Digital Marketing, St. Louis SEO

What Is White Hat Link Building? A Beginner’s Guide

There are several things you need to know about white hat link building. You can check out our guide right here to learn more.

It’s an open secret that Google’s algorithm uses more than 200 factors to determine a page’s rank in the search results. That can make it difficult for even SEO experts to figure out what to focus their efforts on. If you’re just starting to use SEO, it can be even more challenging.

There are a few factors that carry more weight than others. One of the most important ones to focus on is links for your page.

As SEO has evolved, though, it’s become clear there are a right way and a wrong way to build links for your webpage.

This guide will introduce you to a white hat link building. That way, you can be sure to get links in ways that Google approves.

Defining White Hat Link Building

As established, one of Google’s ranking factors is links. The algorithm likes pages that have lots of other sites linking back to them.

Defining White Hat Link Building

There are two reasons for this. First, more links mean it’s more likely that Google’s web crawlers will find their way back to your page. This ease of finding you means it’s more likely Google will visit your site often and index it more thoroughly.

More important, links also act as “social proof” for your website. When another website links back to you, it’s a vote of confidence. It says, “This article knows what it’s talking about!”

That fact makes it clear why you need to have a good link building strategy in place. You want to make sure you’re building links the right way, though. That’s where white hat link building comes into play.

Building Links The Right Way

“White hat” techniques are that Google approves of. They compare with “black hat” techniques, which Google tends to punish.

What are white hat link building techniques? There are several, but you can try some of the following:

  • Guest blog entries.
  • Linked mentions on review sites.
  • Directories.
  • Affiliation links.

Directories and affiliation links are often the easiest to come by. You can team up with various bloggers, influencers, or other companies to link to each other’s sites. An example might be a coffee shop that links to the brand of coffee they serve, and the brand linking back.

Directories are sites like Google My Business and Yellow Pages. There are many others, of course. See if there are any that are industry-specific and set up a profile for your business.

Guest blog opportunities are numerous if you know where to look for them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to bloggers. They’re often looking for new and exciting content, and they’d be happy to have you write an article or two.

Review sites often look at products or services, but they may not link back to your website. Reach out to reviewers and web hosts to ask if they’d give you a link. It’s not an unreasonable request, and if they like your product, chances are they will.

You can also return the favor, especially for those who have praised what your business offers.

Linking Strategies To Avoid

Linking Strategies To Avoid

The linking strategies discussed above are considered legitimate by Google. In the wrong hands, though, they can become “black hat” link building techniques.

Black hat techniques are the opposite of white hat SEO link building. People still use them, and they might even net you short-term results. Google frowns on these techniques, though, so your site will suffer in the long term.

It can be tough to tell where the line between black and white hate techniques is because they look similar. Black hat techniques include:

  • Buying links.
  • Joining networks to trade links.
  • Getting links from low-quality or spam sites.

If you ask your friends and business partners to link to your site, are you “trading” links? If you ask for a link from a reviewer, are you letting a low-quality site link back to you?

Most often, the answer is no. As long as you’re not buying links or joining networks to trade, you’re likely not engaged in black hat techniques.

Tips For Getting Good Links

Generally speaking, if you do SEO link building the right way, you shouldn’t run afoul of Google’s rules. So, how can you make sure you’re using white hat techniques and not black hat tactics?

Always look at the quality of a website and its content before you ask for a link. A high-quality review site is much more valuable to you than a bunch of lower-quality sites.

Also, take a look at the relevance of the content. A site talking about your product or service is great. Google might find it suspicious if the site reviews your product and no other products.

A good quality link is from a site that has expertise in your area. A car dealership linking to a site that sells car parts is a good fit. Linking to a beauty blogger is much less relevant.

When you want to build links, you should think about networking over time. SEO link building services promising overnight results will get links from less than reputable sites. These can look like spam, and you may not want to be associated with the sites at the other end of the link.

Finally, if you’re not sure how to get started, you can look to the experts. A reputable SEO company will use these link building strategies and other white hat techniques. That way, they can help you achieve long-term results.

Boosting Your SEO Success

At first glance, white hat link building might seem tough, but it’s a lot easier than you might think. Think about connecting with bloggers, other companies, and more to build a network. The right link building strategy will help you achieve long-term SEO success.

SEO is about more than just links, so keep other factors in mind too! Website design plays a big role as well. If you want to achieve a more effective design, take a look at some of the tips in our archives!