Link building refers to the process in which businesses and individuals encourage other websites to display a link to their website from their own.
Every quality link that you receive can be thought of as a vote of credibility and quality for your website. To put it simply, the website with the highest amount of high quality votes will be the most likely to rank highly for its key search terms.
Going back to the early days of SEO, link building was a simple process where all you had to was copy and paste your website URL into numerous directories, type them into a couple of blog comments and pay for submission services that spread your URL around the web. These methods were referred to as black hat link building techniques.
Black Hat link building
In regards to SEO, Black-hat link building practices aim to create as many backlinks as possible through minimal amounts of effort. One of the primary link building methods utilized by black hat SEO consultants is the use of spammy comments on websites. They will place comments on blog posts located on other sites that are completely irrelevant to the actual post topic; instead the comment just plugs their website and contains a link.
The increasing amounts of spam comments have led to most webmasters implementing comment moderation into their blogs. However, Google has caught onto this and these types of backlinks are nowhere near as powerful as they were before.
One thing that Google and other search engines have done to stop spam comments is give webmasters the option to place a nofollow tag on links on their blogs that are either paid or unpaid with very little editorial work in place. The majority of blog platforms have now adopted this for their comment sections, where nofollow links are automatically added to any links within the comments.
Another method of black-hat link building is creating link farms. A link farm is a website that is created purely to create links for another website. Some of these websites are fairly well designed and can look legitimate. However, if you take time to examine the external links on these websites you will notice that they all link to the same places.
The idea of using link farms is that Google can be misled into thinking that your website is deserving of ranking higher in search results because a group of websites that link to one another also link to your website. Link farms used to be useful, but not anymore. However, this doesn’t stop some SEO consultants and digital agencies from telling clients that link farms are still effective and charging them high prices for them.
Google hates blog networks, these are fake blogs that members pay a fee or contribute content to in order to gain links for their own sites. Guest blogging and contributing content to legitimate websites is a much better tactic, but regularly posting low quality articles on websites that have no regard for relevancy will likely be considered as blog network spam. Websites like this raise a red-flag for Google and will more often than not get penalized along with the sites that are linking to them.
White Hat link building
White-hat link building involves two key aspects; these are quality content and relevant content. A white hat SEO consultant’s objective is to produce useful, high quality content on relevant blogs and niche sites where it will be of value to the audience.
Guest blogging is the process of writing a blog post someone else’s blog or website. This is when you provide them with unique high quality content with the hope of getting a link back from that website. By utilizing guest posting your business will receive a number of opportunities, writing guest posts for other peoples blogs will put you in touch with a wider audience and increase brand awareness.
This process requires you to look for quality blogs and create a relationship with the blog owners, providing them with quality content will be beneficial to them as well. Your guest posts should be written in a manner that will generate good quality responses from the website readers; this could lead to more guest posting opportunities.
Guest posting on high quality blogs relevant to your business has always been the most effective white hat SEO method, especially since the panda and penguin updates, if done properly guest blogging is the best way to gain valuable backlinks for your site.
This is an area of public relations that has become important in many people’s SEO strategies. A press release is a form of article marketing that is perfect if you have a major announcement or a new product. Utilizing press releases is an excellent opportunity to generate high quality backlinks and drive visitors to your website.
When submitting a press release it is important that you optimize the content. Your press release could potentially reach one of the highly powerful PR sites, so if you have your content optimized correctly you will gain some brilliant link juice for your site.
To utlize press releases for linkbuilding you should target editors and websites/magazines that are relevant to your target audience. Some press releases will allow you to include anchor text links back to your website. Be sure to optimize any keyword rich content and apply heading tags.