Backlink Strategy


There are two basic categories of backlink strategies to improve SEO, white hat and black hat. The white hat or proper strategy has a singular focus, to create and expertly curate the most useful content possible. The white hat strategy for link building takes time and a little luck. The black hat strategy is to purchase links and/or build new websites designed to point at the target site using desired keywords for anchor text. Anchor text refers to highlighted words in a hyperlink that take you off-site when clicked.


View of linking strategies

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White Hat Tips

In essence, white hat backlink strategies happen naturally because the only focus is on creating high-quality content that people spend time consuming. In other words the white hat SEO primarily affects and encourages backlinks from other websites through high quality content creation. This includes all written text, a form of SEO scored almost immediately by search engines like Google, along with the creation of other content such as web tools, which can improve SEO a great deal if Google sees users spending time and clicks on them. Like any original content, high quality web tools will improve search ranking significantly if users find them useful enough to share their links across social networks. Creating useful web tools is a tried and true approach often requiring JavaScript or PHP coding which is required in WordPress site development. Most of these tools also require routine site health checks to ensure they still pull correctly from external database source(s) they may use. And so the rule of thumb for both text content and web tool content is that the more useful you build them to be, the more time users spend with them and the more links are built from other sites to yours. Thus, the white hat link building strategy doesn’t involve building any off-site links at all, but instead encourages others to build them. This works because all useful content drives a site higher in organic search and improves its domain’s Alexa ranking, an overall measure of popularity sometimes used as a metric. In the end, the authentic backlinks that arise from a white hat strategy are a precious and highly sought after commodity not easily bought, traded or sold. When you are finished creating content to attract backlinks do not get tempted as a white hat to build your own. If you’re looking for slight improvements in organic ranking, consider buying a dedicated IP address and SSL certificates. You can always create more SEO content by delving into sub topics of any page with semantic branching strategies. And remember, in the event that you feel tempted, buying, selling or or building your own backlinks to your own website’s domain are black hat strategies. Be careful if you decide to try those. Read more below about the risks they can pose.

Let’s say your site project is an eCommerce platform for a business in the fabric industry: As an example, the white hat SEO might design and implement a new, useful web tool that allows users search for the top fabric manufacturers, preview the available patterns of each and make a purchase. For creating written content on this or any site, the white hat developer reads up thoroughly on the topic at hand in order to write original text content about each of its facets. Effective written content often hits its topic from various angles or different contexts. For the fabric website a content creator might elect to write original content about the history of the fabric trade, its early manufacturing techniques vs. modern manufacturing, bio pages on the industry’s key players and so on. These are basic yet powerful SEO strategies that can improve organic search ranking and we use them routinely at our Old Saybrook, Waterford and New London offices in web development. Over time, these strategies for creating content to promote natural backlinks have proven useful for increasing visibility in organic search results, attracting increased traffic to our clients’ sites. That’s the idea behind a good white hat strategy.

Key Terms

  • On-Site SEO = White Hat
  • Off Site SEO = Black Hat

Note that you should avoid using text content that appears anywhere else on the web. It’s fine to quote an author but never use sections of text content from other websites, Google will be displeased. The white hat fabric website SEO might write a series of blogs on industry news, linking out to other sources that are related and rank well.


Black Hat Tips


Black hat strategies for building backlinks to a website should be avoided unless you know exactly what you’re doing. The risk is that search engines, Google in particular, will notice what you’ve done and penalize your rank in search results for the same keywords you’re targeting. (It’s called poetic justice.) While it used to be the case that spam backlink generators could improve site ranking, it is no longer case. After the Penguin update to Google search, the opposite became true for low quality backlinks and remains true in 2017. A low quality link comes from a site which has very little to do with yours. Avoid the tools that create them. For example, the SEO tool, Back link Vault appears in google search for the zip code search 06320 and 06475 which is the town of Old Saybrook, in CT. They did this to drive CT traffic from Eastern Connecticut and it worked using back links. Shown here is now more of an SEO liability than anything else. Effective black hat backlinks are created by building new sites or blogs at outside domains. Blogger.com, Medium.com and other free blogging services are a good place to start. The idea here is to create web content about a similar topic or subtopic related to the keywords you wish to target. For this website, a blog about a web designer’s portfolio in Old Lyme and New London CT would be a good fit. You would cover other real service providers and use the keywords you wish to target, such as “CT web design” somewhere in the body text to link back to 860.media. There are highly specific strategies we use for our clients that aren’t covered here. While experimenting with black hat backlinks, get a detailed heads up on the dangers involved. At the severe end of the punishment spectrum, penalties include de-indexing. If this happens, you become the proud owner of an invisible website, meaning your domain name will not show up in any search. If you have to dable in black hat territory, avoid that risk and others by using the following off-site link to jump to a different website and learn more on what not to do with black hat backlinks. When you’re done reading, you can return to our site for further information on CT web design and development.

  • If you liked A, you might like B.

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Drive Conversions

Using your website’s visitor IP list for remarketing is smart but you should be very specific about how you implement the data. A strong method to drive conversions with Adwords is to have a web designer or developer tag your site with specific events. This allowed a sports nutrition manufacturer client who used our web developer in Eastern Connecticut to reach out to customers who bought a one month supply of product A, 1 month after purchase. The prospect can also be marketed to and reached immediately after purchase. Perhaps all customers buying product A might enjoy product B or C as well and re-marketing is the process of recording user IPs and reaching out to each with targeted advertising messages

Key Terms

  • Conversion = sale or goal completion
  • Event Tags = Added to site for Adwords
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