Working on an SEO strategy could be time-consuming. Yet, it is proven to bring incredible returns to your digital endeavors. The snowball of momentum just gets better and bigger over time – that is, if it is done correctly.
What is SEO?
When you step into a library, books and research articles are indexed in ways that can be found efficiently. SEO or search engine optimization is the way search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo index websites to be found through user searches.
These platforms work in organic ways and their algorithms have evolved to be extremely human-oriented.
Therefore, performing proper SEO techniques allows you to place your pages in front of the audiences you define.
There are well-known tactics and principles that can be used to help increase a website’s web traffic, both in volume (number of people visiting the website) and in quality (specific types of people visiting the website).
These strategies must follow each search engine’s guidelines to perform well.
Take into consideration, SEO is a long-term strategy that needs to be refined constantly because search engines update their algorithms on a regular basis to improve user experience.
A great way to classify these techniques is white hat SEO and black hat SEO.
They both aim to earn higher rankings across several search queries. When a website has high visibility, such as a ranking on the first page of Google, there is a higher chance of clicks.
In fact, the top 3 results in any search take most of the traffic in any given search.
With this said, what is the difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO?
Long story short, the techniques employed in white hat SEO follow search engine guidelines and focus on user experience over volume.
On the other side, black hat SEO focuses on quick results by “tricking” the algorithms. Nevertheless, black hat SEO is short-lived and unsustainable over time.
Let us take a look at each of these tactics.
What Is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO, also known as search engine optimization, concentrates on improving the quality of a website for users. This sends the right signals to Google, which show the website’s purpose, authority, and quality.
All techniques and practices used within white hat SEO are done “by-the-book.” This means that white hat practices will optimize the website for both user experience and search engine algorithms. This takes expertise and takes patience.
How Does White Hat SEO Improve Website Quality?
What Are Common Techniques Used in White Hat SEO?
1. Link Building:
Focus on sharing information and content with other websites through backlinking.
Providing relevant links that tell your website visitors you have taken your time to do your research and provide fresh content with a different perspective.
When Google sees an external, authoritative, website linking to you, this results in a bump in your rankings and vice versa. So, create relationships online to boost credibility and authority in your industry.
2. Technical On-Site SEO:
This makes sure that the website’s meta-structure, tags, keywords, and internal links are all relevant to your overall strategy.
Some of the areas to pay attention to are the website’s content, images, videos, products, and services.
At the end of the day, the goal is to keep users browsing internally for as long as possible. Sending these signals to search engines will provide an immediate boost to your search engine results.
3. Website Content Optimization:
As mentioned before, SEO is a long-term strategy. Therefore, you need to constantly revise and refine your content. This includes creating linkable, informative, and entertaining content that focuses on attracting the right audience. It is important to generate content that is creative and sets you apart from competitors while keeping it easy to browse through.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Think about the movies you watch, the villains always wear black, and they always pay the price at the end.
Black hat SEO employs unethical or “illegal” practices to quickly improve search engine results for websites.
It maximizes short-term gains and it uses loopholes within the search engine algorithms.
Usually, it includes spammy practices that do not provide a great user experience. Using these techniques can get your website penalized and hurt your rankings significantly.
What are the common techniques used in black hat SEO?
1. Link Schemes
Using automated programs to build links or creating pages just to link to a website without any content of value.
With this technique, there will be a high volume of links attached to the website, which could trick search engine algorithms.
These are called link schemes. However, it is all against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
2. Keyword Stuffing Content
One part of SEO is ranking for specific keywords. Keyword stuffing involves creating written content and web pages that are filled with an excessive number of keywords to amplify the signals being sent to the search engines. Often, the content generated is difficult to read and unappealing.
3. Using Auto Content/Article Spinning
Any type of website content that is created by a bot or is spun by a program is an attempt to fool search engines into believing it is legitimate and relevant content.
4. Spamming Links
A common way to do this is by inserting links into the comment sections of blog posts, forums, and videos in hopes of getting more traffic to the webpage. Yes, this can be done conservatively. But it should not be abused. Only share links that are relevant and can provide value to viewers.
5. Hiding Keywords
This involves a practice just like keyword stuffing.
For instance, keywords can be hidden by changing their font color to make them invisible to those reading the content. Another way to hide keywords is by adding them to images without taking into consideration the content of the image itself.
This is an attempt to fool the search engine into giving the site a higher ranking.
6. Misleading redirects and cloaking
They both work on the premise of sending users to pages, where they see different content than what they were searching for.