position and with a reasonable quantity. You don’t need to go for an extremely competitive keyword; just make sure that what you choose gives you enough flexibility to write unique content.

  1. Make your content visually appealing

Similar to books that need editors to be published, your readers also require some beauty and hate those endless texts with no header. You can use some tools to reach your goal, like;

  • Using infographics.
  • Using subtitles and different headers.
  • Adding Tweets or other social media posts.
  • Using images, gifs, and clips.
  • Use contrast in font size or color.
  • Using subtitles and different headers.
  • And more.
  1. Insert some relevant inbound links in your recipe

Now it is time to put your appealing inbound links among the words and sentences. Try to do your best at this level with the strongest, most relevant, and high-authority inbound links you find on this planet.

  1. Post on social media and discussion forums

To look more active, maybe you need to join social media groups and forums where your target groups and even influencers are. Participate and share your content where relevant. Try to have your own social media pages for the business you are an expert at.

There are also some additional works to do to make our handwork more attractive. How to use inbound links to improve our search engine rankings? Here, you can use some of these link-building strategies when you have a new post on board or ready to be posted;

  1. Search for and monitor your competitors’ backlinks.
  2. Give away free trials and sneak peeks of your product.
  3. Search and monitor the mentions of your brand.
  4. Do some co-marketing.
  5. Make friendly and mutual relationships with other web admins in real life.
  6. Provide some shareable templates.
  7. Utilize surveys to get your audience’s taste.
  8. Conduct free webinars or conferences and post archived copies online.
  9. Get ready to write guest blogging posts.
  10. Try sponsoring or speaking at an event.
  11. Identify and remove broken inbound links in your text through site-crawling tools.
  12. Try to keep funny phrases in your writings.
  13. Learn to write and pitch op-ed articles.
  14. Write press releases about interesting company news.
  15. Incorporate “Tweet This” links into your content.
  16. Provide SlideShare presentations.
  17. Use popular inbound links as a volunteer.

Inbound links vs. backlinks

As I mentioned before, we can use the title of inbound links and backlinks interchangeably in most cases, but not all of them. This is because they are both off-page SEO methods for getting links from other websites. However, some minor differences have to be measured before we start our SEO journey.

Both a backlink and an inbound link are incoming links from one website to a page on another website. But the main difference is the purpose we have to use them on our web pages; a backlink is usually used to increase search engine rankings for a website, while an “inbound link” refers to earning referral traffic.

In other words, a person focused on improving the individual PageRank value for a target page to increase its position in the search engine results pages (SERPs) usually uses a backlink. At the same time, a marketer who decided to increase referral traffic through those link placements with SEO is more familiar with the title of “inbound link.”

inbound links

What is an inbound links checker?

Some writers and SEO providers may get happy to check their SEO and hyperlink works with an online (or even off-line) tool, which we call “inbound links checker.” An inbound links checker is designed to review your off-page SEO value by viewing the list of quality backlinks or inbound links to your website. Simply speaking, the inbound links checker will provide a detailed analysis report that consists of the list of website URLs that have inbound links to the website URL that is being analyzed.

What are the best inbound links checkers available on the global web? Here we some of them;

  • Backlink Watch (free)
  • Cognitive SEO (Paid service with a free 14-day trial)
  • Ahrefs (Paid service with a free trial)
  • Web Me Up (Unlimited free trial for three reports per month)
  • Buzzsumo (Paid service with a free sign-up and trial)
  • Open Site Explorer (Paid service with a free 30-Day trial)

Some inbound link examples

Effective education is accompanied by practical examples. According to this clause, you need to have some inbound link examples to get a hint of how to use an inbound link on your webpage.

For example, you want to write SEO content about beautiful vases and how to keep them in your home decorations. Well, that is so easy; when you complete your article, you can put some inbound links referring to some flower vases available on Amazon or other marketplaces, so users can either make a decision to buy one of them or get some ideas to make a vase by themselves.

Another example is to point out tutorial videos provided by famous platforms like All you need to do is write some posts about a specific method or software on your blogs and use those videos for more tutoring in the form of an inbound link.

Other types of links

Although inbound links and backlinks are two helpful hyperlinked hands of an SEO writer in their job career, we have some other types of links on board, or even we can split the former two subjects into smaller subclasses.

Have you ever heard about outbound links? These links are designed to link from your website to other sites. Why should we use them? This one of Google’s priorities is to respect people who give value to users. When you have outbound links on your web pages, it is an indicator that you are going out of your pathway to add more value to your content.

What about internal links? These digital bridges are the links that you use within your own site to link to other pages, sections, or content. Internal links give your users more ability to interact with your website. They are also helpful in directing traffic to old published content that is relevant to the more recent or already posted content, giving it a chance to rank better again.


That is it. Modern search engines are friendlier with what we call “hyperlinks” rather than keywords when they are missioned to rank our web pages. What is an inbound link, and is there any difference between an inbound link and a backlink? In most cases, the answer to this question is no because when you use a link as a “backlink,” you already benefit from the primary advantage. Still, when naming it as an “inbound link,” the second advantage is more prominent.

For a person who is just making dreams to earn money from the owned websites, the precise definition of backlinks and inbound links is just a meaningless joke; however, expert SEO freelancers should pay more attention when they are inserting one of them into the underlined text.


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