There has been a lot of talk recently relating to Whitehat and Blackhat techniques for SEO and Link Building. It is generally perceived that Blackhat SEO (unethical) techniques are attempts to manipulate the search engine rankings without providing value for the search terms. Some Blackhat techniques include hidden text, cloaking, paid links, link farms and so on.
Any Link Building strategy should aim to build a good number of high quality and relevant links over time.
Link building rules
It is easy to avoid the shadier side of Link Building by following a few simple rules:
- Avoid spamming
- Aim to provide value to users of the sites you want a link from
- Provide links to content relevant to the site you want a link from
- Prevent stuffing the anchor text with lots of keywords
- Avoiding being too promotional on Social platforms
- Aim to contribute
How to go about getting quality links
There are many ways of finding quality (ethical) link sources around the web, here are a few different types of websites that could provide a link opportunity:
- General directories
- Local business directories
- Blogs (comments with value and guest posts)
- Forums (linking people to helpful content)
- Bookmarking websites (better if you have an active profile that links to other content as well as your own)
- Social websites (Twitter, Facebook etc. Aim to network and interact with others instead of spamming your own content)
Is there an optimum number of links?
There isn’t an ‘optimum number of links’ that any site should aim to get. It is far more important to receive high quality and relevant links. A good strategy is to build a number of links regularly over time. You may want to set aside a certain amount of time each week to build links to your website. This looks much more natural to a search engine compared to gaining thousands of links overnight.
How to avoid unethical link building techniques
You can avoid unethical link building techniques by following the rules above. By following these you should be able to spot whether a link opportunity is worth the effort or whether it is likely to harm you in anyway.
Approach each opportunity with the mindset of wanting to create value for others; this is where you get the best links. Avoid paying for a link on a website (unless it is a paid directory) and don’t be tempted by any link schemes, creating thousands of backlinks to your website overnight is unlikely to help your website and may result in a penalty (drop in rankings).
Always aim for value, try and target websites that aim to serve content to your target audience. This way you are likely to gain some quality links ethically.