SEO or Search engine Optimization is the latest buzz word in the world of online marketing. Everyone wants it; everyone wants to spend tons of money to apply it. But what is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
In layman’s terms, search engine optimization is the attempt by someone to rank at the top of search engine results pages or SERPs. Websites do this through various techniques that make a website more desirable or relevant to search engines.
SEO is a valuable marketing technique as it can help companies get potential customers and clients to notice their websites. Furthermore, it can lead people searching for products to assign more value to their products as being on top gives the perception of legitimacy.
Various SEO Techniques
The history of SEO goes as far back as search engines themselves. However, as time passed, more strategies and techniques have been invented by “SEO experts” to try to beat the usually hidden logarithms of search engines. As search companies realized that people were doing these, they started sending out guidelines stating which techniques are illicit (black hat), and which are not (white hat).
White Hat SEO
Search engines have the power to decide which websites they show in their search results and which ones are not. Moreover, most of them are extremely strict when it comes to rules and regulations regarding web pages. Hence, white hat techniques or SEO techniques that follow the set policies and guidelines are more widely used by websites. (1)
Some of the most effective White Hat SEO techniques are:
- Keyword Analysis: Also known as keyword research, this method uses keyword analysis applications to determine which words are searched most by users regarding a certain topic. It is perfectly fine to do as it is practically the same as looking for a subject to write about.
- Link Building: This technique involves convincing third parties or external websites to link back to your site. The best way to do this is to post relevant and good content that can provide good and reliable content.
- Content Optimization: Considered as the best SEO technique, content optimization is the creation of useful and readable contents that would attract readers without the need for other techniques. Search engines often give websites with good content the highest ranks in SERPs.
- Mobile Friendliness: As people are more and more switching to mobile devices, search engines are making sure that websites which are mobile friendly get more traffic than those that are not. This is because if your website is accessible through phones or tabs, then more people can use it even if they are using mobile platforms.
Black Hat SEO
If you’re a risk taker and hate rules, then maybe Black Hat SEO techniques are perfect for you. Most Black Hat techniques are more effective than White Hats; hence, it can sometimes be tempting for web developers to try them out.
However, as they can make a website more noticeable, those who use Black Hat techniques are just waiting for search engines to catch them. Search engines like Google like to make sure to remind people not to use these techniques by not indexing websites that are found by them. (2)
Some of the most effective Black Hat SEO techniques are:
- Paid Links: Links are essential in the eyes of search engine bots, they signify that many people are referring your content because it is useful or reliable. Hence, many people attempt to fool bots by using paid human or automated link builders.
- Spam Comments: Spam commenting is when you use bots to post comments on various blogs with your link attached to these comments.
- Cloaking: Cloaking is the act to send two different contents to the user and the search engine. This fools bots to think your website posts are adhering to the guidelines when in fact it is not.
- Doorway Pages: Doorway pages are keyword rich pages that when opened show a different content, or may even lead to other websites.
- White Texts: This practice is done by stuffing your website with important keywords and then turning them to white so that readers will not be able to see them.
Gray Hat SEO
This in-betweener is a mixture of both Black hat and White in a way that almost applies the same techniques that Black does, but search engines are willing to look away and let them slip. This is one of the preferable techniques. However, it is still risky as it can be effortless to mistake a Black Hat as a Grey; hence, getting you unindexed.
Some of the most effective Black Hat SEO techniques are:
- SEO Squatting: A person can do this by buying expired websites that are already rich in content that is attractive to search engines.
- Website Redesign: Redesigning your website can fool search engines that you are always posting fresh content. However, it is tough to do as you often need to do a complete web design overhaul.
- Inviting People to Comment on Your Posts: Search engines treat comments in your website as new content; hence, getting people to comment is an easy and effortless way to get better search rankings.
Now that you know the different types of SEO and the well-known techniques under them, we highly discourage you from using black hat techniques. Furthermore, we can say the same gray hats if you have minimal knowledge of how search engines work.
Seattle Web Works offer excellent Search Engine Optimization services. Contact us to know how we can help your website get to the top of search engines without the worry of getting banned.