White Hat Link Building

Adam Steele
Mar 17
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Link building is an important part of any successful SEO campaign.

But with Google’s ever-changing algorithms, it can be hard to know what techniques are considered “white hat” and which ones will get you penalized…

To keep you on the straight and narrow, here we’ll cover:

  • What white, black, and gray link building strategies are,
  • why white hat link building strategies are ideal,
  • and we’ll break down three super potent white hat tactics that you can use to boost your website’s rankings.

White Hat Link Building

Let’s be real, link building can be an incredibly slow and frustrating process.

So much so, it can turn SEOs, content marketers, and digital marketers to employ, well, less than savory tactics.

We’re looking at you black and gray hats.

While it may be tempting to lean into black and gray hat techniques, they can lead to penalties that will substantially hurt your website’s ranking.

White hat link building, on the other hand, won’t risk the good name of your website.

What is White Hat Link Building?

White hat link building techniques are essentially those that focus on building links naturally and organically, as opposed to through more unscrupulous means, such as engaging in black hat link building.

White hat link building is the preferred method of link building as it produces results that align with search engine’s guidelines, like Google Search Central (formerly Webmasters).

Generally, white hat link building is a more sustainable long-term strategy, yet slower and more labor intensive than other techniques.

This relatively slow growth is why some website owners turn to the alluring quick-wins of black hat tactics. Although, as you’ll find out soon, black hat SEO techniques are rarely worth the time nor money.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of white hat SEO tactics, check out this case study conducted by Bill Widmer. Here, Bill put Google-compliant white hat techniques to the test.

The end results? He came out on top.

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Bill established his website in a highly competitive niche (RV accessories), received upwards of 1,000 daily blog visitors, and generated over $36,000 in affiliate sales.

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But perhaps more relevant to the topic of white hat link building, the post that brought in Bill’s biggest wins, “50+ Best RV Accessories”, has now generated 130 backlinks and counting.

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+1 more now we’ve linked to it.

You can thank us later, Bill.

Read more: Black Hat Link Building

Why is white hat link building important?

Link the benefits of link building in general, white hat link building is important as it helps websites earn backlinks from authoritative, high-quality websites. This, in turn, helps websites to

  • boost their search engine rankings,
  • attract more visitors,
  • improve its authority and credibility,
  • and increase conversions, sales, and overall site profitability.

White Hat vs Black Hat vs Gray Hat

Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are divided into three categories: white hat, black hat, and gray hat.

  • White hat SEO is the most ethical and honest approach, relying on strategies that improve the user experience and promote sustainable search engine rankings.
  • Black hat SEO is far less scrupulous, employing unethical techniques like keyword stuffing, link spamming, and cloaking. These tactics are all employed to artificially inflate organic traffic or search engine results page (SERP) rankings. Black hat SEO tactics may cause some quick wins, but they come with high risks. Over time, Google’s algorithm has become more and more adept at identifying these tactics and will quickly penalize websites that decide to try their hand at black hat techniques.
  • Gray hat SEO techniques are those that lie somewhere in the middle of the black and white hat methods, employing some questionable tactics but not crossing the line into straight-up non-compliance with search engine guidelines. These techniques can be effective but also risky, as they can cause penalties if used excessively or improperly. Some common gray hat methods include link building from through public blog networks (PBN), keyword stuffing, and creating spun content.

3 White Hat Link Building Techniques (That Work)

To help you avoid SEO tactics that may result in penalties and a subsequent drop in SERP positioning, here are three white hat link building techniques you can employ for long-term gains.

1. Guest Post Outreach

Guest post outreach is a technique used by content marketers to identify, connect, and build lasting relationships with other site owners, bloggers, and content creators. The relationship is based upon the premise of you creating high-quality content for your new partner’s website.

Why would you bother to do this?

Well, the two primary advantages of this approach are that guest posting will 1) award your website quality backlinks and 2) lead to more opportunities for promotion and collaboration in the future.

So how is guest posting white hat?

Google views guest blogging as a way to build high-quality backlinks organically. By writing guest posts for third-party websites, you are adding great content to their site and providing a valuable resource for their readers.

There are some serious benefits to guest posting, these include:

  • Reach a bigger audience – Have your links and content seen by more people.
  • Build your brand – Cultivate a powerful presence with your industry niche.
  • Bolster your domain authority – Inbound links from other websites improve your search engine rankings, strengthen your backlink profile, and boost organic traffic.
  • Build a relevant profile – Develop your online presence on third-party, authoritative blogs.

To secure a backlink through this process, you’ll need to:

  1. Identify blogs that accept submissions.
  2. Conduct outreach through social media, email, blog commenting, or directly through their website.
  3. Provide a high-quality article or any other piece of content, like an infographic, that is relevant to their blog’s audience.
  4. And, once the article is accepted, the site owner will include a backlink to your website in the byline or the article body.

2. HARO

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a free service that connects journalists with expert sources for their stories. Sources (that’s you) can sign up to receive daily queries from journalists looking for experts in various fields, who then have the opportunity to respond to any queries that interest them.

By providing expert sources for journalists, HARO can help you obtain high-quality backlinks from seriously high-authority websites – we’re talking Forbes, New York Post, Greatist, and more.

Nice.

Obtaining backlinks through HARO is considered white hat because it is a legitimate way to get non-spammy, relevant links from high-quality sources.

This tactic involves providing valuable content that is valuable to readers, rather than trying to game the system by creating low-quality links. Additionally, HARO requires users to sign up for an account and provide their contact information, which ensures that only industry experts and legitimate sources are submitting high-quality responses.

HARO has some significant benefits, these include:

  • Establish yourself and your business – Get your name, website, or product out in front of, potentially, millions of people and establish yourself and your brand as an expert resource in industry niches.
  • Diversify your backlink profile – Press release backlinks is one of the many backlink types that Google and other search engines see as a powerful ranking factor.
  • Bring exposure to your brand – Increase your brand awareness and visibility by driving targeted organic traffic from reporters looking for expert sources.

To secure a backlink through this process, you’ll need to:

  1. Create an account with Help A Reporter Out (HARO).
  2. Search for queries that match your expertise or topic of interest.
  3. Respond to queries that are relevant to your field of expertise.
  4. Craft responses that are well-written, informative, and on-topic.
  5. Include a link to your website or blog in your signature.
  6. Monitor the responses you submit and respond to questions from journalists.

3. Building a Network

Another very effective way for your website to obtain high-quality backlinks is to foster positive relations with brands in your niche, industry-relevant influencers, other complementary businesses, and editorial publications. In doing so, you’ll find greater opportunities to build your backlink profile through high-quality links.

You can do this through conventional outreach methods like email or through social media platforms like LinkedIn. Or you can contact fellow site owners by attending conferences and networking events. When reaching out, be sure to provide a compelling reason for them to link to your content, such as niche relevancy or by highlighting the benefits of SEO link building through association.

Don’t confuse this with private blog networks (PBNs), a black hat link building tactic where a group of websites that are owned by the same person link back to a website or web page of their choosing.

Rather, building backlinks through networking is considered white hat, as it is seen by Google to be a legitimate and organic way to improve a website’s search engine rankings.

Unlike other methods of building backlinks, such as using automated software, networking involves manually reaching out to other websites and pitching them with the intention of exchanging backlinks. This process can be slow and labor-intensive, but it is one of the most effective ways to improve your website’s ranking without violating Google’s Search Central guidelines.

Building backlinks through a network has some considerable benefits, these include:

  • Increase your reach – Backlink networks help to boost your exposure to new audiences, increase referral traffic, and gain more social shares.
  • Support your site’s way to the top – Quickly gain more traffic and online visibility by obtaining backlinks from popular websites and influencers.
  • Strengthen your SEO strategy – Streamlined on- and off-page SEO through link building helps search engine users find your website through organic search.
  • Boost your site’s metrics – Improve your website and webpage’s domain authority (DA/DR) and page authority (UR).

To secure a backlink through this process, you’ll need to:

  1. Identify websites that are relevant to your business or industry and have a similar domain authority to your own (this will give you the best chance of them agreeing to your proposal).
  2. Reach out to the site owners of these websites and ask if they would be interested in exchanging links.
  3. If they agree, create a link to their website on your own website and vice versa.
  4. Monitor your website’s backlink profile and make sure that the links you’ve exchanged remain active (broken links completely defeat the purpose).

Looking for White Hat Backlinks?

White hat link building strategies are the best way to increase website traffic and SEO ranking.

The techniques mentioned in this article are simple, effective, and ethical. Best of all, any business, large or small, can use them to improve their online presence and SERP rankings.

Here at Loganix, our link building services are a tried and tested method to improve your website’s SEO standings. Not only do we offer a variety of services that are sure to fit just about anybody’s budget, but we also have a team of experienced professionals who can help you achieve your desired results.

Written by Adam Steele on March 17, 2022

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.

Now it’s your turn.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you to spark a debate or lead a new discussion.

What in this post were you excited about? What was useful? What would you like to read more about?

Or maybe you just have a question about something you read.

Either way, let us know in the comments below.

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