Backlinking is a key part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and is responsible for a large amount of website traffic. From your personal blog to a worldwide company homepage, backlinks are what ties those pages to the rest of the internet and, most importantly, to the Google algorithm.

When thinking about the Google algorithm, a lot of people assume it’s all about manipulating data and using statistics to gain ranking, but with the new developments in the algorithm, it’s actually more beneficial for everyone online to use more well-researched backlinks.

Essentially, you want your page to be meaningfully included in the algorithm rather than be shoe-horned in. Proper backlinking can achieve that.

Black Hat Backlinking

Firstly, it’s important to know what a bad case of backlinking looks like. Black Hat backlinks are linking methods that rely solely on data, statistics, and risky amounts of saturation.

Black Hat Backlink traits:

• Over saturation of similar content to artificially boost backlink numbers.

• Overuse of keywords which attracts bots but failure to attract real human audiences.

• Generates fast, immediate traffic that then quickly disappears as the content doesn’t adequately answer queries.

• Only statistically-focused with no focus on the wider context of the article or webpage

It’s in these ways that backlinking can be directly harmful to a page if done wrong, while if done right is a valid SEO practice that can boost content.

White Hat Backlinking

To counter the saturated, keyword-stuffed content that aims to game the algorithm and instead using the algorithm as inspiration for good content you can backlink safely and securely with no fear of losing rank. Making good content first that is then supported by backlinks will always net better results than orchestrating backlinks and then trying to write a page around them.

This reader-first approach is the key to white-hat link building.

White Hat Backlink traits:

• Content that is made to be good content: Supported by links but able to exist without them.

• Reader-focused with information provided quickly and efficiently without 3 paragraphs of keyword-stuffing at the beginning.

• Researched by real people, not bots. This ensures data is accurate, relevant, and actually fits the context of the page.

• Links provide constant traffic that grows steadily rather than starting high and dying out.

So, there you have it – two different types of backlink with two vastly different outcomes. It’s not a case of ignoring data and the algorithm in favor of content, it’s more a combination of the two ideas. By using the statistics and data available you can create content that resonates with the algorithm. In doing so, you ensure the page is accessible, clear and concise for your reader. It’s no coincidence that the algorithm is against keyword-stuffing when in reality, so are human readers. As the algorithm grows, content and quality will be important metrics. Ensure you have the right backlinks for your site and you will benefit from the steady traffic they provide, and the steady increase in credibility score on Google too!