It is important for you to understand backlinks and link building. Check out this complete guide on white hat link building.
Backlinks. They’re the talk of webmasters all over. The importance of backlinks can’t be understated. Out of 200 ranking factors, backlinks are among the most important to rank higher in search results.
That doesn’t mean you need to run out and get any backlink to your site. That can hurt your SEO more than help it. That’s why you need to invest your time in white hat link building.
Read on to learn more about link building and incorporating white hat techniques for better search results.
White Hat vs. Black Hat
When you first get started in SEO, you’ll quickly learn that there are two ways of doing things. Google is in the business of giving good search results to its users. If it can’t do that, then it will lose a lot of business.
Ever since the beginning of search engine optimization, people would try to get around Google’s algorithm by bending the rules or even breaking them. That’s why Google shares its best practices for webmasters to follow.
It’s kind of like the old Highlights Magazine column of Goofus and Gallant.
Think of Gallant as a white hat SEO. He’s the one that goes above and beyond to do the right thing and follow the rules.
Goofus, on the other hand, will bend or break rules to get sites to rank higher. Some black hat techniques include stuffing keywords as many times as possible on one page. It can also include buying backlinks from spammy sites.
Black hat SEO will get your site to rank higher for a short time. However, that won’t last long. Expect Google’s algorithm to catch up with you and remove your site from the index. You won’t appear in search results at all.
How Does Google View Backlinks?
Among the most important things in SEO today is EAT. No, not what you just had for lunch. Expertise, Authority, and Trust are the core of SEO today.
Expertise is shown by having a lot of content about a certain topic. Let’s say you have a dozen articles on your site about yoga. Google’s algorithm will note that you have expertise in yoga, whether you’re a certified teacher or just a writer.
Trust and Authority are shown by being an authority in your field. In this area, you or your writers should have some kind of credentials, like reviews or testimonials. You can show trust by having a safe and secure site, like having an SSL certificate installed.
What does EAT have to do with backlinks? Google itself says that links can “give your site greater visibility in search results.”
Let’s say that you have a new website. You manage to get a link to your site from a major source like The Washington Post. The Washington Post has a very high EAT.
That level of EAT can carry over to your site as a trustworthy site. If you have a ton of backlinks from questionable sites and low EAT, then those backlinks will not matter as much as the one with high EAT.
Check Your Link Profile
Before you start building white hat backlinks to your site, you want to see where you stand now. This will give you a great baseline to build from.
Look for three things in your link profile: the amount and types of sites linking to yours, how you got those links, and the anchor text of those links.
What’s anchor text? It’s the text that’s highlighted and links to your site. Anchor text can be a brand, a couple of words related to the content, or a URL like https://seojet.net/blog/build-backlinks.
Another example of anchor text appears earlier in the article. Google itself is the anchor text that leads to information about building backlinks.
You can check out your backlink profile in Search Console or other SEO tools. You want to have links from high-quality sites and acquire them naturally. You should also have a mix of different types of anchor links.
What if You Have Spammy Backlinks?
The thing about getting backlinks is that you really can’t control whether a site links to you or not. You may have made a mistake and bought spammy links a while back.
You can see if those sites will remove the links and references to those sites. The other thing you can do is disavow them. This is a big step, so you want to use this option sparingly.
White Hat Link Building Recommendations
Now that you know the basics of backlinks, how can you get white-hat links to your site? Here are some of the ways you can get high-quality links to your site.
Always Have Great Content
Every SEO pro will say that search engine optimization starts and ends with great content. You should take a long look at Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines.
This is the manual used by people to rate websites and make improvements to Google’s algorithm. They always want to see high-quality sites rank at the top of search results.
Create Content for Others
Guest posting is another way to get links to your site. By writing quality content for others, you’re building your own expertise and authority while linking back to your site.
You can start by reaching out to industry publications and blogs to contribute content to. Pitch them stories that would benefit their respective audiences.
White Hat Link Building for Better SEO
When you’re looking to improve your search results, you should look at your link profile. That may be the key to better results.
Google’s algorithm sees links to your site as a vote for your content. You want to make sure that you have as many high-quality votes to your site as possible. White hat link building is the best way to do that.
Start by giving your site’s visitors high-quality content. You can then expand to contribute content to other sites.
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