This National Hat Day, we’d like to talk about our favorite hat: White Hat. Learn about search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, what is white hat versus black hat SEO, and why you should know the difference.
Simply put, white hat SEO is ethical, honest efforts to increase your ranking on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Black hat SEO is shady, dubious practices that may help your ranking, but may not obey search engine guidelines.
White Hat SEO
Companies doing honest, above board SEO and internet marketing employ tactics such as:
- Writing content that real people want to read. Articles such as “10 Exercises to Look Younger ”, “Habits of the World’s Wealthiest People”, “How to Look Like Angelina Jolie” are things (some) people would enjoy reading.
- Adding your website to web directories focused on your area, such as Yelp, Manta, SuperPages, CitySearch
- Creating a Google Business and Google Plus listing for your company
- Finding sites where a link to your website can be added that makes sense for your location or industry. Such as adding a link to a dog training business on a website about animal rescue organizations.
- Reporting to the client the result of the work done, and providing details as needed. When you ask a company like ourselves about what they’re doing for you, they can explain it in simple, easy to verify terminology. If you ask them what links they have built to help your ranking, they can provide you with a list of them.
Black Hat SEO
In contrast, companies doing dishonest, aggressive black hat SEO and internet marketing employ tactics like:
- Writing content stuffed with keywords that’s written for search engines, not real people. It’s unpleasant and tedious to read articles with phrasing like “Raleigh Internet Marketing Specialist Sharon Dawson writes about SEO tactics in Raleigh for marketing your Raleigh website.”
- Advertising your business on directories for other states that are not in your target market. Would you find it helpful if the company built a link for your Raleigh italian restaurant in a listing of the best restaurants in Boston?
- Getting you large quantities of social media followers quickly by using fake accounts not used by real people
- Adding a link to your website on any site, anywhere, about anything.
- When asked for a report of work done, having a generic and unmeasurable response. How would you feel if a company said to you “we have partnered with high end website owners who will add you to their site for various niches,” without telling you what the names of the websites or niches are?
Why is Black Hat Bad?
A company who guarantees a #1 ranking on search engines in a month’s time generally employs black hat tactics to do so. That may seem appealing to you as a consumer, but it can hurt your website or company’s online reputation.
The biggest issue with black hat SEO tactics is that search engines such as Google are powerful and smart enough to know the difference. If Google thinks that you’re being deceptive in your efforts to build ranking to your website, they may give your site a penalty. That can make your site disappear completely from Google without notice. It may take a while before you even notice it’s gone, and your black hat SEO firm may not monitor your rankings and notice either. There a several steps involved to remove a Google penalty , and it can take months to regain your rankings to the position they were once in.