There is a fairly obvious conflict of interest here. Companies want their website to appear higher in the search engine results than their competitors, for a keyphrase that their competitors also use.
The battle for search engine superiority
This is played out by Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) gurus on behalf of their clients, victory is declared when they get their clients’ websites onto page one of Google.
In the battle for a page one listing, there are two schools of thought. Learn the game and play by the search engine rules (White Hat SEO) OR steal a march on your competitors and bend the rules (Black Hat SEO).
Black Hat SEO
This technique goes head to head with the search engines. Search engines are automatic ‘drones’ that crawl around the internet, if you can learn what they are looking for (their ‘algorithm’), you can trick them into thinking your web page is more relevant to a given keyphrase than it really is.
There have been hundreds of tricks to falsely improve the performance of your website, each trick (‘Spamming Technique’) has been discovered and shut down by the better search engines. Quite often offending websites have been penalised by having their ranking reduced or by being de-listed completely.
The danger with Black Hat SEO is that while a spamming technique may work for a while, you run the risk of a severe penalty or being removed from the search engine completely!
White Hat SEO
These work with the search engines, not against them. Remember the purpose of a search engine is to guide people to relevant content? So the essence of White Hat SEO is to provide relevant content!
There is a bit more to it than just providing the content though, but not much.
The other term used for White Hat SEO is Organic Search Engine Optimisation (Organic SEO). You build your ranking naturally (organically) using great content and other White Hat techniques.
There is almost no chance you will be penalised using White Hat techniques.
A word on PPC (Pay Per Click)
Paid listings - You bypass all this ‘work’ by simply paying for a page one listing on the search engines. The drawbacks are: high cost, variable results, no lasting presence in the search engines.
Anyway, I hope this short piece of knowledge has helped you to understand a little more about successful SEO techniques.
Alan Easter • Arkom Limited • t 0844 375 0742 • f 0844 375 0743 • w www.arkom.co.uk