No matter what you’ve heard said, SEO is indispensable and so is link building. But for those who have failed to adapt to the ever-changing rules and increased requirements on tools, skills details and perseverance, SEO might as well be dead. This is because these people are most likely the ones who insist on using black hat SEO practices. They are the ones you will find spreading all kinds of unrelated comments with unrelated links with them. They do not care about the forum, blogsite or community they are posting on. They are only interested in spreading their links around the web in the hope of getting link juice for their websites.
Sooner or later, Google’s spam team catches up and penalizes them by lowering their search rankings. You do not want this to happen to you.
White hat SEO
White hat SEO is a stark contrast to black hat SEO. White hat SEO practitioners are dedicated to making the web a better place for people by going out of their way to create quality content. They do things the hard way using the free SEO tools available and end up reaping genuine long-term benefits. They participate in forums, are active on social networks, and comment on blogs as real people in real ways to share and obtain information. Some of the hallmarks of white hat SEO include:
- Creating unique, insightful and quality content
- Building a genuine community of engaged users that interacts with your website and with each other
- Promoting our website to relevant audiences in a genuine, personal manner.
Link building is the process of linking external pages to your website. These links – also referred to as inbound links, external links or backlinks) are interpreted as endorsements to your website. High quality back links are among the most influential factors in SEO. They act as a quality signal to search engines. Not only do they increase the website’s brand awareness and conversion rates, they also have a significant impact on a website’s organic traffic.
While White hat SEO practitioners focus on helping search engines turn up the most relevant results by following the (aid down guidelines, there are unscrupulous sites that use black hat link building techniques to exploit loopholes in search engine algorithms to get their sites ranked higher than they deserve to be. They achieve this by buying links from link farms, injecting hidden links into other websites without the owner’s permission and showing different content to search engine than that which users can access.
While they sometimes achieve those high search rankings, they rarely increase the value of the business as users won’t find what they are looking for when they visit the website. This kills trust and diminishes their brand’s value. Search engine algorithms also catch up with them sooner or later and mark the websites as spam, or remove the offending links. On the other hand, white hat link building techniques require a lot of effort, but they are an essential part of increasing the value of your brand, your customers experience establishing high trust flow and the improving the internet community.
Simple white hat link building tips
Proper link building is not an easy thing to do because they are many things you have to get right. The good thing is that the techniques are easy to implement once you get a clear understanding of the target audience. It is something you can implement without incurring considerable expense.
Here are 5 easy white hat link building techniques that can increase the value of your brand.
Create fresh, user-focused content
Generating unique, insightful and quality content is easily the most effective way of priming your site to receive quality inbound links. It is so effective that your user community may end doing most of the subsequent link building for you and at no cost by sharing the links on their social media pages such as Twitter and Facebook. Such links are highly values by search engines.
Always offer value
One of the trickiest parts of link building is to get other webmasters to actively create build links for you. Instead of paying them to do this, offer something valuable in exchange for a quality inbound link. An example of a mutually beneficial strategy is to offer another website valuable content that they can post.
This content should include a link to your own site. You could also offer a guest posting section on your blog.
Ensure they are relevant
It is always tempting to look for easy link targets, but keep in mind that the relevance of a backlink to a website is a crucial factor when it comes to search engine rankings. The anchor text and the content on the linking website have to be relevant to the landing page to which the link directs to. The more relevant and targeted an inbound link is, the stronger a vote of confidence in your site it is taken for.
Get listed on reputable directories
Linking building via online directories is a fairly old method, but it will only work if you choose reputable directories. It is worthwhile to spend some time searching for trusted directories that are relevant to your site’s subject matter.
The ideal directory should be human edited since these tend to be given higher priority than those you can make entries yourself without being vetted. Not only can directories be a valuable source of backlinks, they also increase traffic directly by advertising your website to web users.
You could start by getting your site listed on Dmoz – Open Directory Project. It is the biggest, most comprehensive human edited online directory. It is maintained by vast community of volunteer editors.
Focus on quality of links over quantity
Lastly, the reputation of the site you post inbound links on is very important. A few links from trusted sources are way more valuable than creating hundreds of links on questionable or irrelevant sites. It is rewarding to make the extra effort to get inbound links from valuable, high-trafficked websites.
Creating too many links within a short period, especially if they are from questionable, low ranked websites can trigger warnings in the search engine’s algorithm. The algorithm may generate a penalty that could adversely affect your site’s keywords rankings and organic search traffic.