Follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for White Hat SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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When a digital marketing or SEO firm says that they use white hat Google SEO strategies, what exactly does this mean? The marketing industry has borrowed the term “white hat” and “black hat” from theater and movies, particularly in the silent film era, when it was typical for the hero of the story to wear a white hat and the villain to wear a black hat.

Thus, when it comes to digital marketing, particularly with SEO, the term white hat indicates that the strategies are “within the rules” and black hat strategies are “outside the rules”. In this case, the “rules” are actually Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Here is some more information about the very basics of white hat Google SEO:

Google is the Most Popular Search Engine

There is no doubt that Google is the most popular search engine in the world. As a result of this, they pretty much rule the industry in terms of how things are done concerning search engine marketing. In order to rank well in Google, it is a goo idea to play by their rules.

Luckily, the have actually taken the time to spell out what they expect from webmasters in their guidelines! White hat digital marketing firms take the extra time needed to make sure that they use strategies that are in compliance with these guidelines.

The Internet Has Changed Vastly Over the Years

In the early days of the search engines and the Internet, the SEO rules were a bit different. The industry had yet to be established and search engines weren’t as sophisticated as they are now. In fact, there was even a time when Google didn’t exist!

Back then, digital marketers figured out that they could do certain things in order to get their websites to rank well in the search engines. Tactics such as keyword stuff, aggressive link building, and article marketing were all tactics that were commonly used to give websites a boost in the search engines.

By today’s standards, these strategies are NOT in compliance with Google’s guidelines. Back then, however, they were commonplace.  The problem was, these strategies usually created websites that were filled with bad content and delivered a poor user experience. However, it is important to note that these strategies were considered to be “black hat” by marketers who were always devoted to putting their visitors first.

Google’s Guidelines Are In Place With the End User In Mind

Google began cracking down on all these commonly used practices through a series of algorithm updates. They also imposed strict SEO penalties on websites that weren’t in compliance with their new standards. It was a difficult time for many websites, but because of this time period, it became clear that Google was serious about making sure that websites followed the rules.

It is important to understand that Google is a company that generates revenue and they do so through their various products and services, such as their PPC ad campaigns. People who use their search engines and products are considered to be their customers. Ultimately, they are devoted to delivering the highest quality results possible, and they do so by being open about their guidelines. They care about their customers and if a website doesn’t follow the guidelines it will be deemed subpar and won’t enjoy good rankings, or worse, may even get penalized.

In order to give your website the best chance it has to perform in the search engines, it is best to follow Google’s guidelines and will enable the website to be “white hat”.


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