White Hat SEO

What is White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO refers to any SEO (search engine optimization) strategy or tactic that has been approved by major search engines, such as Google and Bing. These tactics follow the rules, regulations, and policies enacted by the search engines, and is often referred to as ethical SEO.

What Are Some Examples of White Hat SEO?

Quality Content

Google recognizes whether or not your content addresses the question that the reader is looking to find answers to. By providing in-depth, readable, and relevant content, you have a higher chance of ranking for your targeted search.

A highly effective white hat SEO tactic to create content is by simply answering the question that the Google search is addressing. For example, if the question is “what is white hat SEO”, then providing a blog that is longform and provides the best possible answer will tend to rank higher in Google.

Another highly effective tactic is to utilize the “People also asked” section in the SERP. By answering these questions that Google has deemed relevant, you are including other information that the blog may be able to effectively answer for the Google searcher.

Keyword Targeted Meta Tags

Using best practices for meta descriptions, meta titles, and headings are crucial in white hat SEO. Search engines such as Google and Bing look for keyword injection into your meta tags; however, ensuring that the tags are readable and natural sounding is important. Unnatural and keyword stuffed tags will be marked as black hat SEO.

Tools such as SEO Meta in 1 Click can be utilized to ensure that the meta title and description are optimal in length. Meta titles should be between 55-65 characters, while meta descriptions should be between 155-165 characters.

Authoritative Link Building

There are several link building tactics that Google would recognize as acceptable methods. However, guest posting, creating linkable assets, and directory submissions can all be valuable white hat SEO link building techniques drive traffic and authority to your site.

What is the Difference Between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO?

White hat SEO tactics improve your rankings and discoverability in the SERP (search engine results page), while black hat SEO tactics can be flagged by Google as spam, which can lead to further issues like manual actions and deindexation. Some examples of black hat SEO techniques include keywords stuffing, duplicate content, and cloaking.

White Hat SEO is different from Black Hat SEO.

 

Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is a form of identical content creation where content is taken from one source and duplicated onto another source. The length of this duplication can be from a few phrases to full pieces of content; however, it all can be detrimental to a website’s ability to rank.

Duplicate content can also hurt when it’s duplicated on the same domain. Although not as detrimental, duplication can still be the difference between ranking and not.

A white hat SEO alternative to this would be to create unique content. By focusing on creating unique and targeted quality content, there is no need to worry about duplicate content.

Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is an old black hat SEO tactic that involves injecting targeted keywords into content unnaturally. This method was utilized to manipulate website rankings in the SERP. Google views keyword stuffing in content as irrelevant and bad user experience for readers. Ultimately, this will cause keyword rankings to fall rapidly.

A white hat SEO alternative to this would be to properly utilize keyword injection in a natural and organic manner. By writing properly optimized meta tags that are readable by real people, keyword stuffing is easily avoidable.

Cloaking
Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique that shows the Google crawler (or spider) a different set of content than the user. This method is considered highly deceptive and cause the page to receive cloaking penalties which can be deleterious not only short term but long-term as well.

Examples of cloaking include hidden content and redirects using JavaScript or utilizing Flash to hide content from the crawler.

A white hat SEO alternative to avoid penalties from cloaking is to utilize HTML for text and HTML5 for any other content that you would otherwise utilize JavaScript or Flash for. By minimizing the risk, you are actively minimizing the chance for manual actions to be taken on your website.

Why Do I Need to Know White Hat SEO?

You should know white hat SEO because understanding what Google considers as ‘best practices’ can help you improve your keyword rankings and subsequent organic traffic. Not only is it important to understand white hat SEO, but understanding black hat SEO can help you determine what NOT to do, and that is half the game.

Google is the magic hand in search marketing. With that great power comes great responsibility. By providing strict guidelines for what is expected from each and every website, it creates a fair playing field for everyone to generate traffic and overall brand awareness on the internet.

There are a lot of resources provided by Google that can be helpful when getting started with a Google-friendly site, such as the Webmaster Guidelines or the Content Guidelines. By following these guidelines, you will be following best practices of white hat SEO.

How Do I Know White Hat SEO is Being Used For My Website?

SEO is a long-term investment, but high amounts of valuable traffic can be generated from properly utilizing white hat SEO tactics and strategies. When looking for an SEO agency, you want to make sure that they value a strong understanding of best practices issued by Google.

You deserve the best. See if your website is using white hat SEO tactics by getting a free proposal today!

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