I’m pretty sure that just by mentioning that the other side of white hat SEO is black hat SEO anyone who isn’t all too clued up about these kinds of SEO practices can guess what it generally means, but I’ll just go ahead and clarify in any case. Contrary to black hat SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), white hat SEO deploys so-called ethical practices which are aimed at optimising a website for the search engines.
This basically means that you do some things to your websites, mostly focussed on the content, which would cause your website to be ranked higher up on the Google search results. I would go on about how SEO should be for trying to get ranked high on all major search engines, but let’s be honest here – there’s only one major search engine, as much as the likes of Bing and Yahoo might want to say something about that. That’s Google, so whenever we talk about Search Engine Optimisation it’s really just for Google.
This means that we have to abide by Google’s SEO standard and that’s where white hat versus black hat SEO comes into play and in fact it goes further than that because there is a little area in between where the lines are blurred. There’s actually something officially called grey hat SEO, but as suggested by the title of this post, we’re going to walk through the fundamentals of white hat SEO – SEO practices which Google approves of.
Organic Links (natural back-links)
As much as Google has tried to move away from their heavy reliance on the number of links pointing to a site as the major consideration for their awarding of ranking points, the fact remains that this does indeed make for a major factor. Recently they’ve moved towards trying to define the links as “organic” or “natural” in awarding them their quality ranking, but the truth of the matter is that if you’re going to passively rely on other publishers who have their own blogs and websites to naturally link to your content, you’re going to be left behind.
This seldom happens and so the practice of link reciprocation has seemingly made the move over from grey (or even black) hat SEO to white hat SEO.
So no, Google won’t come out and endorse back-linking as a white hat SEO practice, but it’s something you should incorporate into your white hat SEO strategy. Just make sure the content which is linking to your website is relevant, number one, and number two, that it makes sense!
Look, it might be taking a while for the folks over at Google to actually get it right by way of determining the parameters with which to measure the content quality they speak of when ranking pages, but they’ll get there eventually and when they do, you don’t want to be left behind. All you have to do is make sure everything you publish is aimed at giving the user a good experience and that includes updating your content so that it stays “fresh.”