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Will the use of white hat SEO techniques enhance the reputation of your website?

Search and More’s view

When SEO practitioners talk about white hat SEO techniques what they’re actually talking about are ethical procedures and practices. It’s simply a question of playing by the rules and not trying to cheat the system. There are several ways of utilising white hat SEO techniques, but the most popular and proven are the following:

Keyword research and the effective use of keywords

Keywords are the key to the success of any online business. They are what drives searches and ultimately determine whether your business is able to convert these searches. Businesses need to identify the most relevant ones for their purposes and optimise their sites to rank for these. Once you’ve chosen you keywords, then you need to incorporate these into your online content. Keyword density then becomes important. Then it’s a question of balance. Use them too frequently and they will lose their impact and might be interpreted by the search engines as black hat or spamming. Use then too infrequently and they’re practically useless. No one can really accurately say what an ideal density is, but the general consensus seems to be in the region of 3 to 8% depending on your particular niche or specialisation.

Using high quality content

It’s probably stating the obvious, but quality counts. Sites that produce quality content attract and retain visitors because these users know that what you’re offering is interesting, absorbing and worthwhile.  They’ll stay that little bit longer on the website because of that and will come back and buy the goods and services you offer.

Gaining high quality inbound links

The success of every website is essentially built on reputation. The more respected your website is, the more successful it will become. But to become successful, websites need to be acknowledged by their peers. This means they need to build up a series of quality backlinks from other websites. Good quality links take time to build. Respect and reputation have to earned, so you’ll have to work at it.

Google’s view

Google has tried to make its position clear and remove some of the confusion surrounding SEO. Effectively, however, its stance on spam has remained pretty consistent. In a blog post (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality.html) on Google Webmaster the search engine stated:

“The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfil their information needs. We also want the “good guys” making great sites for users, not just algorithms, to see their effort rewarded. To that end we’ve launched Panda changes that successfully return higher-quality sites in the search results. These changes will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing ‘quality guidelines’. Our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating higher quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive web-spam tactics.”

What does Google mean by ‘quality guidelines’?

  • Don’t use cloaking.
  • Avoid the use of hidden text or hidden links.
  • Don’t send automated queries to Google.
  • Don’t stuff pages with irrelevant keywords.
  • Don’t create multiple pages, sub-domains, or domains with duplicate content.
  • Don’t create pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other bad-ware.
  • Avoid doorway pages created specifically for search engines
  • If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site provides unique and relevant content.

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