Last Updated on August 5, 2020
The term SEO or Search Engine Optimization has become mainstream in business language. Yet many businesses don’t understand there are multiple approaches to SEO that can get them into trouble. On one side is White Hat SEO. The other Black and Grey Hat.
What is White Hat SEO exactly? According to Webopedia, it refers to techniques and tactics that focus on the human experience rather than search engine crawler behaviors. White Hat SEO also follows search engine rules and policies. Conversely, Black Hat techniques refer to aggressive tactics that do not obey search engine rules. In essence, Black Hat is cheating. Examples of black hat are keyword stuffing and invisible text. Use of any of these techniques will be a sure-fire way to get on Google’s naughty list.
So how do you make sure your SEO agency uses ethical, White Hat SEO? Here are two questions to ask:
1. What is your approach to Link Building?
If they suggest listing your business on a website that’s unrelated to your industry, service or has no reasonable connection, then that’s a red flag. Link farms or websites where you pay for links is a no-no.
In theory, the more sites that link to yours, the higher your ranking on search engine results pages (SERP) because the more links indicate a higher level of popularity. Search engines such as Google consider link farming as a form of spam and have implemented procedures to banish sites that participate in this practice.
2. How often do you recommend using a keyword in web copy?
If the answer is “the more the merrier,” then run the other way. Ideally web copy should be tailored to the human audience and should be informative and interesting. In our SEO Writing template we recommend using one keyword per web post, and have it appear naturally once every 100 words. Using a keyword in every other sentence is a Black Hat practice. At best it’s annoying to your human visitor, and at worst it’ll get your website shunned to the North Pole.
For those Black Hatters out there… well, they’re getting a lump of coal this holiday season.