Remember in the noughties, when you would conduct a search on your favorite search engine and all you’d get in return were spammy, useless results?
Well, those search engines were getting frustrated as well. That’s why they’ve been working hard to provide you with results that you can trust. They’ve changed their algorithms in order to weed out spam. So if you are working on improving the ranking of your site, it is important to keep these changes in mind so you can ensure that your site isn’t penalized and condemned as suspected spam.
As a bit of background, let’s review the way search engines approach SEO methods.
White-hat vs. black-hat link building
All SEO practices are classified as either white-hat or black-hat. Black-hat practices, such as using hidden text and cloaked pages to attract search engine traffic, are discouraged by search engines and can cause a website to be either temporarily or permanently banned by a search engine. While white-hat methods will keep you in the good books and often improve user experience, as well as boost your rankings.
Like any other SEO technique, link building can be classified as either black-hat or white-hat. And, obviously, your online reputation depends on using white-hat methods.
Thankfully, it is easy to tell the difference between white-hat and black-hat link building techniques. If you are wondering how to do link building that is white-hat, just ask yourself if a technique is organic?
How to do link building that will please Google
Organic link building campaigns are focused on developing links that are both high quality and relevant.
High quality links direct users to something that is actually useful. Yes, links by themselves increase search status. But if those links are directing users towards low quality, poorly constructed content, search engines will eventually catch on. Creating quality content takes more time and effort, but a link building campaign is empty if it doesn’t also have substance.
Similarly, it is important that links make sense. There are plenty of ways to spread your links around the internet, but search engines have created complex algorithms for determining if those links are actually connecting two relevant sites. So if you want your link building campaign to be successful, you’ll have to connect with sites, blogs, and other content strategists who think what you’re doing is related to what they’re doing.
See how these two factors, quality and relevance, are connected? At their heart, they are about doing something that matters and connecting what you do with people who are doing similar things. In other words, a successful link building campaign is organic!
If you’re a bricklayer, it would make sense to link to a builder’s providers in one of your blog posts. While it also makes sense for the builder’s suppliers to link to the bricklayer’s website. These links are relevant and provide quality to users who can follow the link to find more information on what they’re looking for.
Keep UX to the front of your mind
In many ways, this is all common sense. It is also important to remember that search engines want to improve browsers with a good user experience. They want people to feel satisfied with their search results. People using search engines want their experience to make sense. They don’t want weird results that provide useless content for the sole purpose of gaining suspect ad revenues. That’s why search engines spend so much time and energy making sure that good, high-quality and relevant content rises to the top of their search results.
If your goal is to establish your brand identity online and ensure that your web presence is robust, then it would be wise to be on the same team as the search engines that direct people to your site. Search engines want the entire internet to be a place that satisfies their users. Be a part of the solution they provide their users and you will be rewarded in the long run.
So, yes! it is true that you can quickly direct traffic your way through black-hat SEO practices, such as employing link farms and spamming the comments sections of irrelevant sites. But eventually these methods will catch up to you and you will find your online reputation quickly diminished and the flow of online traffic slowing.
Instead, think about the big picture. Search engines don’t want you to game the system, and they’re using a lot of resources to make sure you don’t. But if you are doing something that matters, then a high quality, white-hat link building campaign will make sure that users are finding you.
ClickMeter is an invaluable tool for creating targeted, data-driven white-hat link building campaigns. In the end, your goal should be to reach more customers through useful content and to accurately track your traffic using your links to measure the effectiveness and reach of this content. ClickMeter can help you achieve this goal.
- Tips and tools to get your link building campaign started
- How to use curated content for local link building
- Essential tools for local link building success
- How to create a tracking link
This blog post is about:
- How to do link building
- Link building basics
- An introduction to link building
- How to do white-hat link building
Originally published: July 7th, 2014.
Updated: August 29th, 2018.