Tag Archives: search engine algorithm

White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can fall in one of two categories: white hat or black hat. White hat SEO is techniques approved by search engines or those conducted in an honest manner. Black hat SEO is methods that search engines disapprove of and attempt to eliminate from their indexing process. These techniques are typically conducted in a dishonest manner. This is a common term in the internet world for driving traffic, making sales and generating leads.

Length of Use

Another dissimilarity between the two is the length of time in which each practice is employed. White hat typically produces long-term results that continue to be used for many years. On the other hand, black hat users often anticipate the banning of their sites once search engines realize the method they are using.

White Hat

An SEO technique is considered white hat if it conforms to the guidelines set forth by the search engine company and has no deception. Although the guidelines are not written and formal, it is more than just following the unwritten rules. White hat also must ensure the content a search engine indexes is the same content a guest user will be viewing.

White hat is accomplished by creating content for the user, not for the search engine algorithm. The more human the content, the better the search engine ranking. The content should be easy to detect by the search engine spiders. White hat SEO is similar to web development in terms of accessibility. White hat SEO has proven to be effective for marketing by drive quality content to the audience.

Black Hat

Black hat SEO is pretty much the opposite of white hat in that it attempts to fool search engine rankings through disapproved techniques. One example of a black hat technique is using hidden text or text that cannot be read due to a color change to drive traffic. Another method is cloaking which involves presenting a different page depending on the visitor (human vs. search engine).

Search engines penalize those sites that utilize black hat methods to drive visitors by dropping their rankings or eliminating their listings altogether. These penalties can be enforced automatically or by the manual review.

It is always advantageous to utilize white hat methods on your website. With the advanced search engines today, it is not worth it to implement black hat practices as the consequences can ruin your reputation forever.

Where is Google Headed?

A main topic in web communities is should SEO’s be focusing on where Google is heading in the future? The answer is yes. Wasting time on ascertaining short-term holes in Google’s search engine algorithm is not smart. Just as soon as you figure it out, the algorithm will change again. Therefore, most publishers focus on the direction Google I heading. One idea publishers should be aware of is the transition of Google into an answer engine.

The Answer Engine

For web publishers this can be a major issue. An answer engine is one that answers any questions or inquiries directly from Google properties. For instance, if you are looking for a definition and input “definition baseball” into the search bar, an answer engine would have the definition immediately available from their database at the top of the page. This indicates all subsequent websites below the answer will have less traffic.

Unlimited Resources

Since Google is such a large corporation, it has resources everywhere. From searching for flights to finding dinner reservations, Google is connected to all of these databases; they are the internet. This technology advancement is fantastic for Google, excellent for the user and not good for web publishers and internet marketers. With Google providing the answers, there is no need for the visitor to click on any other website.

Review Sites

Google has slowly been headed in this direction for many years. In 2010, Google furthered this process by making inroads for commercial searches like mortgage rates. Their most recent advancement is the aggregation of reviews on various topics from review sites.

The Savior: Brand Loyalty

Unfortunately the days of being an affiliate with no branding strategy is coming to an end. Affiliates will never disappear completely but there will be less of them because of the extra competition with Google itself. A final word to the wise, create or build a branding strategy now to prepare for the Google takeover.