Google’s penalties are a constantly recurring threat to webmasters. They work as reminders to keep your SEO work ethical and ‘white hat’. If you don’t, they can cost you your ranking and that can cost you your business.

Google penalties for SEO
Image: highervisibility.com

The good news if you work with ‘white hat’ techniques only is that it is easy to avoid Google penalties! While many of you may be able to differentiate between ethical (white hat) and unethical, manipulative (black hat) methods, there is also an unclear area in between, often referred to as ‘grey hat’.

We’ve looked at some of the basic SEO tactics in previous blogs and so now I want to provide you with an overview of what’s considered good and ethical, and which efforts may lead to a penalty by Google.

How to apply your SEO efforts the right way?

Keyword strategy

White hat: Implementing keywords strategically and in moderation, utilizing title tags and meta keywords that tell searchers and search engines what your website is about.

Grey hat: Unnecessary usage of the same keywords throughout your content, title tags and meta descriptions or using keywords that don’t essentially relate to your contents.

Black hat: Excessive use of keywords in the contents, title tags and meta description, particularly if they have the same color as the site’s background.

Building Links

White hat: Naturally building links by providing good contents which users want to link to or receiving natural links from customers and affiliates.

Grey hat: Receiving many links with the same anchor text.

Black hat: Buying or selling links, as well as implementing reciprocal linking techniques.

Anchor texts

White hat: It is okay to use keyword rich anchor texts, if it’s relevant to the landing page of the link. Besides that, natural anchor text is the best practice for internal and external linking.

Grey hat: To use the same text numerous times throughout your webpage or on articles with links to your page.

Black hat: Over feeding your website’s content with anchor text specific links, or spreading this sort of content on other websites.

New pages & Content creation

White hat: Building new pages for the purpose of providing unique information about your offerings or company to your users.

Grey hat: Creating more or less unnecessary pages including multiple keyword phrases for the sole purpose of receiving a higher ranking.

Black hat:  Duplicating your pages in order to have a larger website or building low quality sites that are optimized for specific keywords, also known as ‘doorway pages’.

Search engines keep updating their algorithms continuously. They become smarter and try to fight against manipulative, black hat techniques. Instead of focusing on the unethical tactics to climb up the search results, your best bet is to follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and create a user-friendly website which aims to help the searchers and search engines, rather than manipulate them.

What’s it all worth?

Can you imagine what would happen if you suddenly lost all of your web traffic? Would your company be able to survive long in that situation?

So that’s what it is worth to you to make sure your SEO expert is following the white hat SEO tactics!

If you have further questions on this topic or need help with your SEO tactics, just contact us and we’ll help you to keep the white hat on.

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