White Hat SEO

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 10/07/2005

Black hat SEO and white hat SEO presents a powerful image of high tech cowboys in the old west. Black hats employ such strategies as cloaking and search scraping. Search scraping is a practice of performing searches, taking the results and making new pages, which theoretically should themselves rank well, mostly for the purposes of running AdSense advertising. Black hats are also able to spin out thousands of pages across multiple sites that create link-structures that are designed to inflate PageRank (create your own voting power, then vote for yourself). Black hats use other, even more underhanded techniques, such as taking advantage of the Google 302 redirect bug, over-submitting competitors, or tying their competitors into banned link-farms.

White hat SEO’s take a higher road, claiming content is still king, and quality will win out in the end. Moreso, we engage in generally more labor-intensive writing and cross-link partnerships. White hat is decidedly less technical, and forged more on the old-school skills of relationship-building and communicating effectively. Black hats tend to be more technical, able to take on the really big projects designed to unleash massive search-routing potential, but in a disingenuous fashion. Imagine a white hat with the technical know-how of black hats. That’s the best of all possible situations—a focus on quality and genuine reputation, while being able to construct, for example, perfect internal link structure, and knowing precisely what to write about to drive the most qualified traffic.

I am concerned with having these capabilities, but with white hat ethics. This has led me to develop a content management system that constructs perfect internal link-structure and optimized pages that don’t compromise on quality whatsoever, along wiht SEO-specific analytics software that gives a unique insight as to what topics need to be written about to boost traffic. You can see this balance of old-school and new-school capabilities in how we build a Connors PR 2.0 team. There is one writer. But the writer is technically advanced, in knowing how to monitor the data-flow of client sites, and spot important trends. And there is one programmer. But the programmer knows about human relationships, and how every page must be a page that the company owner would be proud of. It is this unique blend that makes an SEO team hyper-effective.