The title is quite a statement, right? The great thing about this title is that it is far from clickbait. In my eyes it’s the truth. I’ve been working in the wonderful business of ‘link building’ for over nine years now and I’ve seen that the industry is making incorrect nuances. This is also the reason why I named my company hatless.com: I'm neither in the white-hat nor the black-hat camp, however I'm doing what I think is right, with as minimal influences from myself as possible.
Why ‘link building’ is not a correct term for the real ‘link builder’
It is a broad rethreaded topic: link building is dead. This kind of reasoning is based upon what the writer means by link building. Link building, as you might know, implies that something can be constructed, such as a house. Brick by brick. That in itself is a true thought: link by link building your link profile.
A ‘natural link profile’ is in my opinion a profile where you can minimize the impact of activity in the form of links. Ideally, people link to your website in a way they find appropriate and with a specific reason. In doing this, you are strongly dependent on third parties; you can't build it yourself.
For that reason, I use the name of linkmarketing for the activities that will help you receive links for your website.
The war between white-hat and black-hat techniques
Let us first briefly explain what white-hat and black-hat entails:
The white-hat way: you follow the guidelines that search engines provide you.
The black-hat way: you want to rank as #1 ASAP, by any means, in other words violating the webmaster guidelines.
For some this is a more difficult choice than for others: do I choose white-hat or black-hat way? The choice is challenging, because there is much to be said for both ways. As an agency, you can say that you simply want results: entrepreneurs pay you for certain expectations and results. They want to rank in search engines. Black-hat provides these results, whether or not it is for a shorter period than your had hoped in advance. You might even get away with it. People who apply white-hat claim that you must follow the guidelines in order to rank. The downside is that it takes much effort when trying to rank on competitive terms.
I used or am using black-hat
My advice for you would be to look at your website. How important is it to you and to your long term success? If you can live without it and don’t care so much about a penalty that might come in the future, you can either keep using black-hat or stop using black-hat. If you do care about the future, there are a two things you absolutely have to do:
- Get rid of your black-hat links (contact webmasters to remove/adjust your link(s) or disavow links)
- Start building natural links
I used or am using white-hat
No harm. No foul. Just focus on getting good links and don’t worry about anchor texts. As long as your links are on relevant pages, in a way that makes sense for readers and visitors, you’re alright. This way you will never have links that can harm you.