There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to comparing “white-hat” SEO with “black hat” SEO.
We’re here to break down all the jargon surrounding the different “types” of links, what’s safe and what’s questionable, and everything else people wonder about white-hat backlink profiles (including how to do outreach to get them).
Let’s start with the different colored “hats” and what they mean.
What is the Difference Between Black-Hat and White-Hat Backlinking?
When people talk about SEO, they like to divide it into groups with different style “hats” – some that participate in black-hat link building tactics, and some that are 100% clean and compliant with Google – “the white hats.”
Here are some good ways to tell the difference between the two.
White-hat link building strategies:
- Follows Google’s guidelines
- Good user experience
- Has high-quality relevant links
- Improves website trust
- Gets high ranking organically
- Works long-term
- Ethical techniques
Black-hat SEO strategies:
- Violates Google’s guidelines
- Bad user experience
- Uses low-quality links
- Lowers trust in a website
- Works only in the short-term
- Uses unethical techniques
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the best reason for choosing white-hat vs black-hat search engine optimization is that it provides a cleaner, more ethical method for SEO link building.
What Are the Benefits of White-Hat Link Building Techniques?
While white-hat and black-hat SEO are both strategies that aim to optimize a website to rank higher in the SERPs, White Hat SEO offers strategies to be optimized more so under Google’s search engine guidelines instead of strategies used to just target an audience to get more traffic.
Black-hat methods run the risk of getting penalized by Google while white-hat methods are generally safer, good for business, and boost your rankings. To emphasize the importance of white-hat SEO, Google states that the two most important signals used by their search engine are high-quality content and link building.
Here are the major benefits of using White-Hat SEO links:
- Cost effective
- Build excitement and relationships
- Shared easily
- Less risk than black-hat
- More able to withstand Google algorithm updates
Using white-hat SEO tactics can save you time, money, and effort. This search engine strategy is great for long-term goals and creates a fantastic organic and natural approach that connects with other people.
This allows people and search engine results to share great content. White-hat tactics are worth it when put into place and don’t need to be quite as maintained through time and money.
Black-hat SEO tactics are built on spam, and shady dealings, whereas white-hat SEO tactics are built for success, long-term quality relationships with a reward of an increase in consumer excitement to be connected to companies and likable brands.
If you do choose to implement black-hat SEO tactics, it is definitely a tricky method, and as soon as the search engine algorithms update or a new competitor comes along, you may risk losing your rankings in the SERPs.
While white-hat tactics can build you clean organic rankings. Those strategies will work even if there is a search engine change.
White-hat SEO tactics may take a little bit more time than black-hat tactics, but they are much safer and will continue to grow organic traffic in the long term.
There are many more benefits to white-hat SEO methods for both business and small-time bloggers. It really a large chunk of SEO strategies that improve your traffic, conversion rates, and visibility.
How To Get White-Hat Links
Getting white-hat links can be hard to scale. It involves a lot of work, SOPs, training, manual outreach, and time to get your digital marketing strategy right.
Luckily, that’s something we’re very good at here at The HOTH!
Of all the “white-hat” link building techniques, one of the best and most scalable techniques is Guest Posting.
The idea behind guest posting is to reach out to website owners of blogs in your niche, ask them if they’d like you to write a valuable article to be published on their blog, then write that article with links back to your website. This is one of the more common SEO techniques to gain backlinks.
If you do this right, you’ll get:
- 1. A great high-quality content link
- 2. Great diversity
- 3. Actual traffic coming from that link
- 4. Increased rankings
Now, this may sound like a lot of work, but since you’ll only be reaching out to high domain authority sites, just a few of these links can bring great results.
The other benefit is that this is about as clean as it gets.
Just like I mentioned in the section above, this is the kind of stuff that any client would love to see for their brand – even enterprise-level clients.
Make a piece of linkable content
This part is optional but this makes the process much easier.
First, you need a piece of epic content that’s worthy of linking to. Actually, visuals like infographics would do really well here. A recent study that took place in 2021 from ViSenze suggests that 62% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers want visual search more than any other new technology.
Usually, this is in the form of a resource, a useful guide, a tool, or just something cool and valuable (not a sales page or a homepage). It doesn’t have to be a complete masterpiece, but it does have to be good and hold enough value for your audience and search engines to find it informative and helpful to users.
Some examples of linkable content would be:
All of these are guides (sometimes called ultimate guides) that would be really easy to add as an internal link in an article. It would be very natural to link to these as opposed to just the homepage or a sales page.
Find potential targets
There are lots of ways to find potential targets for guest posts, and there isn’t just one way. You could also do some blog commenting. Actually, even former Google employee Matt Cutts states that he comments on blogs regularly.
Either way, you’ll want to build a big list.
(See how they also just got a link from our blog by making a great piece of content? Yeah!)
You can do this by using scrapebox or just manually googling and using the following search operators:
keyword + “guest blog”
keyword + “guest blogger”
keyword + “guest Column”
keyword + “guest article”
keyword + guest post
keyword + guest author
keyword + “write for us”
keyword + “write for me”
keyword + “become a contributor”
keyword + “contribute to this site”
keyword + inurl:category/guest
keyword + inurl:contributors
keyword + “guest blog” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “guest blogger” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “guest Column” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “guest article” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “write for us” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “write for me” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “become a contributor” + inanchor:contact
keyword + “contribute to this site” + inanchor:contact
Put those into Google and you’ll get a list of sites that could be a possibility to reach out to.
Here’s an example:
Find guest post target.
Then, make a spreadsheet of all these possibilities.
Run a domain authority check
We use Moz Domain Authority from Link Explorer to check to see which sites are valuable for SEO strategy. This number usually correlates with how valuable in terms of SEO the post will be, but also gives an indicator of how much traffic the site could give us.
Here’s a quick guide:
DA10+ – Entry level authority
DA20+ – Good Authority
DA30+ – Better Authority
DA40+ – High Authority
So you’ll want to shoot for anything above 10, but optimally 20+. Anything less than that probably isn’t worth your time to go after.
Check out each site and contact the webmaster
You’ll want to check each site and make sure it’s not a low-quality site. Read a few articles, browse around and make sure it’s a legit opportunity.
Then, contact the editor or site owner and make sure they still accept guest posts so you don’t waste time. Make sure you ask them about posting requirements (each site is different) and then pitch an idea to them to make sure it fits and they agree to post it.
Write an awesome article and include links
Take the requirements of the site owner and make an awesome article out of it. You’ll want to link out to more sources than just yourself so it’s not spammy or an obvious SEO tactic.
If you did step number 1, it will make it a lot easier as well.
You’ll want to include your links in a way that’s as natural as possible. Don’t try to get your exact match anchors if it doesn’t fit. Don’t ever try to jam a city name + keyword in there like “Dallas SEO” because it looks unnatural. You want your anchor to fit seamlessly into the sentence.
Most of the editors from good sites have been around the block for a while and they can smell an SEO coming from a mile away. You can’t just stuff your exact match anchors in there. You’ll need to include your links naturally (which is a lot easier if you have a piece of linkable content).
Get the post published
Submit it to the editor. There may be some revisions that need to be made but they will usually post it pretty quickly (as long as you have included all the formatting correctly and you have followed the guest post guidelines).
Kabooom! Now you have yourself a nice, in-content, natural link on a legit blog.
If you’ve done the process correctly, you’ll be able to obtain a high-quality link that not only has SEO value, but also can send you actual traffic from the site.
What Types of Links Can You Get?
It’s a lot of work to get a guest post but the benefits make it worth it. Once you get this going, you can start getting awesome links like these:
As you can see this is quite a bit of work. You can use this post as a template to get these types of links yourself, or you can use our guest post service.
With HOTH GP, we’ll take care of all the work for you. We’ll manually reach out to industry blogs in your niche, secure a guest post, write an awesome article that includes your links naturally, and place the article on the blog.
This is all 100% manual with real sites that have real traffic. These are the kind of enterprise links that are hard to get anywhere else.
Check out HOTH Guest Post here.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!
P.S. Have you signed up for a HOTH account yet? You can get access to 30+ SEO Tools, plus manage all your orders in one place. Click here to sign up (free).