How to Audit for White Hat SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) evolves as it should. SEO belongs to a world in transformation, so it cannot remain static. As evolution will have it, the end remains unknown; the challenge lies in getting there. What they call “white hat” SEO refers to the best practices for search optimization. If you want to meet Google guidelines, you have to know how to audit your website for white hat SEO.
Black, Gray, or White Hat SEO
By policing what it wants on Google traffic, Google effectively and selectively determines the ethic of publishing for SEO:
- Black Hat metrics try to exploit search engines in an aggressively attempt to profit. Google finds that self-serving and incestuous, so declares it “black” or “unethical.”
- Gray Hat uses black hat techniques under enough white hat behavior to stay under the police radar. Search Engine Watch writes, “This method is commonly used to help speed up results, but minimize the risk of penalties by the search engines.”
- White Hat practices try to define a high road for web performance. Of course, as the whole of engine mechanics evolves, so does the applicable and enforceable standards.
Building a White Hat site
White Hat guidelines apply to preparing your website for search engine traffic. Some consider it a philosophical or moral understanding of the web. But, in reality, White Hat refers to the use of tools that comply with Google rules.
- Keywords: Avoid keyword stuffing. “Stuffing” occurs when you repeat keywords so heavily that they destroy the natural flow of prose.
- Relevant Content: The relevance of web page content is a moving target. Making content current and local helps. But, personalization is your best ally. Some use of the second person pronouns effectively shares your take on new things and old. But, it’s important that keywords not skew that perception.
- Link Mining: SEO rankings reflect the number of readers who link to the site. Because these links can be purchased for or stuffed into a site, the system can feed on itself, a circular trail that destroys the web’s integrity. Site managers must apply relevant and powerful links or backlinks and disavow weak links.
- HTML Architecture: Most amateur website builders and owners do not understand the mechanics of semantic markup. HTML coding lies under the language of the site and needs correct and expeditions formatting designed for effective performance as well as policing concerns.
- Blog Quality: Blogs and articles are a source of links and backlinks. So, it pays to contribute work to high traffic sites and to invite skilled writers from credible and authoritative sources.
- Social Traffic: Promoting your work through social media outlets and discussion forums multiplies your readership with the potential that they will post and forward the work.
- Coat Tails: When keywords take the form of phrases with up to five words, it refines the search to a more narrow but more defined market. Instead of depending on single words, you use key phraseology in title, headings, and copy – as long as it does not interfere with the natural flow of the language.
What to do?
Given the complexity and subtlety of White Hat behaviors, website owners are contracting with web architects and administrators like YouthNoise, for example. You need more than a good looking site if you want your content to reach the largest audience. You need the professional experience that knows how to audit for white hat SEO. You’ll find it worth the cost.
Wendy Dessler is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/outreachmama
Website URL: http://www.outreachmama.com/