In today’s digital world, ensuring that your company’s website is highly optimized for search engines and ranks well organically for relevant search queries is a high priority. According to Search Engine Journal, “70% of the links search users click on are organic.” Another intriguing statistic they mention is that “75% of all users never scroll past the first page of search results.” The importance of effective SEO practices is invaluable and cutting corners can have a lasting effect on a company’s reputation. This post will explore what “black hat” SEO practices are, the importance of “white hat” SEO, and the impact unethical SEO practices can have on any organization.
Search engine optimization (SEO) in essence are a combination of techniques used to increase search engine visibility for relevant search queries with the ultimate purpose of driving traffic to a website. There are many components of SEO that involve “on page” optimization like paying attention to title tags, content, meta descriptions, keywords, and internal link building. There are also “off page” optimization tactics like blogging and utilizing local directory sites. Ultimately, increases in online visibility and website traffic are two of the most important functions that effective SEO strategies provide.
What is “Black Hat” SEO?
The term “black hat” SEO refers to finding loopholes in search engine algorithms to climb organic rankings as quickly as possible. According to Webopedia, black hat SEO is “the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques, and tactics that focus only on search engines and not human audiences, and usually does not obey search engine guidelines.” Organizations that participate in black hat SEO use practices such as duplicate content, excessive keyword stuffing, hidden content, link farming, page swapping, and the creation of doorway pages. Use of these black hat SEO practices can lead to an organization’s website becoming banned from search engines. It should be pointed out that most black hat SEO users are typically seeking quick financial returns, therefore being banned from search engines over time isn’t a huge concern. Ultimately, when seeking an increase in online visibility and a highly optimized website for search engines, “black hat” SEO techniques should be avoided at all costs as the reputation of your organization can become destroyed.
“White Hat” SEO
Opposite of black hat SEO, “white hat” SEO refers to optimization practices that comply with search engine guidelines and are referred as ethical strategies. Webopedia defines white hat SEO as “strategies, techniques, and tactics that focus on a human audience opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies.” Organizations that implement white hat SEO practices involve human generated content, internal/external link building, using quality and keyword rich content (not stuffing), and back linking. In general, the use of white hat SEO techniques is what every organization/agency should be implementing to ensure the best and most effective optimization for search engines.
“Negative SEO” and Impact on Reputation
It’s no surprise that the use of malicious SEO techniques can have a detrimental impact on an organization’s reputation. The need for high organic rankings on search engines (Google in particular) is critical in a digitally dominated marketing world. Some organizations will even implement malicious “negative SEO” practices on their competitors with the intentions of destroying search engine rankings. According to an article from Entrepreneur, “negative SEO practices usually consist of flooded duplicate content, creation of fake social profiles, and pointing spammy and low quality links to a site.” It’s almost sad to think that some organizations would use these tactics to hurt their competitor’s rankings, yet Google mentioned that “negative SEO” practices aren’t unheard of. In the end, although search engines are constantly evolving and countering “negative SEO” practices, it’s essential as an organization to frequently monitor your website and seek assistance from experts.
At Onimod Global we know that organic search engine optimization or SEO, is absolutely vital to achieve long term search engine visibility for your website. Years of experience in SEO is the core of our strategies. We develop organic search engine optimization campaigns that deliver increases in organic traffic and natural rankings on major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Check out Our Work to see what SEO solutions Onimod Global has to offer!