Search Engine Optimization Types
Search Engine Optimization includes a white hat, black hat, or gray hat SEO.
What is SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Organic search engine results are where websites are listed after a search query and based on the search engine algorithm. In other words, SEO is increasing the number of internet users that come to see your website/webpage—using search engine techniques so that their website/webpage appears at the top of a user’s search results.
One of the essential parts of SEO is understanding how search engines work. Because by knowing how the search engine works, you’ll appreciate how SEO techniques work. So, how does the search engine work? It all begins when a user searches for something on a search engine. A search engine uses “indexing” and “crawling” to better understand the content and index and provide it the right ranking.
There are other factors that a search engine will look at. Such as whether the content within a URL is high quality, up to date, etc. The search engine then ranks each URL to how close it is to what the user searched for and which URL closely meets the search engine’s quality standards.
SEO is really “about helping search engines understand and present content.
Search Engine Optimization Types
Many methods help increase one’s website SEO standing. For example: making sure you have high-quality content, fast and easy access through many different devices, etc. But generally, all SEO techniques come under three branches: white hat SEO, black hat SEO, and gray hat SEO.
The terms white hat and black hat were commonly used in the late 1990s. The terms were explicitly used in western films to differentiate between the good hero and the evil villain. Where the good guy would wear the white hat and the villain would wear the black hat. These terms are now used in the tech industry. Especially when it comes to different types of hackers, good hackers that follow the law are described by the term “white hat.” The hackers who take part in the malicious activity are defined by the term “black hat.” These terms are also now used to differentiate activities and methods in SEO. Terms such as White hat, Black hat, and Gray hat SEO.
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO is actions that follow the law and set guidelines of search engines. This includes ethical techniques that put the user first and improve search engine optimization the right way—some examples of white hat SEO methods based on Google Guidelines—for example, using keywords, back-linking, link building, organic ranking, and audience engagement.
Keeping your website Up to date: is making sure that your content is relevant, provides good service, and or excellent quality.
Considering what’s best for users: is putting users first by helping the user with services, which could either be informing, educating, answering a question, or simply entertaining them.
Descriptive titles: Using descriptive and detailed titles that are relevant to your content. Because when the user clicks your link, they expect that what was on your title also be included in the content.
User-friendly: Making your website more user-friendly and easy to navigate through. Etc.
Your website can work on different devices: Making sure that your website can work on other devices can increase organic traffic to your website because Users on different devices can now all be able to enter and see your website.
Opening a social media account: Having one social media account is an opportunity to increase traffic to your website. For example, followers or subscribers on your social media account will come to see your website. Also, share your website with friends and family. It’s best to link your website to a social media account sooner than later.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is the complete opposite of what white hat SEO was. Black hat SEO is activities that break the law and do not follow the set guidelines of search engines. Using unethical and malicious methods to improve their search engine optimization. These methods manipulate the search engine’s ranking algorithm. Examples of Black hat SEO include:
keyword stuffing: which is to re-use the same word over and over throughout a webpage or website. To increase its visibility to search engines and increase organic traffic.
Cloaking: “Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines.”
Hidden content or text: is including hidden text and links to manipulate search engine ranking algorithm.
What is Gray Hat SEO?
Gray hat SEO is actions that are on the border between white hat SEO and black hat SEO. Gray hat SEO is not illegal or considered illegal by search engine companies. Although gray hat SEO does come very close to black hat SEO activity, it is acceptable. The more detailed meaning of gray hat SEO is that it’s the practice of tactics/techniques which remain ill-defined by published material coming out of Google. For which reasonable people could disagree on how the tactics support or contrast with the spirit of Google’s published guidelines.
Purchasing old domains: How these method work are that you first buy an old domain. Then you create a backdoor link in the old domain that connects it to your web page—redirecting the traffic/users from the old domain to your site—increasing your website’s organic traffic.
Opening dummy social media accounts: this will help improve traffic to your website. By creating dummy accounts, you will get more followers and increase your presence on social media platforms.
Keyword stuffing: using the correct number of keywords in your content could increase your ranking. Just make sure that your content is readable and clear enough. Unlike the black hat SEO technique of keyword stuffing. Which is adding keywords to the point that your content is very rigid and unreadable.
What are the SEO standards?
Although virtually everyone involved in search engine optimization has their idea of what search engine optimization (SEO) is, there is no formal definition for the concept. There are no industry standards for SEO. Although SEO theory has proposed a model for SEO standards, there is no interest among web marketers in forming a standards group that would address this vital need.
Google’s SEO standards
Google search engine is so popular that it’s many times larger than all of the world’s other search engines combined. Specifically, Google currently holds a whopping 92.18 percent of the worldwide search engine market share. Some SEO methods that are allowed by Google on their search engines are:
- Use good titles that accurately describe your page’s content.
- Use description meta tags, which summarize what your content is about to Google’s search engine.
SEO methods that are not allowed on Google’s search engine and should be avoided are:
- Using a bad or vague title that has not related to your page’s content.
- Stuffing keywords into the page’s content and or meta tag description.
Risks of using Black Hat SEO or Gray Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is breaking the SEO rules of a search engine. In contrast, gray hat SEO methods don’t break the rules of a search engine. But gray hat SEO methods are at the very edge of falling under black hat SEO methods. Hence, such SEO methods can sometimes quickly become unethical and risk the website from being banned. Breaking the SEO rules and terms of service of any search engine can lead to Google Penalizing the website!
Picking the right SEO expert all depends on if you want online marketing to be handled correctly or not. There are many different SEO methods, but some ways are best avoided. Black hat SEO can immediately improve your SEO, but it will only last for a short time. Also, your website holds the risk of being caught and penalized. The same goes for gray hat SEO methods. Although gray hat SEO methods are not illegal, these methods most closely resemble black hat SEO methods. If gray hat SEO methods are not used carefully, they can quickly turn into black hat SEO methods. Which then leads to getting penalized.
It’s best to stick with using white hat SEO methods, a practice our online marketing agency follows. Though white hat SEO methods might not drastically improve your SEO overnight, the strategies will ensure that your website continues to rank high and generate website traffic for a longer period!
Have questions on SEO? Contact us today!
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Carefully planning an SEO strategy for each business allows our team to target specific goals.
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So, what are you thinking? "I’ve never heard of an SEO? What is SEO? Am I being bamboozled by this salesman?" I can assure you that SEO is real and very much important to the health of your website.
You see, search engines such as Google and Bing have to sort through billions of websites to come up with accurate search results. How do they take a user’s search and respond with pages and pages or results so fast? An algorithm. This means that your input is passed through a series of complex formulas and algorithms, and eventually, hundreds and thousands of web page results are churned out. Algorithms and formulas decide what gets displayed first, on page one, and web pages that rank low and buried deep behind.
Our company gives websites the traction needed for them to be ranked high. Seattle SEO Now has gained knowledge and experience through real-life projects. Without getting too nitty-gritty, here is a brief overview. Search engines use keywords to do a lot of heavy lifting when searching for a website. By repeating keywords and phrases within your website content, you can get a better SEO rating. Note this does not mean stuffing a web page with keywords!
Everything on your webpage affects SEO ratings in some way. If your title is a good summary of your page, then you get a better SEO rating. If links on your page lead viewer to related material, you get a better SEO rating. The main thing to remember is that the core part is that if you have unique and exciting content that holds the viewer’s attention, you get better SEO ratings.
Are you interested in more? Read some articles on our SEO blog or contact one of our SEO Experts.
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