Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an integral part of search marketing over the past decade. A growing number of businesses are choosing SEO as a means of increasing their online presence and improving their business’s revenue. However, SEO does have its downsides, such as reducing the company’s share of search traffic, decreasing the value of a site in the eyes of search engines, and overall damage to a company’s reputation. To ensure that your company remains on top of the game, you need to take a more holistic approach to optimize your website for increased search visibility.
There are many differences between black hat and white hat search engine optimization practices. These techniques differ because they have varying consequences for the companies that employ them. In general, white hat SEO practices have been shown to yield positive results for websites, although there may be some cases where black hat techniques have been shown to yield negative results. With this in mind, it’s important to understand the different techniques and the ways in which each one can be beneficial for your business.
White Hat SEO practices have been shown to be the most effective when companies execute techniques that seek to improve a sites overall quality and relevance. By taking full advantage of white hat SEO practices, a business can improve their overall rank, increase their traffic, and improve their user experience. Here are a few examples of white hat SEO practices that you can use to improve your website’s rankings and attract more web traffic:
Update the relevancy of your content regularly. When there are significant algorithm changes, like the recent Google Panda and Google Penguin updates, it can be difficult to keep up with the new algorithms. If your SEO firm is not constantly striving to create content that meets these updates, it will be much more difficult for you to maintain your rank. To make sure that your SEO company stays on top of the algorithm changes and provides you with content that meets the changes that may occur, you need to regularly update your site with relevant and keyword enriched content.
Use content optimization. Content marketing is a major part of many black hat seo tactics, but using content optimization to improve user experience is a method that should not be overlooked. Google recognizes the importance of providing users with the information that they are searching for, and by offering relevant content and creating a user experience that exceeds that of other competitors, they can easily achieve that goal.
Build links. As mentioned above, Google has recently changed their algorithm to favor websites that utilize white hat techniques when determining their SERPs. By building links to your site from other high-ranking sites, you can increase your chance of reaching the top of the search engine results pages. This strategy is not as popular as it was, due to the fact that link building does require a significant amount of time. However, if done right, you should be able to significantly improve your SEO ranks. It is important to note that while reciprocal linking is frowned upon by the algorithm, white-hat methods may still work against you, so you should spend some time experimenting with white-hat SEO before implementing it into your site’s overall SEO strategy.
Use the correct keywords. Black-hat SEO services employ a variety of different strategies to try and manipulate the search engines. In the past, many new services used “spinning” techniques in order to get higher rankings in the search engines. These techniques have been outlawed by Google, and although there are a variety of different strategies that are still being used, most of them are now banned due to Google banning several services that used this method.
Use effective cloaking techniques. A cloaking service will place your website’s URL in an XML file that is created on the server that you are using. Your actual URL will never appear on the search engines, but the file that your URL is placed inside will. Although cloaking software is relatively new and is only available through a few companies, these software’s main purpose is to get you onto the top of the rankings lists. If you’re planning on using one of these services, make sure that they are capable of cloaking your site properly and cannot be detected by search engines.