Here is part 9 of our DIY SEO series and you can start it from here with part 1. This debate has being going on for as long as I remember. If you were not into internet marketing and SEO you could be forgiven into thinking this blog post is about different types and colours of certain hats, but the well seasoned among you will realise what I am talking about.
The debates always seem to be which way is the best but I tend to think they both have benefits depending on where you want your business to go. The longer we have had our websites online the wiser we have become to what techniques we are using.
I will admit to using black hat SEO techniques when we first started out because you have to feel your way around and see what works. For us at the beginning we wanted fast results so forum spamming, profile links and blog comments were the order of the day.
We used tools such as Scrape box and Sick Submitter. These tools were very good at spamming sites day after day on autopilot, which did work for a while until the dreaded updates, where your sites were slapped down by search engines for using these techniques.
However we escaped the updates because they sites we had followed black hat SEO with we had sold many months previously so we had a very lucky escape
The search engines soon got wise to this so altered their engines not giving the links so much authority thus the sites would not rank very highly. These changes take a while for the companies to put together so you can make some money quick before your site dies.
That is essentially what black hat SEO is used for. Build a site spam like crazy knowing full well in a week or 2 that it is going to get slapped down but while it is ranking for your money keyword you will be making some money.
It is a bit like email marketing. There are some marketers that don’t want to build a relationship with their list. So what they will do is throw 10+ emails a day at them, burn out the list and start again.
I am on the other side of email marketing where you build the trust, you mail to them three times a week and you are not constantly starting again from scratch.
People make a business out of this and I am not sure if the search engines can do much to stop these sites from ranking in the first place. Matt Cutts of Google recently said he takes on board what is going on with the black hat forums. Which come to think of it have plenty of ideas of what people do to rank their site for a short while?
But you have got to think the more intelligent person would not go on a forum to share the secrets as to why his site is ranking in the first place while using black hat methods. So it will be a constant battle for the search engines to put an end to this kind of business model.
Some people actually ask if this exists. I think it does and in any business you need a correct way of doing things and I think white hat is the correct way of doing things. We now use all white hat SEO methods.
Like regular blog posts. Regular featured posts which we use to go into more detail about a certain product review or a subject we feel our readers would benefit from being in more detail. We also use a lot of social media and our natural links are going up day after day.
These natural links are what the search engines are looking for because you are leaving it up to free will if the person bookmarks you site or shares your content across the web and if that happens and your content gets shared by a lot of people you will get a huge spike in traffic.
This then brings me onto not putting all your eggs in the Google basket. Why would you just use one place to receive traffic from? You would not and you should not rely on just one place especially when you do not control the search engines.
The best practice is to write content regularly, and engage your readers and give them what they are looking for, and then you should see your site getting more impressions from the search engines and from your social media and advertising.
Just look at what we have shown you in this series – to do just that and do so on a long term basis.
So I look at it this way. Black hat SEO methods can work for you if you do not want a website business building up and you just want to make quick money then dump the site, to me this does not appeal as I like to build something from scratch and try to make it a success.
White hat SEO is for those of you who want a long lasting website business building your brand and making it successful through content making, email marketing and social media. Good luck in the choices you make.
DIY SEO And Learning From The Beginning
Below you can follow the series in full and we wish you all the best of luck with your own SEO. You can save a small fortune by doing it yourself and improving the traffic to your website.
An Introduction – Learn the basics of SEO and how to do it yourself. If you can just master the basics of what search engine optimisation is all about then you are already half way there.
Keyword Research – Did you know that the majority of people do it wrong and use overpriced software or Google tools? Both of which don’t work as they don’t give you accurate results. Plus as everyone else is doing it there are no way you can out smart your competition. This shows you how to do free keyword research and how I find the crème de la crème of keywords.
Blogging Your Way To Number 1 – In this blog post I will show you how you can blog your way to the top of the search engines. Sounds silly that a bit of blogging can guarantee SEO traffic but this one gives you the cheap way of great SEO results.
Facebook Groups – Did you know you can use Facebook groups for social media and SEO at the same time? Bringing you thousands of visitors a day in the process.
Social Bookmarking – SEO and social bookmarking go hand in hand with one another. And social bookmarking should be part of your daily routine in order to get some simple backlinks at the same time as spreading the word about your content.
Google Webmaster Tools – This is your chance to get a guided tour around the Google Webmaster Tools and learn how to use Google to improve your SEO. Discover how well your impressions are doing, look at your conversions, see which keywords are doing best and see what improvements you can make to your SEO.
Bing Webmaster Tools – Carry on from where we left off last week but this time say hello to Bing and how you can get a lot of traffic from the number 2 search engine. Even though Bing is the number #2 doesn’t mean it should be forgotten about. Just think if your keywords will give you 1000 hits a week on Google, 750 extra traffic could come from Bing. Is that traffic you want to run away from?
Google Changes – Now this is what many SEO enthusiasts dread. And that is to lose positions on Google. But what if this happens? Can you get them back?