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White Hat vs Black Hat SEO. What to do?

Some Rights and Wrongs of Search Engine Optimization

You would think that in the topic of White Hat vs Black Hat SEO would not be relevant in 2015. The reason why it’s still topic is because there are way too many scammers in this industry. Even if their intention is not to scam you they usually don’t deliver. The problem is the bar for calling yourself a SEO is pretty low. The truth is few SEO’s can deliver on their promises. Most don’t deliver and still get away with it. This is why you hear companies say “I’ve used many SEO’s and it’s never worked.” To begin with a great SEO must have a deep understanding of your product or service, industry, technology, content creation, digital marketing, Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, CMS’s like WordPress, lead generation and your sales goals.

(Note: scroll down and you’ll find links to free resources to help you build the right SEO plan for your company’s website)

3 Examples that you’re looking for an SEO in the wrong places (and that your SEO can’t be found using SEO for their own services because they SUCK)

  • Good ol’ Craigslist: Go on Craigslist you’ll find guys offering SEO for $300. Doesn’t the fact that the “expert SEO” had to list their service on Craigslist in the first place tell you they can’t be found organically for their own service. If you choose to hire an SEO from Craigslist or overseas ask for 10 sites they’ve optimized and talk to the principles at those companies. Instead of using your site for a test ask them to build a landing page with your offer and for them to SEO it for 90 days. Once you see the results you can move forward with doing any meaning optimizations on your site. Before You Do Ask Yourself: Why am I looking for expertise in any professional area on Craigslist? You get what you pay for!
  • Email Spam: I constantly get spam emails with SEO companies promising to get our site to page one. Instead of deleting these emails you need to take action and report them for spam. Don’t just report them to your Email Service Provider. Report them to the FCC – https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/can-spam Before you do Ask yourself: Is this SEO good at SEO or email spam?
  • Robo Calls: This is possibly the worse way of choosing your SEO. You get a robocall out of the blue soliciting you for SEO. Sometimes they even add a message of fear. The press 1 type robocalls go something like this”Did you know Google is penalizing your website if you’re not properly managing your GoogleMyBusiness page?” In this example they’re trying to put fear into you and that your company is going to drop in rankings or be penalized if you don’t use their service for a small fee. Meanwhile you can add your business to the GoogleMyBusiness directory for free. Instead of hanging up or asking them to put you on their “do not call” list take an extra 5 minutes and report them to the FCC – https://www.donotcall.gov/Before you do Ask yourself:

Again if getting organic traffic is important to your company then task someone with reading the Google Webmaster Guidelines and have them brief you on it. It clearly states that

Just this year alone Google has made over 500 algorithm changes. If an SEO can guarantee you placement on page 1 in essence they’re telling you that they know Google’s playbook. Being that our agency offering SEO as a part of our Digital Marketing Solutions I can easily spot the con-artists from the real guys. But it’s become harder and harder to spot them as sites like http://www.topseos.com/ are happy to list them as a quality SEO if they’re willing to pay for their listing. Unfortunately, sites like these have no authority in our space. While a non-profit in our industry already exists. SEMPO’s mission is not to police the bad guys. Either SEMPO or the industry needs a group that evaluates agencies, freelancers and others claiming to be SEO’s.

SERP’s (search engine results page)

Search Engine software is designed to protect the Web user’s experience. The user should find the information that the site states or suggests to the search engines. The search engines constantly tweak and revise its software to detect problems. The search engines detect positive signs of a website’s value, such as the number of other sites that link back to it. An organic search reveals logical or other connections between the sites. Backlinks are evidence that other sites use information or content from the first website. However, when backlinks form patterns outside of organic search, they raise suspicion.

Black Hat Risks Outweigh the Gains
A temporarily bloated rating and higher ranks may fulfill the promises made by unethical sponsors of black hat SEO, but the gains are likely to be short-lived. The penalties upon discovery will last much longer. The sudden acquisition of large numbers of links are signs of black hat SEO. Similarly, links to low-value sites are symptoms of black hat SEO. Website keyword research reveals popular search terms from users seeking particular resources. A website could merely stuff these terms into low-value content. This style is the opposite of information; it is content that has no purpose other than repeating keywords. There are many more bald efforts to cheat a system that is designed simply to protect online users.

White Hat SEO Builds the Sure Way
There are white hat practices that live up to expectations and honestly portray website content. These actions invest in high-opportunity areas such as link-building and SERP, advertising on search engine results pages. Prediq Media offers digital marketing expertise to improve website performance by utilizing all available electronic interactive channels for marketing, including search engine marketing, social media, mobile, text and email. Local Search is a specialized form of marketing based on geography. It provides a service to consumers who define a preference for a particular area.

Digital marketing authority is a position in the marketplace that recognizes strength based upon knowledge and capacity. Blogs are an excellent way to demonstrate digital marketing authority. They facilitate an ongoing relationship in which clients and visitors develop awareness of the brand and identify it with solid and reliable information.

SEO in 2016

You’ll find hundreds of articles about what you should do for SEO in 2016. If you want to read a short and concise article about SEO in 2016 I think it’s worth your time to read the article in Website Magazine – http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2015/10/20/what-s-in-store-for-seo-in-2016.aspx

Free Tools from the Search Engines:

Google Search Console

Bing Webmaster Tools

Google Analytics

If you’re wondering how your site is working you can get a free ranking report through our site – Check Your Ranking!

Alex Oliveira

I’m Alex. I’m a dad, husband, an entrepreneur and an information junkie. I am a passionate guy — I love business and I really love helping business owners turn their passions into profits. I’ve spent the last 10+ years helping clients advance their businesses and brands through dynamic interactive marketing campaigns. I always welcome a challenge and am relentless in the pursuit of innovative marketing strategies that actually work.