There are several types of inbound links a website can get, each with a different value associated with them. Here we will explore a few of them:
A contextual inbound link is usually a one-way link that appears to be the most natural, and therefore has the most value. This is a link pointing to you within the body text of another website, and links to you with descriptive text. This could be a blog post, news article or other.
A sidebar link is one that appears in the sidebar of a page, and is usually replicated through many or every page of the site. Every modern blog has a sidebar, and is usually filled with links and resources to other sites. Some of these can provide value such as a descriptive text link, versus an image.
A footer link is one that appears in every page way down at the bottom of the page. It usually contains credits to the companies that design, build and host a website. These are considered to be lower in value than a contextual or sidebar link.
Reciprocal links are websites that exchange links with each other, usually on a “Links” page or similar. These have been heavily devalued over the years, as search engines started to see a trend of massive link building with sites that were not at all related. Some reciprocal links are good if they come from authoritative sources, the content is related, and are not the majority type of links pointing to the site.