Black Hat-White Hat-SEO

Creating a website has become relatively easy; what is harder is to create is a healthy flow of traffic that can provide you with the type of visitors who want to spend money. Traffic in general comes mostly from marketing efforts such as advertising or search engines. Search engine users provide a significant proportion of the traffic that commercial sites rely on and to enjoy the highest traffic volumes, you have to be "Search Engine Optimized". This revered term simply means that your site has to seen to be relevant and ranked accordingly by the search engines for whatever search terms are queried by an online user.

This "optimization" process is shrouded in secrecy for a few reasons:

1) SEO specialists want you to think that they have the hidden answer to all your ranking problems so that you will hire their services.

2) Google and other large search engines keep the mechanism by which they rank websites a strict secret, to protect the quality of the web.

3) The target is constantly shifting because Google and co. are always upgrading their algorithms and ranking methods, whilst optimizers are trying to find ways to keep up or circumvent the system.

This merry-go-round is a non-stop cat and mouse game that can easily leave the poor website builder confused and it is no wonder that the whole SEO subject is bewildering to many.

Hat color matters

What has worsened the situation is that some of these SEO services have come up with underhand ways of achieving better ranking. This is known as "Black Hat SEO". Black hat optimization uses techniques such as social media spamming, invasive advertising, link cloaking and many other unethical methods, all of which provide some measure of improved traffic.

White Hat

White Hat SEO tactics improve the visibility of a

free website or web page, using methods that are encouraged by search engines. This means placing keywords in content organically, so that both human readers and search engines will read them, in limited amounts. Google works very hard to locate these pages and ranks them highly because they know that the content is likely to be genuine and that visitors will most likely find the results useful. White Hat methods include:

and#8226; Placing keywords in MetaTags appropriately and concisely.

and#8226; Providing complete and accurate site maps.

and#8226; Using carefully worded titles for articles and content with sparing use of keywords.

and#8226; Using anchor text with keywords (anchor is the link text that appears to the website viewer where there is a link).

and#8226; Only accepting reliable affiliates

and#8226; Adding inner-links between your site pages, in a practical, useful manner.

The search engines (especially Google) are in a constant state of re-engineering their search-ranking algorithm. This makes it harder to keep up and ensure that the latest ranking method you are using does not get you onto their spam list. Fortunately, the internet is bustling with risk takers who can find out the hard way about new SEO techniques so you can soon find out from the articles written on SEO, which techniques work, and which bring about the wrath of Google. When you create a

free website, it pays to have a look around to find out what constitutes acceptable optimization and what can get you slammed in the sin-bin. There is no recourse if you get it wrong; Google does not respond to apology letters so conforming is pretty much the name of the game. As a website builder, you should take advantage of all the opportunities available to you when optimizing a site - just make sure you wear the right colored hat!

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This Article Has Been Published on Mon, 6 Sep 2010 and Read 1260 Times

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