How to Acquire Podcast Backlinks & Rank Higher

Quality backlinks are a vital part of your SEO strategy, no matter what type of content you create or what products or services you sell. But how do you acquire podcast backlinks? And why are they so crucial to success?

To quote Brandon Gaille of the Blogging Millionaire podcast, "The Kryptonite for a large number of bloggers is link building." Too few brands, bloggers and podcast hosts are taking advantage of the chance to build podcast backlinks.

Even though podcasts are an audio format, they spawn written and visual content too. And those show notes and articles are the content that helps determine your search engine ranking.

What is podcast link building?

Also known as inbound links, backlinks are connections to your content from other websites.

For example, you record a guest interview on a podcast. When the episode airs, you get a link back to your business website in the podcast summaries. That connects you with another website in your industry or niche.

You know that another name for the internet is "the Web." That's because it really is like an infinite, invisible spider's web with trillions of strands and connections. Every genuine link or connection you make strengthens your site's authority and makes it easier to get organic traffic and higher search rankings.

Podcast backlinks improve Google ranking

Properly done, link building is a win-win strategy.

You've probably already spotted a backlink in this post's intro. Brandon Gaille's six-episode podcast miniseries on acquiring backlinks gave me a pertinent quote, and my credit goes back to his website.

Whether you're a host or guest, you can make link building work its magic if you create and attract links to and from your podcast website.

People tend to rush straight to bloggers when they think of this strategy and miss the value of audio and video podcasts. So, why not get ahead of the game and make a deliberate link-building strategy using podcasts?

Boost your website traffic on Google

Not all links are created equal.

Podcast directories like Spotify and Apple Podcasts have 'nofollow' links.

These small pieces of HTML code (rel=" nofollow") attached to the links tell the Search Engine to ignore that link. Anyone who clicks it gets to the destination, but Google, Bing and the likes don't pay any attention to it.

Nofollow links can still drive referral traffic, but they won't help your link-building efforts in the search results. The links that count for SEO come to and from the show notes on a podcast's own website, and sometimes the podcast hosting site.

Types of podcast backlinks

A word of caution — beware of sharks.

A heap of internet "sharks" appeared when linking became popular in blogging. These get-rich-quick-scammers are still around, offering to sell you backlinks (sometimes called "dofollow" links.)

That strategy might have worked a decade ago, but Google, Duck Duck Go and the other search engines are much more discerning now. In fact, they actively penalize you if they catch you with a paid link. Paid links are not worth the risk.

Benefits of implementing a podcast backlink strategy

High-ranking pages on search engines

We all know how important it is to rank highly on the top search engine results page. Most people don't look beyond the first page; some don't look beyond the first five entries. Why should they? There are more than enough quality entries there to satisfy most queries.

Your business will benefit from podcast link building because backlinks are a way to build up domain authority and shoot you up the results list. So, backlinks from a podcast's site are valuable to your business, as are your links back to them.

Content lasts forever

Podcasts are evergreen content. If you're a guest, a new audience could find your podcast episode days, weeks, months and years after you recorded it.

That means they can also find their way to your business page and products.

Podcast listener in 2050

Referrals are great for business.

Sometimes the host will build links into the podcast description as well as a blog post, article or transcript on their site. It's a benefit because it's easy for listeners to click the link to follow up with you and your business. However, as we've said, those nofollow links won't help with SEO.

You gain a new audience

Relationship building is key to any industry these days. Podcasts are a terrific way to inform new people about your brand, especially if you have been interviewed on an industry-related show.

It's the reason so many authors and business people put time into hosting or appearing on podcasts. They understand that when you feel entertained and informed, you'll probably want to learn more about the guest. Backlinks make that search simple and quick.

Podcast link-building tactics

Be a guest

Build authority as an industry expert by appearing as a podcast guest. Guesting is a win for everyone. Most hosts with an interview format are looking for quality guests in their niche who can offer value to their listeners.

At the same time, you want to appear on influential shows in your niche to demonstrate your expertise, build your network, attract more of your target audience, and connect back to your business.

Podcast guesting

Podcast guest example:

Keenya Kelly, CEO of marketing firm Brand It, appeared on The Smart Passive Income Online Business and Blogging Podcast to discuss marketing strategies on TikTok.

This episode increases Keenya's authority as a marketing influencer and creates links between her site, social media accounts, and SPI media.

Backlinks from SPI Media to their podcast guest.

Read more about how to get interviewed on podcasts here.

Host a podcast and invite guests

Now, when you host your own podcast you might invite experts as guests too.

Ask them to promote their episode on their social media platforms AND their website.

Podcast host example:

Social Media posts are indirect links because search engines don't use them for ranking.

Guests often link to their episodes on their social media platforms. Those links don't count as true backlinks, because the search engines don't factor them into the rankings.

Nevertheless, social media is still crucial for widely promoting each episode. Marketing guru Neil Patel says that "social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings for brand names."

So, a social media post creates an indirect link to your podcast, but the link from your guest's website is a true SEO backlink. Ideally you want your guests to promote their episode through all possible channels.

If your guest is a fellow podcaster, they'll want some cross-promotion and a backlink from your podcast to their site too. You can find out more about cross-promoting your podcast here.

If you're a business brand you may look at creating a backlink through sponsoring a podcast.

Podcast sponsorship example:

Pat Flynn's company SPI Media has multiple sponsors. The links on his podcast page not only advertise the sponsors, but they are also affiliate links bringing extra income to Pat every time someone buys through the link and more customers for the sponsors - a win-win for both the host and sponsor!

If you're keen on sponsoring podcasts, check out our Ultimate Guide for all the steps.

Branded episodes

Your brand may be more interested in sponsoring a single, targeted episode rather than a whole podcast. Done correctly, that sponsorship copy can be more engaging than a standard host-read ad.

And, naturally, as a valued sponsor, you'll get a link (or maybe more than one) from the podcast, too.

Episode sponsorship example:

Here's Pat Flynn's promo to this "Ask Pat" episode sponsor. Notice the genuine plug for a product that he uses and knows his entrepreneurial audience will value too.

(Did you spot the link in this episode transcript on SPI?)

How to find relevant podcasts to pitch

Finding suitable podcasts to pitch
  1. Search through Apple Podcasts, Chartable or a similar tool for podcasts in your category, subcategory or niche. E.g., Category: Business, Subcategory: Marketing. Or you can be more specific and use Rephonic to look for shows that contain specific keywords, e.g. 'marketing for millennials'.
  2. Check that the show has a website and while you're at it, look through the entire site to get a feel for how the podcast promotes its featured guests.
  3. One critical factor is the domain authority of the podcast website. Check it on a platform like SEMrush/Ahrefs and discard anything with a domain under 30 (another tip from Brandon Gaille's link-building series.) When you're aiming to build links through podcast episodes, you want to pitch podcasts with high domain authority first, so you may want to configure your list from highest to lowest.
  4. Locate these podcasts' email addresses and podcast hosting site.
  5. Check each podcast's listener numbers and their ratings and reviews to see how much positive engagement they get from their target audience (easy if you do your research on Rephonic!).
  6. Listen to a few pertinent episodes to decide if a) the podcast fits your needs, b) get some insight into the host's style, and c) find an interesting quote to use in your pitch.
  7. Pitch the top ten podcasts on your list, wait for their replies, then pitch the next ten if necessary. Keep your pitch short but enticing.

Save time by searching for podcasts with Rephonic

If the above list sounds exhausting, you can save lots of time and energy by completing the steps using Rephonic.

For example, I took these steps to find podcasts that talk about backlinks.

  • Search the podcast topics section for "backlinks".
  • Use Rephonic's List feature to create a list of podcasts.
  • Click the link to the Blogging Millionaire podcast page on Rephonic to see the stats (audience numbers, social engagement etc.)
  • Tap the Episodes link to listen.
  • Copy/paste the Blog Millionaire URL and check the domain authority using Ahrefs/SEMrush.
  • Pitch the podcast using the contact info provided and Rephonic's dedicated pitching tool.

Clicking on one of these options leads me to a series of ready-to-use templates or the chance to write an email from scratch.


It takes a significant amount of effort if you want long-term success with podcasting. But with great effort can come great reward, especially if you use all the tools for success.

Creating quality content is obviously the crucial first step for a podcast host. For a potential guest, the hard work comes with all the research and pitching required to land plenty of interview spots.

And in both cases, creating excellent backlinks is key to a winning SEO strategy.

To reduce the hassle and hard work, find the best podcasts with Rephonic today. Get started with a free trial.

Lyn McNamee

Lyn McNamee

Writer at Rephonic

Find, pitch and get featured on podcasts

Rephonic gives you listener numbers, contacts, demographics and more across 2.5m+ podcasts.

Lyn McNamee

Lyn McNamee

Writer at Rephonic

Find, pitch and get
featured on podcasts

Rephonic gives you listener numbers, contacts, demographics and more across 2.5m+ podcasts.