Over 68% of online experiences begin through a search engine. This is why business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketing experts utilize search engine optimization (SEO). If you want to succeed in your SEO endeavors, make sure to employ white hat SEO services.
SEO is among the most important marketing tools a company can employ. Creating high-quality search engine optimized content will generate leads and boost sales—both crucial for any enterprise’s long-term success.
Online consumers are savvier than ever: around 66% of customers look up products or brands before making a purchase. This means just having a basic online presence is no longer enough; it has become crucial to integrate SEO content into your marketing strategies.
We’ve covered everything you should know in this guide about white hat SEO services, so read on!
What Is White Hat SEO?
Major search engines—most notably Google, which holds around 91.94% of the global market share—have certain terms and conditions for websites and webpages to rank on their result pages. All SEO content is expected to adhere to these terms to ensure integrity and remain within the terms of service of the particular search engine.
White hat SEO refers to general practices or tactics firmly within the guidelines, standards, and boundaries that search engines create to ensure that their results add value to users.
The main goal of white hat SEO is to create content that centers on the user experience. This involves:
- Using appropriate keywords to guide users to your content
- Adding backlinks to informative and helpful resources
- Creating valuable content that answers all relevant questions about the topic you are writing about
The ultimate goal of SEO is to boost your brand’s visibility and build customer trust by giving them the accurate and timely information they are looking for.
The conditions outlined by white hat SEO practices ensure quality control and integrity of published content. Adhering to them is crucial for your SEO strategies to succeed and avoid being blacklisted for black hat tactics.
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO tactics involve the misuse of SEO elements such as backlinks and keywords, and go against the guidelines set by search engines. These practices are often an attempt to rank higher in search engine results by violating their terms of service.
Common black hat SEO tactics include:
Private blog networks, or PBNs, are communities of high-authority websites built to build links and promote sponsored content. Often considered “link farms,” these websites are created to exploit the algorithm to make certain content rank higher than others in search engine results.
Instead of paying for PBNs, organically scaling your outreach and inviting trusted outlets and creators to contribute guest blog posts is more effective as it falls within the strict guidelines set by search engines.
Content cloaking involves “bait and switch” tactics whereby an article’s title gives the impression that it covers one topic while the body contains irrelevant information.
For example, an article titled “How to Pick the Right Shoe for You” can be misleading if the majority of the post talks about picking the right outfit sold by the website and only mentions shoes in passing.
Stuffing an article with as many keywords as possible, no matter how relevant or sensible, is a much-maligned black hat SEO strategy. It used to be very common, but advanced algorithms have rendered it largely ineffective as sophisticated content management systems (CMS) can quickly detect keyword stuffing before an article is even posted.
Keyword stuffing creates articles that come off unnatural and awkward, which will turn away readers even if it does manage to rank well in search results.
And finally, Google levies PageRank penalties for keyword stuffing. This is why white hat SEO experts suggest that creators aim for 1% to 2% of their articles to consist of keywords.
Plagiarism or Duplication
Search engine algorithms reward websites that regularly publish original, valuable content as they bring value to customers and readers.
Publishing content that already exists or slightly paraphrasing existing content from a competitor’s website can quickly be detected and penalized, and it is considered another form of black hat SEO.
This refers to comment sections spammed by bots in an attempt to build backlinks.
While more sophisticated algorithms can quickly identify comment spamming, rendering this strategy ineffective, it is still relatively common.
Links must not be bought; they must be earned. Algorithms largely discredit links generated from sponsored content or paid guest posts to discourage this practice.
Backlinks are meant to be earned organically as a result of value-adding content that enriches a reader’s experience or understanding of a given topic.
Other Black Hat SEO Practices
- Content automation – This involves automating content creation and removing any human involvement in the process.
- Doorway passages – Doorways are sites or pages that are created to rank only for specific queries or searches.
- Hidden links or text – This refers to hiding any type of links or keywords in a webpage in an attempt to rank higher.
- Negative SEO
- Markup spam – This involves markup content in the search engine that does not have legitimate backing.
Does Black Hat SEO Work?
As illustrated above, black hat SEO involves dishonest attempts to improve search engine rankings and generate backlinks. Fortunately, these strategies are rendered largely ineffective as search engine algorithms are updated and built to combat these practices.
Developers work constantly to ensure that search engine results are filled with high-quality content that is beneficial to readers. These measures curb black hat strategies and punish brands with penalties.
Black hat strategies can lead to distrust and affect the reputation of your website or brand. When hiring an SEO professional, it is thus essential to ensure that they adhere to white hat SEO techniques.
How to Create White Hat SEO Content?
Here are some ways to ensure that you produce or publish white hat SEO content:
Pay Attention to Quality Over Quantity
While it is common for marketers to focus on publishing as much content as possible, it can be counterproductive as customers and search engine algorithms prioritize quality. Therefore, your focus should be on generating high-quality, professional, and polished blog posts, offsite content, and links.
Optimize Content for Users, Not Algorithms
Your primary focus should be on the target audience you are generating content for. Tailoring your content to a search engine algorithm may seem like a good idea, but if what you produce doesn’t suit your user’s needs, it is ultimately pointless.
You won’t be able to generate leads from content unless it is optimized to answer queries and add value to users, no matter how well your content ranks on search engine result pages.
Thoroughly Vet Your Content
If you hire professional SEO writers to generate content for you, you must ensure they are well-versed in white hat SEO practices.
If they make unrealistic promises that sound too good to be true, it is probably the case. It’s impossible to rank at the top of search engine result pages within a week, and professionals who make such claims will likely employ tactics that will cost you.
Go through as much content as you can before it is published to ensure that it is up to par and lives up to the standards of a high-quality SEO strategy.
Hiring White Hat SEO Services
SEO is one of the most important and effective marketing methods you can use, with search engine leads having a 14.6% close rate. Including SEO in your marketing strategies is thus highly prudent. However, it is a double-edged sword.
As evident, SEO has many nuances, and it may be hard to distinguish between white hat and black hat practices as a layman.
Kala is well-versed in the dos and don’ts of creating compelling, efficient, white hat SEO content that translates to leads and sales. With highly skilled professionals and a reliable work ethic, you can integrate high-quality SEO content into your marketing strategy without putting in any effort. Contact us for a consultation today!