Search engine optimization or popularly known as SEO is an effective marketing technique online that has improved a lot, as search engines like Google have become more and more powerful over the years.
Since most people nowadays are drawn to searching for answers almost every time over the Internet, this has become an irresistible opportunity for businesses to drive traffic to their website. Big and small businesses are thinking the same thing, and it’s getting noticed in the search engines organically and achieving better rankings above the rest.
Providing quality content has always been the main focus before in SEO, and it does until today. And the core of relevant and awesome content is what ‘White Hat SEO’ is all about, doing everything the right and ethical way.
The Google algorithm updates such as Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, etc., has made it clear that it won’t be easy to become part of the top rankings. You need to spend time and money for good-quality content. Creating relevant topics will help you establish authority that will boost your ranking in Google.
To beat your rivals in the industry, rank your web page and stay on top of them on the search engines for a long time, you would want to invest and choose white hat SEO. This method is widely recognized and recommended by search engines since it’s the only method that will let you do things the right way. And if you achieve the top rankings, it means you deserve that position.
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A Comparison On White Hat And Black Hat SEO
When you reach the top rankings in search engines, maintaining the position will be your priority. There are 2 ways known in executing the SEO method: White Hat and Black Hat techniques. Let us try to understand the comparison below:
White Hat SEO
It is simply a way to boost the website’s ranking through a collection of procedures done ethically. This is performed by avoiding all the bad and unacceptable practices that result to cheating your way up in the search engine results pages.
It needs every website to maintain quality above all else to ensure relevance and positive experience for the user when visiting a certain web page. Here are some examples:
- Your company info matches the business listings that you have registered
- Content, news releases and links are related and relevant
- The content produced solely for you is unique
- The links and content are supported by 3rd party
- You have undeniable social media presence (this is not easy to fake)
- Your markup is structured such as:
- Htags (H1 – H6)
- Internal links
- Alt attribute
The influencing factors when performing white hat SEO is as follows:
- Your written content’s relevance and deepness
- The visual content of your website – how educating and entertaining is it
- The Meta information that is targeted by your website
- Overall performance and speed of your web page
- Navigation as well as structure of the site
Boosting search engine rankings using this method is the good choice because it focuses on keeping the users satisfied at all times.
Black Hat SEO
If you have the clean and good way, then we also have the bad one. The idea of doing this method is by manipulating the search engines’ rules set when doing SEO. Those who use this strategy is not concerned of what the users think or even experience since it wants to impress the machines.
Is this really possible? Is driving traffic to your web page and gaining exposure that easy? Yes, short-term results can be achieved with Black Hat SEO but there are consequences in the long run. There is a very high probability that your web page will be penalized, and the worst thing is it can also be removed from the index of search engines totally.
Webmasters perform this and focus on quick and easy profits rather than thinking long-term returns. Here are the methods that are associated with this technique that you should stay away from:
- Getting website content from others and using it for your own site
- Competing websites that are not implementing Black Hat SEO techniques are being reported for spamming
- Generating low, automated and bad quality content
- Generating automated, low quality and valueless back-links
- Gateway pages are being made to lure users using the targeted queries but are actually redirected to another unrelated website
Now you know the difference, and the use of black hat SEO is highly discouraged especially if you really want your business to be well-established ethically. White hat strategies have been proven effective, and the outcome is long term too if done right. So why gamble with black hat SEO when it could potentially harm your business in the long run? Stay clean, sure and safe for your website.
What Happens When Google Penalizes the Wrongdoers?
Google or also known as the ‘big G’ is making sure that everything is good with regards to the indexed websites. It is concerned with the users’ experience and would only want to provide the best by leading them to the correct and relevant sites that are helpful to them.
So what happens to those who got caught doing unacceptable SEO practices? The pages that are unhelpful will be wiped out from SERP. You will also notice that there is a reduction of organic traffic over time. To find out whether does your website been penalized by Google, you can check out your Google Search Console.
Once you are in, you can click on the “Search Traffic” tab, and then click manual actions under the said tab. You will see a message in here.
Google will tell you whether the web-spam has made any “manual action” on your web page. This is your first warning before moving on to the next action. They are giving you a chance to fix any issues. Once it has been fixed, your web page that has lost its ranking position will still be able to go back to its original place. You will now then submit to Google a “reconsideration request.” Ranking will be restored right away once they find that the issue has been dealt with.
Another downside of Black Hat SEO is that it will give you a bad image with Google, and it never forgets. It will depend on how serious the black hat techniques have been done and the ranking of your website will definitely go down or even banish it from SERP.
However, if you didn’t do anything wrong, or it could just be something that slipped your lookout, then you can inform Google about it to avoid getting penalized for something that you did not actually do. Remember, once you don’t have the presence in the search engines anymore, your doors for attracting a potential market for your business will close, leading to a failing business with no income. Always make sure that you only do the right thing. Every action we decide for our business has its consequence.