6 White Hat Link Building Tips

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6 White Hat Link Building Tips

Editor’s Note: This article was updated Septemeber 2016. 

White hat link building is any tactic employed on behalf of a website to acquire backlinks in which the sole motivating factor for the placement of that link is the value target content offers the linking website’s audience.

What does this really mean? You need to have a linkable content to be able to attract natural links to your website.

Though it requires a good content to make your site linkable, you need to understand ways on how you can maximize the value of every asset you’re publishing on your website.

In this post, I’d like to share tips on how to use your linkable content to get more visibility on authority media outlets, absorb social followers from those websites, and get the high-quality backlinks that you desire for your business.

Let’s get started.

Target Media Outlets With High DA and SE Price

I commend Jason Acidre for this tip.

The main reason why you need to use Domain Authority (DA) and SE Price (SEMRush metric) as key metrics for guest blog prospecting is you can expect better results from your content distribution efforts once you start placing your content on websites with high DA and SE Price.

Websites that have high DA and SE Price tend to rank their pages on search results faster than the normal sites. They also have the potential to acquire natural links over time as they had already established their authority in their respective niches. And if you place your guest post on those websites, they will give a boost to your post’s search visibility (i.e. your article can easily rank for long tail keywords) and can passively obtain high-quality backlinks from relevant web places.


Screenshot made last April 26, 2014


screenshot taken April 26, 2014

Invest in your content by adding visually appealing images/screenshots and videos that will make your post more useful. Think of a good topic/story to write about. It would be better to do first a thorough research of the latest trends in your industry and the type of content that gets a lot of shares/links.

You can check out this post on Orkidork that details the main reasons why a certain content goes viral.

Track Discovered Links of Your Competitor’s Content

Reverse engineering should never just end in grabbing all the past links of your competitors and hopefully gaining the same type of links for your website through linker outreach or content promotion. In fact, you can do a regular reverse engineering on your competitors’ assets to track passive links that they are continuously acquiring every week.


Screenshot was taken April 26, 2014

Use Cognitive SEO to track just discovered links of your competitor’s content. Identify if those links are high quality and can give you a substantial amount of referral traffic. Use the following indicators when qualifying those backlinks:

  • Domain Authority
  • Number of referring domains
  • Link velocity

Think of ways on how you can get the same set of backlinks (discovered ones). You can use the same technique your competitor used or use your own link acquisition tactic. Either way, make sure you do this activity on a regular basis to actively pass high-end link juice to your site.

Target The Right Person and Email in Link Building Outreach

The main reason why link builders don’t get responses from their outreach is they don’t really send their emails to the right person.  Often, they send emails to info@domain.com, sales@domain.com, or webmaster@domain.com and wonder why they get no response from their link prospects.

Isn’t obvious that those emails are generic emails that webmasters may seldom use in their work?

So what is the right thing to do?

Find the right person to contact to from your target website and grab his/her email address. I usually go with this list of prioritization to find the right person:

  • The person who manages the website.
  • The person that I need to acquire the link. If it is guest blogging, then the person must be the blog manager.
  • The person whose email address is available on the site.

Once you identify the right person, then it is now time to get his email address. You might want to check out this comprehensive post by Matthew Barby about ways in finding the targets’ email addresses. There are tons of great tips in that post, so be sure to read it in its entirety. 

Use Productivity Tools in Link Prospecting

Link prospecting is one of the most time-consuming activities in link building. From finding several link targets to filtering out the high-quality links, link prospecting consumes almost half of the time spent in the link building process.

That is the main reason why productivity tools are necessary to improve efficiency. Below is a list of Chrome plugin link building tools you can start using now:

Create Linkable Content Assets That Don’t Require High Budget

You don’t need to be a big brand with a thousand dollar budget to produce a linkable asset on your website. What you need is a catchy story of your brand or a trending topic in your industry that is tailored to a specific group of audience.

Using that particular topic, you can create any of the following content pieces:

  • Case study. If your brand is serving your customers right, then you may have positive experiences with them. A blog post that details the exact steps you took to help your customer improve their lives is a solid case study that you can publish on your blog.
  • Crowdsourced content. Interview an industry influencer with the aim of educating your audience about a specific topic in your niche. You can check out this post on how to get links and shares using crowdsourced content.
  • Curated content/List post. Make each of your points in a list post actionable. Answer the “how” question of your topic to make it more actionable for your readers.   

Get Good Insights From Your Google Analytics Link Analysis Report

Create a custom link building report in Google Analytics. Get the report here. (Thanks to Eric Siu for this report).


screenshot was taken April 26, 2014

The report will show you what websites are sending you the highest traffic numbers, which can help you improve your guest blogging strategy. You can also identify if those sites bring you conversions. If they do, then they are worth pursuing in your future link building efforts.


To build white hat backlinks is to be natural in link building. Focusing more on your customers and influencers and building a small group of brand followers can help you acquire natural highly valued links to your website.


Image Credits: 

Featured Image: Deposit Photos

Inpost Images: Take By Author

Venchito Tampon

Venchito Tampon

Link Building Consultant at Digital Philippines
Venchito Tampon provides custom link building services to different businesses from different countries. He recently created an updated list of the best link building resources... Read Full Bio
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  • Peter

    Thanks for sharing dome good resources here. I’ve already used opensiteexplorer to find a few good backlinks that my competitor is using.

    Creating linkable content is a big takeaway for me and something I need to work on more.

  • Mark Johnson @ ThinkTraffic

    Great post venchito. And thanks for the link to “check my links” for chrome, that’s a plugin that I am sure I can use (just installed it), particularly for broken link prospecting.

    One tip I would add if you don’t mind is blog commenting:

    Of course I don’t mean that blog commenting is a good way to build links, but if you do it consistently and on the right blogs it is a great way to get the attention of the blogger and their readers and over time you can build a relationship with those bloggers, which greatly increases the chances of one of them choosing to read, share and link to your own content.

    You can also use your analytics referral traffic report to gauge not only which sites send you a lot of traffic but also which sites send you the best traffic. So if you are commenting on a certain blog and you discover that the traffic it sends engages well, you can add that site to your list of guest posting targets.

  • Marlena

    Basic question 🙂 Backlinks with anchor text or plain url? I ask because anchor text backlinks put my site down and with plain url backlinks I can’t rank for competitive keywords.

    • Venchito Tampon

      Whichever can solve the need of your users. If they are simply looking for the URL of the page, then just give them the plain URL. If not, then maximize the SEO value of your guest post by linking to your site’s internal pages with appropriate anchor texts.

  • David

    Great article on link building, especially white hat link building. I actually did some outreach today on an article I just wrote for my blog. It is a time consuming process to find people to link to.

    Thanks for the tools by the way. I actually have Mozbar installed, and it is great! I haven’t used the other ones, but I will definitely bookmark this article.

    Once again, thanks for the great article!

  • Fabio

    Link building takes time. Quality link building from reputable websites definitely boosts SEO.

  • Edmund

    Internal linking your content with relevant keywords is another way to help your webpages rank higher.

  • Arthur Wilson

    I’m yet to really push link prospecting as an SEO strategy, can anyone share any hints, tips or suggest whether it is worth it or not for an marketer who is limited for time?

  • Herve

    The custom link building report in Google Analytics doesn’t work for me, am I the only one?

  • Arun Kallarackal

    Useful tips indeed. The advantage of the tips mentioned in the article is that they don’t have even the slightest of shady characteristics. This, for me is a re assuring factor to go on and experiment with these strategies without the fear of getting penalized by big G!

    Among the entries in the list, the reverse engineering prospect is what caught my attention the most. Not that I’m not aware of it. But I’ve not given it the importance that it deserves. Sure, it can be used to snoop around competitors and collect vital information regarding the freshly formed links in their cases.

    Making use of Google analytics to get an idea of the link report, analyzing it and taking note of beneficial links for using in future endeavors is something that I look forward to. It’s an activity that for sure will be rewarded.

    I found the link to this article on Kingged.


  • Chris Finnegan

    Great post Venchito, I installed the export tabs plugin, thanks for sharing it!

  • tbutler@bookngo.com

    Excellent post and a few very good tips. I was wondering if SEJ would be able to spare the time to write a guide on publishing content and the correct way to do it? I mean using things like authorship? should we be using authorship and if yes what is the correct way?
    Keep up the good work

    • Kelsey Jones

      Lucky you should ask! We are actually working on one right now. 🙂

  • Xovilichter

    Great thoughts. Try to keep it natural will help to ensure good Rankings. Its not easy to get that Brand ambassadors but thats exactly what its all about. So lets share quality content with the wright audience (mission). Thx, Regards from Germany

  • Jake Tesch

    Thanks for the great post. I’ve been doing SEO for over a year now and I’m still learning and finding new tactics everyday to use. You mentioned guest posting a few times. Would you say that still a worth while tactic?

  • Nilesh Shirke

    Thanks for sharing this great article. I think guest blogging is also a good way to build a natural links. (not spammy guest blogging)

  • Corey Stoll

    my personal experience to get success in 2014 is to follow domain authority back linking and broken links methods.