Search engine marketing is becoming more popular every day as more and more professionals report consistently making as much as six figures in a month from highly optimized websites. If you are subscribed to lots of Internet Marketing lists like me, I’m sure you’ve seen the dramatic rise of AdSense and search engine marketing tools.
The problem with search engine marketing is that some of the techniques that used to work six months ago do not work as well (or not all) in the present. You could easily spend hundreds of dollars on a marketing tool that currently works, but will not work in the future. So how do you know if you are wasting your money?
One thing that will save you from being a victim of the next “cutting edge marketing technique” is learning how to identify tools and information that promote long term success rather than “quick fixes” and short-lived traffic.
One way you can understand how to identify things that will ensure your long term success is knowing the difference between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO tools and information.
White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO are terms that describe the methods you use to gain quality search engine rankings for your web site. One is more of a long term strategy and one is a short term strategy.
If you are interested in learning more about SEO and how to stop wasting your money on pointless tools, here is some information that will definitely help you distinguish between the two.
Black Hat SEO
These are aggressive tactics used to gain high search engine rankings that do not comply with the philosophy of the search engines. Sites produced with black hat SEO techniques are considered unethical spam by most web surfers because they provide no real content or user experience. They basically look like pages of another search engine or paragraphs of jargon containing keywords instead of real content.
In spite of these facts, they have proven to be very lucrative to those who are up on the latest black hat ranking techniques. But most of the time these techniques stop working as the search engines become savvy to their tricks. As a result, a high ranked page can simply disappear from the search engines, especially Google.
Many webmasters have complained of their sites being completely dropped from search engines, causing them to lose precious revenue streams. Imagine going from thousands of dollars per month to absolute zero!
Beginning webmasters often fall victim to tools that promote black hat strategies. These tools can cost hundreds of dollars, yet they can become obsolete in a very short period of time.
Some black hat techniques may include:
- Keyword Stuffing
- Web Page Cloaking
- Doorway Pages
- Hits Generators
- Artificial Blog Posting
Some of these techniques still work effectively but may predict that they will not work in the near future.
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO techniques are considered “organic” or more natural methods of getting a site ranked. They follow the strict rules and guidelines of search engines and use natural ranking methods to gain high status…
Search engines love these types of sites because they contain the quality information and experience their users are seeking. Users want to find the content most related to their topic of research or interest and white hat sites provide this information.
Some techniques considered to be White Hat involve
- Getting quality backlinks from other highly ranked sites
- Frequent additions of original Content
- Optimizing your web pages
- Creating original content
These techniques comply with the philosophy of the search engines and are usually harder to implement and take more time. But at the same time, white-hat sites have more staying power once they receive a high ranking.
Grey Area SEO
There are some techniques that dance the line between White Hat and Black Hat techniques. These SEO ranking methods have the potential to provide quality content but don’t always function that way. That’s what makes them borderline Black Hat techniques.
One good example is content scraping. Content scraping software captures search engine results and descriptions and dynamically adds them to your page as content for the search engines to find.
There are many tools available where you can build sites this way, and they have proven to be very effective. Search engines are currently allowing it, but as it becomes more and more abused, it may soon become a black hat technique, if it already isn’t.
As you can see Black Hat SEO works but does not have the long-term success of a site created with White Hat SEO techniques.
So next time you get the next big AdSense tool or the next big site builder, ask yourself if the techniques used to support the black hat or the white hat philosophy of search engine marketing.
This will help you avoid wasting time and money on tactics and expensive tools that promote short-lived strategies. If you follow the guidelines of the seines, you are more likely to succeed on a long term basis.