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.
Ranking well on Google is considered the gem and the key to any successful digital marketing campaign among all the search engines which exist on the internet. However, Google’s habit of updating its algorithm on a regular basis makes it difficult 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 are researching and incorporating effective keywords into one’s SEO strategy, adjusting metadata for relevance, and writing high-quality content that human visitors find engaging and meaningful to them.
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’s no doubt that Google frowns on black hat websites and has gone to great lengths to penalize those websites that practice such 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 the terminology of search engine optimization (SEO), a backlink is a hyperlink that links from a Web page, back to your own Web page or Web site. Also known as an Inbound Link (IBL), these links are important in determining your Web site’s popularity. 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, in the Google ranking race, cheap tactics can move you a lot faster, but soon enough, they’ll push you back far more than they’ve taken you forward when Google discovers what you’re up to. Keep your nose clean, be patient and focus on creating value for the people who are visiting your site.