So much has already been said about white hat link building. It is cost-effective, sustainable, and the RIGHT way to get backlinks.
In truth, however, the lines can get pretty blurry. How so?
The “bad” hats (black and grey) use the same techniques as white hats. Think about it!
You would still use the same linkable assets and guest posts. So, what is the hype about?
Is white hat even white?
What even makes a link white hat?
More importantly, what are the best practices in white link building?
How can you ensure you’re all white with no grey or black stains?
This article will answer all the questions — and more.
What Do We Understand By White Hat Links?
In simple “Google” definition, white hat links are backlinks built naturally. Naturally, as in, not violating Google Search Essentials.
But isn’t that the same as black and grey hat links?
Here is another way to look at it:
Black and grey hat SEOs use quirky techniques to deceive readers and the bots to get quick results.
On the other hand, white hat link building doesn’t involve any deceit. It works on a pure “value first, sharing after” principle.
But while that principle is the right thing, it can take time. However, you can rest assured that you won’t face any penalty or temporary ban from search results.
Even with our little explanation, you are possibly still confused about how white hat links differ from black and grey hats.
So, let’s look at the difference!
What Vs. Grey Vs. Black Hat Link Building
Let’s start with black hats!
Black hat SEO and links are furthest off Google Search Essentials. Often, the techniques are borderline criminal.
Imagine hacking someone’s site to insert a backlink!
Or what would you say about someone who would create a plugin only to insert a hidden, shady backdoor?
So, how do white hats compare to black hats?
To be plain: there is no comparison at all. White hats are not hidden. The value is shown publicly, and the backlinks follow for all to see.
The only similarity is that black and white have hats behind them. That’s all!
What about grey hats?
Grey hats, not to be confused with gray, are not as shady as black hats. Even at that, they are not “white.”
Grey hat techniques combine both white and black hat tactics and strategies.
If you think long enough about grey hats, you’ll see they are the trickiest. How so?
In truth, however, grey hats can easily be misunderstood for white hat link building.
So, how can you tell the difference?
When you’re in doubt, remember this:
- If your link building campaign doesn’t start with value first. It isn’t a white hat.
- Lastly, did you at any point in the campaign violate Google Search Essentials?
If not, that’s a white hat. Otherwise, you’re probably knee-deep in “a grey or black shit.”
How To Know If A Link Is A White Hat
Google’s definition of “white hat building” is strict. If you’re new to link building, you might even be confused.
Let’s explain what we mean better!
Going by Google’s definition, links are only white when earned. In other words, there will be zero outreach from your end.
But is that all there is to white hat links?
A link can also be a white hat if you do outreach. Check out these examples:
- Website owners reach out after you promote your linkable assets through Google Ads. That’s a white hat link.
- When you pitch a website owner an article, and he decides to publish it — say it’s what his audience wants. That’s also a white hat link.
In summary: adding outreach to any linking building strategy does not corrupt it. In fact, it will boost the effectiveness of the entire process.
Note: the only thing that will taint your white hat links is actively paying to get them.
Why Is White Hat Link Building Important?
White hat link building prioritizes forging genuine connections and fostering long-lasting partnerships with other respectable websites as opposed to its black hat cousin, which depends on deceptive and unethical hat methods.
Websites can gain from increased user trust, user experience and domain authority by gaining links from reliable sources.
White hat solutions are not only vital but also crucial for sustainable, long-term success as search engines like Google have developed to become more adept at recognizing unethical link-building techniques.
White hat link building promotes the creation of worthwhile and high-quality content and the development of sincere connections among participants in the online ecosystem, which serves to increase organic traffic as well as to establish a strong and reputable online presence.
Now, let’s delve into white hat link building best practices.
10 Best Practices Of White Hat Link Building
To ease you into the practices, we’ll start from the simplest to the most time-consuming. None of the techniques are hard. Cheers!
1. Using Surfer
You might find it surprising how Surfer can be beneficial for white hat linking strategies. Even though this method might seem unusual, it’s effective. Here’s how it works:
- Surfer serves two main purposes to enhance your white hat campaigns:
- Surfer acts as a tool to optimize your content. It goes beyond just suggesting keywords. It identifies weaknesses in articles that are ranking well for your target keyword.
Recently, Surfer introduced a “growth” feature on its dashboard. This feature provides you with focused suggestions about what kind of content you should add to your website. But how does this help?
Creating new content based on thorough research can significantly increase your website’s organic traffic. Consequently, this boost in traffic can improve your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
The most appealing aspect of this approach is its natural progression. Interestingly, you won’t need to engage in any external outreach efforts.
Now, consider the potential impact if you were to combine this strategy with outreach endeavors!
2. Using Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) operates in a manner akin to Surfer’s growth feature.
Through GSC, you receive recommendations on aligning every aspect of your website, from site speed and mobile-friendliness to content quality, with Google’s Guidelines, thus enhancing your search engine rankings.
However, how precisely does GSC contribute to *white hat link building strategies while avoiding low-quality and potentially harmful links associated with private blog networks?
GSC incorporates a function known as the “top linking sites report.” This report furnishes you with a compilation of all the pages, subdomains, and domains that are linked to your site.
By assessing this list, you can distinguish between high-quality links that positively impact your site’s credibility and those that may lead to search engine penalties.
So, what’s the significance?
These pages, subdomains, and domains are already linking to your site due to the trust they have in your content’s quality. In other words, they are likely to do so again.
Leveraging this established trust, you can share your new articles with these sites promptly upon publication, thus enhancing your presence in search engine results and strengthening your high-quality link profile.
3. Featuring On Podcasts
If you feel confident expressing your thoughts and ideas, you might want to think about joining a podcast. You don’t need to host the show; you can be a guest and share your perspectives.
But is there proof that podcasts actually work?
Yes, there is. Here’s how it works:
People who create a piece of content, like writers, journalists, bloggers, and social media influencers, use podcasts to make their written work and online content more trustworthy. Why does this matter?
These are the people you want to connect with.
Imagine if professionals not only talked about your contributions in podcasts but also shared direct links to your website. This is a fair and ethical way to do it, without any sneaky tactics.
And here’s another thing: podcast organizers often write articles about each episode. This gives you more chances to get brand mentions and good links to your work.
Think about all the connections you could make from being on just one podcast.
Here’s a good idea: try reaching out to important people in your field who host podcasts. Being on their shows will show off what you know and get you good links.
This is called “white hat” linking. It’s about building real connections and working with trustworthy websites, not being tricky.
Getting links from good sources can make your web pages look better and make people trust it more.
Search engines like Google are getting better at finding sneaky tricks with links. So, using honest strategies is really important if you want to do well online.
“White hat” linking is a good strategy. It’s about making great stuff and building real relationships online. This not only brings more people to your site but also makes your online reputation stronger.
4. Creating Unique Statistics Reports
Are you familiar with Muck Rack?
If so, what’s one of the initial thoughts that comes to mind regarding the brand and brand awareness?
Are you aware of Muck Rack’s State of PR or Journalism report and its impact on content marketing?
Even if you’re not acquainted with Muck Rack, a quick search on a search engine like Google will unveil the widespread recognition of their studies and publications, contributing to their strong brand awareness.
You can adopt that approach for your content marketing strategy.
Why should you consider it?
Similar to podcasts, journalists often incorporate statistical highlights into their articles to enhance credibility, provide actionable insights, and improve organic search visibility.
To sum up, journalists are actively seeking relevant reports that can contribute to their articles and boost organic search rankings.
The more distinctive your approach, the greater the potential for attracting legitimate and relevant links and improving your organic search presence.
The most appealing aspect: this strategy necessitates no proactive outreach. Reporters will initiate contact with you based on the value your study provides.
5. Creating Interesting Infographics
Infographics are often considered to be the most frequently shared linkable content, surpassing even e-books and resource sites in terms of popularity. The reasons for this phenomenon are evident and easily discernible.
- Infographics are visual representations that convey information or data in a concise and engaging manner.
- The aforementioned entities exhibit brevity.
One interesting piece of information is that KISSmetrics made a financial investment of $28,000 towards the creation of infographics. The investment resulted in generating referral traffic and organic traffic valued at $1 million.
In conclusion, infographics are valuable resources. It is recommended that one should do an exploration of these concepts in order to ascertain the connections they possess.
However, despite the high demand for infographics, there seems to be a lack of production by other individuals or entities.
We have authored a comprehensive scholarly study on the topic of infographic link development.
This strategy is employed by marketers and search engine optimization specialists. Emulate the same behavior or action.
In order to enhance the appeal of your infographics, it is advisable to prioritize appealing visual elements while minimizing the use of textual content.
6. Using Guest Posts or Niche Edits
If you work in the field of SEO, you should be well acquainted with the practice of guest posting. This method is crucial for building links and is considered a cornerstone of our link building strategies.
The most appealing aspect is that guest posting remains effective consistently, much like how the quality of vintage wine improves over time.
However, there is a caveat.
Guest posting is highly adaptable. It is so versatile that you can even find it being used in questionable link building practices, often referred to as grey and black hat techniques.
In simpler terms, it’s important to approach the creation and distribution of your guest posts thoughtfully. Avoid situations where you are directly paying to have your guest posts published or shared.
Now, let’s shift our focus away from the conventional, ethical link building methods. It’s time to explore techniques that might be less commonly used but can yield the most significant results.
7. Using Broken Links
While opinions remain divided concerning the efficacy of broken link building for acquiring high-quality backlinks and establishing high authority, the approach can yield results when executed correctly.
We have authored an extensive guide detailing the “how-to” of building backlinks along with the recommended tools and link building services.
Access the article here!
On the whole, broken link building not only maintains a 100% white hat status, even in terms of outreach, but it also offers the opportunity to obtain valuable content that can result in great content and valuable backlinks. However, the process is far from effortless.
There may be a requirement to install specific plugins and invest in subscriptions to access these benefits, but the outcomes justify the investment. How is that so?
White hat backlinks acquired through “broken links” are earned by delivering value and offering solutions, making the process a genuine way to build high-quality backlinks.
Unlike many other SEO strategies, this approach actively addresses an issue and provides an avenue to establish high authority through great content.
In essence, it ensures compliance with Google’s anti-spam policies while offering substantial value in terms of link building and content creation.
8. Using HARO
Assistance for Reporters [HARO], a form of link building falling under white hat SEO techniques, is a method that adheres to ethical practices.
It can be considered one of the most direct and time-efficient among the various SEO techniques and SEO tactics that require a significant time investment. Why is that?
HARO is fundamentally a curated compilation of inquiries put forth by journalists and reporters, making it a valuable avenue for guest blogging and securing backlinks.
These professionals are inclined to incorporate your links within their articles, given that you provide assistance in fulfilling their requirements with high-quality and relevant content.
The MOST appealing aspect is that you possess the autonomy to select the specific fields in which you wish to contribute.
This enables you to focus on your areas of expertise and offer your valuable insights as a part of your digital marketing strategy, thereby leveraging HARO as a means of obtaining backlinks.
The beauty of HARO lies in the absence of any outreach pitches when participating. Your interaction revolves around explaining how your article or response can be beneficial to the journalist, emphasizing the relevant content you can provide.
As a result, when the article is prepared, the journalist will naturally cite your input, making it a valuable type of link for your Search Engine Optimization efforts.
Similar white hat link building technique: PR backlinks
9. Using Case Studies
Case studies are not only opportunities to get white hat backlinks. They are authority and trust votes.
BTW, we don’t mean the typical testimonial sections on your homepage or a customer on a YouTube video. No, that’s not it!
Make your case studies detailed. Here’s a short guide:
- Where was the customer before he started using your product?
- What was the problem?
- How did your product solve the problem — how soon, and by what percentage?
- What point is the customer now with your product — what has changed?
But should you care?
Only detailed and “storied” case studies will get picked up by journalists, authors, and reporters. Such studies will stand out and earn you top-notch white hat backlinks.
10. Using Linkable Assets
Linkable assets encompass a variety of content types, such as infographics, articles, or unique reports. These assets have the potential to attract legitimate and white hat backlinks to your website.
Nevertheless, there exists an opportunity for greater effectiveness. Envision linkable assets as cost-free utilities that hold paramount importance within your specific field or subject.
Several examples of such utilities are Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Hunter. These tools can prove invaluable.
To illustrate, consider a scenario where a dentist develops an online calculator predicting tooth decay timelines, hosted on their website. Similarly, a realtor might craft a tool estimating housing prices.
But why opt for tools?
The benefits extend beyond the acquisition of backlinks through conventional and ethical means. The outcomes are ongoing and perpetual.
Your enterprise stands to gain recommendations and direct sales, establishing a positive cycle of growth.
You’ll get white hat backlinks beyond articles. And it won’t stop. Your business will get referrals and direct sales.
White Hat Link Building, Though Strict & Stressful, Is Rewarding
Forget the confusion and the time requirement; nothing is as reassuring and gives peace of mind as building links naturally.
And in that department, white link hats are one of the top guns.
And as we discussed, you can add outreach to your white hat building. It won’t taint the strategy.