Search Engine Optimization – Whitehat SEO Best Practice vs. Blackhat SEO Bad Practice
You may hear about “SEO” when creating your website and reading information about how search engines work. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, the search engine optimization procedure, or “Search Engine Optimizer”, the person who carries out this procedure.
There are many legitimate methods of optimizing a site for search engines, but some webmasters may use deceptive techniques to try to trick search engines and users. The lawful SEO technique is often called “whitehat”, while the most unpleasant illicit techniques are often referred to as “blackhat”. It is important to distinguish between the two methods because blackhat SEO actually damages the site and its reputation, rather than improving its ranking in organic search results.
Best practice: SEO whitehat
These techniques are intended to improve a site by focusing on visitors rather than improving site ranking. Some examples of good whitehat techniques are creating high quality organic content and adding effective descriptive tags, as explained in the previous module. These techniques comply with the Webmaster Guidelines, which your site must adhere to in order to rank well in the results of organic Google Search .
Bad practice: SEO blackhat
The illicit techniques that manipulate the search engines to try to get a better position to a site are considered blackhat techniques that violate our Instructions for webmasters. Do not pay for the inclusion on the Internet of links that link to your site in order to overcome PageRank and to manipulate Google Search. These links could be considered sponsored links or paid advertisements, be hidden in the HTML code or inserted as optimized anchors in articles, comments and footers. Learn how to avoid these practices on our link schemes page.
Any link aimed at manipulating the PageRank or ranking of a site in Google’s search results can be considered part of a link scheme and constitutes a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines . This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outbound links from your site.
Here are some examples of link schemes that can adversely affect a site’s ranking in search results:
- Buying or selling links to increase PageRank classification. This includes exchanging money in relation to links or posts that contain links, exchanging goods or services in relation to links or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for a positive review and the inclusion of a link.
- Excessive exchange of links (“Connect to me and I connect to you”) or creation of partner pages exclusively for the exchange of links.
- Large-scale article marketing or guest publishing campaigns with anchor text links full of keywords.
- Use of automated programs or services to create links to your site
Furthermore, the creation of links that have not been inserted by the editorial staff or recommended by the site owner on a page, also known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our instructions. Here are some common examples of unnatural links that violate our instructions:
- Advertising in text format to increase the PageRank classification
- Native advertisements or advertisements that require payment for items that include links to transfer PageRank.
- Optimized anchor text links in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to get married, you will have to choose the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.
- Directory site links or low quality bookmarks
- Links embedded in widgets that are distributed on various sites, for example:
Visitors to this page: 1472
- Links widely distributed in the footers of various sites
- Comments in the forums with optimized links in the post or in the signature, for example:
Thanks, great information!
– Paolo www.example.com
Please note that links to PPC (pay-per-click) advertisements that do not transfer the PageRank to the buyer of the ad do not violate our instructions. You can prevent the transfer of PageRank in several ways, for example:
- By adding a rel = “nofollow” attribute to the tag <a>.
- By redirecting links to an intermediate page with blocked access to search engines via a robots.txt file.
The best way to encourage the inclusion in other sites of quality and relevant links to yours is to create unique and peculiar contents, able to naturally acquire popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays: links are usually editorial votes given by choice and the greater the usefulness of your content, the more likely it is that another user will consider them valid for their readers and insert a link to them.
Cloaking is the practice of presenting human users with content or URLs other than those presented to search engines. Cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines because it provides our users with different results than expected.
Examples of cloaking include:
- Offer an HTML text page to search engines, but display a page of images or Flash for users
- Inserting text or keywords into a page only when the User-agent requesting the page is a search engine, not a human visitor
If a site is compromised, it is not uncommon for the hacker to use cloaking to make it more difficult for the site owner to detect the compromise.
Hidden text and links
Having hidden text or links in your content to manipulate your ranking in Google’s search results can be considered deceptive and constitutes a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Text (e.g. too many keywords) can be hidden in several ways, for example:
- Using white text on a white background.
- By inserting text behind an image.
- Using CSS to position text off the screen.
- By setting the font size to 0.
- Hiding a link in a small font, such as a dash in the middle of a paragraph.
When looking at your site to see if it contains hidden text or links, look for items that are not easily visible to visitors. Have the text or links been entered only for search engines instead of for visitors?
- Images:use the “alt” attribute to provide descriptive text. We also recommend using a legible caption and descriptive text around the image. For more advice on publishing images, see this article .
- Video:enter descriptive text about the HTML video. You can also use transcripts. For more advice on publishing videos, see this article .
The term doorway refers to pages or sites created to be positioned high in search results related to specific search queries. These elements are negative for users because they can link to several similar pages in the user’s search results, where each result basically refers the user to the same destination. They can also direct users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.
Here are some examples of doorway pages:
- Different pages or different domain names targeted by specific geographic areas or cities that refer users to a single page
- Pages generated to channel visitors to the actually usable or relevant part of your site
- Almost equal pages more similar to search results than to a well-defined searchable hierarchy
Use of excess keywords
The use of excess keywords is a practice of overloading a web page with keywords or numbers in an attempt to change a site’s ranking in Google’s search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or in a group or out of context (not in the form of natural phrases). Filling the pages with keywords or numbers leads to a deterioration of the user experience and can affect the positioning of your site. Try to create useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.