How To Do White Hat SEO: 4 Sustainable Strategies
Google always welcomes websites that know how to do white hat SEO and practice it to increase traffic and keyword rankings. So what is this “white hat SEO” that can help your website develop sustainably? In this article, On Digitals is honored to present to you the answer.
The 3 Win Model of Google
Google's 3Win model involves 3 beneficiaries: information searchers (users), websites (advertisers) and Google. Google is most interested in the users.
But there is a conflict of interest among these 3 groups. Google of course wants to satisfy the needs of searchers. However they also want payments from websites while demanding websites to serve searchers.
Searchers just want to find certain information, but both websites and Google want to profit from this. This gives rise to the birth of white hat, black hat and gray hat website SEO services.
What makes Google Search sustainable?
Google Search is deemed sustainable under 3 conditions:
- Users receive accurate information as they wish.
- Websites gain enough traffic to meet their goals (e.g. the number of followers, the amount of products sold, etc.).
- Websites displayed on Google earn the trust of users and advertisers.
The question is: Is it possible to keep these 3 factors co-existing “forever” when Google always focuses on satisfying the need of searchers but also wants websites to pay for ads?
Therefore many website owners choose to take the saying to their heart (sometimes in a controversial way) – “Extreme times call for extreme measures”. In short, they try some tricks to fool Google. That’s when white hat, black hat and gray hat SEO services come into sight, offering different choices and tips. So what are these 3 types of SEO and how do they affect website traffic?
An example of the line between white hat and black hat SEO
A common habit of online users is looking up on Google when there is something intriguing or unsure. Imagine Google as a tour guide and you want to ask them, “Which seafood restaurant is the best in Ho Chi Minh City?” At first, Google considers a restaurant recommended by many people (or backlinks) as delicious. Based on this information, Google will prioritize showing this restaurant to tourists and its PageRank will be high.
But this leaves an obvious leeway. So some seafood restaurant owners (or SEO practitioners) try to put up false information about their restaurants. For example, they create backlinks to their own site, hack and trade backlinks. And because they are so busy with fooling Google and Google users, there is just not enough time spent on improving the quality of the dishes.
In a short time, the restaurant will surely be flooded with tourists thanks to Google’s recommendation. But as time passes, if the quality leaves customers unsatisfactory or even dissatisfied, the vibe will die out. Is that all? Far from it. Google gets shunned by tourists because of “incorrect recommendations'' and other seafood restaurants also suffer.
This is an example of black hat SEO – website owners take advantage of loopholes in Google's algorithms to make them confuse between good and bad results, adversely impacting Google's recommendations. But Google has their own countermeasure: constantly updating the algorithms to improve search result quality. Thus, as long as your site provides consistently good content, the organic traffic will increase.
Google of course wants websites to pay for ads, but if the ads do not meet the search intents or the searchers are not satisfied, Google will take immediate actions to remove those results.
What Is White Hat SEO?
The term “white hat SEO” refers to valid search engine optimization tactics that do not violate Google's guidelines.
Also, Google favors a website using white hat SEO to gain traffic because of investment on content quality instead of dirty tricks.
Although it will take more time and consistency, white hat SEO ensures stable growth of website traffic. Moreover, Google will prioritize showing these sites’ search results over those using questionable methods.
Why Should We Choose White Hat SEO?
Although performing white hat SEO takes a longer time, you will be delighted when seeing your site full of quality content and consequently a gradual, stable increase in traffic. Let’s take a look at other advantages for businesses applying white hat SEO tactics:
- Information is provided with accuracy and usefulness: White hat SEO means a focus on developing content so that it is useful to the audience, thereby pushing the site rankings up. A piece of content built by white hat SEO tactics is meaningful, useful, and easy to understand with keywords cleverly inserted.
- Marketing goals are guaranteed in the long run: When users click through your content and rate it as useful and high-quality, Google will regard your site as trustworthy and thereby boost its search rankings. In this way, you will soon enjoy more clicks from potential customers.
- Unexpected risks are minimized: When you use questionable SEO techniques, your mind will constantly be in “suspense mode”. Don’t underestimate Google’s ability. They will in no time expose your reach-the-top plot and issue a penalty. But when you apply white hat SEO tactics, your rankings are safe and increase steadily.
4 Sustainable Strategies and Tips of White Hat SEO
To implement a white hat SEO strategy, you need to focus on 4 factors:
Quality content that meets user search intent
Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Therefore, put effort in building attractive, useful content that meets the search intent. To reach this end, answer the following questions first:
- Which keywords have the highest chance to increase your rankings?
- What information do users want to get when searching for these keywords?
- What kind of SEO title and content will attract and retain users?
Effective On-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the technique of optimizing elements that appear on your website. It helps increase keyword rankings and organic traffic.
An effective website must employ the right On-page SEO tactics:
- Use web hosting that is well encrypted and compatible with all devices
- User-friendly URLs
- Optimize page load speed to boost content rankings, reduce bounce rate i.e. the percentage of visitors who leave the website immediately
- Optimize meta title, meta description and headings
Great UX/UI Design
Although UX/UI doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO, their importance can’t be undermined. Remember, Google AI will collect data from user behavior on your website, which leads to evaluating the site quality and displaying search results.
In short, to keep users staying with you longer, your website should look neat, friendly and easy to understand.
Building a quality backlink system is essential in a white hat SEO strategy. As long as your content is of high quality, other websites will be happy to put your links on their site.
On the other hand, you can promote links through emails, social networks or offer to place links at relevant and reputable websites. Here are some white hat tactics of building backlink for your reference:
- Link baiting
- Using broken links or the skyscraper technique
- Improving links
What are Black Hat and Gray Hat SEO?
Besides white hat SEO, you also need to pay attention to black hat and gray hat schemes.
Black hat SEO
Black hat SEO refers to SEO techniques that do not follow Google's guidelines. Its purpose is to manipulate search engines to achieve higher rankings.
Under no circumstances should you use black hat SEO. Because:
- This is an unethical practice, profiting by deceiving users
- Despite quick results, this practice is not sustainable and sooner or later will get a penalty from Google
Gray hat SEO
Gray hat SEO combines both white hat and black hat SEO. This technique helps produce quick results while reducing the possibility of being penalized by Google.
Specifically, gray hat SEO still focuses on building quality content, On-page SEO, UX/UI design, and backlinks. However, SEO practitioners adopting this technique also don’t hesitate to buy backlinks and use backlinks from PBNs, for example. In this case, sites that provide backlinks need to be trustworthy and offer useful content for users.
As Google's algorithms become smarter with frequent updates, it is imperative for SEO experts to know how to do white hat SEO and avoid questionable practices. Most reputable websites employ white hat SEO techniques and tips to increase their rankings naturally and sustainably. The more reliable and high-quality your content is, the higher chance your website will be in the Top search results.
We hope this article has helped you better understand about white hat SEO and 4 strategies to sustainably implement it. Visit On Digitals to update the latest information about SEO, Digital Marketing, Social Media and more. Or you can contact us today for specific recommendations and support in implementing white hat SEO.