If you have ever visited an SEO blog or read an article, you have likely seen the terms white hat or black hat used. This week we will look at the two concepts, examine what they are, and explain what it means for you.
Black Hat SEO refers to the practice of aggressive SEO tactics in order to get a high position on search engines. This means that the person or company in charge of SEO uses certain techniques that are meant to target search engines instead of actual people. In short, they favor a quick financial return instead of long term investment and content.
Here are a few techniques that black hat SEO people use:
Keyword Stuffing – Filling a web page full of keywords in order to trick search engines into thinking that a certain page is relevant to a web search.
Invisible Keywords – Another form or keyword stuffing except this involves inserting repeating keywords into the webpage that are hidden from actual visitors, but can still be scanned by search engines. The keywords are either hidden in hidden fields, or by making the text the same color as the background.
Doorway pages – Also called gateway pages, doorway pages are pages that act as an entry point to a website. These pages are usually stuffed with keywords in order to gain a high SEO ranking. Usually, the page will either quickly redirect to the actual website homepage, or require the user to click to continue.
Page Swapping – Once a page has been ranked by search engines, the user will completely change the web page to something different.
Many SEO firms still use these techniques to boost sites to higher search rankings. This is why you should be extra careful when choosing a SEO company. There are countless SEO companies that promise quick SEO results, and often end up using black hat techniques. Search engines constantly are on the lookout for practices like these and punish the offending sites when found.
White hat SEO is a technique that focuses on the human audience rather than search engines. It focuses on organic searches rather than manipulating search engines. White hat is designed to be a long term approach as opposed to achieving quick results like black hat. It follows all search engine rules and policies.
White hat SEO follows practices that are often talked about on this blog: keywords, keyword analysis, backlinks, link building, quality content, etc.
White hat is considered Ethical SEO because it focuses much more on the site’s actual content as opposed to manipulating the search engine algorithms. If you intend for your website to be a long-term investment, white hat techniques are advised. If you are looking into companies to work on your SEO, always ask what techniques they use and how they plan to boost your rankings. Nothing is secret in SEO. If they won’t tell you how they plan to boost your ratings, they are often using black hat techniques.
Looking to get some SEO done? Contact us today for a free consultation. You can be assured that we will always follow good white hat techniques to help build your organic search results.