There is a wide range of methods that can be used to increase the ratings and rankings of your website. Not all of these are ethical methods and careful consideration should be given when choosing a SEO agency.
The Good - White Hat Marketing
To put it plainly, white hat marketing is ethical marketing. The methods used are accepted by all search engines and is viewed as beneficial for your website. These methods will not cause any type of penalization for your website. This method is a little slower in results, but it is really worth it.
Some of these methods includes:
- Proper keyphrase research and applying it to the content
- Page meta and title information, general tag changes and natural keyphrase incorporation
- Relevant analytic reports and adjustment of content where necessary
- Updates of content
- Ensuring proper coding methods
- Site map generation that is search engine friendly
- Build links to your website using manual methods
- Research directories to find ones that you can link to
- Possibly asking other websites to yours for a return link
Intoweb uses ONLY white hat marketing and we work hard to ensure that your website performs well. Some companies promise you high rankings at a low cost, however you will find that you get what you pay for and that might prove to be more expensive if you find that they used unethical methods.
The Bad - Black Hat Marketing
All black hat marketing techniques are found to be unacceptable to search engines. These techniques may get you quick results, but in the long run could get you banned from search engines. These techniques are used to trick search engines into giving it higher rankings, but there are no benefits to the visitors, thus it is has not benefits for search engines. Once a search engine becomes aware of these techniques, they will blacklist and ban you from the search engine. This means that you will not feature anywhere. You will then have to resubmit your website and explain what happened. They sometimes return you to the rankings, but you will have to start over. This process can take 6 months to a year and you will have lost precious leads. It is true that search engines don't always pick it up, but don't be fooled by this. Other ethical marketing agencies do spot it and they do report it to the search engine.
Examples of black hat marketing:
- Keyword stuffing is a method of overusing keyphrases on the page or website
- Hidden content - for example, putting content behind an image, making the content color the same as the background
- Deceptive content is often used to attract visitors. For example, advertising something that the company doesn't provide, but that is entertaining for users to read - thus your visitors are high, but you will find no return on investment
- Doorway pages that contain keyphrase stuffed information. Only search engines can see these pages, because visitors are redirected to the real page.
- Cloaking content by displaying different content to the search engine and visitors
- Link farms are pages with only links for the purpose of creating more links
- Spamming of forums, blogs and other social media sites to try to gain more visitors. Even though this is not a cause being penalized, this is still unethical
The Ugly - Gray Hat Marketing
These techniques may not be cause for banning from a search engine, but it may still cause a penalization by the search engines. They are more unethical than not, so it is best to stear clear of these methods. The methods are similar to that of Black Hat marketing techniques, but in a less harmful manner.
Other techniques also used:
- Placing duplicate content on different websites
- Irrelevant link building
- Paid links