Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO
Search Engines - What Criteria Do They Use?
The exact factors used in determining search rankings are proprietary to search engine companies. Their secret algorithms are highly guarded, and periodically updated to reflect changes in the ever-evolving online landscape.
However, we do know that search engines use the following “signals” to rank your site:
- keyword matches in the site content (titles, meta-tags, body, etc.),
- click-through rates from search result pages,
- page loading speed (the faster, the better),
- how content is organized on the site,
- and the number of other sites that link to yours.
This last point is critical, and is central to most SEO strategies. However, it's not just the quantity of links, but also the quality and relevancy of those links. This means that if nytimes.com has a link to your site, it will boost your site ranking much more than if your link is featured on joeshmoe.com. Regardless, every link counts - the more links you have out there the more traffic you'll receive.
Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO refers to a variety "deceptive" techniques for the deliberate manipulation of search engine indexes. Black Hat SEO techniques include link farms, hidden text, and comment spam. These techniques help a site get a higher ranking on search results than its content actually justifies.
Black Hat SEO is effective. However, because it’s not “earned,” but rather, bought, it requires ongoing payment to ensure links stay active on dummy sites.
- Independent of product quality
- Risk of "correction" by search engines
- Not relevant
- Not long-lasting / must be maintained
- Not as viral
- Misleading to users
- Unethical (cheating the system)
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO works because it is real. White Hat strategies center on:
1. Content: ensuring site content reflects search keywords visitors might use to find you, and
2. Link Building: via online PR.
When you encourage real links from real content providers, the visitors to those sites, and those that follow links back to yours, have real interest in your product.
With White Hat techniques, users will find your site organically, in addition to search. This means you’ve created multiple avenues, or ”on ramps,” for traffic to your site. In contrast, Black Hat generates links that no one intentionally visits, except search engines. This results in an increase in search ranking - the only source of visits to your site.
- No risk of "correction" by search engines
- Time and labor intensive
- Dependent of product quality (can’t use it to sell something no one is interested in)
SEO a la BRINK
At BRINK, we don't do Black Hat SEO. While we're not making judgments, we prefer to focus on content optimization and link building that is planned, purposeful and legitimate.
1. We always build sites that are receptive to search engines,
2. We monitor a site's traffic and make adjustments based on how it's tracking,
3. We offer link building services that create legitimate buzz around your company's accomplishments across the web.
BRINK SEO services effectively increase traffic to your site regardless of whether you contract Black Hat SEO services from another provider. Both approaches can be used in tandem if a client so desires.
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