The Facts: Black Hat SEO vs. White Hat SEO
Ever since the late 1990s, SEOs have been grouped into two distinct categories with specific differing content strategy techniques – Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO. The main difference between the always feuding Black Hat and White Hat SEOs is associated to what techniques that they use for increasing the volume of traffic to their websites by search engine optimization. As its name suggests, Black Hat SEO refers to techniques that boost rankings in deceptive ways that are against guidelines by the search engines. On the other hand, White Hat SEO refers to good practices that follow all regulations by the search engines to achieve high rankings.
Although these definitions have become more flexible and are consistently evolving, too many business owners are still basing their content strategy on the hat that they have chosen to wear. Instead of being caught up in these two battling sides, it is actually more beneficial for businesses to look beyond the hat to the real strategic and tactical differences. In order to find the right choice for your own business’ SEO path, it is important you ask one crucial question about your business’ marketing plans.
Short-Term Goals vs. Long-Term Goals
When building your SEO marketing strategies, it is essential that you ask yourself whether you are in this for the short-term or long-term goals for your business. Black Hat SEO techniques of keyword stuffing, link farming, and blog comment spam may help to increase traffic in the short-term, but do not have long-lasting benefits. Using Black Hat methods will usually end up in your website being banned, de-indexed, or penalized for disapproval by the search engines for lower rankings. However, White Hat SEO techniques of research, content improvement, web redesign, and analysis are known to building enduring results for approval by search engines.
All moral judgments aside, Black Hat and White Hat methods are more suitable for certain types of business circumstances, according to the short- or long-term goals. For instance, some particular businesses only have a peak opportunity for growth between six to twelve months from now. In addition, some may not possess the upfront investment needed to get the traffic rolling quickly to establish the business within the peak time. Therefore, it may be essential to bend some rules to create a large social following and epic content with risks other businesses cannot take. If you are planning a temporary business, the consequences of being caught later on and being burned could be minimal.
However, businesses that are looking for long-term growth that perseveres for years to come should not fall into the tempting trap of Black Hat SEO. Unfortunately, long-term companies often feel they need results now and dive into deceptive tactics to build quickly. Once a business gets knocked down a peg by Google or other search engines though, the business gets lost in a cycle of low-value techniques. If you make the big investment early on, it will tend to pay you back in time. Even though the White Hat SEO techniques take time to meet expectations, eventually they will take off and just keep running.
So, which is right for your business? While it is a choice you certainly have to make for yourself, make sure that you keep in mind the need to assess your priorities in marketing. Is your number one goal to start a business quickly and inexpensively, or are you trying to create a genuine long-term business that lasts for decades? In the end, it does not matter what color hat you decide fits your business. All that matter is having these answers to help you begin building a successful business that exceeds your individual goals.
All-New Google Hummingbird Update
Already known for being precise and fast, Google has launched a new search algorithm called Hummingbird. While Google just announced the changeover late last week, it apparently has been using the algorithm to sort through the billions of web pages for better search results for at least a month. Google said that Hummingbird will be better equipped to focus on the meaning behind keywords by paying attention to each word in the user’s query. It is also improved for conversational searches, enabling searchers to speak their query for immediate results.
What does the newest Google Hummingbird algorithm mean for SEOs? Well, Google has commented that there will be nothing new or different that SEOs or web content publishers will need to be concerned with. In fact, if there were going to be problems of lost traffic or plummeting rankings, it would have already happened during the transition period. All of the Google guidelines for SEO content remain the exact same. Hummingbird will still looks for original, high-quality content, but uses new and improved ways to process them.
Stop Worrying About Google!
Instead of worrying about search engine rankings and competition, focus all of your attention on creating awesome content. When you put out superior quality content for your product or service, it will dramatically help your website generate more natural links and shares on social media. Although it is important to not completely ignore Google because of the power it has to drive traffic to your website, it should never be the sole concern of your content strategy. If your business is delivering a great service, high-quality content, and legitimate links, you will do well!
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.