What is White Hat SEO?

What is White Hat SEO? What is Black Hat SEO? Which is best for your company? Learn why white hat SEO is the only SEO technique your company should use.

Part of choosing the right company comes down to understanding the types of techniques that SEO experts use to make your website rank better.

Best Practices for SEO Techniques for Business

There are as many ways to do SEO for businesses as there are companies helping businesses get to the top of search rankings. While a large part of it is a matter of opinion on what works best, the best SEO experts and agencies test out their ideas and analyze the results. Based on the data gathered from these studies and trials, experts have figured out a series of best practices that produce results for client's websites, both on the short term and long term. As well as studies, much of what we know about best practices for SEO also comes directly from Google and other search engines themselves.

At Orsanna, we keep close watch on the latest developments from companies that perform SEO studies, releases from Google about their updating ranking standards, as well as testing out our own theories with our own websites. We take all that we learn from these different areas and apply them to our client websites, making adjustments as we go with the goal of getting our client's websites the best rankings possible. Our ultimate goal, however, isn't just to get you to the top of results but to help you grow your business and increase revenue—SEO is just one part of the equation.

What is White Hat SEO?

When best practices are followed, we call it "white hat SEO." It's also important to know that this kind of SEO also focuses on the humans who interact with search engines and use search engines to find what they're looking for. Instead of solely catering to the search engine to get to the top of results, white hat SEO also focuses on attracting clicks to their results with writing that captures attention. Websites that follow white hat SEO also provide valuable information and resources instead of using coercive (and often ineffective) sales techniques.

On the other side of the coin is black hat SEO. Unlike white hat, black hat SEO only focuses on search engines and how they work. To a large extent, black hat SEO games the system, rigging it to put their websites at the top of search. While the immediate effects of black hat SEO can be positive, before too long black hat SEO can cause major problems for your website and business.

As well as keeping up to date with the latest research and SEO trends, at Orsanna we focus on your customers, not just search engines. After all, our goal is to help you close sales, not just get to the top of results without regard to how it will grow your business.

Why Black Hat SEO is Bad for Business

Black hat SEO, by the very nature of how search engines work, is only a short-term gain. As Google and other search engines improve how they work, they catch on to the black hat SEO techniques used to trick their search engines into showing results that might not be the most relevant. If you have read our article about what SEO is, you'll remember that Google's mission as well as other search engines, is always to serve their customers with the best websites quickly. They don't want to send their searchers to websites they see as breaking their rules.

Eventually, if your website uses black hat SEO, Google is going to catch up with you. And that can mean very costly fixes to repair your online presence. We've worked with clients to clean up their websites, remove black hat SEO work done by other SEO companies, and repair reputations online. It always ends up costing more than if the company had worked with an SEO company that used white hate SEO and focuses on long-term results and business growth.

As a rule of thumb, if you're not ready to completely abandon your website, domain, social media profiles, and possibly even the name of your business when Google blacklists you, black hat SEO isn't a good solution for you.

How Do I Know an SEO Company Uses Black Hat SEO or White Hat SEO?

Over the years, SEO services has been the wild west of the internet. In the last few years, as SEO becomes more popular a business practice and an essential part of digital marketing, things have started to change. However, every day thousands of businesses get tricked into buying SEO services that will harm the business in the future. Many black hat SEO companies prey on business owners who know nothing about SEO. Avoiding black hat SEO companies requires you to be informed enough about SEO to understand what questions to ask.

First, ask the company you're considering working with if they only use white hat techniques or if they use a combination. Sometimes black hat companies are honest people and will proudly own the fact that they're simply taking advantage of loopholes in Google and other search engines. All the same, be sure you understand the repercussions black hat SEO can have. Other companies are more difficult to spot.

Another strategy is to ask the company for a list of clients they've worked with in the past and look for long-term relationships and results. Most white hat SEO companies are happy to share data on how they helped clients over the long-term. Black hat SEO companies, on the other hand, can't usually produce these kinds of references.

At Orsanna, we focus on using SEO as just one way we can help companies grow instead of being the sole purpose of our work with our clients. We're happy to speak with you about how our long term strategies using white hat SEO can benefit your company as well as provide a free analysis of your top three competitors' websites. Get your free initial consultation today.

              Kim Herrington
Kim Herrington

Kim Herrington is Creative Director of Orsanna where she leads the production and strategy for clients' marketing and advertising. She founded Orsanna over seven years ago to bring quality marketing services to business owners.

Category: Small Business SEO
Published: Aug 13, 2015 Last Updated: May 05, 2020

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