Black hat SEO is disapproved by search engines and can result in the site being penalized or banned. Search engines like Google are constantly updating algorithms and improving search results to fight black hat practices.
Some of the most common black hat SEO techniques are:
- Hidden Content - the practice of hiding keywords in the code of the site that don’t appear on the page.
- Link Farming - paying for links to your page. Google's penguin update was targeted to stop this practice.
- Meta Keyword Stuffing - placing lots of keywords in the meta description. This practice was so widely used that Google doesn't factor meta keywords into search results anymore.
- Doorway Page - creating a page flooded with keywords or links, not visible to the user.
The top 5 white hat SEO practices are:
1. Quality Content - Google wants to provide the most relevant search results and new, quality content is the best way to do that. Create content that people want and rankings will rise.
2. Linking - linking informs Google what other pages you consider to be relevant or related to you. Let the link juice flow between other sites!
3. Email - network with other webmasters and exchange links.
4. Guests - ask for a guest writer, they are likely to share their article on your site, giving you some promotion.
5. Directories - make sure they are relevant, and don't pay for them.
SEO is critical for your site, and to get the most of it you really need to be creating new and relevant content. SEO is not something you can work on, then let go. It is a continual effort to keep your site ranking high. If you are considering using a digital marketing firm, make sure they are advising you on SEO best practices, like those above. To learn more about Google’s official SEO practices, check out their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
Interested in learning more? Click here to learn more about White vs. Black Hat SEO
By Bill Hartz, Marketing Writer