SEO has a long history. It became a “thing” ever since Google gained its fame as the top search engine. But before it became a variety of technical factors, it was simply a matter of content. Which is what white hat SEO was about. When SEO was at its infancy, content was the only thing needed to rank higher and better in the search engines. Content is still one of the main driving factors when it comes to white hat SEO, but with the constant algorithm updates, evolving strategies, and the user’s ever-changing needs, is content still enough for white hat SEO?
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO is the use of tactics and strategies that follows all search engine guidelines and policies. A defining trait of white hat SEO is making the users or humans the priority and not the search engines.
White hat SEO is the complete opposite of Black Hat SEO. Any practice that aims to improve a website’s search rankings while still keeping its integrity and is in-line with search engine guidelines is considered to be an example of white hat SEO. Some specific white hat strategies are:
- Content that’s written for the users
- Fast site speed
- Easy site navigation
- Proper and natural use of keywords inside the content and meta tags
Importance of White Hat SEO
It is important for webmasters and SEOs to only do white hat SEO since practicing any other methods can get their websites penalized or banned. This will result in a massive traffic drop for your website and that means losing valuable leads and even customers.
White hat SEO is also a webmaster’s primary means to stay in the search rankings for a long time since that a website’s authority and rank can only go up once you practice white hat SEO. Being visible for the right keywords for a long time can only give you benefits – increased lead generation and conversions. That’s why white hat SEO is important.
Why Content Isn’t Enough for White Hat SEO
A phrase that’s heard in the SEO industry quite often is “Content is King”. But that’s not enough now since there are a variety of factors that make white hat SEO the most effective method to get your site higher in the search rankings. You can understand it as content being the king but what’s a king without the queen and their subjects? All the other factors that a Google spider verifies such as meta tags, image alt text, keyword density, backlinks, etc. are just as important.
White hat SEO focuses mainly on content – basically on how user-friendly, informative, and useful your content is. When your content is good, people will talk about it in different social media channels and that will lead to a massive increase in traffic. It will also help your rankings since content that satisfies the three factors is ranked higher in the search engines.
White hat SEO is the way to play it safe. It obliges in all of the terms of agreement of social media, it implements good, clean, Google-approved strategies in order to gain higher page rank and get better search engine visibility. Compared to its counterpart, which is black hat SEO, the white hat method will ensure your brand’s reputation in the web and will enable you to be visible for a long time.
If you treat your online reputation with importance, then it’s important for you to choose the white hat method. The only drawback of white hat SEO is that it takes longer for clients to see your results. Businesses pay for fast, easy-come results. They don’t pay for slow, time-consuming processes which will have them wait for the results. It is important for you to communicate to your clients that white hat SEO takes up time but the results will pay dividends.
Yes, it will take time – a lot of time. My SEO services have a minimum contract of 1 year (yes, I’m a white-hat practitioner, and yes, I am paid per month) since results only reflect around the 6 month mark. That’s how long it takes for you to see the results of the white hat method. But it’s also much cheaper than the black hat method if you consider the time, headache, and cash used to fix your penalized website – even if the black hat method is quicker to get your page rank up.
To make it simple, white hat method is the good, clean way which makes quality, competitive, informative content it’s main weapon and tool. While black hat method is the ‘how-to-go around the rules’ method which uses doorway pages, invisible texts, keyword stuffing and comment spamming. It abuses artificial and technical loopholes as it’s main route to attain higher page rank which search engines are not happy about.
Here’s a table taken from the site: silverdisc.com that explains the difference between a white hat and black hat approach to SEO
|Black Hat||White Hat|
|Content and Links||Search Engines||Humans|
|Visibility to Humans||Hidden||Visible|
|Quality of Work||Hidden||Visible|
|Search Engines||Enemies||Nothing / Friends|
|Domains/Brands||Disposable||Cherished, Primary Domain|
|Site & Relevance||Apparently Improved||Actually Improved|
|Results||Yes, “Short” Term||Yes, “Long” Term|
If you are trying to build your brand or company online, then white hat SEO is what you need. Long-term results, high authority, ethical strategies, and many more. Those are just some of the benefits that white hat SEO can bring. Try it out yourself and see the wonders of white hat SEO! Do you have any questions? Comment it down below.