SEO is a cut-throat world where only the top-ranked websites thrive, and all the other websites get left in the proverbial dust.
It makes total sense for companies to use any means necessary (even unscrupulous SEO strategies called Black Hat SEO) to try and get to number 1 for their keywords. But there’s one caveat – you’ll get harshly penalised and maybe even banned on Google and other major search sites if you’re caught red-handed.
Google’s algorithm is getting smarter on each update. For this reason, putting your money in underhanded SEO strategies is not a good return for your investment. Sure, your site ranking will go up noticeably in a short time, but the results will be short-lived. Once Google cracks down on black hat strategies, the sites who use them will have their rankings ultimately replaced by sites who use White Hat SEO.
Black hat SEO strategies to avoid at all costs
Black hat SEO is characterized as a manipulative, deceptive SEO practice in order to get to the top. Here are some of the most common practices black hat SEOs use:
- Putting out content that are choked with keywords.
- Posting the same keyword-stuffed content on several websites/blogs.
- Spinning the article and posting it, even if it doesn’t make sense.
- Paying for mass links. This includes submitting your website to directories and sites that are created just to accept links.
- Spamming forums, similar niche sites and blogs with comments and advertisements for their website.
- Article spinning, Xrumer, Web 2.0 blogging and PBNs are also part of the bad strategy.
The bottom line is that anything that exploits the latest update and algorithms more or less fall within black hat and shouldn’t be used, period!
Is white hat SEO the way to go?
The short answer is yes.
White Hat SEO is the most natural and the most organic strategy you can use when trying to rank your site on Google. In fact, it’s what Google will recommend if they were to recommend SEO strategies to web owners, bloggers and business alike. Quality, organic techniques make up the core of the best white hat strategies.
Slow and steady wins the race. Going for white hat ensures you build a steady, lasting foundation that will stand the test of time (and algorithm updates).
Don’t look for immediate results. Remember, great results come from great effort.
White hat SEO strategies – the best SEO practices
Great SEO is marked by a beautiful, responsive website filled with content that’s invaluable for your target audience. Here’s how you can make it so.
Develop sound on-page technicalities
Your on-page SEO should hit all the checklists in Google’s books. The headlines, page structure and content should all be formatted in the right order. Your site’s framework should be arranged in a manner that Google’s crawler can index your site properly.
Let’s not forget the performance aspect, though. First of all, your website should be quick and responsive. This can be achieved by investing in a good web hosting provider. The design and architecture should provide a seamless, speedy response as your audience browses through your website.
Your website should look great on mobile screens, load quickly and it should provide a secure connection. To this end, your theme should be tested to be responsive on both desktop and mobile platforms.
Provide useful, engaging, quality content
Google’s mission is to provide searchers the best possible content when they search using a particular keyword. Wouldn’t it make complete sense to go for that top spot by providing your target audience with the best content you can create?
White hat strategies focus mainly on providing immense value to their readers and visitors. Your site plays nice and goes by the set of rules that Google has set. You provide exceptional content that your audiences will find highly entertaining, informative or useful in what they need. Little by little, Google will recognize the hard work and the effort, and your site slowly goes to the higher ranks.
But how does one create exceptional content? It has to be these things:
- 100% unique and original.
- Can show the content source and quotes when applicable.
- Well-written with proper spelling and grammar.
- Relevant and useful to the audience and the industry.
- Has a mix of multimedia content (pictures, videos) accompanying the text.
Your reader and target audience will be overjoyed when they find highly relevant content to the questions they are seeking online. So make it a point to make your website a huge contributor within your product or service niche. Also, everything should be accessible in just 2 clicks!
Contact relevant sites and ask for features and link ups
The internet should be a community where everyone is sharing something useful in blogs, social network platforms and forums.
Check out the top sites for your niche and ask for a guest post. Do your research and offer interesting articles that provides great value for the intended audience. You can have them look at your site so they could see if it’s a great fit. As you may know, establishing the proper backlinks is one of the most essential aspects in building your white hat SEO.
It’s not all about keywords these days. Google has made their algorithm so smart that it could read like a real person. Site owners should forego the need to put out a huge amount of shoddy content and go the other route – quality content that obviously took the writer a lot of time and effort to craft.
Top sites will know whether or not an article provides great value or brings something new to the table. These are the things that they want on their website!
As mentioned before, patience is the name of the white hat SEO game. This is why the best sites are still on top even after all those algorithm updates. Remember to keep on posting amazing content and offer to post on other top sites for community and backlinks.
So why should you use only white hat strategies? It’s unbeatable in the sustainability aspect. It’s ethical, effective and gets you in Google’s good graces. It’s really the only way to go if you’re looking to be on top for years to come!
By Amit Raj
Amit is an freelance seo consultant based in the UK, who specializes in white hat link building for medium to large sized businesses.