White Hat SEO What Is It Really?
The more I advance in my journey of blogging, getting to know how to make money and trying to improve my business, the more I have to face facts.
For a long period of time I’ve been ignoring certain terminologies and technical terms, simply because they sound rather ‘scary’ and like a lot of work.
However at this point I realized that it’s a lot easier to face fears and getting to learn these terms.
Not only will I be wiser, it will also help me move forward and reach my goal faster.
The terms I’m referring to are all the ‘hats’ people tend to mention!
Black hat, Grey hat and White hat SEO. What is it and what does it really mean?
Well this post will clear things up for all of those that have been questioning the very same thing.
What you’ll learn:
- What white hat SEO techniques mean
- What they are good for
- How you can use them and why you should
- What choice you have for your business
Overall I will be covering all three methods in 3 separate posts. That way you can always reference back and think about which option you’d prefer.
One thing is already clear, it’s always better to know instead of working around subjects you don’t understand.
To clear things up straight from the start, all the different colored hats are part of SEO techniques. (Pretty obvious from the title)
This obviously means that regardless which method you end up choosing, you’re trying to push your search engine result page or SERP higher.
In terms of white hat SEO methods however, this means that you are trying to optimize your site specifically for a real audience or real humans.
You are creating a website to serve and educate people in a specific niche or as webopedia would put it:
“…usage of optimization strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience opposed to search engines…”
By using white hat SEO methods you are building trust not only in the eyes of readers, but also in the digital eyes of Googles spiders.
As you continue to build that trust you’re also adding value and slowly your site will be given higher rankings.
But as you can imagine this is a slow way of building your business and it will take some time before you get to see results.
The obvious downside is that patience can be a bit of a pain in your lower backside and makes us give up easier.
The benefits however are that you will have a strong standing website and people will know where to find trustworthy information.
Think of it as the snowball effect. Your site will start off as a snowflake but eventually will become an avalanche!
For first hand experience look at my personal growth.
Yes, I may have had 2 big months nearer the end of the year but that was a niche site not this very website.
This blog went from 0 to about 200/ month so far. That’s almost 10 months of work but it’s increasingly growing every month.
I’m not buying any backlinks or using any other method besides white hat ones.
The reason being, I’ve worked so hard on it and I’ve seen results consistently (even if they aren’t huge) which is why I don’t want to risk destroying it.
Additionally I’ve managed to get a DA (Domain Authority) of 29 which is actually quite surprising.
There is no spam or fluff on my blog either. It’s purely educational and just teaching back what I’ve learned.
How You Can Use It
If you’re trying to build long term success online and don’t want to get your hands dirty with slightly questionable methods, then you can easily learn a lot on this very blog.
I’ve typed out a massive post of most SEO methods you can use and implement at any time.
These are all white hat methods and they won’t harm your website. I’ve been using these from the day I heard of them.
If you have a look at them and read them once, you’ll quickly realize it’s a very obvious way to promote your website.
Basically all you have to do is to just stick to the principles.
A good analogy would maybe be to look at it in a bodybuilding perspective…
If you want to lose fat and gain muscle to look and feel great in your skin (your body/ skin being your website) you have to eat lean and work out regularly.
Eat the right amount of calories from the right sources and do the basic exercises at the gym such as squats, benchpress, sit-ups, cardio etc.
The right calories could be translated as putting the right information onto your website and the exercises can be looked at, as outreach, continuous blogging and commenting/ guest posting.
If you do these you’re guaranteed to get the body you want. If you stick to it you’ll probably see strong results and reach the ideal weight and size within 9-12 months!
Now you could also speed up the process and buy some supplements such as Creatine, protein powder and BCAA’s for instance.
Stick to the healthy diet and routine workout and your results will be there within 4-6 months!
This would be more of a gray hat method. Still acceptable but probably not the most natural way.
Some of these supplements may or may not be the healthiest option for you and definitely couldn’t replace a real meal.
Often times you find products that used to be sold in supplement stores to suddenly vanish because they turn out to be unsafe. That’s the thin line between grey hat methods!
However most of them are still more than ok to consume otherwise they wouldn’t go through all these tests and end up to be for sale.
Now let’s look at a black hat method. You want to be massive and have near enough 0% body fat.
You can go to the plastic surgeon and get some liposuction, routinely work out, take some anabolic steroids and lift more with less rest and be huge within 2-3 months!
Out of all the three methods, the healthiest and cheapest will obviously be the first one.
The unhealthiest and most expensive the third.
Of course the fastest results come with the third one, but which one do you believe will last the longest and has the least side effects on your health?
This is pretty much the exact same for your business.
You can naturally build a reputation and make a name for yourself as an expert online by doing research, giving facts and useful information.
People will eventually find you and come across your content over time, through organic traffic, guest posts and seeing your comments on other blogs for instance.
Next time you review a product they will trust you rather than the website that was pushed upon them by ads with no references to back up.
So you can choose to build links naturally or you could try and create a quick website with a few posts, stuff them with keywords and buy a few hundred backlinks off Fiverr to try and score a few sales.
If you’ve made some you can wait for Google to realize your links are worthless and penalize your site which then ends up to be worthless.
There are some people that swear on other methods and I’m not saying they don’t work.
As a matter of fact I know they do but as shown in my above example it all depends on how much risk you’re willing to take.
Rand Fishkin gives great examples why white hat SEO works and why it’s probably the best method to learn and implement.
The Choice Is Yours
If you are aiming for long term sustainable profit you are best off choosing white hat methods.
They require a lot of attention and work but they are well worth the effort. I can give you over 30 examples right here.
Most (if not all) of these experts work on long term success.
You can look at it like investments as well.
You can either gradually invest into the secure bonds and funds and watch your compound interest take over after a few years.
That way you will have passive income streams coming for years…
…Or you can blow out a huge chunk of money on some highly volatile stocks after reading some informative news of the future evaluation of the company and hopefully make a great ROI.
(If you’re interested in trading volatile stocks for long term success try reading this review on a proven strategy by Tim Sykes)
But trying to leave your money in that company for longer will most likely end up in a loss.
Any investment that takes time usually turns out to be more secure and profitable in the long run and most short term investments give you a great big sum in the short run but that’s about it.
Whichever you choose to be the right move for you is up to you!
If you’re going for the white hat option, aim for at least 9-12 months before seeing some results.
After it should pick up and get better if you stay consistent.
Wordstream give a great short tutorial and explanation why white hat is rewarding in a Google perspective.
Do you prefer to have a quick 2-3 months work and some nice results which will end within the next few months?
Here’s a great example of a really nice monthly income through a non-white hat method that made Rob Atkinson $15,000/ month.
Note how he he also states:
“…it’s possible I could lose all my earnings overnight to a Google update…”
Personally I couldn’t live with that fear and rely on losing it all over night. But at the same time I would love to be making that kind of money right now as well.
In the end I don’t have a high risk tolerance when it comes to making money. I wouldn’t know what to do once my income completely stops.
If you do chose to put all your eggs in one black basket, I would advise to reinvest at least half into another completely white hat business.
That way you’ll have something to fall back on in case your main source of income blows up.
I hope I was able to clarify the terminology a little and I’ll aim to write an additional sequence about grey and black hat methods to give a better understanding.
Thanks for reading and I hope I made your choice a little easier.
Regardless of your decision, start building today so that you get started with making money online / on the side sooner than later!