One way links explained

One-way links are links to your site from sites which do not receive a link from your site.

They send a powerful message to the search engines - that your website is so valuable or interesting or useful that other sites want to tell people about it.

One-way links are wonderful things to have because they increase your link popularity - the number of pages linking to your site. Search engines such as Google place huge importance on link popularity when ranking your site.

You can also receive direct traffic to your site from people who click on the links.

All links to your site are good, but where possible always aim for topic-related links.

Late in 2005, Matt Cutts of Google made it plain in his blog that Google frowns upon sites which "overdo" reciprocal links. Heed his warning and try to make as many of your links as possible one-way links.

Ways to get one-way links

  • Create a useful, interesting web site and other sites will naturally link to it. The vast majority of the thousands of links to THIS site were not requested.

  • Invite experts in your niche to write articles to be published on your site. When they do, they will often tweet about their article or mention it in their blog.

  • Submit your site to major directories, such as Yahoo! and, in the appropriate category.

  • Write articles and submit them to newsletters which are then archived online.

  • Hunt for sites that complement yours and ask them to publish your articles, with a link back to your site - or a page on your site. (You should get links to ALL your good pages, not just your main page.)

  • Submit brief, useful hints to newsletters for the same reason.

  • Submit articles to article directories. You can speed up this tedious work by using ArticleAnnouncer, the tool professionals use. This tactic isn't nearly as useful as it used to be years ago.

  • Publish articles on your site and invite other sites to publish them on their sites, with a link to you.

  • Write testimonials for products you love. Companies often post testimonials on their site with a link to the submitting site. Joe Vitale has taken this tactic to extraordinary lengths. For examples, trying doing a search on Google for "joe vitale +testimonial".

  • Participate helpfully in forums which allow a text link to your site in a signature. Read the forum instructions first, or you risk making an ass of yourself. UPDATE 2009: Many forums now use the rel="nofollow" attribute on links. When you see "nofollow" in the HTML, you'll know that the links don't pass PageRank. On our affiliate forum, we now use "nofollow" links, in keeping with Google's advice to "nofollow" links that we don't necessarily trust. We don't want to provide straight links to spammers and bad neighborhoods.

  • Consider buying text link ads on other sites, for example from Linkadage or Text Link Ads. (Remember that Matt Cutts has written unfavorably about buying links.) Better still, arrange for articles to be published on other sites with a link to your site in them. You may have to use some innovative thinking to achieve this. The results make the effort worth while.

  • Buy ads in newsletters on your topic which are archived online.

  • Locate industry-specific directories and submit your site to them. For example, if your site is on a health topic, look for health-related directories.

  • Give away free ebooks and white papers that contain links to your site.

  • Create simple web-based free software. Tell other sites, newsletters and forums about it and ask for a link to it.

  • Create downloadable software which contains links to your site.

  • Get listed in business directories.

  • Create a blog and get it listed in blog directories.

  • Join business associations which list their members' sites online.

  • Write regular news releases and submit them to topic-related web sites and Internet news wires such as PRWeb and Business Wire.

  • Make arrangements for other sites to archive your newsletters on their sites.

  • Get your white papers published on other web sites.

  • Submit your free ebooks to ebook directories.

  • Submit your downloadable software to software directories, such as

  • Locate a popular site in your niche which would appreciate having you as a regular columnist. Write tips, lively commentary, product reviews, or whatever topics suit your niche.

  • Syndicate your material to other sites. Create a content syndication feed (RSS feed) and include a link to your site. Use PHP rather than Javascript to ensure search engines parse your headings and links.

  • Do something funny or outrageous or brilliant and people will link to your site without being asked. For good examples, see Here are some tips on how to create compelling content.

  • Use gimmicks. If people see something odd on a website, they'll often tell other people about it. You can also alert newsletter publishers and suggest they mention your gimmick in their newsletter. For example, Jim Crawford tells us how to make a sound play with a mouseover.

How to find "nofollow" links

Some links pass "link juice" and help your PageRank. Some don't. The links that don't pass PageRank value have rel="nofollow" in the HTML.

In Firefox, here's how to discover if a link is "nofollowed":

1. Go the web page that contains the link.

2. RIGHT-click anywhere on the web page (NOT on a link).

3. Click on "View Page Info". (In Internet Explorer, click on "View Source".)

4. Click Edit.

5. Click Find. Search for the link. See if it contains rel="nofollow". If it does, it doesn't pass "link juice".

Fortunately, there's a much easier way to find nofollowed links... You can easily check for "nofollow" links by using a free tool called SEO for Firefox. It's a Firefox extension from SEOBook. This free tool also gives you a lot of other useful, competitive data. More than 500,000 webmasters use it.

UPDATED: March 24, 2013
December 19, 2005

Comments (75)

Said this on June 4, 2010 At 01:40 am
A very good article, I will always come in.
Said this on July 14, 2010 At 12:27 pm
I started my own one way link campaign and I am seeing results.
Said this on July 22, 2010 At 08:20 am
Hi, we started trading early part of 2010 and are looking at starting our own one way link campaign. These points are really helpful thank you, hopefully we should start to see some results soon.
Said this on August 2, 2010 At 08:45 pm
this is a work of SEO,but seems that very hard to do well,because the comment will be a spam,thanks for share
Said this on August 8, 2010 At 09:32 pm
Very nice and informative post. I have no knowledge that one way links is achievable because I am contended with the notion that only backlinks and reciprocal linking can be build in the field of SEO. With the idea of one-way linking,it seems like, for me, it is difficult but with this article it somehow helps me to fulfill this SEO strategy. Thanks Allan
Said this on August 15, 2010 At 01:59 pm
Fully agree with your points here. All the posts are fully informative and having very good themes. I love to visit your blog again and again its really increase my knowledge. Thanks for the awesome post.
Said this on August 20, 2010 At 02:20 pm
Thanks. A very interesting read.
Said this on September 12, 2010 At 10:01 pm
Learned quite a bit from this article. Even the responses were very in formative. Thank you.
Said this on September 12, 2010 At 10:03 pm
Thanks for a very informative article; it cleared for me the difference between bakclink, one way link and reciprocal links. Thanks again.
Said this on November 6, 2010 At 06:08 am
I say many thanks for the article that you created and you are good teacher :)
Said this on December 22, 2010 At 09:55 pm
Thanks for giving me some insight.
Said this on January 22, 2011 At 12:48 am
THanks for the nice article on oneway linking.can anybody send me the list of free oneway linking sites.
Said this on April 9, 2011 At 04:06 am
Thanks for the informative article! I don't think you missed any point expect one that is submitting to local search engine.
Said this on July 12, 2011 At 03:25 am
This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.
Said this on September 14, 2011 At 10:56 am

Thanks for giving a good explanation on one way links as well how to get them. I still have a question on the definition of a link and I hope you can help me understand better.

If I have a website with many pages (pages A, B, C etc within the site) and I inter link those different pages back and forth, would those links be considered reciprocal? For example I reference page "A" from page "G" and page "G" from page "A", would that be considered reciprocal?

Or if I just only link page "G" from page "A", then that be considered 1 way?

Or is 1 way link only a link that comes outside?


Said this on September 14, 2011 At 09:19 pm

Hi Darlene, Usually, the terms "one-way links" and "reciprocal links" are using when we're talking about other sites that link to your site.

However, your own internal links also play a useful role in getting pages ranked well in search engines. So it makes sense to have internal links from many pages pointing to your best revenue-generating pages.

Said this on October 3, 2011 At 03:29 am

It is very informative and complete.  Thank you for sharing!! Thank you!

Said this on December 27, 2011 At 03:14 pm

I completely agree with creating quality content. Some of my articles are ranked No#1 among 10Million sites. That is amazing, I don't do much about linking. But I should it.

thanks for the article

Joe Watson
Said this on January 7, 2012 At 09:47 am


I am very disappointed that you have only managed one reply to 51 comments. While I appreciate your article, the level of interaction with your subscribers leaves a lot to be desired.

Said this on January 7, 2012 At 07:35 pm

Hi Joe, I count eight replies by me. [I used to reply in brackets like this. Allan.]

Actually, that was probably far TOO MUCH interaction. Remember the dream of affiliate marketing? You work where and when you want to. Isn't that what we're all aiming for?

About eight years ago, I just about killed myself because for years I had been working 16-hour days, a lot of time acting as a free help desk, trying to answer every email I received. A trip to hospital made me come to my senses. Now I spend a LOT more time with family and friends, and reading, gardening, walking, kayaking and other pastimes I enjoy, and often work only a few minutes a day.

I can see your point of view, Joe, but your goal posts aren't mine. :)

However, congratulations! You did prompt me to reply.

Said this on January 20, 2012 At 02:21 am

I have a query, Are Directory submissions (without reciprocal links) also one way links?

Said this on January 21, 2012 At 02:31 am

Hi VM, Yes, if you get a link from a directory, that's another one-way link to your site. Watch out, though. Some directories have links that are no-followed, so they don't pass link juice.

Said this on May 28, 2012 At 02:29 am

This is nice knowledge about one way link, which I never get it from other website. Catch me on

Said this on October 5, 2012 At 07:52 pm

Thanks for the checklist, Jack! It's the best of its kind I'm using a one way link submitter I found on the Internet for free! Are these free tools very useful? Thanks!

Said this on November 9, 2012 At 07:35 pm

One way I like to get my links, is i gave away things for free, one item I like to give away are article spinners I build. It shows my webpage for 5 seconds before it spins the content.


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