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White Hat Search Engine Optimization
Refers to ethical practice of SEO methodologies that adhere to search engine
TOS. Also see Black Hat
The actual line between the two is quite thin, but, Black Hat SEO refers to things that are considered dark, or spammy, while White Hat SEO refers to "good" SEO.
about White Hat SEO
at an SEO conference, many black-hat search engine optimizers (SEO's)
voiced some misconceptions regarding white-hat search optimization
White-hat search engine marketing (SEM) firms,
are commonly known
as ethical SEM firms They follow all the guidelines, terms, and
conditions set forth by the search engines. Conversely black-hat
SEM firms don't follow all the search engines' rules.
White hat and black hat SEO are two opposing views of how to do
search engine optimization. White hats are those website designers
that abide by the rules and try to follow all of the search engine
guidelines when optimizing their sites. Black hat SEO's are website
designers that choose to use backdoors, cloaking, and other tricks
to optimize sites. White hat SEO's are ethically opposed to the abuse
of computer systems. The white hat black hat analogy is derived from
American western movies, where the “good guy”typically wore a white
cowboy hat and the “bad guy” typically wore a black one.
SE's (search engines) disapprove of the so-called black-hat SEO's
that employ unsavory techniques, like spamming the Web with dummy
pages full of links, in an effort to make their sites appear popular.
Unfortunately for the client, while the rankings may be high they
won’t be seeing any increase in their customer conversions. Add to
that the probability their site will be banned by search engines.
Using white hat methods allows you to advance on the search engines without
worrying if or when Google is going to ban your site for unethical practices.
Zeus Design is a “white hat” SEO business. We do not use gimmicks
or unscrupulous (black hat) search engine techniques. While Black
Hat SEO may sometimes achieve results, they will often be short lived
and could get your site removed and "blacklisted" from
search engines. Rather we adhere to search engine's best practices
and perform legitimate code optimization, optimized copy writing
and editing that meets search engine rules and makes for top search
engine positioning that lasts and continues to perform well for months
and, in many cases, years.
some inaccurate comments voiced by black-hat SEO's about white-hat
search optimization strategies that we have addressed. White
Hat SEO Myths...
Myth. White-hat SEO's will not or cannot pursue competitive
Not true! Just because a few white-hat SEO's may not
go after competitive keywords or a specific keyword
(such as "software,") does not mean all white-hat
SEO's can not compete or be successful at getting
sites ranked for competitive keyword phrases.
Many white-hat SEO's certainly do optimize sites
competitive keyword phrases -- and succeed. More
importantly, they do so without resorting to spam
There is a reason for not optimizing for
competitive keyword phrases and it has absolutely
nothing to do with a white-hat SEO's skill level.
Quite simply, the reasons are small to medium-sized
businesses do not have the time or more importantly
the budget to commit to a full optimization campaign.
One inference of this myth is white-hat SEO's won't optimize
adult or gambling
sites because the these industries' keyword phrases
are too competitive. The truth is many white-hat,
as well black-hat, SEO's will not market gambling
or adult sites for reasons that have nothing to
do with skill or experience.
Do we believe a white-hat
SEO is capable of successfully optimizing an adult
or a gambling site? Of course we do. Will it require
a generous budget, precise planning, and time?
Yes it will. Is it difficult to compete with adult
and gambling sites that use black-hat SEO tactics
to get search engine traffic? It certainly is.
However it's no more difficult than competing for
travel, software, and insurance phrases.
many skilled, talented SEO's choose not to optimize adult or
gambling sites for their own, personal reasons.
2nd Myth: Writing web page copy that doesn't sound like it came from your mouth, is essentially search engine manipulation.
This statement is made, almost equally, by White-hat
SEO's as well as black-hat SEO's. There are two issues
with this statement:
First, "search engine manipulation" is entirely
inaccurate. Neither black- nor white-hat SEO's are capable
of manipulating search results. While SEO's and site owners
control Web page content, however they do not control
search engines. There is only one group that has final
control over what ranks or what doesn't, the search engine
software engineers. Each major search engine has a disclaimer
that states they ultimately decide which Web pages are
included in the index.
A more appropriate phrase is "content manipulation," since
site owners ultimately decide what content (text, links,
graphic images, etc.) goes on their Web pages. Under no
circumstances do SEO controls search results.
Second, Web page content is not speech!
As designers and developers, we never write Web page content
the same way we write brochure content. Different types
of copywriting exist for different types of media. Web
copywriting is a form of technical writing. Copywriters
repeat keyword phrases for “user friendly” reasons as
well as for search reasons. Sales and marketing professionals
place call-to-action words ("add to cart," "get
a quote," learn more," etc.) on a page to encourage
visitors to take the desired call to action, in doing
so they often use keyword phrases. Using the word "search" on
a page instead of "find" because you determined
your target audience responds better to "search" is
not "search engine manipulation."
Both white-hat and black-hat SEO's compare Web copy to
speech. This is a flimsy inaccurate comparison. That said,
white-hat SEO's do not exploit the loopholes in the search
engines' guidelines; however black-hat SEO's do.
Myth: White-hat SEO's lack technical skills.
don't believe an SEO professional is truly qualified unless
he/she has technical skills in the design/development
arena. Reason being, keyword phrases are useless if search
engines and site visitors don't have easy access to the
text. Hence, design and site architecture are critical
components for a successful SEO campaign.
Qualified, SEO professionals need coding, scripting, and
programming skills to troubleshoot all types of sites.
What is very interesting about this myth is no black-hat
SEO really defines technical skills. There's a vast array
of technical skills when it comes to the Web.
black-hat SEO's refer to limited or a lack of technical
skills, they're probably referring to:
Cloaking (IP delivery)
Black-hat SEO's often possess different technical skills
than white-hat SEO's. Some white-hat SEO's are actually
Web developers. Web developers create database-driven
sites, write their own code and scripts, and have usability
training and experience (to achieve better sales conversions).
Conversely, many black-hat SEO's have server maintenance,
cloaking, and coding skills. Do you want a person with
these skills to design a Web site? No. Reason being this
group probably may lack the artistic/design skills necessary
in making the best color selections and page layouts.
Many black-hat SEO's have limited sales, marketing, and
usability skills. That is because programmers tend to
think like programmers, not like your intended target
While some white-hat SEO's have little or no technical
skills, the majority have exceptional technical skills.
Black-hat and white-hat SEO's shouldn't make blanket statements
about each others skill levels.
In conclusion, in the arena of SEM, you encounter professionals
with a wide variety of skills. Achieving successful
search engine optimization requires many skills.