Like any gripping tale, SEO has both a light side and a dark side. Those that stay on the light side, engage in White Hat SEO practices, techniques which remain within the rules and parameters instated by major search engines.

Blackhat SEO techniques, on the other hand, are more deceptive. They involve using cloaking techniques to mask marketing efforts, which often go against Google and other search engine’s codes of conduct. As Google’s analytical capabilities evolve, these techniques are becoming less effective and produce fewer results

Two Examples of White Hat SEO

Digital marketing agencies like Whitehat SEO practices. Playing by the rules and engaging in SEO practices that don’t violate Google’s boundaries is the only way to ensure your site does not get banned and removed from prominent search engines. Lifetime bans can have disastrous consequences for a business. Given the monopoly Google holds over the internet search engine market, being placed on Google’s blacklist will result in a significant drop in traffic and leads. The only way to protect against this is why only employing White Hat techniques.

Generating Quality Content

The most common White Hat SEO technique is to create quality content that users want to digest. The better the content, the more users you get, and the longer they stay on your page. This means better SEO optimization and a higher ranking in search results.

Effective Keyword Use

Creating descriptive posts and landing pages littered with keywords and phrases to drive traffic is another example of a White Hat SEO technique. These words and phrases should be product-specific and ensure they are adopted in titles, meta descriptions, heading elements, links, and the body of text.

Two Examples of Blackhat SEO

Now for the dark arts. There are ways of boosting your sites search rankings without playing by the rules. Before you employ any of these techniques, be aware that even though they may drive short-term traffic to your site, in the long-term they could get your site banned from Google and may not be sustainable.

Keyword Stuffing

While using keywords is an essential and permissible part of any site’s SEO strategy, keyword stuffing is not. Overuse of keywords or hiding keywords on the page in the same color as the background text (so as not to be seen by the user but read by the search engines) is not permitted. Keywords should be used naturally in the text to deliver valuable, quality content for the user, not hidden in the background.

Link Farming

If a lot of people link to your site, search engines take this as a signal that you are producing relevant and engaging content and show your site early in their search results listings. However, these links must be organic.

Link farming is using spam websites to post links to your site, thereby tricking the search engine to believe that your site is more relevant and engaging than it actually is. Link farming is actually not as effective as many believe. Search engines now spot the difference between a quality inbound link and a spam link and give more weight to a high-quality inbound link. For example, if a popular and highly-ranked website like the New York Times links to your site, Google places more weight on this inbound link than 1,000 inbound links form small, barely visited third-party spam sites.

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