We are always being told that we must adhere to ‘white hat’ techniques when marketing our websites but what does this actually mean? There are so many terms and so much terminology that many ordinary business folk don’t really know what it all means. Take white hat, what it means is that you are using approved methods of site promotion, for instance, you are using high quality content with the right amount of keywords which have been carefully and naturally incorporated into the text. Your content is interesting for the human reader and is unique and attractive to the search engines. Black hat on the other hand is the murky underworld where the search engines and Google in particular takes a very dim view of such things as keyword stuffing, duplicate content and poor quality content. So, if you are a bit confused about some of the terminology used, see this guide to help clarify things for you.
I’ve been making a point in my journey as a writer for Econsultancy to investigate the many and varied terms in digital that I don’t understand.
As I am a relative newcomer to the digital marketing world, this is like a trial-by-fire.
In my first few weeks, terms like CRM, CRO, iBeacons, retargeting and PPC all felt like an alien language.
None more so than the phrases ‘black hat’ and ‘white hat’ in relation to search engine optimisation (SEO).
In this article I’ll be investigating what is meant by each of these terms by asking: What are the basic principles of each ‘hat’? What is considered best practice? and what should be avoided?
“Boy, have we got a vacation for you”
My basic assumption is that ‘white hat’ is all about being a goody-two-shoes and sticking to the rules. Abiding the law. Hiding under the table whenever trouble comes wandering into the saloon.
Whereas ‘black hat’ is all about being that trouble. A gun-slinging outlaw, working on the edge of society, disobeying the rules and generally being a bit dangerous and sexy. I assume you get a cooler costume too.
I guess the temptation to be that second guy is always strong.
However being that second guy, the one with the really good boots and slightly darker theme music, means that you won’t be long for this world. It’s only a matter of time before you’re either rounded-up by the lawmen or snuffed out and put in the ground with nothing but a lonely horse to mourn your passing.
By lawmen I of course mean Google, and Google can indeed be a merciless punisher of the transgressive. Click here to continue