Whitehat Link Building and Other SEO Methods: Choosing the Ethical Path

Should you consider blackhat tactics for your SEO, or stick to whitehat link building and content generation?

When you first start trying to optimize your website for SEO, you’re going to come across a whole series of terms that may mean little or nothing to you. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand the difference between, for example, white hat link building and black hat SEO, as well as on page SEO and off page SEO.

In our last article, we talked about the variety of SEO optimization techniques that internet marketing services offer.  In this article, we take a deeper dive into one of those topics, link building, and the ethics that surround it.

Why is link building important? Well, although you may be using an SEO specialist company to handle it for you, it helps to know that you’re employing quality link building services that aren’t going to get your company flagged as suspect by search engines. Wait, how does that happen?

White hat vs Black hat SEO

In case you’re unfamiliar with the terms, here’s a quick summary. White hat and black hat are terms that go back just about as far as the internet itself and refers to different kinds of hackers – white hats use legal and/or ethical means to optimize your website that follow Google’s other search engine’s guidelines, while black hats are quite happy to use morally ambiguous or even downright illegal means, that could cause enough damage to your website’s reputation that it becomes permanently blacklisted from search engines.

In SEO terms, white hat SEO link building means techniques that Google and other search engines approve of and consider ethically and legally acceptable for pushing your page to the top of searches. Black hat SEO link building, on the other hand, comprises techniques that those same search engines consider to be unethical, contrary to their policies and sometimes even illegal. Grey hat is another term that you might hear, which falls somewhere between white and black hat.  These are optimization techniques that should be carefully considered before using as even though they might work today, they could still end up penalizing you in the long run.

Because black hat techniques can get your page flagged and possibly even blocked by Google, you need to be sure your SEO company is a white hat link building service. That said, make sure to get details on the methods which your link building partner uses, and regularly audit their efforts to ensure they remain within search engine guidelines.

On Page SEO vs Off Page SEO

The thing with SEO is that it isn’t just about creating backlinks through any means necessary. The best link building companies will use a wide variety of SEO tools to help your site stand out, and those tools include both on page and off page methods.

On page SEO methods are made up of various techniques on your website itself to encourage organic traffic generation. That includes:

  • good, accurate keywords research and application
  • content optimization through well-written webpages and articles or blog posts
  • integrating social media sharing into your content
  • ensuring your page loads quickly
  • keeping your URLs clean and simple

as well as several other techniques.

Often, however, the best way to increase organic traffic comes from your off page SEO methods. Off page methods are all those things that your link building services company uses to draw traffic to your site, while not actually happening on the website itself. This can include:

  • social media sharing and promotion
  • guest posting and in some cases participating in relevant online forums or creating your own
  • contributing to industry-relevant specialist sites and thereby building a reputation
  • building a natural backlink profile consisting of quality, trusted authorities that link to your website

A final word of caution: while black hat link building can seem tempting, as it often promises fast and massive results, it also often fails to deliver on its promises and can result in Google pushing your website as far back as it will go – or even simply not featuring it in search results at all. White hat SEO techniques, on the other hand, help increase traffic to your website organically and ethically, which ultimately means better search engine rankings and long-term online success.

In our next article, we’ll talk about how much SEO typically costs per month and how you can get the most from it.  To be notified as soon as this article is released, enter your information below.

What methods do you use to promote your website? Leave a comment, I read every one.   

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