Search Engine Optimization has been around for what feels like forever. However, it is also fair to say that it has had its fair share of ups and downs and we are not just talking about the methods and techniques that have to be used in order to make any difference to your ranking on the search results pages.
Instead, we are talking about the dirty side of SEO which is actually partly to blame for the way in which Google has to constantly change how they rank websites to make sure that those that are doing things in the correct manner are not being pushed aside by those that are rather unscrupulous in their approach.
Yes, we are talking about the dirty world of SEO.
People may not be aware but there are two approaches known as white hat and black hat and there is a big, big difference between them. White hat involves using methods that fit in with the rules and regulations whereas black hat breaks those very same rules by using methods that are initially highly effective and yet they actually result in websites being punished eventually and them falling down the search results pages.
The problem here is that even though people are aware that Google clamps down on these approaches there are still a number of companies and individuals that are only too willing to risk it all for short term gain with their SEO. They are willing to stuff keywords all over the place, build huge numbers of links, and do a whole host of other illegal and frowned upon things just to get up those rankings and gain huge traffic. It really is a never ending battle and you can even see how tough it is with the number of times that Google changes its approach and the algorithm in order to counteract what these black hat people are doing.
Here is another thing.
As these methods can actually make a difference, (remember we are talking about short term gains and then you get whacked by Google) the people that supply the ‘technology or technological know-how) will often charge big bucks to take control of your SEO approach. They are also very good at selling it to you by stating how they can get you on the first page of Google in next to no time and that this will then bring all of these riches to you that are far and above your wildest dreams.
To be honest, it all sounds impressive but you should just completely ignore all of their sales pitch.
Sure, they might actually get you on the first page of Google but more often than not it is a mixture of these illegal techniques mixed in with lucky timing or they aim for keywords that you could actually rank for quite easily doing things in the correct way. However, you end up being impressed when you do indeed appear on that page and you see an increase in the traffic to your website, but it does not end there.
Eventually, and you have no idea how long this is going to take, Google is going to realize what is going on, change things around, and literally overnight you can go from the first page of Google into absolute oblivion as Google strips out all of the SEO work that has been done on your website by changing that algorithm.
In other words, the money you have spent has been wasted and yet the person offering the service to you will not care. For them, they will argue that it was not their methods that caused this but rather it was Google changing the way they do things and that it was all out of their hands.
However, this is not true.
White hat SEO uses methods that fit comfortably in the rules and by staying on the correct side of the law it does mean that you have nothing to fear. It might take slightly longer to get up those results pages, but you are going to stay there for longer and that is where you really do benefit from it.
Also, using white hat techniques means that Google will actually push you up those rankings when it attacks those websites that use black hat methods. As those website owners wake up and see that they have vanished, you will wake up and see that you have climbed the rankings without anything extra being done. How cool is that?
Basically, the point we are making in this blog post is to always make sure that the company you hire to do your SEO uses only white hat methods and do your research into their methods before you go ahead and spend any money. You may be drawn to them by the short term gains, but think of the bigger picture and the damage it would do to your website if your link vanished into oblivion.
Remember, the long term picture is always going to win.