White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

Search Engine Optimization has become a booming industry as websites take over as the primary way people shop, communicate and conduct research. There are a lot of ways to get people to visit your website, and Online Potential wants you to be aware of the good practices (White Hat) and the bad techniques (Black Hat).

Black Hat SEO Techniques

Black Hat techniques are often considered to be aggressive and disreputable ways for a website to receive better search engine rankings without adhering to the guidelines set forth by Google and other search engines.

Previously, the most popular way to trick a search engine into boosting your site was keyword spamming. By using keywords over and over again, search engines would assume the site was knowledgeable and relevant. In reality, these sites rarely gave any real information and would just keep using those same keywords again and again. Then, Google wised up and released Penguin and Panda updates severely hurt Black Hat practicing sites. But there are still ways they get around “ethical” or White Hat practices.

Google outlines several practices to avoid when creating websites and content. These include using content that auto-generated, creating pages with no useful content and using unrelated keywords on a page. Link schemes are also forbidden, and these can include link selling or cyclical link building with faulty or unreliable link and content. Malicious intent is also not allowed, such as hijacking pages with trojans, viruses, phishing or other malicious content.

Further unethical practices include cloaking sites, using redirects and opting for doorway pages. Cloaking occurs when sites send text to the search engines but when humans click on the link, they see Flash videos or images. Redirects occur when a link takes users to a page that was not the intended URL. And doorway pages are pages that target specific audiences but funnel them to a single destination.

White Hat SEO Techniques

Now that you know what Google doesn’t want you to do, let’s talk about what you should be doing.

Google advises website designers and content writers to create content that is informative and useful to the people who will use the site. White Hat SEO tactics take the human into consideration, not the search engine. Instead of keyword spamming, coherent content and meta tags/descriptions are used to draw in readers. An easily identifiable link hierarchy is recommended so that each page on your website can be accessed via a specific link.

A good guideline to follow is to always include important information as text. Search engines are not able to scan images and graphics to glean addresses or phone numbers, so you should list your company’s details in HTML text. This is also a good practice because sometimes images don’t load properly, and that means your site visitors can’t see the information either.

Utilizing an Online Potential Internet marketing plan can help you achieve White Hat SEO naturally. By creating a useful, informative website, along with social media profiles and a compelling blog, we can help you build links, offer content and engage consumers in all the right ways.

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