White-Hat Link Building: What Is It and Why Does It Matter
What Does White-Hat Mean?
Simply speaking, ‘white-hat technique’ is any SEO technique that is in line with what Google deems as ‘acceptable’ and even encourages it. These practices are important for your off-page SEO strategy. White-hat doesn’t just refer to link-building; rather it’s a collection of SEO techniques of which link-building is a crucial part.
When you implement a white-hat strategy, you are essentially playing by Google’s rules and regulations. The purpose of white-hat practices, in general, is to allow the best, most relevant, and most helpful content to rank higher up.
The idea is to help searchers get good experience and valuable content instead of marketers manipulating the technicalities and algorithms of SEO to rank higher using ‘dirty’ practices.
Why Should You Engage Only in White-Hat Link Building?
The reason why any web marketer should follow only white-hat practices for link-building is that they will stand the test of time. That means when Google rolls out any new update, all the work you have done so far will remain unaffected.
On the other hand, black-hat practices (though they may seem to yield quick returns), are highly unreliable in the long-run. Also, if Google recognizes you engaging in anything that it finds undesirable or ‘fishy’, it may penalize you in a variety of ways, such as:
- By banning your website
- Pushing down your pages
- Hurting your rankings thus spoiling years of hard work
Black-hat link building is serious stuff that you must avoid at all costs. This means, avoiding using link farming, auto-generating or spinning content to produce quick links, or buying or selling links if you want to develop an effective SEO strategy.
Top White Hat Link Building Methods
The good old blogging! It’s possibly the simplest way to build links in a completely natural and organic manner. You can publish a bunch of blogs and internally link them with one another.
By optimizing your content for all the right keywords, you can get your blogs to rank higher in the SERPs.
A high ranking blog means more and more publications would want to cite and link back to it. You must, therefore, make sure that the blogs are helpful, authoritative, and high-quality.
Guest posting is when you reach out to other publications and blogs in your niche and request to write on their behalf. This is a highly effective method of link building (although it’s quite time-consuming and lengthy).
But, if done right – a few high-authority backlinks could give you a lot of link juice. It could do wonders in pushing you higher for the right keywords in search results. However, make sure to reach out to authoritative and reputable sites.
Infographics are big on visuals. They provide information with the help of descriptive images and visuals. Although it can be time-consuming to create an infographic, they are again a promising way to earn backlinks. Make sure to keep the blog you want to link back to in mind when creating an infographic.
After creating the graph, you can place the link under the resources section. You can then reach out to reputable sites to publish the infographic so you can get a link back from them.
Creating a Linkable Asset
A linkable asset is essentially any piece of content that provides in-depth insight into future trends or something that answers a question which a lot of people are asking. One classical example of a linkable asset would be list posts and case studies.
These types of content get a lot of shares on social media, hence, they are an excellent way to generate promising, authentic, and quality backlinks. It’s good to aim for approximately 2,500 words while creating linkable asset content.
Encourage Social Media Shares
This is easily one of the most promising avenues through which you can get more and more people to discover your content. If they like what they see, they’re likely to share it with their friends and relatives. The more shares you get, the more backlinks you could gain.
But, to make that possible, you must regularly connect with your audiences so they feel like sharing the content.
You ask to write testimonials and reviews about a product or a service you’ve used in the industry. Many companies would readily give you a backlink in exchange for you writing a review about their product.
When testimonials come from industry experts, they carry even more weightage. Testimonials and reviews are something that can be an effective link-building strategy.
Using Business Listings & Website Directories
Business listings can be a great way for you to get free backlinks (only if it applies to your business). For instance, if you are a restaurant, you could get your restaurant listed in a free online directory.
You can also find website directories that accept articles and give you backlink in return. However, be sure to check the PA (Page Authority) and DA (Domain Authority).
Facebook, Yahoo, and Google are also authority sites where you can get your business registered to secure backlinks.
Link building is one of the most promising ways in which to boost your company’s SEO and online ranking. However, you must stick with all of Google’s guidelines in terms of what it sees as black and what it sees as white.