3x Best White Hat Link Building Strategies To Use in 2024

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Want to build more quality links this year?

Now is the time to pay attention.

This might be one of the most important tutorials we have ever written about link building.

There are a lot of changes happening in the SEO world right now. Ensuring you ONLY build high-quality links to your site using white hat link building strategies is essential for long-term success.

The truth is that link building is one of the most complex parts of SEO.

Do it right and your business can benefit significantly. But do it wrong and you can end up in a world of painful Google link penalties.

In this blog post, I will show you the top white hat link building strategies we are using right now and explain why the whole “black hat vs white hat” debate is stupid anyway.

I’ve also put in a bunch of extra tips to ensure you understand what quality link building looks like and why you should take advantage of it.

What Is White Hat Link Building?

White hat link building is a type of link building strategy used to acquire links to your site through ethical and legitimate means.

Think of white hat link building as a way of acquiring backlinks naturally without you needing to do anything extra – like outreach.

Your site has great content and other people naturally link to your content.

Sounds simple, right?

Links are like votes from other websites.

What is link building - more links equal higher rankings

The more votes you have from large, trustworthy and authoritative sites – the more your rankings will increase.

They signal to Google that your content is:

  • Valuable
  • Would benefit Google’s users

So you can see how valuable high-quality links are. But the next question is…

How do you build more links with white hat link building techniques?

This is where the white hat vs black hat link building debate starts and ultimately gets out of control.

White Hat vs Black Hat

“White Hat” and “Link Building” shouldn’t really be in the same sentence.

Here’s what I mean:

All link building is against Google’s webmaster guidelines.

google guidelines

That means if you do any link building in order to improve your website’s visibility, you are going against Google’s guidelines. Period.

Going against Google’s guidelines = Black hat.

You’ve probably seen people online recommending strategies like guest posting as a white hat link building strategy.

false white hat link building strategies

But as we have already established – this is against Google’s webmaster guidelines and is therefore a black hat strategy.

Now you can see why the whole “black hat” vs “white hat” link building debate is kind of stupid.

Links are essential to SEO and people will still build them manually – especially the big sites. If you aren’t building links, you will ultimately lose out to your competitors.

But if all link building is black hat – Where do we go from here?

It’s time to redefine what white hat link building means and put an end to this silly debate for good.

White Hat Link Building For Pros

The moment someone tells me that they are a “white hat link builder”, it only tells me one thing.

What’s that?

Simply that they have huge gaps in their SEO knowledge and likely lack the skills to deliver quality SEO results.

That’s harsh, I know…but it’s also true.

When was the last time you sent a guest post request to someone and they didn’t respond asking for payment?

That’s just the nature of link building today.

So how do we define white hat link building strategies?

Here’s my definition for people who like to label things:

White hat link building uses strategies and techniques to acquire quality links that look natural and boost your SEO results.

Black hat link building is anything else.

That’s it.

Why You Should ALWAYS Use White Hat Link Building Strategies

Now that we have put the “black hat” vs “white hat” link building debate to bed and redefined what white hat link building strategies are – let’s look deeper at link building strategies you can use to grow your SEO traffic.

Here’s why you should ONLY ever use quality link building strategies to get more backlinks.

Build Safe Backlinks

What does “safe” mean?

Simply put – Safe backlinks are links that look natural to Google.

If a reader can see that the link doesn’t fit the page, then you can bet that Google can too.

Here are some of the guidelines that we use to build safe backlinks:

  • Only build links on sites that are relevant to your own site
  • Make sure that the site you build links from has real organic traffic
  • Links should be naturally embedded into high-quality content
  • Never get links from sites that have a “write for us” page
  • Make sure the site doesn’t appear on the backlink blacklist

Safe backlinks are the only sort of links you should be building.

They will help protect you from algorithm updates and give you the kinds of results you are looking for.

Avoid Link Penalties

Google link penalties do happen, and recovering from Google penalties is hard work.

In 2012, Google introduced the Penguin Algorithm update, which devastated thousands of websites almost overnight.

The goal of the Penguin update was to stop people from manipulating Google’s algorithm by building spammy links.

google penguin penalty update

Since then, it’s become part of the core algorithm targeting-

  • Link farms and penalising manipulative links
  • Spammy links created on low-quality websites
  • Unnatural anchor text patterns

These are just some of the ways that Google’s algorithm detects unnatural links.

White hat link building strategies will ensure that you don’t build any dodgy links and help you stay out of trouble from link penalties.

3x White Hat Link Building Strategies You Can Use Right Now

Ready to start building links the right way?

Here are 3 proven white hat link building strategies that are safe to use and will help you get more backlinks that improve your SEO rankings and traffic.

1. Competitors’ Backlink Analysis

This is my favourite “white hat” link building strategy.

I’ve been using competitor backlink analysis since 2012 and it is still the best link building strategy that our team uses today.

It’s also the link building strategy that gets us the best results with the least amount of work.

Who doesn’t want that, right?

All you have to do is uncover and replicate your competitor’s backlinks.

How To Steal Your Competitors' Backlinks- Step By Step

Before you start, you will need to get access to Semrush.

You can use this exclusive 14-day trial to get access to it for free.

STEP #1

Now, just do a Google search for your target keyword and open the top 5 ranking sites for that keyword.

google search example

The top 5 rankings sites are there for two reasons-

  1. They have created great content
  2. They have powerful backlink profiles

If you can replicate those backlinks (assuming you already have great website content) you should be able to rank in the top 5 yourself!

STEP #2

Then, copy and paste the URLs of the top 5 ranking sites into a spreadsheet or notepad. It should look something like this:

competitors urls example

STEP #3

Head to this page to download my free competitor backlink analysis spreadsheet.

We specifically developed this internal intelligent sheet over a few years for this exact task.

Just paste the 5 links from step #1 above into column A on the first sheet.

competitor keywords urls in google sheet

Now, click on the “click here” links which will take you to the correct report. If you can’t find the report, head over: SEO > Backlink Analytics.

backlink analytics

Scroll down the page a bit and click on the “Export” button on the right side of the page.

Do this for each of your competitors and you should have a ton of excellent backlinks to replicate.

STEP #4

Now it’s time for the fun part…

Head over to tab #2 – Data in the sheet to import each of the files you just exported.

The quickest way is to:

  1. Open one of the files you exported from Semrush
  2. Delete the first row of data
  3. Highlight all of the remaining data and copy it
  4. Then paste it into tab #2 of the Google sheet
  5. Repeat the process, adding each report you exported in step #3 to tab #2

Now, click on tab #3. Here you will have a full list of your competitor’s top links. The spreadsheet has already removed the harmful or weak links you need to ignore.

All you have to do is replicate those links for yourself exactly how your competitor did it!

Follow my complete backlink analysis tutorial to get a more in-depth guide to each of those steps!

2. Blog Commenting

Adding value to conversations on relevant niche/industry blogs is about as white hat as you can get.

There is no doubt that blog commenting as a link building strategy isn’t what it once was. But there is still some value from this super easy and efficient link building strategy-

  • Improve your website’s overall link profile
  • Get real and relevant referral traffic from links
  • Build a relationship with experts in your industry

And so much more!

benefits of blog commenting

Blog commenting as a link building strategy is easy to do and perfect if you are just getting started with link building.

Here's How The Pros Are Doing It Today

Signup for a free account on Feedly and search for blog topics based on your niche.

feedly

This will provide a curated list of the latest blog posts from great sites in your niche. You can use the Feedly AI to automatically filter out the noise.

You will get email alerts whenever a new post related to your niche is published. This is where you need to act fast.

It’s no secret amongst SEOs that the top comment on a blog post can drive a good amount of traffic to your site – especially if the post goes viral.

As soon as you get a notification, get in there and leave your comment!

The closer to the top comment spot, the more referral traffic you can get.

Don’t forget to add your site URL in the provided section. You can even add the exact URL of your site page you want to drive traffic to:

blog comment form

Just ensure your comments are insightful and add value to the conversation. The last thing you want is to get marked as spam by the site owner.

Check out our full blog commenting guide to see the entire process at work.

3. Broken Link Building

There probably isn’t a more white hat link building strategy than broken link building.

Here’s why:

The internet is designed around links.

That means most websites have hundreds (if not thousands) of internal and external links. For whatever reason, these links can easily break and stop working.

This is where broken link building comes in.

broken link building

Most site owners don’t realise when they have a broken link on their website.

That provides an opportunity for you to help people out and net yourself some high-quality backlinks.

Here's How To Do It

Make a list of 5-10 websites you will target for broken link building. Be realistic and keep big sites like Forbes and Business Insider off the list.

Your best bet is personal blogs or smaller companies.

People who own these sites are usually more receptive and grateful for the help.

The next step is to find broken links on each target site. You have a choice of two link building tools here:

Broken Link Check is a useful free tool that finds broken links within a site.

Broken Link Checker

Ahrefs will analyse the site thoroughly and list all the broken links it has within seconds.

broken links on ahrefs

If you are serious about broken link building, I recommend using Ahrefs because it’s way faster and will help you get high-quality backlinks easier.

Once you have a list of broken links for each target site, it’s time to reach out to the site manager and notify them about the link.

Your first goal should be to create a relationship with them – not get a link.

Focus on helping them first and you’ll probably find opportunities later to ask for a backlink.

If you have a relevant page or piece of content on your site, you can suggest it as a replacement for the broken link.

You would be surprised at the responses you will get from site owners.

Many of them are friendly and happy to give you a link for your hard work!

Want to take this method to the next level?

Learn how to scale this broken link building process with our full broken link building tutorial.

The Best White Hat Link Building Service

The truth is link building is hard work – especially if you build high-quality links using white hat link building strategies.

Don’t have the time?

Take advantage of quality link building services that will do it for you.

We recommend Links That Rank for link building you can trust.

They provide the highest quality links of any link building service you will find online.

links that rank trusted link building service

You already know that link building is all about quality control and safe link building practices. That’s where Links That Rank shines.

Every link they build-

  • Passes a 23-point quality control checklist to make sure you only get excellent links
  • Includes complete anchor text analysis for free
  • Is placed with 1,000 words of native and unique content by default
  • Is guaranteed not to be placed on sites with “write for us” pages and known guest post farms and PBN networks
  • Isn’t blacklisted as a dodgy or untrustworthy site

Links That Rank is so serious about quality control they even created a free link building tool that identifies toxic links and sites.

Cool, right?

If you want a completely hands-off link building service you can trust – you won’t go wrong with Links That Rank.

Wrapping It Up

Link building is essential for serious SEO growth.

Without it, you will struggle to rank for competitive SEO keywords and achieve the kind of results you want.

But modern-day link building is all about quality. That’s why you need to use white hat link building strategies that will keep you out of trouble with Google.

Choose one of the white hat link building strategies above and start building quality backlinks that actually move the needle forward.

Don’t have the time?

Get Links That Rank to build the links for you.

That way, you can continue to focus on building your business while someone else takes care of the link building!

Frequently Asked Questions

White hat strategies are ethical SEO techniques that focus on providing value to users and follow search engine guidelines. These methods include creating high-quality content, optimising on-page SEO elements and earning natural backlinks from reputable sources.
The best link building strategy is competitor backlink analysis. This allows you to see all of the high-quality backlinks that your competitors have and replicate them on your own site. Competitor backlink analysis is one of the only link building strategies that has continued to consistently deliver results.

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