White Hat vs Grey Hat? The SEO Trends

Practically speaking, less than 10% sites on the net are doing 100% pure white hat SEO, that is excluding the sites which are not doing any SEO at all. By saying this I do NOT mean that 90% sites are doing black hat SEO. Well, don’t be confused, here is my explanation.

What is Pure White Hat SEO?

Have you ever thought what is natural SEO? And how Google sees it? Well, in an ideal situation, if a site has unique quality content with great value for a user (either scientific value, information quality, or something exceptionally novel), which is not widely spread on the net, it’s very likely that a reader would like to spread word about this content. Spreading word could be using social media networks, tweeting/re-tweeting it, liking it on Facebook or linking to the writer’s professional using social media for seonetwork on LinkdIn. The other ways of showing appreciation to this unique content or the website is that a user puts a link back to this content/URL on his network of websites. When all this is done, this particular site is getting some good recommendation from users based on their liking and linking to this site, which in turn improves its “authority” in the eyes of search engines, particularly Google. If this is exactly what has happened and the site ranked in top results in its SERP, then this is exactly 100% pure white hat SEO.

This is all the opposite of black Hat SEO. I am sure everyone who knows SEO, knows black hat SEO techniques. Black hat SEO, simply speaking, is any trick you do on your site to mislead either users or the search engines. This could be, for example, using hidden texts on a site by putting white font color on a white background, or doing lot of backlinking by using a “character” as the anchor text to deceive Google and not letting a user feel there are lots of irrelevant linking on that page. It could also be unethical URL redirecting, redirection loop etc. There are many other forms of black hat SEO techniques that you can Google and read in more detail as this topic is not meant to cover black hat techniques and much has already been written on the subject anyway.

Grey Hat SEO

Now, as you have better idea what are real white hat SEO techniques and what is black hat SEO, lets analyze what are latest trends in SEO, and how people are using grey hat SEO. As I said in one of my earlier post, whether it likes or not, Google has no choice except giving proper weight to the number and quality of backlinks to a site as the competition is so tough among thousands of similar websites that its practically impossible for Google to get best top ten results using its other algorithm components, or the content and on-page SEO alone. Google can spot non-ethical link building, bad neighborhood, spammy links sites, irrelevant link building, non-contextual link building, link building using automated software and several other types of link-building techniques that are not pure 100% white hate, but still it’s not possible for a search engine to tell whether the liking of a site and a relevant ethical link was originated by a user who in reality liked that site and buzz the word OR its work of a paid SEO expert who did this link building. Such ethical link building done by an SEO company or an SEO specialist is what I call “grey hat SEO”. I hope you get now where I am coming from.

Seeing the SEO Trends and Google algorithm changes in the past few months, I have a strong small business marketingfeeling that sooner or later Google has to find a way to know which link building is done using SEO expertise and what is 100% natural linkbuilding. One bit of proof to this theory is the recent Caffeine update from Google that makes a correlation sort of thing between your linkbuilding and your popularity on social media networks. Now the question is what should I do as an SEO company or a webmaster to avoid any issues in future Google changes? So here is my answer!

Some Useful tips on 100% pure white hat SEO techniques:

Put the maximum effort on your on-page SEO, and content, written by experienced writers in excellent language, and present scientific stuff.

Develop an authority website keeping in mind as there was no such thing called “back links” so try to think how you can compete with all other websites given zero backlinking competition.

Try posting regular unique content and spread word among your friends and social circle about the effort you are doing with the content so they come and give you a natural SEO boost.

VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t start link building effort right after you finish your website development process. Rather, put the unique content, make your on-page SEO perfect, develop sitemap, create Google webmaster account, submit your site and let search engines crawl it at normal speed and just leave it as is. If you have time, I would recommend no link building effort during the first 3-6 months based on how Google is crawling the site. It’s a bit tricky to know how much Google is giving authority to your site if you are not in first 100 results, but through Google webmaster, and organic traffic to low-competent keywords, you can have an idea of how well your site is doing in Google.

Always start gradually and with Google safe linkbuilding, like social bookmarking and web 2.0 properties and not using the blog networks to avoid any footprints.

Develop a blog on your site and write 400+ words content regularly.

Do some smart internal linking, I would suggest doing it manually than using tag plugins as it gets confusing some times and sometimes it gives a very unnatural internal linking.

Create social media network pages, spread the word and try to put some unique content in them regularly linking back to your site.

Be natural, don’t write for Google, write for your audience.

Lastly, if you need help with your SEO campaign turn to an experienced SEO agency like Social Climb. Make sure the company you choose to work with has many years experience doing SEO. Search engine optimization has changed dramatically over the last 5 years and the agencies that know what they are doing are still in business and thriving. SEO companies come and go, unfortunately the inexperienced are a waste of your money but can also put your website in penalty and fixing it can be an expensive endeavor.

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Jamie Gallegos

About Jamie Gallegos

Jamie is the Founder and President of Social Climb a full service marketing agency located in Englewood Colorado. Jamie's expertise is in search engine optimization and strategic marketing solutions. With more than 15 years of website design and internet marketing Jamie is an advocate for small businesses across the U.S.

1 Comment

  • Blossom Smith
    Blossom Smith
    13.09.2017

    I try to SEO my blog posts to the best of my ability. However, you have pointed out some things that I was not aware of that could really make my posts become SEO optimized. I will try to implement those from now on.

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