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What is White-Hat SEO?

White-Hat SEO Definition

White-Hat SEO is the accepted search engine optimization strategies and implementations one can utilize to improve their website’s ranking on SERP’s (search engine results page’s).

White-hat SEO is the opposite of black-hat SEO (strategies that are not accepted).

What is White-Hat SEO?

Knowing the definition is one thing, but it’s another thing entirely to know exactly what classifies as white-hat SEO. Frankly, the guidelines are different depending on the search engine at play. Google for example publicly provides guidelines for anyone to read and take into consideration.

If you are wanting to rank your website well on Google, we highly recommend you give their guidelines a read as they are always changing. Their guidelines will tell you exactly what they are looking for when they are ranking websites. It will also tell you what they don’t want to see your website doing, we’ll get to that part in a second.

Considering that we sell SEO, we want to do our best to educate and share the knowledge of SEO with everyone who will hear us. If there’s one thing you get from this post here, we hope it’s that you understand that white-hat SEO is all about providing a quality, original, and genuine result for what users are searching for online.

White-Hat SEO Strategies & Techniques

If you want to create and implement an effective SEO campaign you must utilize white-hat SEO techniques. To make this easier we’ve listed a few recommendations below:

  • Read the Guidelines, implement them on your website, and build a system around your SEO campaign that strictly adheres to those guidelines without exception. These are always changing so check them frequently.
  • Ensure all the content on your website is 100% original. We recommend that you copy and paste your text content into Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker to make sure your website is the only source for the content. Granted it’s likely that there may be another website somewhere out there using some of the same phrases, we like to stick to the general rule of thumb of maintaining a 90%+ score to ensure quality performance.
  • Do everything manually, by humans. You may be surprised (or not) to see this on the list, but it’s super important. There are plenty of automated methods and tools that claim to help your SEO, but these are typically not white-hat SEO techniques and they will not be able to produce the same level of quality as a human anyways.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Search Engines like Google are always working to provide their users with the best solution for their search. Much like turning in an essay to your professor, each page is categorized based on the content of that page and scored based on the quality and ability to adhere to the provided guidelines.

White-Hat vs Black-Hat SEO

White-Hat SEO = Good
Black-Hat SEO = Bad

Black-hat SEO is the term used for prohibited SEO techniques. Google is very clear about what is prohibited if you read its Quality Guidelines. We don’t want to go too in-depth about black-hat SEO, but you should be aware of two of the most popular black-hat SEO techniques so that you can avoid them.

  • Purchasing bulk do-follow backlinks to your website. A backlink is a link from one website to another. Search engines use these links to determine a website’s reputation along with other metrics. At the time of writing this, Google uses PageRank to qualify links, and purchasing links that pass PageRank is in fact a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
    Purchasing links is a common practice in SEO, and not all purchased links are considered black-hat. Purchased links must be identified as purchased links by accompanying those links with these actions:
    Adding a rel="nofollow" or rel="sponsored" attribute to the <a> tag
    Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
    Source
  • Publishing automated content on your website. Any text generated using automated operations, such as Markov Chains, is prohibited. We never recommend using automated content, nor do we recommend purchasing links from websites that utilize automated content. There is virtually never a reason to utilize a tactic such as this, but in the event that you do use this tactic, the content must undergo human review, edits, or curation to ensure that the content is both legible by a human and provides value to the user search.

White-Hat SEO is all about playing the game by the rules and doing your best to provide quality results for what users are searching for. Search engines are getting smarter by the day, and they are a lot more intuitive than most people might think. Don’t try to game the system, simply do your best to win within the rules. If your website is found using black-hat SEO techniques, search engines may take action against your site, preventing it from ranking.

White-Hat SEO Link Building

Link building is a vital part of any successful SEO strategy. It’s important to build and execute an effective link-building strategy if you want to increase your domain authority and rank higher in the SERPs. Backlinks to your website are much like having other professionals in the workspace tell others that you are great at what you do. More authoritative websites are veterans in their field and their recommendation carries more weight than someone who is less authoritative.

You can build white-hat SEO links in a few ways:

  • Guest posting on other websites. If you’re an expert in your space, other websites in your space may allow you to write for their blog. This provides the opportunity to exchange value with a fellow industry expert! This is a great way to build your backlinks, because if the content you post on their website ranks you not only help rank their own website, but that post ranking with your backlinks increases the authority of your own website. Therefore increasing your website’s ability to rank as well.
  • Commenting on blogs that allow links in comments. This is a great place to begin if you are just starting out. Some blogs may allow you to publish comments with links to your own website. However, it’s important that the comments you provide are genuine and relevant to the post you are commenting on. We also recommend that you only post on blogs within your industry to send industry-specific signals to Google. Just note that these links are lower quality than links directly within the blog content itself.
  • Earning backlinks from ranking your own content. If you’re truly an expert in your field, your website content should reflect that. Often times once your content ranks highly on Google, other blogs may link to your content as a reference in an attempt to rank their own content on their website. At Dallas SEO Experts we have a method where we can reach out, at scale, to bloggers that may have an interest in linking to your specific content. This is one of the best ways to build backlinks at scale.

All that said, white-hat SEO links are almost always earned links. There’s no beating around the bush when it comes to building links the right way. Thankfully, we know that links are not the most important thing needed to rank your website and drive more traffic, but building backlinks is a great way to supercharge your SEO efforts.

White-Hat SEO Content Writing

As long as you have a human writing genuine content with good intentions you should fit within the category of white-hat SEO. If you’re outsourcing content writing you should always review the work prior to publishing to ensure that it fits within the Guidelines provided by Google for Bloggers.

Focus on writing content that provides a well-researched solution to what the user is searching for. We highly recommend you think of questions anyone looking at your industry might search, and write content focused on answering those questions as completely as possible.

Yes, this means more work if you’re writing the content. It also means that you have to review the content prior to being published to ensure that it’s a genuine, high-quality article.

White-Hat SEO Services

Creating and executing an effective white-hat SEO campaign is a lot of work when done right, but the rewards can be great if you really dedicate the time to it. Most people are busy running their business and simply don’t have the time to dedicate to an effort such as this. If you have the resources to do so, you should invest in white-hat SEO services or companies such as Dallas SEO Experts.

If you are considering hiring a white-hat SEO service that is not us, we don’t mind auditing their website, or their clients, to ensure that you select a safe and quality company to work with.

When performing these audits we take an in-depth look at the website’s history, backlink quality, keywords, and organic ranking positions on Google. All things you may not be able to get on your own.

White-Hat SEO is the Way To Go

Whatever you do for your SEO, be sure that you strictly implement the white-hat SEO methods that we’ve described here. Doing things the right way will ensure your long-term success.

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