White Hat Link Building: 5 Techniques For 2024 and Beyond

White Hat Link Building: 5 Techniques For 2024 and Beyond

This is an in-depth look into the world of white hat link building, and a few techniques to get you started.

Ask just about any SEO specialist, and he will tell you – link building is still king. It’s the #1 ranking factor within Google to this day.

But what makes link building important in online marketing?

Here’s the thing:

Despite fears that link building is dead, it’s still a relevant part of most SEO campaigns. If you want to rank in search engines, you’ll still need backlinks.

What Is White Hat Link Building: A Primer

White hat link building is an SEO strategy that adheres to best practices and guidelines set by search engines like Google and Bing.

It focuses on generating high-quality, original content that adds value to users and naturally attracts links.

While white hat techniques may take longer to show results than black hat methods, they are more sustainable and less likely to result in search engine penalties.

In contrast, black hat SEO involves manipulating search engines and exploiting their weaknesses for quick, short-term ranking gains.

However, sites using black hat techniques risk severe penalties if caught–one of the biggest ones being J.C. Penney, a large U.S. retailer.

SearchDex, J.C. Penney's SEO firm, used link schemes to manipulate search rankings.

The main difference between white hat and black hat SEO is that white hat prioritizes user experience, while black hat does not. Ultimately, user experience is Google's top priority.

By employing white hat link building and other best practices, businesses like SnackNation have achieved significant page views, top rankings, and substantial recurring monthly revenue.

Through link building and other white hat practices, Emil Shour of SnackNation generated more than 40,000 page views as well as a #1 ranking in the SERPs.

This led to $100,000 in recurring monthly revenue.

The Best White Hat Link Building Techniques

Getting backlinks is easier said than done, especially if you’re going the white hat route.


There are tried-and-tested link building techniques that, if done right, will generate positive results. Below are just a few examples to start.

Digital PR

Digital PR (Public Relations) involves using online platforms to increase a brand's visibility and reputation through strategic content creation and distribution.

Unlike traditional PR, digital PR focuses on leveraging digital channels to reach a broader audience, build backlinks, and enhance SEO.

When a brand's content is published on authoritative websites, it naturally includes a link back to the brand's own website.

These backlinks are crucial for improving a site's domain authority and search engine rankings. The more high-quality backlinks a website acquires through digital PR efforts, the higher its chances of ranking well in search results.

When creating digital PR content, you need a strategy that works for both your brand and the journalist you’re reaching out to.

To do this, you need to create newsworthy and linkbait content that’s relevant to the current trends in your niche or industry.

Start by using tools like Google Trends to find daily and real-time trending searches in your space.

Type the topic relevant to your website niche and what you want to write about on the search bar. You can also click on the “trending now” link if you’re not sure what to write about yet.

Once you’ve chosen your topic, you should see a line graph that visualizes its popularity based on the number of searches it has received over time. The higher the graph trends, the more reason you should pick this as the topic for your campaign.

Scroll down to see other topics related to the initial topic you searched to brainstorm additional ideas for your campaign.

You can use Exploding Topics to find trending ideas for your campaign. It provides data-driven insights on rapidly gaining topics to help businesses and marketers stay ahead.

The tool gives you access to premium features for a price. However, it provides data for some of the more popular topics to date. Plus these topics into your Google Trends and conduct your research from there.

Then, use AI-powered platforms like ChatGPT to brainstorm angles for your campaign that tie the trends to your brand.

For the example above, we can take its suggestion of comparing Caitlin Clark’s performance to historic women's basketball figures and how she stacks up.

This angle is perfect because statistics are a great starting point for this approach.

More importantly, the best statistics websites often present valuable information in a boring and uninspiring way. By bridging the gap between boring statistics and well written content you can get more attention and backlinks.

For the example above, you can use sites like Basketball Reference to mine data about the statistics of basketball players and create a compelling written PR campaign about it.

For other topics, you may subscribe to platforms like Statista to get access to a wide range of industry-specific statistics.

Their paid accounts give you downloadable graphs and tables that you can recreate with spreadsheets or turn into beautiful infographics with the help of a designer.

When using this data, make sure to use the most recent years available so it’s relevant for journalists.

If you don’t have the budget for paid platforms or can’t find data in your niche, you can do manual research.

Look for websites that publish annual studies and statistics specific to your industry as these first-hand sources often have a good methodology and provide trustworthy datasets.

Once your PR piece is created, it’s time to contact journalists who cover your industry. Use platforms like MuckRack and Prowly to find engaged journalists who respond to their followers' tweets and comments.

To increase the chances of a response, craft an email pitch that follows this format:

  1. Start with a one-line summary of the PR piece.
  2. Three to four bullet points of the main ideas.
  3. Introduce your client in two to three sentences.
  4. Break down the statistics into top results, e.g. by age group.
  5. Add a table with the key data points.
  6. Include a quote from your client not in the article.
  7. Request a link to the page where the study was conducted.
  8. Explain the research methodology or data collection process.
  9. End with a table with all the data.

The pitch above is taken from Fery Kaszoni, owner of PR backlink seller Search Intelligence LTD. You'd be foolish not to at least take inspiration from it!

To make it even easier use AI to draft the pitch for your PR piece but make sure to edit before sending to publications.

The aforementioned platforms above allow you to send emails and track their performance and replies.

By combining real-time and trending PR campaigns with evergreen content, you’re giving journalists more value with information they can use in their articles.

Consistently sending high-quality PR pieces to the same journalists will help build relationships and increase the chances of your content being picked up and getting authoritative backlinks in return.

Guest Posting

Guest posting (AKA guest blogging) is writing a post on another website in exchange for adding a link to your site.

A long time ago, guest posting was deemed dead, but it’s now one of the most reliable link building tactics out there.

A company called Seraph Science needed to promote their C-Suite marketing methodology. The problem? No one is searching for C-Suite marketing.

So they enlisted the help of Grizzle, a content marketing group catering to B2B companies.

But by offering quality content to the right people, they were able to increase their client’s search traffic by 1,000%. They also started ranking for their target keywords.

The company even landed a six-figure deal in the process.

And this was not an isolated incident.

Part-time blogger Adam Enfroy did an experiment. He wrote 8 guest posts in 15 days to see how it will affect his blog.

The result: 247 new backlinks, organic traffic increased by 372%, and improved domain ranking (+12).

There’s no doubt that, compared to other link building tactics, guest posting plays a crucial role in your site’s SEO success. And it can be seen from the traffic you generate from Google!

The fact is:

Anyone who puts in the time to reach out and develop relevant content can get published.

Guest posting starts by finding sites to pitch to.

One proven strategy is to Google your target keyword followed by terms commonly used in guest blogging.


  • Keyword + “guest post”
  • Keyword + “contribute”
  • Keyword + “submit an article”
  • Keyword + “guest author”

You can also do a reverse image search. This lets you find sites that welcome user-submitted entries.

Find a blogger who writes guest posts in your niche and get the URL of their profile image.

Go to Google Image Search and hit the Search by Image button.

Paste the image URL and hit search.

This will bring up a list of sites where the same picture was used.

Bloggers tend to use the same profile image when guest posting. So the results should include links to the author’s previous posts.

You can use this technique to find more guest post opportunities.

Use Ahrefs to find blogs with a Domain Authority that’s 50 or higher. Ahrefs is a paid service but they currently offer full, 7-day access for just $7.

List down all blogs with potential in a spreadsheet for reference.

Now what?

It’s time to do cold emails. Reach out to your leads and state your intent in a clear and concise manner.

When pitching ideas, be sure to make it relevant to the target site’s audience. Make the content exclusive to them.

Pro tip:

Site owners rarely allow links in their posts unless they need to be there for context. Instead, use the Author Bio section to link to your blog and social media profiles.

HARO (Connectively) Link Building

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) now Connectively is a great white hat link building platform because it’s predictable.

Journalists are actively looking for sources, so your chances of being featured are higher. When a writer uses your info, you’ll get a backlink from the publishing site.

It connects journalists and bloggers looking for sources with people and businesses that can provide information. By answering relevant queries, you can get high-quality backlinks from authority sites.

To succeed with Connectively link building, focus on three things:

  1. Answer quickly so your pitch lands at the top of the journalist’s inbox.
  2. Look for relevant requests and topics that match your expertise.
  3. Keep it short, 200 words max.

First, speed is of utmost importance. You’re one of the hundreds–if not thousands–of people waiting on their inboxes as Connectively drops its scheduled regular emails.

ChatGPT helps greatly in this regard: You can simply enter the question along with your pre-generated AI prompts, and you can be one of the first to send your answers.

One thing that you shouldn’t do is send an unedited AI answer to the journalists. They would know, given the generic answer most AI tools generate.

So, upon getting a rough answer to the question using ChatGPT, structure your answers manually.

Use actionable tips in your answers and replace generic fluff. Start with the tip, then explain what you mean.

Never use filler content–get into the meat of the subject and make your answer as short as possible while being detailed, informative, and helpful. These should convince the journalist of your expertise.

Ideally, you want to rely on your unique insights and experience to give journalists a different answer that stands out.

So, if you have a relevant anecdote, case study, or personal findings that answer the question, now’s the time to mention it here!

You don’t need to be a copywriting master, just offer unique and valuable information that journalists can use in their articles.

Finally, you need to prepare your assets to send alongside your answer.

You should have an About Me section in your email to the journalist. This explains who you are and why journalists should feature your answer on their website.

Another important thing to send them is your profile picture. You want a professional headshot uploaded to your cloud storage like GDrive and send the link to them so they can download on their own.

You may also upload the image to the email, but there’s a chance the journalist may not receive the attachment. So, it’s best to have a link to your photo as well.

Once you’re ready to scale with Connectively, consider subscribing to their paid services.

These services give you more email alerts, the ability to view public profiles of brands asking questions, and the ability to create multiple profiles (if you’re working with multiple clients).

As mentioned, this is a very competitive market since ChatGPT has made it easier for website owners and SEO to provide helpful answers and build links to their sites.

To see the full results, it’s best to dedicate a few months to developing and tinkering with your Connectlively strategy. Part of the process is refining your workflow, finding which prompts and answer formats work, and building rapport with journalists on the platform.

Link Insertions

Link insertions, or niche edits, involve strategically placing links within existing content on relevant websites.

Unlike guest posts, where the site owners publish the content you sent them via email, this technique requires the owner to add a link to your site page on an existing page.

That means you don’t need to write content for the site, and the link will be inserted into a page that’s already generating traffic and most likely ranking on search engines.

So, the link you’ll get from this page is stronger than a newly published guest post!

As a result, link insertions can leverage the site’s credibility, existing page traffic, and authority to exponentially increase your site’s organic traffic and expand your online presence.

The key to link insertions is building rapport with link vendors and connecting with other websites relevant to your niche.

Sure, you can build relationships with site owners to get links. But why do that if you can tap into someone’s database to grow your link profile at a nominal cost?

When referring to vendors, I’m not referring to people who send cold emails with a list of websites to which they can insert links. There’s a great chance they’ve shared the same list with anyone, making their list vulnerable to getting penalised by search engines.

In fact, listing their sites on cold emails is just one of the many red flags you need to look out for when choosing your link vendors.

To know for sure, run the sites on their list on Backlink Blacklist.

This tool determines which among the sites in your list are safe to secure links on and which are not safe because they fail the tool’s quality control checks.

If the tool doesn’t blacklist these sites, it means it’s safe to secure links from them.

Truth be told, however, trusting these vendors takes more than knowing their database is clean and spam-free.

You have to worry about whether they’ll actually get the links published, how long it’ll take, what happens if the links get taken down for whatever reason, and so on.

In this case, you want a vendor with solid processes in place to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth when getting link inserts from relevant sites to yours.

And among the various link vendors to choose from, WhitePress is one of the best.

Create an account and you’ll be able to access its list of sites where you can get link insertions.

Upon logging in, choose your language so the tool can filter the sites based on your preferences.

This is arguably one of the best things about the platform since not all sites are in English. Having this option enables you to zero in on the type of links you can get for your site based on the languages they’re in.

You’ll then be brought into a portal of sites with SEO metrics and WhitePress assessment score, all of which determine the price you can get from the site if you place a link there.

You can further filter the results according to the number of traffic, DR, links, price, and other factors to find what you’re looking for.

Using WhitePress helps expedite your link insertion campaigns thanks to its robust process of securing links from clean and authoritative sites in your preferred language for your website.

Link Exchanges

Link exchange is where two or more websites agree to link.

The goal is to increase trust, authority and search engine rankings by exchanging high-quality backlinks. When done right, link exchanges can be a win-win link building.

There are four types of link exchanges:

  1. Private Influencer Networks (PINs) - A group of relevant websites that share backlinks and promote each other.
  2. Reciprocal Links - Two websites agree to link to each other.
  3. Guest Post Swaps - People write guest posts on various websites with links to each other’s sites.
  4. Three-Way Link Exchanges - Two websites indirectly use an intermediary site to link to each other.

Of these, three-way link exchanges are the safest and most effective.


They are harder for search engines to detect and provide a layer of protection for the participants. Reciprocal linking is the riskiest as it’s easier for search engines to spot.

To get the most out of your link exchange:

  1. Get backlinks from established, trustworthy sites in your niche.
  2. Look for sites with good metrics, topical relevance and diverse backlink profiles.
  3. Don’t link with direct competitors or low-quality, spammy sites.
  4. The link is in contextual content, not in sidebars or footers.
  5. Be aware of the number of outbound links on the linking page.

You can find link exchange opportunities in online communities like Facebook Groups, Slack, Discord and Skype.

Facebook has the B2B Bloggers Boost Group, and Slack has the Racktracker community.

When vetting potential partners, ask about the purpose of their website, where your link will be placed and the quality of the linking page’s backlinks.

But consider the possibility that the partner/s will not be able to keep their end of the bargain for whatever reason.

In this case, you must have a failsafe in your link exchange process to prevent this, including taking their link down from your site, withdrawing the article you may have submitted to them for publishing, and others.


This has been a brief look at white-hat link-building techniques. Get those backlinks to gain an edge over your competition.

Remember to focus on white hat strategies and avoid black hat practices.


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