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White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

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Posted at 06/03/2019

White hat SEO uses techniques and strategies that target the target market as opposed to a search engine. The techniques and strategies consist of using keywords, performing keyword analysis, research, rewriting meta tags, backlinking, linking building, and SEO copywriting.

Black hat SEO uses techniques and strategies that help a website rank higher on search engines by breaking the rules of search engines. Unlike white hat SEO, black hat SEO only focuses on search engines, not the target audience.

Businesses or an SEO Agency that uses black hat SEO tactics are searching for organic rankings and a quick return on their website marketing investment, instead of investing in long term sustainable SEO tactics that ensures long term sustainable results. When caught using black hat tactics, search engines like Google, blacklist the website from appearing in its search engine results, for using unethical techniques and strategies.

Never go for the shortcut, but always reach your search engine ranking goals slowly by investing in a white hat SEO Strategy. Avoid doing SEO yourself, as it is a time-consuming and highly specialist skill and process, best left to SEO  Experts. Ideally, an SEO agency should be engaged to handle SEO strategy, SEO Audit, and SEO Keyword Research and ongoing SEO Campaign Management.

It is important to understand the various techniques and strategies that fall under each hat, as it is important to distinguish between the good and the bad.

White Hat SEO Strategies and Techniques

When you engage a reputable SEO Melbourne agency, specialising in white hat SEO strategy, they will provide you with the following services to help you obtain a higher search engine ranking, without breaking Google’s guidelines:

SEO Keyword Research

Keyword research is at the core of any SEO search engine ranking plan. An agency will perform extensive keyword research and develop content that will rank higher in search engines. When performing keyword research, they will consider the users’ search intent for using the keyword to look for your service or product. They will incorporate the keywords within the content of the website and other elements to help the business rank higher on search engines.

SEO Copywriting

An agency will include the keywords into the website content. Again, the focus will be on user intent. After studying the website and discussing the content requirements with the client, they will create keyword-focused content to place on the website. They will create lengthy and well-organised content, optimising it with internal links, images, and other elements to draw the target audience.

Inbound Links

An agency will create inbound links or backlinks, placing them on an external website. The inbound links will direct users to the client’s website. In return, this will help build your website and establish it as a domain authority.

One of the reasons why you need to engage the services of an SEO Company is because within inbound linking, you will find both white hat and black hat techniques. Some ways to get backlinks include leaving comments on industry-related blogs and articles, submitting your website to online directories, and requesting guest blogs to add backlinks to your website.

On-page SEO Optimisation

A strong focus on on-page SEO optimisation is a must. You need to incorporate keywords in your title tags, header tags, image alt text, and meta descriptions. By doing this, you are telling search engines about the type of business you run. Another way to tell search engines about your business is to use keywords in the anchor text you create for the internal links.

Off-page Optimisation

Off-page optimisation are elements external to your website. It includes maintaining consistency in NAP — name, address, and phone number — across all directories and maintaining a strong social media presence. Businesses should try to implement both these practices to rank higher on search engines, especially on social media platforms, as it allows businesses to boost their online presence, engage with the target audience, and share information on what is found on their website.

Black Hat SEO Strategies and Techniques

When SEO was new, businesses began to use numerous tactics to rank their websites on search engines, ranking for highly competitive keywords. With time, it has become more difficult for websites to rank due to how complex the search engine algorithms have become.

Even then, websites used black hat SEO tactics to rank higher, but search engines penalised them, causing the websites to lose their rankings.

The following black hat SEO tactics are in the bad books of search engines, especially King Google:

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is when you use one keyword several times throughout the website content. You need to find the optimal keyword density, one that is between 0.5 percent and 2 percent.

Unrelated Keywords

You need to use keywords to rank your website, but using unrelated keywords to rank your website is counterproductive for Google to index your website for the buyer intent search phrases.

Link Farms

Websites with several backlinks into play meant they would rank higher on search engines for keywords. Businesses began getting backlinks from spammy websites called linked farms and would have to pay them for doing them the favour.

Duplicate Content

Businesses used content from other websites and placed on their website to trick search engines to rank them better. Search engines, now, have taken measures to ensure this does not happen by rewarding unique content and penalising websites with duplicate content. You should create unique content for your website that is your own. It is acceptable to  seek inspiration from other websites, but do not plagiarise the content.

Typosquatting

Typosquatting or URL hijacking is a technique where businesses register the domain of a popular website by slightly changing its name. For instance, www.StoryTime.com would become www.StoryTIme.com. This strategy may not be of any help, as it will not be indexed and if a user does stumble on the website by accident, they will exit out of it and find the intended website.

You do not want to get your hands dirty and use black hat SEO to rank on Google. Instead, go clean and use white hat SEO tactics to rank higher on Google. It is slower but steady process, but far less risky and delivers the long term results your business deserves.

With Google making it harder to rank and being more alert to websites using banned techniques to rank, it is better that you stick to using white hat SEO. The chances of getting caught are high and so is the penalty.

You can start things off by asking the SEO Melbourne agency to perform an SEO audit.

The Power of a SEO Audit — What It Can Do for You?

A SEO audit by an agency will evaluate your website to determine how it was optimised for search engines. Before you can incorporate white hat SEO, you should consider an audit for the following reasons:

Discover the Weaknesses of Your SEO Strategy

The agency will find out the weaknesses of your SEO strategy against your competitors and provide you with actionable recommendations on how to strengthen them. For instance, your business’s physical address may be buried deep within your website.

They may suggest you add another page on your website that clearly shows the location of your business. In doing so, it will improve your local search engine rankings. Another thing they may discover is that you may have not placed the right keywords throughout your website and will suggest placing relevant ones to ensure Google finds and ranks you.

Discover What Your Competitors Are Doing Better Than You

You may have one or more than one direct competitor that may be ranking higher than you on search engines. The SEO Agency will examine your direct competitor’s website to determine what they are doing better than you and implement the same into your website. This will allow you to compete with them on the same level for both search engine rankings and your target audience.

Provide You with a New SEO Strategy

Your agency will provide you with a sound new SEO strategy to help you improve your search engine rankings such as writing keywords in HTML, not JAVA, adding or refining the meta descriptions of your blog posts, removing duplicate content, including relevant keywords on your website, earning backlinks on popular websites, and more.

What you need is a comprehensive SEO Audit to steer your organic rankings in the right direction. You need the help of a reputable SEO Melbourne agency with a good track record in helping businesses rank higher on search engines.

SEO specialists will use white hat SEO to help you climb up the ladder and rank on the first page of Google across a wide range of phrases that correlate to your product and services. The agency will perform ongoing content analysis, competitor analysis, on-page SEO, link building analysis, and other important SEO tasks ensuring you sustain and improve on your organic rankings against your competitors.  

Get in touch today with our team if you’re an Australian business and feel that you could benefit from an initial complimentary consultation…


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