You’d think that White Hat SEO would be the norm in today’s era, with stringent regulation and penalties. Despite the consequences of trying to trick the system, many businesses are taking a chance with strategies that are certainly more Black Hat than White Hat.
Over at Moz.com, Rand Fishkin uses a great example using a search for “buy propecia”. If you look at the screenshot below from the Moz article on White Hat SEO strategies, you can see how the results have been forced.
Why White Hat SEO Always Works Best
Why is White Hat SEO always the best route, and what are the consequences you may face if you have been turning to the dark side? A few things to note include the following:
- Short cuts often end up in disaster. Most companies who lean towards Black Hat are not trying to be devious. In fact, many would be horrified that the tactics they have been taking are considered unethical. A few common examples of how many try to trick their way into the SERPs include keyword stuffing, link farms, aggressive spamming and even forced keywords that do not read naturally at all. The thing about this approach is that it often leads to lost rankings instead of first place position. You may get away with such tricks at first, but as Google algorithms continue to clamp down on dodgy strategies, you will quickly end up being lost in the SERPs.
- Reputation plays a role in ranking. You may not consider reputation as an important factor for your Search Engine Optimisation strategy. In reality however, reputation counts a great deal in both your ranking and your overall digital marketing efforts. Google typically favours trusted websites over those that follow SEO best practices. Your audience also gets sick of sneaky strategies. If you are having to trick people into visiting your page, or you resort to spamming them, you can be sure that they will not want to have anything to do with your business. They will likely tell friends and family about their experience, too, which further damages your reputation.
- Search engines are getting tougher than ever. As we mentioned above, search engines are continually evolving. As Google gets tougher on poor quality content, spam and other borderline Black Hat approaches, it becomes far harder to get away with this sort of approach. Repeat offenders face blacklists and various other punishments that can further ruin any effort you make.
A White Hat approach may seem to take longer, but ultimately, it will be the best way to avoid penalties and lost ratings, while keeping your reputation intact. In the long run, you will be able to see real results in time if you trust your White Hat SEO specialist and do things the right way.