If you are new to SEO or search engine optimization, you can be ignorant to know if you are doing something good or bad. In SEO language, these are aptly described as white hat or black hat.
As you all know, SEO is a process to improve the volume of traffic that your site gets. It also is a way to attract valuable traffic or those that consists of your targeted market.
In essence, SEO is a host of various practices that will bring about these results. However, not all of these practices are allowed by search engines.
Those that conform to the policies and terms of search engines are called white hat practices, while those that do not are referred to as black hat.
The main benefit of black hat SEO is that it can give fast positive results. In other words, you can get your traffic to soar in a matter of days or weeks in contrast to white hat SEO that may take months.
There is a catch, though. Since you will be violating some policies set by search engines, you can end up penalized, which may ban your site from these search engines permanently.
This is why, black hat processes are never recommended to be used. However, if you are not aware of these methods, you may be unknowingly employing it on your site and sooner or later you may get caught and all your efforts in the past months or years may be for naught.
This is why it is very important to educate yourself of these various tactics so that you will know what to do and what to avoid.
The heart of a good SEO practice is to consistently create good quality content. By this it means that your blogs, articles, or product descriptions must be original, relevant to your business, informative and useful, interesting, and they must be grammatically correct.
With that in mind, you may then insert keywords that you aim to rank high on in the search results. Keywords must be kept at a density of one to three percent and they must blend with the content to retain the flow of information.
Proper web design is also an essential element of a good SEO. Your content must be properly structured and mapped for easy indexing of search engine spiders. A clean site that is navigable and loads easily will also win the nod of your visitors and make them come back in the future and even refer you to their contacts.
Link building is also a part of white hat SEO, but be careful on implementing this, as too much links can be viewed as spamming, which makes it cross over to the region of black hat SEO.
A sneaky tactic of making search engine spiders index a site is by creating hidden content and gateway pages. These content and pages are stuffed with keywords.
Although end users do not see them, search engines spiders do and they are somewhat fooled to index them because of the keywords they contain. Search engines, however, have improved their algorithms to detect these content and pages as spam, which has resulted to the banning guilty sites.
Another black hat practice is link farming. Here, various sites are put up with each site linking to the others in the group. The purpose, of course, is to direct traffic to the group members.
If you think that it is all right to place links to your site on the comment sections of blogs, think again. This is considered as spamming and can get you penalized, especially if you are using an automated script to do this.This is essentially an excessive form of link building.
Are You Safe?
Basically, any practice that may be flagged as spamming and uses sneaky methods to fool search engines are bad for your site. If you want to protect your investment and your efforts, stick to white hat SEO.
The result may not happen overnight, but your traffic will eventually grow and you can have the peace of mind that your site will not be banned.