What is White Hat SEO?
Want to get to page one of Google? We all do. The vast majority of search engine users click on results found on the first page. You’ve probably heard or read about terms like White Hat SEO or Black Hat SEO. Today, we will explain these terms and what the best practices are to get you to page one.
What is White Hat SEO?
In its most basic sense, White Hat SEO refers to following the search engines’ guidelines, rules, and policies for search engine optimization. Most of these guidelines are around ensuring that you are providing a natural and valuable experience for your site visitors. For instance, users don’t want to come to a site and be bombarded with things like stuffed keywords, weird text and images, etc. They want to come there for what they searched for. And the search engines want to make sure they deliver a great experience to their users, so creating a good natural looking site is part of what is White Hat SEO and part of what the search engines are looking for. Someone doing Black Hat SEO might try to hide text or keywords in a way that the search engines may read but the site visitor will not actually see. If you or your SEO company are trying to trick the search engines on your site, it is probably not White Hat SEO.
For a more in-depth look on how to do set up your site in the best way for the search engines and White Hat SEO, see our article “Tips in Setting up an SEO Friendly Website”. If you take each of the steps we mention seriously, you can make major strides to getting your site ranked.
Another important part of SEO is link building, which is the practice of getting other sites to link to you. White HAT SEO practices for link building generally would include natural, organic link building. This means getting people to link to you based on the merits of your content or site. So, for example if you buy a link, this would not be considered White Hat SEO. If you SPAM web sites to get links, this would not be considered White Hat SEO.
Some examples of White Hat link building would include:
–writing an article (with a link back to your site) and publishing it somewhere on the web, whether as a guest blog post or on any number of reputable article sites.
–writing a press release with a link and distributing it across the web.
–creating excellent content on your site and people like it enough to link to it from their site- this is excellent and a great example of White Hat SEO. If you like this article, please feel free to link to us!
What is white hat SEO’s most challenging aspect?
According to Tommy Landry, a professional marketer, co-founder of 3 companies, and blogger, the hardest part of white hat SEO can be seen in two ways:
- It must follow standards. The content and linking pursuit strategy must be well planned and carried out.
- It involves politics. You must convince other stakeholders to comply with white hat standards.
What is white hat SEO sometimes called? – Ethical SEO.
Here are some examples of ethical white hat techniques that can help your site:
–Rich and genuine content – What is white hat SEO’s first important step? Write topics that your customers find useful. If you write it well and have something interesting to share, they will likely direct others to your site as well. This is an important part of manual link-building, as mentioned earlier.
–Add relevant keywords to your site – Search engines use keywords to better understand your site. But don’t overdo it!
–Create unique and accurate titles for each page of your site – Choose a title that corresponds to your page’s content so that search engines can effectively organize your site. Remember to use relevant keywords.
–Describe your page accordingly –Take advantage of the meta tag ‘description’ by putting a summary of your content with relevant keywords.
–Update your pages frequently – Search engines’ robots give more priority to fresh content.
–Manual link-building – Use article writing, press releases and rich, genuine content to get web users to link to you from their sites.
What is white hat SEO‘s unethical opposite?
When a site developer engages in black hat SEO, they are breaking search engine rules and regulations by unethically presenting content to search engine users and spiders. This can often be accomplished via keyword stuffing, doorway pages and invisible text on sites, among many other things. Black hat SEO is often used to gain a quick financial return on a site rather than a long term investment.
According to a February 12, 2011 article in the New York Times entitled “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search”, JC Penney hired a SEO firm called SearchDex that had used black hat practices—allegedly without the knowledge of consent of JC Penney’s management. In fact, JC Penney had backlinks from many unrelated pages in the retail industry. For many months they popped up as the #1 result on Google for clothing, towels, and luggage—even before the manufacturers’ sites. When Google found out about this they took action and significantly dropped JC Penney’s rankings.
White hat SEO helps search engines’ robots get a better understanding of your page. Follow the proper techniques and the robots will surely be your friends!