White hat SEO is what you need to get your website on the first page of Google. It’s as simple as that.
Imagine investing time and budget into a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy that harmed your website’s growth. That’s what most agencies are offering.
Black Hat SEO is a dangerous game. Google penalise sites that try to manipulate the search engine results pages (SERPs). That’s why you must understand the techniques your SEO agency are using. We’ll only ever offer white hat SEO – but what is it?
White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO
Whilst researching SEO, you’ve probably come across the terms “white hat” and “black hat”. These are the two approaches you can take to your search engine optimisation strategy.
What is White Hat Search Engine Optimisation?
White hat SEO is good. It is the umbrella term given to ethical SEO techniques that we know Google approves of. Basically, these techniques won’t get you in trouble (but they will help you rank).
What is Black Hat Search Engine Optimisation?
Black hat SEO is the opposite. Over the years, SEO wizards have tried to work out Google’s algorithm. Sometimes they get lucky. Whenever a new ranking factor is identified people flock to their laptops to optimise their site. Some of them take it too far – and Google doesn’t like that.
Why you should Stay Away From Black Hat SEO
Keyword stuffing is a good example. Website owners realised that the more times a page used the keyword they were trying to rank for, the higher it climbed on the SERPs. You can imagine how that played out.
It wasn’t long before Google updated their algorithm. And with that core update came the Panda penalty. The Panda update penalised sites with poor quality content. Particularly sites that were keyword stuffing or cloaking.
The Panda and Penguin Updates
Every time Google update their algorithm, panic sweeps across the tech world. If you are following white hat SEO techniques, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. However, if you are using strategies that you know Google doesn’t like let this be your warning.
Search engines want to deliver the best results on the SERPs. They want to perfectly answer a searchers query. They don’t want to award somebody the top spot because they have over optimised their page. And they’re getting smarter.
In 2011, Google rolled out the Panda update. Closely followed by the Penguin update in 2012. Both aimed to penalise sites that were trying to manipulate the search engines. Panda looked for poor-quality content and Penguin looked for spammy link-building tactics.
If sites were hit with a penalty, they had no choice but to fix the problem and wait for Google to lift it. Although black hat SEO seems like an instant way to deliver ROI, the side effects of a penalty can damage your website for years. Is it worth it?
Just in case you were tempted to try a black hat SEO technique like keyword stuffing, you should know that a penalty affects your whole domain. Not just the page you over-optimised. Some sites are yet to recover from their Panda penalty – which Google gave them in 2011.
Other Benefits of White Hat SEO Strategies
You don’t want to get a penalty. The Panda and Penguin penalties are enough to half your organic traffic. But there are other benefits when it comes to using white hat SEO strategies.
Deliver a Better Experience
User Experience (UX) is more important than ever before. Google’s recent UX update proves that. If you are implementing white hat SEO techniques then your website content already delivers a good experience.
Be prepared for updates
A website that uses white hat SEO techniques is unlikely to be affected by future algorithm updates. When Google roll out an update, they are trying to improve their service. That means they’ll always try to show better results to any search query. If you’re following the rules, Google won’t hit you with a new penalty (and you might see your rankings climb!).
Produces Good Content
Keyword stuffing, cloaking, content farms and other black hat SEO strategies produce poor quality content. You need engaging, high-quality content to increase website traffic, interaction and social shares. White hat SEO will make sure you’re creating content that your audience loves.
How to Implement White Hat SEO Strategies
The good thing about white hat SEO is you can do it yourself if you have enough time. Some of the white hat SEO techniques are easy to implement. If you have basic website knowledge you’ll be able to get started today.
If you have no idea where to start, don’t panic. There are a couple of options that will help you out.
There are so many free resources, blogs and articles online that can help you. HubSpot and Google Digital Garage offer free digital marketing courses that will teach you the basics. If you have the time to invest, it is worth getting involved in something like this.
The thing about SEO (black or white) is that it is an ongoing process. You don’t just make a few changes to your website and move on. That’s why a lot of small business owners choose to bring on an agency.
White Hat SEO Agency
An agency will manage the day to day running of your website and can work with you to increase your rankings and generate leads. This saves you time and resources. And it’s much more cost-effective than bringing someone in-house to manage your website.
Some agencies will make impossible promises. Even we aren’t stupid enough to promise you the number one spot on Google! But you want to make sure you drill down into the strategy they plan on utilising.
If they recommend any black hat SEO techniques, avoid them! All the money you invest will be wasted if you are slammed with a penalty. You should only work with SEO agencies that offer a white hat service.
Koreti have years of experience delivering premium white hat SEO services. We’re happy to talk you through a strategy that will drive traffic to your website. And we’ll make sure you don’t get a Google penalty.Back to blog home