There are broadly two types of search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques: ‘black hat’ and ‘white hat’. The former seeks to achieve quick wins in terms of search engine rankings by promoting a website with disreputable methods. Black-hat methods include:
• Using a white font on a white background to stuff a page with keywords – the words will be invisible to users but will still get picked up by search engine indexing programs
• ‘Link is spamming’ – creating machine-generated blogs which, despite appearing as nonsense to readers, are populated with links to the promoted website
Major search engines are now increasingly primed to detect and penalise black-hat methods. Indeed, trying to artificially boost a website’s search result rankings will most likely be counterproductive. The site may end up being demoted to a lower ranking or be removed altogether from a search engine catalogue.
White-hat SEO, on the other hand, produces sustained benefits for a website seeking to gain higher search engine rankings. White-hat SEO takes an organic approach, integrating search engine optimisation into website development from the earliest stages of SEO. Moreover, SEO results are achieved through in-depth analysis of a candidate website, carefully working out a strategy for keyword distribution and optimisation.
Other techniques, such as publishing articles on trusted information hubs, and promoting sites through social networks, are also deployed.All in all, creating an authoritative web presence means that one is far more likely to garner high search engine rankings than by promoting a site through dubious, black-hat SEO techniques.