White Hat SEO is the use of optimization strategies that focus on making a website more visible through quality content and organic link building. SEO techniques like natural link building, content optimization, keyword research, website optimization, etc. fall into white hat SEO techniques. This blog will help you to understand some great white hat SEO techniques (organic search engine optimization techniques), with which you will be able to understand the importance of white hat SEO.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is of two kinds: White hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. Practitioners of white hat SEO follow certain tactics and rules that are established by search engines. On the other hand, practitioners of black hat SEO attempt to manipulate the rankings by breaking SEO rules. Continue reading to know more on how white hat SEO practices are the best to follow. Also follow this guide to understand How the Flesch-Kincaid readability test helps in optimizing SEO better.
What is white hat SEO?
White hat SEO, also called ethical SEO, refers to the usage of optimization strategies that are in line with the rules and regulations set up by search engines. It basically refers to the ethical practices that go into search engine optimization. White Hat SEO is more frequently used by those who intend to make a long-term investment on their website.
A website that uses optimization techniques to come up in the SERPs, but at the same time provides valuable content and doesn’t resort to illegal practices is said to be doing white hat SEO. White Hat SEO techniques include Interlinking, Organic Back linking/Creating Outbound links, etc. Visit our next blogs to understand the importance of these links and to find out how these links are created.
- Internal Links: Why They are Vital To Boost SEO
- What Are Outbound Links and How To Create Them To Boost SEO
White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO
The difference between white and black hat SEO lies in the techniques used. Black hat SEO techniques are basically unethical. These techniques focus on implementing ways to manipulate the search engines to rank high. Black hat SEO techniques are considered to be deceitful, hence all the websites that use such black hat techniques get penalized. On the other hand, the White hat SEO techniques follow the rules of search engines. These are aimed at delivering quality content among the targeted audience.
Introduction to algorithm changes
Google Algorithms retrieve the data of the website with the help of crawlers. The data collected by the crawlers help search engines to deliver search results based on the search query. The frequency of algorithm updates was not frequent in the beginning. After Google started rolling out changes, the frequency of Google updates got increased. Now, updates are made regularly, and sometimes, whenever a major change is done at Google’s end, it affects the SERP rankings.
The Florida update in 2003, wiped out websites from the SERPs that used black hat SEO techniques to get high ranks. The Jagger update was done to crack down on unnatural, paid or spam linking practices.
The Panda algorithm filters out duplicate or plagiarized content and penalizes it. Penguin works to down rank the sites where links seem spammy or manipulative. Hummingbird makes it possible for web pages that have close variants of the keyword searched, to rank for the query. Hummingbird pays more attention to each word in a query rather than particular words.
Google’s mobile update, Mobilegeddon, makes sure that websites that are mobile friendly will rank higher. As per Mobilegeddon, each page of the website should be mobile friendly. Non-mobile friendly pages will have a negative impact and they will begin to fall in the SERPs.
To explore more about the latest Google updates and content marketing, read this blog to Understand The Importance of Content Marketing In SEO.
TECHNIQUES OF WHITE HAT SEO
Here are a few techniques that work for organic search engine optimization and are in line with Google’s algorithms:
1. Optimize for mobile
According to a report published in 2016, it was revealed that approximately 60% of the search queries on Google are done on mobile. The mobile update of the Google algorithm now ensures that sites that are mobile-friendly, rank higher. You can check the search engine friendliness of your website using Google’s free mobile friendly testing tool. Here are the steps to make your website, a mobile-friendly website:
- Responsive Web Design: Websites that are responsively designed use CSS media queries to adapt the website’s content according to screen width, screen orientation, and the resolution. The same content automatically adapts to the screen size of mobile and desktops. Preparing seperate versions for desktop, tablet and mobile are even better.
- Page Speed: Fast page speed is important to make a website mobile friendly. This is because of hardware and connectivity issues in mobiles. Minimize the size of images, use of HTML5 instead of Flash, leverage browser caching, etc.
2. Keyword research
Keyword research is important to know what your audience searches. Using tools like Google Keywords Planner, SEMrush, KWFinder, MOZ’s keyword explorer, etc. can help you select the best keywords based on search volume and competition. Using the right keywords makes it easier for you to target the right audience and it also makes it easier for them to reach you.
3. Link Building
Natural link building is one of the best white hat SEO practices that not only helps you rank higher, but also improve your domain authority and make you more visible. Link building can be done by creating engaging content that attracts links, reaching out to bloggers and niche websites, through broken link building, guest blogging, building connections with influencers, etc.
4. Better Content
White hat SEO is all about creating content that is of value to the audience. Using videos, tutorials, guides, info-graphics and images can make your content easier to understand and engaging, generating more value.
HOW WHITE HAT SEO PROTECTS YOU
1. SERP rankings are not affected
Whenever Google algorithms sense any manipulative activity, it means that website owners are using Black Hat techniques for ranking their sites up. In such cases, websites get penalize. Penalties may include a drop in SERPs rankings, your website not turning up in the results at all or in extreme cases, Google may charge a certain amount of fine.
White hat SEO techniques secure and protect a website from algorithm changes/updates. If you follow the right white hat practices, it will not let these updates to affect your SERP rankings at all.
2. Building quality links increase your credibility
Getting quality backlinks from high-value Domain Authorities increases credibility. This means that users and visitors trust you, because of which it develops a positive brand image as well. Quality links increase the traffic of your website, which signals to the algorithms that your website is of value. This lets your website rank higher in SERPs.
3. It ensures quality content
Since white hat SEO is based on creating and delivering valuable content to the audience, it ensures that your website has quality content. Quality content not only helps in building the credibility of your website, but it also results in generating opportunities for getting quality backlinks. Google always ensures that search queries should get relevant information. Websites are ranked based on the content and its relevance with the search queries.
4. Keeps your site safe from spam
White hat SEO keeps your site safe from spam and thus protects your rankings. Spams carry a lot of risk without bringing any value. If in case, we use black hat or similar manipulative techniques to lift the ranking of the website up, a few months later, these won’t be of any use and after some time the rankings of your website will go down.
The basic difference between white and black hat SEO is because of its methods. Techniques of white hat SEO follow Google’s guidelines to optimize the website, suggest ways to develop quality content that delivers value, focus on crafting a valuable website and bring engagement to the website. In short, white hat SEO techniques have long term benefits.