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White Hat and Black Hat SEO:

Real SEO Experts can use both!

By now, I hope every business owner understands the importance of online or web marketing. The term SEO will pop up in every conversation relating to this topic. Many of us have a basic understanding of SEO, but few fully comprehend what it's all about. That's understandable, SEO is a complex craft and new developments arise all the time.

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Lately, I've seen much debate around the question of black hat and white hat SEO services. As a business owner, this just adds more confusion to a constantly changing industry. In this article, I'm going to address this question in a bid to help you understand the importance of choosing the best SEO services. What is the difference between white hat and black hat SEO?   I'm going to start from the top by looking at the basics of SEO.


The term search engine optimization describes the methods used to gain a high ranking on search engines. Basically, the aim is to get your website to appear at the top of the first page of search results. There are a few basic tools that are used by anyone providing professional SEO services:

  • Content and keywords
  • Meta elements like tags
  • Link building

These are some of the basics, though there are any number of techniques that an SEO services agency can use to improve your web presence. In the end, you need people to end up on your site - that's what SEO is all about.

When looking at the difference between white hat and black hat SEO, we need to distinguish between quality SEO and Content Marketing and SEO Marketing. In essence, these should be one and the same thing, that's how a serious SEO expert would approach this. However, there are people who concentrate entirely on quick results and SEO gimmicks, I've always called them fly-by-night SEO service providers. The common term, these days, is black hat web marketers.

SEO Marketing

The term SEO marketing refers to content that is aimed at optimizing web traffic above all else. We can look at black hat web developers as people who are looking only at the short term gains - getting people to your site as quickly as possible. One of the main techniques employed here is keyword stuffing. A black hat content writer will identify the keywords recognized by Google and other search engines, then overuse them in their page content. Other tactics would include link farming; hidden texts and links, as well as spamming. While these techniques have been effective at drawing traffic to a client's site very briefly, without quality content, it isn't worth much and will almost certainly result in a Google penalty. A Penalty will drop your website ranking back to the pages no one ever views…basically removes your site from view.

Your modern web user is an informed and educated individual. It's easy for us to recognize when a website is not providing the information we're looking for and we'll quickly move on to another site. This is the weakness of a web marketing strategy based purely on black-hat SEO and ignoring the quality of the actual information provided. This is why I consider it to be a very short term approach.

Getting people to your site is one thing, but your ultimate goal is to convert into sales or subscriptions.

To do this, you need to cultivate an interest and, most importantly, gain the trust of your reader.   So, essentially, a black hat content writer is looking at low quality SEO as the onlycriteria in developing a website. They're not concerned with the value of the content. They are not engaging the reader, nor are they providing any information that is of much use.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing as the name suggests, is a white hat SEO method that holds content as the focal point. We're not putting as much emphasis on drawing traffic to the site.   There's a phrase in the web industry that will always ring true: Content is King. This is very important. Your main aim should be to provide your reader with informative, quality content. If you don't, you're insulting their intelligence and they will soon catch on.   Quality content engages the reader on every level. You want them to continue reading. You want them to enjoy reading. Above all, you want them to trust you. Ultimately, you want them to click through to your desired conversion. This means that you want to establish a relationship with your reader. Humor is a great way to break the ice and can be very effective at establishing a connection with the reader. Though this isn't always going to work. An experienced copywriter will find the best way to engage an audience. The bottom line is that your reader must get the information they're looking for and this must be presented to them in a manner that appeals to them.

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White hat SEO professionals understand the importance of content as being one of the most valuable marketing tools. Most importantly, this is a sustainable approach. Your reputation, as a

business, relies on establishing a relationship based on consumer trust. However, we cannot ignore the obvious. Without good SEO tactics, you won't draw people to your site. So, no matter how great your content is, it's worthless if no one reads it.

This brings me to the final and most important part of the debate. Marrying SEO and Content…the biggest mistake in the web marketing industry is to separate SEO and content. They should work together harmoniously. A truly great white hat marketer understands this and so do search engines.

At Yogo SEO we are always keeping up with the latest developments in Google's search criteria. Search engines compete and this means that they have to provide their users with the best browsing experience. To do this, they need to guide you to the sites that best meet your search criteria. Because of the unscrupulous methods employed by many black hat marketers, Google is placing less emphasis on old risky SEO techniques and are analyzing the web page content more effectively. So, when it comes to quality SEO, it's becoming ever-more important to concentrate on content.

SEO Experts use Grey Hat SEO

There should be a balance between providing quality content and using every quality SEO technique possible, in order to ensure that your site gets top rankings on search engines. This really emphasizes my initial point that SEO is a complexbusiness. As is the nature of the digital world that we live in, change is constant and it happens rapidly. In order to provide competitive SEO services, a SEO expert needs to evolve and keep up with the times. While change is a given, some basic rules will remain. A white hat marketer will always understand that content is king and this is what drives the web marketing environment. So choosing the best SEO servicesis not something to be taken lightly. It's important to understand what you're getting into and arming yourself with the correct information is the best way to achieve this.

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