A natural link is an organic link earned by websites, leading to content that has been considered genuinely relevant by other webmasters. A natural link is not part of a paid campaign and is the best way to increase a websites’ domain authority.
What is a natural link?
The term “natural link” is discussed in the larger context of link building. When a website owner or promoter is trying to get backlinks for their web domain, there are several ways they can do it. Attempting to earn natural links is one of those ways. Natural links are those backlinks that are earned based on the genuine, non-financial interest of the webmaster hosting the backlink. Natural links should occur organically and should not be part of a campaign. Therefore, natural links should have no tracking parameters. They also would not be part of sponsored or paid content or affiliate marketing campaigns.
In reality, the distinction between natural and unnatural links will not always be so obvious. Some publishers may reference sources where their financial interest is not evident, but is present. The other way around, a link with UTM tracking parameters will not always be part of a paid campaign, as it could have been copied and pasted by someone who is trying to create an organic link. This last scenario is unlikely but possible.
How do natural links influence SEO?
Gaining natural links is the safest way to grow in search engine rankings and the best way to do off-site SEO. It may be inexact to describe natural links as part of a link building process or a an active SEO campaign, since natural links should occur outside of the control of the website owner who is trying to raise their domain authority and popularity. Link building through guest posts, advertorials, business directory listings and other such techniques is also considered a good way to improve SEO, but this will only get a website up to a certain level of domain authority. Quality, natural links can take it a step further. The only way website owners can increase the chances of earning natural links is to create quality content that others will find relevant and useful enough to quote and reference.