There is a common misconception among some website developers that all search engine optimization is bad—that it is like cheating the system or tricking users. However, even the top brass at search engine giant Google believes that there are two very different types of SEO techniques: "white hat" and "black hat." While black hat SEO uses deception, loopholes, and tricks to improve search engine page ranking, white hat SEO makes improvements to website design and content with the goal of improving both PageRank and user experience. Here's a closer look:
White hat SEO techniques include any design or content decisions that lie within search engine rules and guidelines, help visitors find what they are looking for, and help them use your site with ease. A few examples include:
- Making sure your pages are crawable and accessible
- Making sure that people using common keywords (as opposed to industry lingo or technical terms) can find your page
- Making sure that your site is well designed and easy to navigate
- Making sure that your pages load quickly
- Making sure that you provide well-written, unique content for your readers
- Making sure that readers who would like to use your products or services can easily answer a call to action
Black hat SEO techniques often involve deceiving a visitor instead of helping him. Instead of attracting readers who are interested in what you have to offer, black hat SEO techniques will take advantage of those who aren't sure how to find what they are looking for. A few examples include:
- Creating sneaky redirects and doorway pages
- Engaging in keyword repetition and keyword stuffing
- Adding invisible text to web pages
- Using cloaking techniques
Black hat techniques are bad for two reasons: they are short-lived solutions, and they ultimately do not give visitors the information or services that they are looking for. Search engines are improving every day—and with each improvement, websites using black hat SEO techniques are being penalized. White hat techniques will never be punished because they are ultimately helping search engines connect web surfers with the information and products that they are looking for.
Do you need a white hat SEO expert to assist you with your legal SEO? Contact Foster Web Marketing today to discover how you can improve the design, content, and marketing techniques of your site today.