A webmaster performs the dual task while developing a website, that is, to make it search-engine as well as user friendly. By making the website in accordance with the search engine guidelines, the chances of its placement on SERPs are increased and if the website contains information sought by the users, it can drive the desired sales. But at the same time, webmasters are well aware of the fact, that achieving a high search engine rank will ultimately generate huge traffic to the website thus solving their purpose. So they direct all their efforts to attain a high rank and employ different Search Engine Optimization Techniques. In this article, we will discuss the White, Black & Grey hat SEO techniques.
White Hat SEO Techniques
Considered legal and ethical, White Hat techniques comprise those methods which duly conform to the guidelines laid down by search engines and do not use any inappropriate means of gaining a high rank. White Hat SEO techniques are:
Relevant Keywords and their Placement – As search engines rank a website on the basis of relevant keywords used to provide optimum search results to the users, it becomes imperative for webmasters to load the websites with right keywords at suitable places like in Title, Meta Descriptions, Headers, Alt Tag, Links and Text.
Content – Just as keywords are important, content is equally significant in determining the ranking. If search engines find the website’s content is rich in information for users, they give it a high rank.
Quality Links– Links coming from other relevant websites and their quantity attracts the search engines, so webmasters give importance to developing quality links for their sites in order to increase their ranking.
Black Hat SEO Techniques
Black Hat SEO refers to those techniques which are not acknowledged by search engines as ethical and where optimizers adopt unfair means to top the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). They include:
Keywords Stuffing- Here the webmasters load the website with excessive keywords with the hope of getting attention from search engines and sometimes are quite successful in achieving the same.
Invisible Text– Putting the text in the same color as that of the background is another technique used by optimizers to fool the search engines
Cloaking- Most commonly used, Cloaking involves creating two different web pages, one for the search engines and the other for the users.
Doorway pages– Specially made for search engines; doorway pages do not have any real content and are used to drive the user to the actual site.
Link Farming– Links are an important criterion used by search engines while ranking, so webmaster indulge in creating a number of irrelevant & useful links for their sites to cheat the former and obtain a suitable rank.
Grey Hat SEO Techniques
Combining the aspects of both White & Black hat techniques, there is another set known as Grey Hat Techniques which are increasingly used by optimizers to move up their search engine ranking:
Cloaking– Though often termed as Black Hat, it is also included under Grey Hat as the optimizers argue that it is no harm in developing the content which suits the search engines and another for the users if the intended purpose is clear.
Paid Links– This involves purchasing links for Link Popularity which is considered illegitimate but if done to increase traffic, it has its sound validity.
Duplicate Content- Webmaster use Duplicate content for both resource sites as well as home sites but there are several arguments in favor and against such use and there is no clear cut distinction as to whether this technique is legitimate or illegitimate.
All the above discussed techniques, no matter legal or illegal, revolve around the prime goal of obtaining high rank in Search engine result pages and are quite effective in this respect but their reliability, except White Hat, is still a matter of debate.