For anyone who works in the Digital Marketing industry and businesses that are familiar with it, no three letters are more important than SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results — often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.
Among all the search engines that exist on the internet, ranking well on Google is considered the gem and the key to any successful digital marketing campaign. However, Google’s habit of regularly updating its algorithm makes it tough to follow exactly what’s needed to rank well.
Google uses several different standards to rank sites, and they’re known to frequently change as the company continuously revises its criteria to reduce the instances of low-value results pages. However, if there’s one thing that stays consistent on each of their massive list of criteria, it’s that links are about quality, not quantity.
White Hat vs. Black Hat Links
“White Hat” and “Black Hat” are terms used to describe two different strategies for link building. To sum it up, white hat strategies refer to the process of linking to content that targets human visitors and caters to their interests. On the other hand, Black hat strategies are aimed squarely at manipulating a search engine’s mechanics to achieve higher placement.
Among the best white hat techniques include researching effective keywords and incorporating them into one’s SEO strategy, adjusting metadata for relevancy, and writing high-quality content that human visitors find engaging and meaningful.
On the other hand, black hat strategies commonly involve spamming, keyword stuffing, and link farming or spamdexing, where each page is filled with links designed to pull the user deeper into your site. These acts do not in any way want to reach any targeted audience; they simply want to rank high.
There is no doubt that Google frowns on black hat websites and had gone to great lengths to penalize websites who exercise these practices.
If you are serious in your Digital Marketing, stay away from black hat strategies as they bring more harm than good to your campaigns.
In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, a backlink is a hyperlink that links from a Web page, back to your own Web page or Web site. Also called an Inbound Link (IBL), these links are important in determining the popularity of your Web site. Some search engines, including Google, will consider Web sites with more backlinks more relevant in search results pages.
Link trading is still a viable form of building a backlink profile. This is achieved by offering links to other sites in exchange for links back. This can create a vast network of backlinks. Not only that, but you’ll end up with great content exposure as well.
In the process of backlinking, building your link profile isn’t so much about how many links are needed to succeed, but more about what kind of links brings success – all the while avoiding overusing the tactic. Though Google doesn’t deem the tactic as “black hat” they still frown upon the idea and overusing backlinks and doing so may lead to penalties from Google.
Remember, cheap tactics may move you forward a lot faster in the Google ranking race, but soon enough, they will push you back far more than they took you forward when Google discovers what you’re up to. Keep your nose clean, have patience, and focus on creating value for the humans who visit your site.