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How to Wear the White Hat When It Comes to Search Engine Optimisation

When talking about enhancing a site for search engine optimisation, white hat methods are ethical and non-deceptive means of increasing traffic to a site. In a perfect world they would be the only means at your disposal, but the world isn’t perfect and neither is the Internet.

Thankfully, search engines are extremely powerful these days, and with good reason they have set out to reward those who practise white hat methods and punish those who employ black hat ways of getting undeservedly high ranking on their results pages.

The finer points of how they determine which sites are using black hat methods may be under wraps, but it’s no secret that most unethical methods are easily recognisable to search engines and human users alike.

As a publisher with a reputation to maintain and a site to promote, you’d probably do well to consult professional SEO services that’ll advise on what white hat methods can be used to enhance your site. If you’ve employed reputable and professional SEO services, they ought to give advice on any areas in which you might be going wrong, too, and to discourage any unethical means of bringing traffic to your pages that you might be using without realising the seriousness of what you’re doing.

To think of your site yourself, how do you go about wearing the white hat? It’s really not that difficult, and we’ve provided a few points to help guide you.

Recognise White Hat Methods
How can you set white hat methods apart from black hat ones? Think about the results pages you’re trying to get listed on. Maintaining the integrity of these listings should be a priority if you want to be an ethical contributor on the Internet. While it may seem like the processes by which sites are ranked highly are not always your friend, it’s very unwise to start a war against them. Ultimately, it’s only through sound marketing and good quality service that you’ll get the ranking you deserve. Search engines have ways of knowing how deserving you are, and if you try to get listed using unethical means, you’ll be penalised. Recognise white hat methods as those that stem from a motivation to maintain the integrity of search results and get listed through hard work and relevance of content.

Use the White Hat Methods You Know about
If you’ve decided to contribute ethically to the web, start by optimising your site yourself with some white hat techniques you already know about. A good way to start would be to look at the way you link internally. Make sure links back to your home page are plentiful, and get a site map if you haven’t already. Check official advice from search engines like Google about ways to improve your ranking, and ultimately consult experts at an SEO agency.

Get a Good Content Management System
A content management system makes it much easier to wear the white hat for optimisation. Using the right search engine optimisation CMS will help you to organise the flow of content on your site. When things are ordered there is far less temptation or opportunity to stray from the path. SEO content management systems offer you, the publisher, with tremendous scope for improvement when it comes to introducing fresh new material and generally getting ahead through sound strategies. A good SEO agency can give advice about the best SEO CMS for you.

Remember That Good Marketing Is Good SEO
If SEO confuses you, don’t worry. If you employ good marketing strategies and you make your site user friendly, it’s very likely that you’re already on the way to having a well-optimised site.

By using only ethical means to improve your ranking, you’ll be doing your bit to make the Internet a more useful tool for everyone. Gone are the 1990s, when spammers were able to get away with a lot of bad practise. These days, search engines like Google need to keep results pages accurate and relevant for users. It’s worth remembering that users have a choice of search engines, and can easily go elsewhere if they feel the results they’re being given aren’t up to scratch.
The bottom line when it comes to wearing the white hat for search engine optimisation is to have respect. Respect the search engines that have the authority to choose who gets onto results and respect the process by which they determine your page ranking.

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