Without an online presence, you basically don’t exist.
From social media to web-hosted CVs, we use our public profiles to identify ourselves in the digital space.
But could these profile sites be leveraged for backlinks?
Link building is always evolving, and the tactics used to get backlinks range from the tried and tested to the somewhat more creative.
Using profile creation sites to point backlinks to your own site is one of those tactics that sits somewhere in the middle.
The idea is simple: Create a public profile, drop a link to your website.
Sounds almost too simple, right?
The trick here is to determine whether these profile link building sites can actually be used to build good backlinks.
Will they help you enough to be worth the trouble or will they just drag down your authority?
What is Meant with Profile Link Building Sites?
Profile link building sites refer to websites where users can sign up and create a public profile, for the main purpose of dropping a link in that profile.
The link will help funnel link juice from the profile creation site to yours.
In theory, if the profile link building site is high quality, then you can create a high-quality backlink.
An example of a high-quality site where you can drop a link in your profile is Gravatar, an avatar site owned by WordPress.
If you sign up, click on the Websites link on the sidebar to add a backlink to your site.
Once you've added your site and filled out your profile, click on the View Profile link at the bottom. From there, your profile page loads where the link to your site will be seen.
Profile link building entails finding sites that allow you to enter a link to your site on your public profile. It takes a couple of minutes to fill out your profile and publish it so that search spiders can index the page and its links.
Gravatar is just one of the many profile link building sites out there.
Here's a post that compile a list of sites where you can create an online profile and drop your link.
How to Determine if a Profile Creation Site is Worth Your Time
Going through the lists, you’ll probably encounter profile creation sites that aren’t so high quality as well as ones that are.
There are sites that look spammy at first glance. However, there are also sophisticated-looking sites that could pass as legit but are actually terrible sites to build links on from an SEO standpoint.
To determine if you should create a profile on a site, you can use our Backlink Checker to analyze the quality of the site. The tool will show you all the relevant metrics to help you determine if the site is worth creating a profile on and getting a backlink from.
To benchmark your link building campaign on profile creation sites, let’s check Gravatar backlink profile.
Among the metrics shown above, the two that need your utmost attention are the backlink quality metrics, Domain Strength and Page Strength.
When filtering sites to create profiles on, a good rule of thumb is to not sign up on sites with a Domain Strength of less than 40.
However, you can adjust the rules depending on your needs and the specifics of the site. For example, you might still create a profile on a highly relevant niche site, even if it has slightly lower domain metrics.
Looking at Gravatar, it has very high backlink metrics, which means it has a very good link profile and the sites that link back to it also link to good neighboring sites.
Based on this information, you definitely should create a profile on Gravatar.
But you’ll also come across sites that aren’t as ubiquitous as Gravatar. For lesser-known sites, there’s a greater chance that they have lower backlink metrics.
Since our goal is to create profiles on sites with high authority based on their backlink metrics, we need to come back to the Backlink Research tool to determine their metrics and quality.
For example, let’s choose About.me a profile creation site for freelancers.
Judging from the results above, this site has an above average Domain Strength score. What this means is that the site has high authority.
So, use your common sense here.
If you were a freelancer, About.me would be highly relevant and probably worth creating a profile on, even though its quality metrics aren’t as high.
As someone who's not a freelancer or within that industry, however, I would personally skip this site and keep searching for sites with better quality, at least for now. Once you’ve made your way through the list, you can revisit the lower quality sites if your strategy still needs a boost.
The Pros and Cons of Profile Creation Sites
As with most link building tactics, there are pros and cons of using profile sites that you need to consider.
Ideally, you want to implement a range of tactics to help boost your site’s organic rankings. However, given your limited resources, you can only build so many links in a period.
This reason is why you need to limit your strategy to a select few tactics so that you can efficiently build links and get the most results from your plan.
Since we’ve discussed profile link building sites in depth, it’s time to determine if this tactic is worth your time.
Pro: Helps Diversify Your Link Profile
If you feel you’ve exhausted all possible link building tactics, then you might as well busy yourself with creating profiles and leaving backlinks on high-authority sites.
Like I said earlier, it only takes a couple of minutes to sign up for an account on each site and set up your profile. Not to mention, it makes your link profile look strong since you’re not building the same types of links.
Links from user profiles are a welcome addition to your link building campaign, especially if you’ve run down other tactics to the ground.
Con: Low-Impact Link Building & Very Time-Consuming
Creating profiles on these sites is not a very demanding job. However, it’s a very tedious and repetitive task that could bore you to tears.
A quick solution to this problem is to hire someone to input the data of your profile to all the different profile sites.
But, the links you’ll generate from these sites aren’t really as valuable as you’d imagine.
Even when the link is found on a site with formidable domain metrics, the problem is that the link is found in your user profile. This page is not a place of interest to most sites’ visitors.
Therefore, its value pales in comparison to a contextual link featured in a blog post, for example, which is normally a high-traffic page.
You could end up paying someone hundreds of dollars to sign up and create profiles for you, but still not see the needle move in terms of your organic search rankings.
Con: Not Really Useful from a User’s Perspective
As mentioned, nobody actively searches for user profiles. They’d rather look for a good blog post packed with actionable tips.
A user profile merely contains information about yourself.
The only time user profiles will be helpful is if you develop authority in your community. As a result, people will be compelled to check out your profile and potentially click on your site.
But as far as one-and-done link building campaigns using profile creation sites go, it doesn’t bring any value to your target audience.
So, Are They Worth It?
Now that you know how profile link building sites work, are you willing to include this tactic in your link building strategy?
As mentioned above, profile creation sites are a low-risk, low-reward type of link building. It’s probably not something that you’d focus your attention on, especially if you’re in the early stages of link building.
The reason is that they’re not strong enough to be the backbone of your link profile.
Profile link building sites are ideal for websites with an already established backlink profile, and that need to add a variety of links to further solidify it.
It’s a worthwhile tactic, but only when you’re looking for diversification rather than link strength.