Master White Hat Link Building In 15 Minutes [+5 Proven Tactics]

White hat link building is the safest approach you can take to build links to your website. In fact, it’s the only approach that search engines approve.

If you use link-building methods that aren’t white hat — so-called grey hat or black hat methods — you risk getting a penalty from Google or another search engine. 

That means your site could get significantly less traffic or even get entirely removed from the search results.

To avoid that scenario, you should know what white hat link building is and how to distinguish it from other link building approaches. We’ll walk you through everything in less than 15 minutes.

A fun fact: An average adult can read 238 words per minute. This guide has 2,820 words. So, it should take you only about 11 minutes to read it from start to finish. Give us that much of your time, and we promise you’ll master white hat link building. 

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What Is White Hat Link Building?

White hat link building is one of three possible approaches to building links to a website. The other two are called black hat and grey hat.

All three approaches help sites build backlinks, and backlinks further help sites:

  • rank higher
  • get more organic traffic
  • get more paying customers

But there is one big difference between the three approaches. 

Black hat and grey hat link building methods are considered unethical because they rely on spammy tactics to build links. 

In contrast, white hat link building is considered ethical because it aims to build links organically, and not by using manipulative tactics.  

That also makes it the safest link building approach, as it doesn’t subject sites to penalties. We’ll talk more about that later.

For now, just know that it’s not all that rosy — white hat link building has its downsides, too. 

The biggest one is that it takes more time to show results than other approaches, especially when you’re building links on your own. White hat tactics don’t let you cut corners. You have to do the work, and there’s a lot of work to be done. 

Although it isn’t easy, white hat link building does pay off. Let's discuss how you can benefit from it.

TL;DR: White hat link building aims to build links organically, rather than by manipulating the search engine algorithms. That makes it the most ethical and safe link building approach you can take.

How Do White Hat Links Help Your Site?

To answer that, let's first define what white hat links are. 

White hat (back)links are like high-quality referrals. 

Referrals can help you build credibility and attract new customers to your physical store. White hat backlinks help you do the same for your online store. 

In general, the more referrals you get, the better. Each time someone recommends you, your business will gain credibility.

But not all referrals are the same. Paid and rewarded referrals are less trustworthy than organic ones, which is why they don't work quite as well.

And it’s the same with backlinks. 

Trustworthy links are worth more. So, the links you build using white hat methods will have more weight than black hat or grey hat links. 

In other words, white hat backlinks are the most credible links you can have.

Here’s why that matters:

  • Credible links boost the credibility of the sites they’re pointing to
  • Credible sites rank higher in search engines
  • Higher search engine rankings increase impressions, traffic, and conversions 

So, the credibility of your links matters because it influences your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). The higher the credibility, the better your results.

And since white hat backlinks are more credible than black hat or grey hat links, they can help you get better SEO results in the long run.

On top of that, white hat backlinks are 100% safe. They’re not subject to penalties, so you don’t have to worry about your site suddenly disappearing from Google one day.

TL;DR: White hat backlinks can boost a site’s credibility more than black hat or grey hat backlinks, which leads to better SEO results in the long run. 

White Hat VS Grey Hat VS Black Hat Link Building

The easiest way to tell if a tactic is white hat, black hat, or grey hat is to check whether it violates or follows Google’s Webmaster guidelines:

  • White hat link building tactics follow Google Webmaster guidelines, and sites that use them aren’t subject to penalties. 
  • Black hat link building tactics violate Google Webmaster guidelines, and sites that use them are subject to penalties. 
  • Grey hat link building tactics are right on the border. They don’t follow the guidelines to a T, but they’re not directly violating them either. Sites that use these tactics may be subject to penalties.

So, what’s the difference between tactics that follow and tactics that violate Google’s guidelines?

It comes down to the intent:

  • Tactics that follow Google’s guidelines are user-oriented. They aim to improve user experience by providing relevant and helpful information.
  • Tactics that violate Google’s guidelines are SERP-oriented. They aim to improve sites’ rankings at the expense of user experience.

Google prefers tactics that fall into the first category because they allow the search engine to better serve its users. 

Examples Of White, Black, And Grey Hat Tactics

Now that you’ve nailed the theory, let’s get more concrete. 

Here are some examples of white, black, and grey hat tactics.

White hat link building tactics:

  • Broken link building
  • Getting listed in local directories 
  • Attracting links with quality content

Black hat link building tactics:

  • Buying links from private blog networks (PBNs)
  • Buying links from link farms
  • Leaving spammy links in comments 

Grey hat link building tactics:

  • Buying contextual backlinks
  • Buying old domains with a strong backlink profile
  • Native advertising

Keep in mind that the same tactic can be considered white hat, black hat, or grey hat, depending on the approach you take. 

For example, broken link building can be considered black hat if you’re replacing broken links with links that don’t fit the context.

Why Is Black Hat And Grey Hat Link Building Forbidden?

In a nutshell, grey hat and black hat tactics can lead to unnatural search results

By manipulating the search engine algorithms, they can help sites get to the top of the SERPs even if they don’t deserve to be there.

For example, if you buy links from link farms, you can get a page with poor content to outrank a page with good content.

Obviously, Google wouldn’t like that — because its users would get irrelevant results. 

That’s why the search engine wants you to stick to white hat methods and white hat methods only.

Why You Should Stick To White Hat SEO Techniques

If you use black hat or grey hat tactics, you’re participating in so-called link schemes. And Google can punish your site for that.

The penalties range from mild to severe. 

Some sites only see a drop in rankings, while extremely spammy sites get entirely removed from Google. 

But neither scenario is good. That’s why you should avoid exposing yourself to penalties as much as you can.

With that said, most sites can get away with using grey hat tactics. Just make sure you’re not crossing the line and going black hat.

The Top 5 White Hat Link Building Tactics

SEOs have developed numerous white hat link building tactics over the years. But some work better than others. 

We’ll show you 5 tactics that have worked best for us. 

We’ve personally used them to build over 10K links in the last 8 years, so we know you can make them work.

Tactic #1: Creating Link-Worthy Assets

The safest white hat link building tactic is earning links naturally. 

What that means is:

✖ You don’t buy links

✖ You don’t ask for links

✔ You attract links

In a nutshell, you create an asset that’s so valuable that other people naturally want to link to it. 

For example, let’s say you created a quiz that helps people identify their ideal career with 99% accuracy. 

Such a useful resource is almost bound to get links from all sorts of places: other people’s websites, forums, comments, social media… the sky is your limit. 

From our experience, there are three assets that never fail to attract links:

  • In-depth guides — Guides that solve your audience’s problems or answer their questions are likely to get mentioned elsewhere. 
  • Tools — Tools can also help your audience solve their problems and get you some juicy backlinks. Think quizzes, calculators, templates, and checklists. 
  • Original research — Conducting your own research can help you get insights and data no one else has. That way, you become the only source of specific information, and anyone who references your findings will likely link to you. 

Publish these assets on your website and see what happens. The results could be astonishing. 

For example, consider how many links point to a unique report on content marketing: 

Analysis of the page's backlink profile shows it has a URL rating of 53, 3,961 backlinks, and 1,029 referring domains

So far, the page has attracted over 3,000 backlinks from 1,029 referring domains, which makes its backlink profile above average. That’s all thanks to the unique data on this page. 

Tactic #2: Outreach

When we talk about outreach, we’re referring to: 

Both methods can bring you great results. They’re just different. 

Usually, getting backlinks from media outlets takes more time and effort than getting them from bloggers. 

The reason is that most reporters and journalists get dozens of pitches every month, if not every day. Most bloggers don’t, so they’re likelier to accept your story.

But that doesn’t mean that getting backlinks from media outlets is impossible. 

There are two ways to go about it:

  • Method #1: Join HARO or a similar platform that connects reporters with expert sources. Apply as a source, and wait until a reporter needs your expert opinion on a topic. The downside of this strategy is that you have to wait for the perfect opportunity to arise. After joining the platform, there’s not much you can do to proactively seek out new opportunities.
  • Method #2: This method is different because it puts you in control. Simply find PR submission sites relevant to your niche and pitch them your idea. The disadvantage is that you probably won’t be able to get featured in a larger article. You’ll have to write an entire article (actually, a press release) yourself. 

Blogger outreach is done in pretty much the same way. 

You just find a few blogs you like and pitch them your idea. 

Use the following query string on Google to find suitable blogs faster: 

  • “niche-related keyword” + “blog”

Here’s an example of the results you can expect:

Google search results for the query string: "skincare" + "blog"

Tactic #3: Broken Link Building

Broken link building is one of the most popular ways to get white hat backlinks. It’s cheap, effective, and lets you help other people while helping yourself. 

It’s also pretty straightforward. All you have to do is find broken links and replace them with yours. That’s it. 

But what are broken links?

A super-quick definition: broken links are links that lead to 404 pages. 

These are pages that no longer exist or can’t be reached for some reason:

A 404 page

With this strategy, your goal is to find broken links within other people’s content (and then replace them with yours). 

Here’s how to do that:

  • Step 1: Open a few websites that are relevant to your niche and see if they contain any broken links within their content. To speed up the process, use tools like Dead Link Checker that can automatically inspect your selected URLs for broken links.
  • Step 2: Once you find broken links, check if you already have URLs that could replace them. Ideally, your URL would fit the existing anchor text. For example, if the anchor text was “link building strategies,” you want to submit a URL that talks about that same topic; not SEO, and not marketing. Link building strategies. If you don’t already have suitable replacements, create new pages you could submit.
  • Step 3: Reach out to the site webmasters and let them know they have broken links on their websites. Ask if they’d be interested in replacing them with your links. 

This strategy can work well because you’re not just asking webmasters for a favor. You’re helping them, too. 

They probably don’t want to send their audience to 404 pages, so they’d want to replace broken links anyway. 

But they won’t have to spend time identifying broken links and finding suitable replacements when you do all of that for them. So, you’ll be saving them a ton of time. The least they can do is give you a link in exchange!

Tactic #4: Guest Posting

Let’s start with a disclaimer. 

Guest posting can be both white hat and black hat: 

  • It’s white hat if you’re creating relevant and unique content, publishing it on quality websites, and satisfying the search intent
  • It’s black hat if you’re creating irrelevant or duplicate content, stuffing keywords, publishing on spammy sites, and not satisfying the search intent.

Obviously, there’s a fine line between white hat and black hat guest posts. 

But, at its core, the difference comes down to your intent: are you publishing guest posts just to get links? Or to help others? 

If you’re positive you fall into the #2 camp, let’s talk about how you can publish your content on other websites:

  • Step 1: Find websites willing to publish your guest posts. Try googling keywords like “guest posting” or “write for us” until you find websites that accept submissions from creators in your niche. 
  • Step 2: Explore the existing content on your prospect websites so you get a better idea of what the site owners want to publish. 
  • Step 3: Come up with a post idea that fits both your goals and the goals of your prospect website. 
  • Step 4: Write your post. Make sure to include a contextual backlink to your website.
  • Step 5: Pitch your post to your prospect websites. 

One quick warning: don’t pitch the same post to multiple websites at the same time. 

If more websites accept your submission, you’ll have to reject some of them. That could hurt you in the long run, as the websites you reject may no longer want to accept your guest posts.

So, pitch to just one website at a time. Wait for a response for around 2 weeks. If you don’t get it by then, feel free to send your pitch to another website. 

Tactic #5: Finding Unlinked Brand Mentions

If someone has already mentioned you in their content but didn’t link to your website, it’s likely that they simply forgot to do so. 

You can remind them and easily score a new link placement. 

The first step is to find mentions of your brand online. 

We suggest using media monitoring tools or Google Alerts for that purpose:

Notification settings on Google Alerts

 But you can also google your brand name and manually analyze the results:

Google search results for "prestigelinks"

You’ll probably still find many relevant mentions. It’s just that specialized tools can better filter the results and show you your most recent mentions — not just the ones with the best SEO. 

We suggest you focus only on mentions coming from other websites and not social media. Links from social media have little to no effect on SEO, so getting them shouldn’t be your top priority.

Other Noteworthy White Hat Link Building Tactics

We showed you the five techniques that worked best for us. 

But there are others you can try, too:

  • Networking with other businesses
  • Creating shareable infographics (guestographics)
  • Getting listed in directories
  • Niche edits 

Again, remember that your approach matters more than the tactics you use.

As long as you focus on improving user experience, you should be safe from penalties. 

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Link Building 

Here’s a quick checklist that will help you ensure you’re staying on Google’s good side. 


  • Don’t use link farms or PBNs
  • Don’t stuff keywords just to rank
  • Don’t produce low-quality content
  • Don’t duplicate existing content
  • Don’t leave spammy comments on other websites


  • Do get links from high-authority websites
  • Do produce relevant content
  • Do show the same content to users and search engines
  • Do go over search engine guidelines with your team
  • Do disavow toxic links using a specialized link-building tool

Do You Need White Hat Link Building Services?

White hat link building is the safest approach to boosting your site’s SEO. But it also takes the most time, effort, and expertise. 

Simply put: if you want quality white hat backlinks, you can’t cut corners.

That’s why many site owners outsource the work to professional link building agencies. 

If you’re looking to do the same, our agency can help. Here’s what you can expect when you work with us: 

  • Instant access to authoritative bloggers and online media outlets — No research and pitching needed. We have exclusive access to other websites, so we can publish content in your name any time we want.
  • More high-quality backlinks than you could build on your own — We’ll have an entire team working on your link building campaign, so we can get you maximum results in the least time possible.
  • Content that promotes your brand — Our native English writers will create all the content you need with your broader marketing goals in mind. 

If you’re interested in working with us on your next link building campaign, schedule your free consultation. You’ll get access to our price list, so you can see exactly where we can place your links before you agree to work with us. No strings attached.

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