People often use the terms ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ in the online work community. What do these terms actually mean though? It’s simple really, white hat refers to a practice used in your business practices involving SEO in which you are following the rules and doing nothing sneaky to try to get ahead of your competition. Black hat is, well… the exact opposite. People use black hat techniques to trick customers, search engines, and their competitors. These techniques often get them into some sort of trouble and they are definitely NOT recommended.
The following is a list of some of the basic white hat and grey hat techniques/practices that you want to use or avoid in online work:
White Hat Techniques
1) Internal linking – Creating clear and legitimate internal links within sites is very important. Avoid using pictures or logos for internal linking as they cannot be identified by search engine bots, thus not counting as an actual link as far as search engines are concerned. Use text links at the bottom of your homepage, along with a sitemap of your whole site.
2) Content creation/curation – Everyone who has done significant research on SEO knows the importance of good content for a website. Websites rich in unique content are easily crawled by the search engine bots. Content creation should be to the point, unique, have relevant keywords to your niche, and be informative to the reader. Choosing the proper keyword phrase is a must. One must choose specific and relevant keywords and optimize the homepage as well as sub-pages using those keywords.
3) Site optimization – Effective site optimization leads to better website appearance and has a better chance of being found by your potential customers. It covers all important aspects like Meta tags, titles, content, links, etc.
Black Hat Techniques
1) Hidden text – Some websites try to fool readers by making text the same font color as your website’s background. These websites are easily caught by their competitors and often search bots will recognize this as well, and the site will get blacklisted. Not a smart tactic since it is easily found by someone who knows what to look for.
2) Stuffing keywords into your content – This is the most common and most used grey hat technique. In this case the website owner will insert a large amounts of keywords or phrases repeatedly without having any relevant meaning. This will result in sentences that make very little sense, and again can be caught very easily.
3) Doorway pages – It is very dangerous to insert a doorway page, simply to target specific keywords or phrases. This has little or no value to the user and thus only hurts you.
4) Duplicate sites – Some webmasters create duplicate sites of their original site for website promotion purposes. They think that their new site can outrank their old one. This is simply not the case and it is a very banned practice.
5) Cloaking – This method refers to the use of many grey hat techniques simultaneously for submitting varied information to search engines, which are invisible to the visitors. They sometimes go undetectable but can be identified by the competitors, and will result in the banning of the website by most, if not all search engines.
6) Interlinking – These are multiple websites that are interlinked to each other for link popularity. This is a rather difficult technique to be detected, but it is definitely not recommended.
In the end all reliable and genuine online work companies practice white hat SEO techniques that have long-term positive outcomes. Grey hat techniques can get your some quick traffic to begin with, but in the end it will only end up hurting you.
Here are some very useful WHITE HAT Content Curation and Content Creation Tools.