SEO Week Day #4: White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

As we near the end of SEO Week, it’s imperative that we take the time to talk about strategies that should be avoided in an SEO campaign. These strategies, called Black Hat SEO,  are basically used to cut corners and trick search engines into giving a website a higher ranking than it deserves. Those who use these techniques only see a temporary gain, as search engines are constantly updating software to catch Black Hat techniques, and usually appoint people to manually check to see if websites are using these underhanded tactics. Consequently, if search engines find that you are using these techniques, they will most likely ban you from their search engine results altogether.

The terms Black Hat and White Hat comes from old Wild West movies, in which the heroes would wear white hats and the villains would wear black hats. Marketers and SEO experts, in turn, use these terms to describe tactics that naturally help black-hat-seo-strategiessearch engines recognize quality websites vs. tactics that attempt to manipulate and exploit software limitations by search engines to get a ranking that it wouldn’t normally have ranked. The general rule is to avoid, above all, any practice that relies on tricking search engines and distorting search results. You do not want to risk the potential banning and loss of prospective customers for a temporary gain in search results ranking.

As discussed in our earlier blog on link building, a common black hat practice is the use of link farms, which are websites created for the sole purpose of providing links to other sites. Using these sites for SEO purposes are ultimately a waste of time. Due to the low quality and the fact that they are typically computer generated sites, search engines automatically give them a low authority rating, so links from them to your site wouldn’t give you a high ranking based on them. Another technique to avoid is duplicating content. This is similar to link farms and also involves a type of plagiarism. Users employsay-no-to-black-hat-seo-1030x745 this technique because original content requires a large amount of time and effort, so they duplicate content they’ve already written or use content from other websites and republish it. Search engines have gotten pretty good at sniffing out duplicated content and will hand out stiff penalties to sites that utilize it. Something else to avoid is a tactic referred to as cloaking. This involves sending different content to search engines that what is provided to visitors on your site. People typically do this because they want search engines to rank them for a certain keyword, but that keyword has little to nothing to do with their business or website. Search engines usually detect this by having users manually go to a website to check the content, and this is one of the main ways to get your site banned from search engine results.

Search engines typically use computer software to analyze content, so a black hat technique that is often used is having hidden text on a web page. This is text that has the same color as the background on a page, so that site visitors can’t see it, but search engine software can. Another black hat SEO technique to avoid is gateway pages. This is when a site has a page that ranks well with search engines, but will reroute a user to another page. This not only is frowned upon by search engines, but will also hinder your credibility with prospective customers, who most likely will not enjoy being redirected to a page that doesn’t have the information they were searching for.

All in all, a great SEO campaign, and a great way to avoid all of these tactics, is creating a site with content that leaves people wanting more from you and your business. If your goal is to rank high in search engine results, then the key is using honest methods to get there. A great rule of thumb is to ask yourself “Is anything I’m doing an attempt to trick search engines or my customers?” If the answer is yes, then immediately stop, and reevaluate your approach.

AdLo Marketing Group


SEO Week Day #3: All About LINKS!!!

An important part of SEO, one that most people never account for, is the factor of links into building an effective SEO campaign. Links are an important two-way street to a website, with search engines analyzing the amount of credibility your site has, as well as how many credible sites have links to your website. Before we delve any further into links though, we first must discuss how search engines rank websites.

Google, the worldwide leader in search engines, uses a common algorithm when deciphering which websites are placed higher than others on results pages. This algorithm is simply called PageRank™, named for the use of the algorithm and for its developer, Google’s co founder, Larry Page. PageRank™ is fairly simple in how it works, and is based off of work done at Stanford University. At Stanford, the authority, or credibility, of an academic paper is largely based by how many other papers reference and cite it. Furthermore, if a paper is cited by another paper that itself is heavily cited, then that paper will have more authority than a paper that has less significant citations. So the number of citations isn’t the only important thing, the authority of the page citing it is also heavily weighed. In essence, this algorithm is used by Google in the same fashion, with more authority being given to websites that are linked to by other websites, that are themselves ranked heavily.

For instance, let’s use our photography website example from our earlier blog on keywords. Let’s say you’ve started your photography website and have inserted all of the important keywords in the headers and general content. If your website is just published online, search engines like Google won’t give it that much credibility or authority because no other websites are linking to it. Basically search enginesLink-Building1 have no clue whether your site has high quality or not. Now let’s say one of your clients gets a picture taken by you to be featured in a major magazine or online blog and they link it to your website. Then your authority will raise significantly because most major magazines are high authority websites themselves. The higher the websites that link to you, the higher significance your website will have in the eyes of search engines. And the greatest way to get the best websites to link to you, is by creating incredible content that sparks interest.

When getting links, the best way is create content and naturally be found by high authority websites. Another method that is used is contacting bloggers in your industry and requesting that they check your website out and provide links on their postings. You should definitely avoid spams and link farms, which are sites that aren’t real, and only exist to create links to other websites. Search engines assign low value to these sites and with prevalent use can cause your website to be banned by some search engines. Also, links that are designed through anchor text are considered high value by search engines. Anchor text is content that is clickable and leads the user to a specific website. When linking through anchor text, it’s always optimal to have the text contain keywords that are attributed to you website.

Ultimately, links are very important to the success of any SEO campaign. Ultimately when getting links for your website, make sure that the links are from high authority websites, not from spam sites or link farms, and to make sure your content are interesting enough to create enough buzz about your business and website. For more information on link building for your SEO campaign, check out:

Thanks for checking out our blog! Stay Tuned as we continue SEO Week tomorrow, when we discuss what to avoid in building an SEO campaign. See you soon!

– AdLo Marketing Group