There are thousands of people online who promise to make your site SEO friendly and it can be quite difficult to decide who is giving the best advice. For businesses who want to be more visible and build their brand, choosing the right techniques is important.
White Hat SEO techniques are ones that are largely accepted by search engines such as Google and Bing. They are legitimate ways of increasing search visibility and include such things as having good content and strong inbound and outbound links to reputable and relevant sites.
Black Hat techniques provide quick results but are generally frowned upon by most search engines and include stacking your content with too many keywords and producing spam content that is posted all over the web. Whilst these can boost your rankings for a short while they can also lead to your site being punished by Google and sent to the back of queue.
Guest blogging on bad sites is still an option for many substandard SEO marketers. It was hugely popular a few years back and led to vast amounts of spam blogging just to get a link back to the main site.
Duplicate content is also a big problem – whether you spin it manually or automatically, search engines are looking for new, original content, not old, rehashed articles.
Keyword stuffing is still prevalent despite the fact that it can have such a detrimental effect on sites and is easily picked up by all the search engines.
Various linking strategies including selling and buying them just to boost your visibility is seen as a big no-no and can cause major problems, not least having to search the web to undo the problem once your ranking suffers.
Using too much keyword stuffing in your anchor text can also be highly detrimental and buying links on directories that are just about SEO enhancement will quickly lead you down the wrong track.
Some marketers try to get round the penalties for black hat techniques by changing the bad content as soon as they begin to rank. This is something that simply doesn’t work and you’ll find your content will begin to slip down the rankings quite quickly.
Just to prove that old habits persist, one technique that doesn’t seem to have gone away is including invisible text on a page – you can’t see it but it’s there. Another is placing spam comments with links on external blog pages that link back to your site.
SEO What Are White Hat Techniques?
Having good, solid content is now one of the prime movers for improving SEO credibility and that includes not being too over concerned with getting your keywords in there. Most reputable marketers will look to put in keywords at about 2% or less but they have to fit in with the content and have to be relevant.
Linking is still good but you need to link to and from reputable sites. A few strong links vastly outweigh 100s to and from spam sites. Search engines such as Google are much more sophisticated than they were a couple of years ago which means they can spot a spammer pretty quickly and demote them for a pretty long time. Here is an excerpt from Google’s SEO help pages:
Keep in mind that our algorithms can distinguish natural links from unnatural links. Natural links to your site develop as part of the dynamic nature of the web when other sites find your content valuable and think it would be helpful for their visitors.
Updating your content on a regular basis is much more important than it used to be. Google and co like new stuff and if you have a page that hasn’t been updated in the last few years it’s time you revisited it. Special attention should be paid to innovations such as Google’s Author Rank which ranks individuals on the quality of the content they produce.
As search engines develop ever more sophisticated algorithms the concept of what constitutes good SEO is changing. There is no simple solution that is going to magically boost rankings and any marketing professional who offers them may well be employing black hat techniques. As a rule of thumb, if you think quality and usefulness when it comes to your content before you even contemplate your precious rankings, then you may not be too far off the mark.
Final Word Of Warning
Don’t feel obligated to purchase a search engine optimization service. Some companies claim to “guarantee” high ranking for your site in Google’s search results. While legitimate consulting firms can improve your site’s flow and content, others employ deceptive tactics in an attempt to fool search engines. Be careful; if your domain is affiliated with one of these deceptive services, it could be banned from our index.