Is your SEO or Visibility Company Wearing a Black Hat?

Since the time when people first figured out that good placement on the search engines is crucial for internet traffic, they have been thinking of a way how to game the system.

Not really game. More, how to use the system for profit. You don’t really have to sell anything, they thought, you can provide information and link to sites that do.

Hence, a game of cat and mouse begun between Google and those thinkers. But to understand that we need a little bit of theory.

Almost everything uploaded on the web is being looked at. Not necessarily by people, although that happens from time to time, but mainly by machines.

One of Google’s systems scans the uploaded pages. “Crawlers” or “Spiders” scan the page to look for repeated words that will help it categorize the site. It looks at headlines, Meta tags, hyperlinks etc.  After that, another system Google uses involves indexing the pages according to the crawler’s find.

That much is known. Once the ‘thinkers’ manage to figure out what works best to get their site high on the search engine page, they took advantage of it. They stuffed keywords and tags and manipulated the system in what is called Spamdex.

Google adjusted. They added a few measures, like the amount of back links and their importance to the ranking on the search engine result page. Once the ‘thinkers’ figured that out, a way was found around the measure.  By 2007 Google mounted a campaign against what is called ‘link farms’ which, in some cases, included thousands of sites created for the sole purpose of creating back links.

This game is still going on. Google announced that it has more than 200 criteria for page rank and in 2005 started personalizing the search results for each user.

That is called White Hat seo. It is a technic used to comply with Google’s guidelines and is not meant to deceive.

White Hat seo is not just about following the rules; it is about providing the costumer with the correct information. It is about creating content for searchers, not for search engines. Making the content easily accessible to the spiders and the easy to index is what White Hat seo is all about. It is in many ways connected to the web development that enables customer’s accessibility.

White hat seo means using all the tools to have an effective marketing campaign.

Black Hat seo is developing a site for the search engine, not for the user. It is an attempt to learn the system and outsmart it. With technics like hidden text (when the text and the background are the same color thus the customer can’t see it, but the crawlers can) or another method, called cloaking, when the site gives a different page depending if it is a live searcher or a machine.

Search engines might remove a site or lower it’s ranking if they are suspicious that the site is using Black Hat seo. In 2006, two big German companies BMW and Ricoh were removed by the search engines for deceptive practices. The companies apologized, changed their sites and were beck on Google. But if you are a small company, this process might take a lot of time.

In order to avoid problems down the line, you should rely on a reputable consulting firm to do the seo for your site. A company like Puglisi Consulting Group which is able to help you in all your website needs and through their visibility arm, Visibility Acceleration http://www.visibilityacceleration.com/#/seo-visibility/4541420003 advise you on the right ways to approach your world wide web visibility.

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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