Sometimes people ask me which are the most effective strategy in an SEO project or on a website.
Whitehat, Blackhat or (if they really exist) Greyhat SEO?
To answer this question, we have to better understand the meaning of the word “effective”.
Effectiveness: “Capacity to produce the effects and results that you want/hope”.
Now, before answering which tactic to prefer, we have to ask ourselves another question.
“Do I want the position of my website on Google (or my customer’s website) to be strong and for a long time, or do I prefer to work only in the short term? Like a “catch the money and run” movie?”
Many of the SEO strategies (white, black and all the shades of gray) are valid and produce results.
Still, If you are willing to end early the collaboration with your customers, you will practice Black Hat SEO before seeing the website collapsing in the long run when Google will catch you.
But if you want to work well and provide reliable and robust results, you will adopt White Hat SEO, which is nothing but creating a website that is useful for people and answer their query.
Maybe more than one.
But many people just don’t think this way. They use tricks to try to gain the first positions on Google, and they do it on their own website or on their customers’ websites.
Many times, they propose a payment based on the traffic (or even rankings) of the website. Very dangerously, they boost the short-term website results with Black Hat SEO techniques. The management of the company will see the traffic rose like never before and they will be happy. They will pay the so-called SEO who will end the collaboration shortly after getting paid.
Usually, when Google discovered the tricks, it is just too late to do something, since the website has lost nearly all of its traffic and the SEO is gone.
The customer will pay again for a new consultation to fix the damage caused by these incorrect practices.
Black Hat SEO is like playing tricks. You can do Blog Networks, Content Spinning, massive Links Purchase, Cloaking (if it still exists), Keyword Stuffing (that it’s not even Black Hat but it is just useless, that’s it), or even more. These activities are more and more doomed by Google’s ability to discover them. It’s only a question of time.
Another trick is to change the date of an article or blog post without a real modify of that content. Googlebot, when crawling the content, will consider the new date as a substantial update of the content. And fresh, new content is always a good thing for Googlebot. A March-2017 article will become an April-2020 post. But in this case, someone only changed the date without any other enrichment and update. So, it’s a fake update. That content could probably improve its rankings because of its freshness but no for so long because Google will catch it.
Real updates are extremely important. They have to be improvements to add value to the people who visit your website. I personally encourage changes in content. Everything can be improved. I update my best content and articles every two or three months, but I’m careful not to make them too often because Google could see them at least as “weird” and it could be suspicious.
Imagine if you do it on purpose. It’s only a matter of time before you see the descending curve.
SEO is an exciting and thrilling activity. What is even more important, SEO is part of the great world of Digital Marketing.
Digital Marketing is doing Marketing on the Internet, so it could change the instruments, but that doesn’t change the heart of this activity: marketing. You can do marketing both ethically or unethically. Manipulative. Artificial.
Both are effective methods, in reaching goals, and certainly, both will have repercussions, particularly in the long term.
For me, it’s nice to compete with an ethic. I love long-term relationships and seeing results grow over the months and years.
In any case, whatever is your choice, you have to know what to expect.
It’s your choice.