When I explain White Hat SEO in a sales presentation, most prospects nod and agree with the theory of playing within the search engine optimization rules. Until the discussion turns toward results. Can you guarantee that I’ll be on page one for most of my keywords? How long will it take to rank better than my competitors? What’s the fastest way to show up in Google searches?
Let me tell you the truth about White Hat SEO and why many online marketers stray to the dark side.
What Is White Hat SEO?
In it’s simplistic definition, White Hat SEO techniques follow the ground rules that Google and other Search Engines set forth about structuring information on the Web. Google and Bing are in the business of answering human questions; they try to serve up the best matches to the keywords or phrases posed. Their job is to scour all possible pages contained on the Web and deliver the most recent, relevant, and useful content. How well they do that keeps searchers coming back because they have a positive search experience. They find what they want. Easily and accurately. SEO techniques that try to trick or manipulate a search engine for a quick result they don’t deserve is Grey/Black Hat. On the flip side, White Hat requires effort like conducting comprehensive keyword research and consistent blogging to support those keywords. In other words, White Hat takes due diligence and perseverance over the competition in order to produce results.
Setting aside ethics for the moment, using Black Hat techniques can get you into serious trouble. Google algorithm changes are routine (39 were launched in May alone) as part of their quest to improve search quality. Google rewards high-quality sites, and specifically targets black hat webspam. They define webspam as techniques that “don’t benefit users, where the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve.” When abusers are caught, punishment can range from lost ranking (the most lenient outcome) to complete banishment.
If your SEO firm or eMarketing agency guarantees results, then they are most likely not wearing a white hat. If the competition is high for your keywords, then legitimate and targeted SEO efforts are going to take time. If your competition has deeper pockets and are spending it on SEO, then achieving slot #1 on page #1 may not be realistic. Want fast results that are ethical? We suggest AdWords.
Our clients are looking to improve visibility and protect their reputation. In our mind, it’s a no-brainer to keep our White Hat squeaky clean.
How can we help?
Launching a website and need help with keyword research? Or, are you tweaking your landing pages to improve sales conversion?
We are the spectrum group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.