Digital marketing is a relatively new field, but there are already search engine strategies to penalize unethical black hat marketing techniques and reward white hat marketing efforts. What is considered black hat marketing? What are the white hat marketing techniques you should use? And what gray hat marketing methods can cause trouble if used to excess?
Black Hat Marketing
Black hat marketing is seen as a way to try to trick the search engine into giving your site a higher ranking than it deserves. Black hat marketing can get you banned by Google.
Black hat marketing techniques consist of those that position the web page relative to popular search queries but the content is completely unrelated. Cloaking refers to showing search engines different information than the visitor sees, which is clearly against SEO ethics. Keyword spamming is a black hat marketing technique search engines heavily penalize and look for, as are keyword lists that cause the page to show up in searches unrelated to the content. Hiding lists and keywords repeated over and over again is banned, too.
Doorway pages may be added to a site to capture visitors but lead people to a totally unrelated site. Deceptive redirects are used with doorway pages to bring people to the destination page. This black hat technique is harder to kill off than keyword stuffing because someone can set up half a dozen different doorway pages with redirects and set up new ones as fast (or faster) than search engines can take them down.
Building multiple sites that link to each other while promoting the same product or service is one way to falsely build links to each site. This black hat technique requires little effort while falsely giving search engines the impression that your site should have more authority because of all the back links. This can get your sites banned, as does heavy link spamming when it is discovered.
White Hat Marketing
The gold standard of white hat marketing is search engine optimized quality content that is aligned with someone’s query that tactfully promotes the service or product as the answer. For example, a query inferring that someone needs a plumber that provides an answer to the plumbing question they are asking and tells them when they need to bring in the professionals – in this case, the content creators – is white hat marketing.
Apply SEO to your meta tags and web page descriptions is white hat marketing, while keyword stuffing them or using unrelated key words is a black hat marketing tactic.
Gray Hat Marketing
Gray hat marketing to digital marketing tactics that aren’t obviously black hat, but they aren’t white hat, either. Paid links and link exchanges are one type of gray hat tactic. Mild keyword stuffing is something you can usually get away with, but you have to be careful of the threshold search engines apply since these change with time. You can avoid this problem by using latent search indexing to better position content with the context of the searchers.
You should add descriptions to images to better improve the SEO of your site instead using keyword stuffing. If you don’t know what search terms and phrases are the best choices for optimizing your site, contact a digital marketing expert; our team is ready and able to help you, with a proven track record in this area.
Simply altering paragraph headings to the questions search engines think your customers are asking will dramatically and legitimately improve your search engine results page rankings, and this is less effort than trying to manage the keyword density of hundreds of sub-domains.
An unfortunate black hat marketing technique involves scraping the quality content of others and publishing it on their own site, while using that content to lead people to their own business. If you are not careful, rewriting your own content and optimizing each rewritten page for a different local SEO query can result in you getting penalized as duplicate content. Some duplicate content such as using a standard template for press releases all saved to your website or repeating the same product description except for part numbers and model years can result in duplicate content strikes against your site as well.