In your niche site & affiliate marketing journey, you certainly want to achieve a higher rank in search engine results.
In order to reach the first page of the search engines, you must optimize your site.
Just putting out relevant content and hoping that your site will rank for the keywords is so 2008.
Do you know that there are two key strategies for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The two strategies are called White Hat SEO & Black Hat SEO.
It is important to understand these two strategies of SEO. Each search engine has their own set of rules that they expect sites to follow. If you violate these rules, typically by performing Black Hat SEO, you could find your site blacklisted from the search engine results. This, in turn, means less traffic to your niche site.
In this article, I will explain what the two SEO strategies are and provide examples so that you are familiar with these techniques.
Side note: You may also come across the term Grey Hat SEO. For the purpose of simplicity, we will not discuss the technique separately but will cover the techniques as part of the two main ones.
So what is White Hat SEO?
The strict adherence to the generally agreed rules by the search engines in order to achieve the higher ranking is called White Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
It refers to the natural and well accepted method of achieving the top page rank in the search engines.
White Hat SEO focuses on pleasing the web visitors in order to achieve higher ranking by search engines. This means that visitors like your pages and stay longer on your page.
This type of SEO usually takes a long time to rank pages. Hence, many niche & affiliate marketers tend to target Black Hat SEO.
So what is the Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essentially not playing by the rules of the game.
The Black Hat SEO pays no attention to providing quality content to a visitor. Instead, it focuses on sly shortcuts that tap on the weaknesses of the search engines. Most websites employing the black hat SEO hope to achieve quick results.
Many a times Black Hat SEO helps you gain traffic & ranking faster. However, search engines such as Google are smart and getting smarter. As soon as they find some improper methods used to rank a site, they penalise the site.
Do not be surprised to see some sites disappear from the top rankings of Google, if they employ Black Hat SEO.
Examples of Black Hat SEO Techniques
Lets start with some examples of Black Hat SEO. In no way, do I recommend that you use them. These are provided for you to understand how some of your competitors may be using them to rank better.
Doorway pages are also referred to us the bridge or jump pages. They refer to the landing pages of little value to visitors but optimized with certain keywords to trap the search engines. The main aim of doing so is to trick the search engine into ranking the page higher but transfer real visitors to a different useful page.
- Keyword stuffing
It simply refers to overpopulating a page with keywords such that it no longer looks natural to browsers. The goal for keyword stuffing is to increase a texts visibility and by extension traffic. Although it used to work in the past, currently, the search engines have been upgraded to detect keyword stuffing.
It refers to the process of having two different pages under the same URL; with one page to present to search engines and another to human visitors. So when search engine robots ‘crawl’ the page they are shown a different page from what real visitors’ access. The page targeting search engines bots depicts increased keyword usage and text only. On the other hand, the site meant for human browsers have more visual elements included too.
In Google’s algorithm, links play a key role in determining a page’s ranking. The best strategy, therefore, is to have links which actually add weight to your content. However, some website owners attempt to trick search engines by buying links from other sites. At the same time some websites having realized that link-buying business is lucrative, sell links too. Both practices buying and selling of links are bad SEO practices.
Duplicating content or spinning article
Another Black Hat technique is copying and pasting texts from another page and posting it in your own. At the same time, others resort to copying content from their competitors then employing spinning software to generate another copy. Their aim is to avoid plagiarism yet benefit by getting cheap content. Both cases represent spam content which is a wrong practice.
It’s the practice of having your texts embedded on the white background with the aim of increasing your keyword density. To the human visitors, such writings are invisible yet detectable by the search engines.
Risks of Employing Black Hat SEO Techniques
Faking your way to higher page ranking through the use of Black Hat techniques entails the following risks;
- Your site risks being banned by Google and other search engines
- Your website can be delisted and hence invisible to the search engines
- Your website can be degraded from the top to the bottom all over sudden
- It’s short-lived and won’t sustain the long-term success
Examples of White Hat SEO Techniques
Here are some of the best SEO methods you can employ to ensure your page achieve higher ranking without getting any penalty from Google;
Quality content that addresses your audience’s concern
SEO analysis tool helps you to identify the right keyword within a domain authority. When you use that keyword correctly and create the quality content that reaches out to your audience pain points, then you are on your way to appearing on the top page search results. Long tail keywords are less competitive than single keywords. Quality content should involve the texts, info graphs, and videos to drive home its message.
The fast loading pages that are easy to browse perform best in organic searches. Consequently make your page easy to access through computers, Smartphone, and tablets. As most content consumers are slowly shifting to browsing through mobile phones, a good site must be mobile phone friendly. In addition, consider optimizing images with descriptive alt tags.
Guest posting on higher ranking sites of your niche
Guest posting on higher ranking websites will definitely benefit yours with link juice. The link juice gained from the site will see you drive more traffic and achieve higher ranking too.
If you are using WordPress for your site, then you can refer to my WordPress SEO article.
If you want the long-term strategy of gaining traffic and appearing first in search page results, then go for White Hat SEO. Focus on feeding your audience with the right information that they are yearning to read. Give your message its own brand design. Let it be easy to access through phones and computers. And central to the right quality content is identifying the right long tail keyword to employ. You can use the SEO analysis tools and compare the keywords used by your competitor for better ideas.
But above all, know that relying on Black Hat SEO is risky. When you use the unapproved strategies, it’s a matter of time before you receive heavy punishment from Google and other search engines.