SEO professionals argue day in and day out about whether or not to use Black Hat SEO tactics. For those of you not aware of the difference between White Hat and Black Hat tactics, here’s a few bullets…
White Hat Techniques
- Improve usability of site
- Generate Content
- Improve site speed
- Marketing the site legitimately
- Technically implement the site correctly
- Anything a search engine would want you to do
Black Hat Techniques
- Buying links
- Keyword spamming
- Link circles
- Spam commenting / linking
- Farming out link generation
- Anything to fool a search engine into thinking you are bigger than you are
I will admit that for certain clients, it is useful to consider some black hat techniques. Black hat techniques come at a higher price tag, and much shorter term lifespan.
Matt Cutts (of Google), considered one of the closest things many of us have to seeing inside Google’s head, wrote an article talking about Google’s stance on White Hat versus Black Hat.
From the post, Another step to reward high-quality sites:
The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill 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 returned higher-quality sites in search results. And earlier this year we launched a page layout algorithm that reduces rankings for sites that don’t make much content available “above the fold.”
In the next few days Google will be making another change to try and prevent webspam in search results. This is good news for those of us “following the rules”.
The article states that the original Panda changes affected about 12% of quries, while this change will only ffect 3.1%. Baby steps towards winning over the Black Hat SEO tactics.
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