There are Good guys, and there are Bad Guys

Any successful business needs to create and maintain connections. Its website is often times the customers’ first portal to the brand. You have a great brand promoted by great content. You know it. Now, what do you do? You obviously want to show the world. To get your brand, your site, on the screens of likely customers, you logically decide to employ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. The top item that earns a site higher ranking in Google analytics are authoritative backlinks, or links back to your site from reputable and relative sites. Not all SEO services are the same, however. Whichever company you choose to assist you in SEO, you need to make sure you understand that particular company’s method, along with said methods’ benefits and possible consequences.

In other words, do they employ white hat or black hat techniques?

What is the Difference?

White Hat SEO

When you employ a link building company to help increase their Google search page rank, ultimately increasing their brand awareness, you are entrusting them with your brand, essentially, your company’s reputation.

When Google crawls through a site, it looks for reputable and relevant links to other sites. The higher amount of inbound links to their website will consequently increase the rank of the site.  An effective link building company can accomplish this using one of two methods of SEO: White hat and black hat.

White hat SEO will organically present links back to your site, focusing more on the human element of search results. In other words, organic content is written for the reader, not to please the search engines. What is promised in the search results is present in the article. Backlinks will be a seamless part of word flow and will provide the reader with extra, useful information. Link building companies that employ white hat methods are usually upfront about doing so. You can watch your site visits rise and, the shining bonus of such techniques is that you will not be penalized by Google.Black hat techniques, however most likely will.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO will not garner such benefits. By using the following shortcuts, you are likely to receive penalties and a diminished ranking. Google can detect black hat SEO and will penalize those who utilize it. A sanction from Google will result in a negative ranking and a sudden drop in traffic to the site. Where white hat strategies can bolster a site, black hat methods can sink a site.   It is a misconception that Google will not discover such tactics.

Keyword stuffing, invisible text and doorway pages are some techniques utilized in an attempt to fool search engine crawlers. Keyword stuffing is perhaps the most obvious tactic because it makes the article or comment sound unnatural. The other tactics employ hiding elements in plain sight (i.e., invisible text texts that blends into the site’s background). If an article seems choppy, the words are out of place or it seems that it was written by a non-native speaker, chances are you are reading an article produced and placed through black hat means.

To increase and maintain your brand, you need to be on the screens of potential customers. It can be easy to overlook the methods by which companies help others in increasing and maintaining that presence. Before employing a company to handle your search engine optimization, make sure you understand the methods they utilize to get your site noticed. As with any decision, you need to make sure you weigh the penalties and benefits of using nefarious black hat tactics. Using tactics that cut corners will basically take you out of the picture when it comes to recognizability on the internet. Make sure you enlist the help of white hat SEO companies, as they have the integrity of your company as their priority.

Jeremy is a tech and business writer from Simi Valley, CA. He’s worked for Adobe, Google, and himself. He lives for success stories, and hopes to be one someday.hat it brings to your business as a whole.