Last updated: December 17th, 2013
Humans love the idea of duality – everything is good or bad, honest or dishonest, black or white. Duality makes our existence much simpler because we don’t really need to think about it – we just know. There is no need to explore the gray areas because everything is apparent to us from the get-go. The same rules generally apply to SEO – if something isn’t White Hat optimization, then it consequently falls into the Black Hat category. Although it’s not really that simple, because of the Black Hat methods have their White Hat alternatives.
Whether or not you want to delve in the morality if the matter is entirely up to you – I’m here to tell you about Black Hat techniques and their White Hat alternatives.
What is Black Hat SEO?
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Black Hat SEO is a type of optimization that almost entirely ignores the human aspect of building a site and instead focuses on the web spiders. Black Hat would generally seem like gibberish to you because it’s created to specifically provoke and follow the predetermined patterns that the bots will use to rank it. It’s a pretty effective method with quick return, but since the sites don’t provide relevant content (something search engines generally frown upon), if you get caught (read “when you get caught”), you are going to be severely penalized. Usually when Black Hat is used, its inherent flaws are taken into consideration and what is really sought from using the method are short-term results.
There are many Black Hat techniques out there. Some of them include web page flooding, keyword stuffing, concealed text, irrelevant keywords, link purchasing and duplicate content. Of course, none of this targets your majesty, the user – it’s all about the bots. In recent years, though, Black Hat has become harder and harder to pull off, with algorithms becoming more complex and bots becoming “smarter”. But let me explain the techniques and we will get back to this bit in a moment.
Web page flooding is artificial generation of nonsensical web pages filled with gibberish that make your site seem much bigger than it actually is. Keyword stuffing is the inorganic use of keywords in the text, essentially making it lose meaning, but still keeping up the high number of keywords which, in theory results in better rankings. Concealed texts is a text with the same color as the background of the page. You won’t see it, but the bots will detect it. Using keywords that are not relevant to your niche is an excellent way to get more traffic to your website (and to also makes it disappear from search results for an undisclosed period of time). I feel that link purchasing and duplicate content are self-explanatory (I’ll give you a hint – they are exactly what they sound like).
What is White Hat SEO?
White Hat SEO is everything that Black Hat is not. It’s a well optimized, organic content that is actually meant to be read by people. If you’re using it, then you are complying with search engines’ terms and conditions. In the past few years, algorithms have become smarter and much better at detecting Black Hat techniques which is why it’s a good idea to use White Hat instead. Yes, it requires more time and effort, but it ultimately yields better results and a higher quality content.
Instead of flooding your web site with artificial pages, just make new, normal pages that provide information people would want to actually read. Of course, make sure it’s in your niche. Like I said, more work, but better results. Search engines are more about quality than quantity.
Instead of stuffing keywords in the text, write longer content and insert the keywords organically. You need to have a free flow and make sure that when people read it, it sounds natural. Also, instead of concealing the text, with SEO purposes, rework it and insert it into the normal page organically.
The use of irrelevant keywords won’t help your cause too much. If you still want to use different keywords, that’s fine, but make sure it’s in your field. Everything has to be done naturally and for human readers, not the bots in mind.
Instead of duplicating content, you can paraphrase, but there are several conditions. One of them is that you don’t do it more than a couple of times. Another one is that what you produce has to be of high quality. And finally, it has to come from respectable sources (which you might even acknowledge). As for buying links – just don’t.
About Author: Connie Jameson is passionate blogger and tech geek. She currently works as a web designer at http://www.qualitycleaninglondon.co.uk/cleaning-services-w5-ealing/and she has a lot of experience to share with the readers.