Search engine optimization or SEO is not at all a new term. It’s an online marketing technique that evolved over many years as search engines like Google became more powerful and trustworthy. Today, it is seen as a vast field and a powerful method to drive targeted traffic to a website. Every big brand and every small business with an online presence wants a piece of the organic search traffic.
Now, before SEO got so technical, it used to be simple. It was all about creating the best and the most relevant content for the search engines to rank around relevant keywords.
The interesting thing is, what mattered in the beginning still matters today: Quality Content. The only thing that has changed or gotten better is how the search engines judge the quality of content.
Great, relevant content happens to be the core focus and the main idea behind “White Hat SEO” — the ethical version of search engine optimization.
As content becomes more and more crucial with each passing day, the importance of white hat SEO grows. If you think you can grab top search engine rankings without investing in good content, especially after the major Google algorithm updates (Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird etc.),
So yes, the only valid way to rank your website higher than your competition (and stay there) is to bet all your money on white hat SEO. And diligently work on creating real value for your target audience.
Google and other major search engines respect and recommend white hat SEO, and will have zero problem giving you your deserved position in the SERPs given that you practice it.
What is White Hat SEO?
Without complicating things, white hat SEO can be explained as a collection of techniques to improve the ranking of a website in the SERPs ethically. It is done without implementing any “eyebrow raising” practices that generally involve cheating the search engines.
Quality is the key ingredient in a white hat SEO strategy. Right from the type of content you’re publishing to the overall user experience your site has needs to be of high quality.
Here are the factors that you need to implement if you want to make your white hat SEO efforts produce results.
- The depth and relevance of your written content
- The entertainment and educational value of your visual content
- Targeted meta information of your website
- Architecture and navigation of your website
- Speed and performance of your website
- In short, white hat SEO is the clean way to boost search engine rankings since it leverages quality content and aims for user satisfaction on all levels.
Here’s What Happens When You Get Penalized by Google
Google is strict when maintaining the quality of the websites in its index. And why not?
After all, Google wants to give the best user experience to its users by sending them to relevant sites that offer real value. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the search engine giant actually punishes sites involved in unethical practices.
When you get penalized by Google, you may notice the “offending” pages have vanished from the search engine result pages. Or you may see that the organic search traffic has dramatically reduced over a period of time.
Why You Need to Invest in White Hat SEO
White hat SEO is the holy grail of search engine optimization. Because if you want the search engines to show mercy to your site and actually find it useful, you’ll have to play by the rules. Being a rebel can and will get your site banned by Google, Bing and other search engines.
Let’s face it, if your potential customers are unable to find you on Google, there’s little chance they’ll find you through some other smaller search engines. Which means if you’re not putting your efforts in white hat SEO, you’re taking a big risk.
Check out a few logical reasons for you to consider white hat SEO over any other questionable SEO tactic:
- Maintain Your Current Reputation:
It takes a long time to build a strong reputation, especially in the business world. And it’s not easy maintaining it once you build it. So why make it harder by playing with unethical SEO techniques? Why risk it?
If your answer is “fast results”, think again. Because fast results can disappear equally fast when you get caught by Google. Any white hat technique you use is a shield against search engine penalties. It makes your site live longer in the search engines and deliver true value to users.
- Increase Organic Visibility:
When you put in so much effort to reach the first page of Google, you ought to do everything you can to sustain your position. Because the longer you stay there, the more organic visibility you gain. Even though the results with white hat SEO aren’t as quick as black hat, they’re worth it.
Sites that practice white hat SEO rarely experience big fluctuations in their ranking unlike their black hat counterparts. The point is, when you treat users with respect and give real value, the search engines let you win the SEO race over time.
- Achieve Higher ROI:
If you’re investing time and money into SEO, you obviously expect to see positive results. Or else what’s the use of it all. With white hat SEO, you can get a higher return on your investment because you’re in for the long haul. Which means you’ll not only recover your investment but earn consistent profits from your efforts over the years. With black hat SEO you’re building a sand castle that can get swept away when a big wave ( Google update) comes crashing.
Good Reasons to Avoid Black Hat SEO
By now you should have a clear idea of how harmful black hat SEO can be to your website. But if you still need more convincing, here are three reasons to say no to black hat SEO.
1. It’s Getting Costlier:
Think black hat SEO is cheaper than white hat? The answer is a big no. There used to be a time when Google was in its nascent stage when black hat was cheaper and maybe more effective. But things have changed for the better. Google is now not only smarter, but also faster. So the old-school black hat techniques no longer work.
Which means you’ll have to invest in costlier blackhat tactics to make it work, and still have no guarantee of a return. For example, simply building your own private blog network can cost a bomb. You’ll have to shell out a ton of money for buying expired domain names, a dedicated hosting server, etc. The costs prove that it is simply not worth it.
2. It’s Getting Riskier:
In the early days, many black hat SEO powered sites managed to fly under the radar and rake in the moolah. Today, it’s much more riskier to put your bet on black hat techniques. Getting a Google penalty isn’t pretty and getting out of one is uglier. So take the safe route and do what needs to be done the white hat way.
3. It’s Getting Complicated:
Black hat may be unethical, but it’s downright geeky. It requires you to have a decent amount of technical know-how about how the world wide web operates so that you can find holes in the system. And since this knowledge is well-guarded by the big black hat players, the whole black hat idea can get frustrating fairly quickly.
White Hat SEO Techniques to Implement in 2019
Regardless of the niche you are operating in, you cannot ignore white hat SEO if you want to rank higher. When it comes to Google’s ranking factors, both user intentions and content are seen as crucial factors by the search engine giant. This just goes on to show that white hat SEO embodies all those factors that Google wants you to focus on — in 2019 and beyond.
Let’s look into a few white hat techniques that you should apply year after year if you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts.
Publish Relevant, Top Notch Content
Content is the life blood of a successful white hat SEO campaign. Quality content has been king and will continue to be king. See to it that your content is…
- Relevant to the niche that you are targeting so that your audience finds value on consuming and sharing it.
- Made up of top quality subject matter expertise and not generic advice.
- Written in good, error free English that people can easily read and understand.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing 500 word blog post or a 5,000 word eBook. What actually matters is how your content is making the reader’s life easy and if it is solving a real-world problem.
If your content isn’t adding the needed value in an entertaining manner, your readers won’t have any issue skipping your site and moving on. The idea is to deliver so much value that competition doesn’t affect your site’s ability to attract links and rank well.
Today, bad and thin content can be easily spotted by users and as well as the search engine algorithms. This can not only affect your site’s authority but can also make you quickly lose your rankings.