White Hat SEO generally refers to marketing practices that improve search engine rankings without breaking search engine guidelines or compromising the ethics of your website. It is important to follow White Hat SEO practices because it ensures that your site will not be penalized by search engines and removed from results pages.
When creating a White Hat SEO strategy, many marketers will use Google Search Essentials as a guideline. These strategies usually includes creating valuable, customer focused content, improving website navigation and user experience, optimizing web pages for keywords through meta deta and copy optimization, and satisfying your target audience’s search intent.
The opposite of White Hat SEO is Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO refers to engaging in deceptive or fraudulent marketing practices in an attempt to achieve higher search rankings. However, not all Black Hat SEO practices have to be deceptive or malicious. Oftentimes, Black Hat SEO can simply mean marketing practices performed with the goal of ranking, rather than for the benefit of customers and users. So, if you have a page on your website that isn’t necessarily helpful for users or relevant to the products or services your business offers, that could be considered a Black Hat SEO practice because that page has been created with the intent of ranking, not benefitting or helping users.
If you are torn between whether or not your site follows White Hat SEO best practices, you only need to look at Google’s mission statement, which is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Use this mission statement when you are evaluating your website’s current practices. If you are prioritizing changes to your website to make it more accessible and helpful to users, then chances are you are following White Hat SEO practices.
However, if you are not prioritizing these types of changes, it is time to reevaluate and readjust your SEO practices.
If you are still unclear on whether your site is partaking in Black Hat SEO, contact us for a free discovery session: