What Advanced Seos Need To Know About Algorithm Updates

Times have changed. Gone are the days of yearly algorithm updates that would upend the search results and leave us scrambling. These days, it’s common to see ranking and traffic changes on a daily or weekly basis — and when it comes to algorithms, Google rarely even confirms updates. In fact, according to Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush, of the 28 updates SEMrush tracked this year, only two have been confirmed by Google.

What does this mean for SEOs? Without guidance or transparency from Google, how should we react to ranking changes or possible penalties, and what should we be aware of?

Search experts at SMX Advanced last week tackled these questions in a session titled, “Dealing With Algorithm Updates: What Advanced SEOs Need To Know.” Andrienko and fellow panelists Marie Haynes (Owner, HIS Web Marketing) and Jeff Preston (Senior Manager, SEO, Disney Interactive) provided some tips and checklists to help SEOs better identify penalties, assess traffic drops and take action when needed. Let’s take a look.

According to the panelists, just because you saw a big traffic or rankings loss on a day where an algorithm update hit, that doesn’t mean you were penalized. In fact, it’s probably not a penalty at all.

As both Haynes and Preston noted, there are a number of things that can lead to a sudden decrease in traffic: site redesigns, site updates, analytics adjustments, and more. When in doubt, it’s probably you, not Google.

Before assuming you were penalized, identify any changes that were made on your site. Talk to the QA team, check tech team activity, talk to the content team — whoever has the power to make updates to the site should be your first line of communication.

Speakers also noted that it’s important to know your data to be able to make a true assessment. Haynes gave us a checklist of things to look into:

  • Check Search Console. If you are assessed a manual penalty, you’ll see it in there.
  • Determine which pages saw traffic drops. If you are just seeing one page being impacted, it’s not an algorithm change.
  • Check all organic traffic data. If you were impacted by an algorithm update, you should only see an impact in Google.
  • Look at your competitors. Did your competitors see any changes? Algorithm updates tend to target certain types of search results and industries. Take a look at competitor rankings.

At the end of the day, you may not have been hit with a penalty at all, and it’s important to look at all of the other factors that might lead to a drop in traffic first.

Tools are a good way to track site performance, and while it’s always interesting to see the changes in SERPs, make sure you are looking at the big picture. Look beyond your own site to see how your overall industry is performing and being impacted. And as noted above, just because a tool shows us SERP fluctuations, it doesn’t mean you were penalized.

Be liked & be valuable

If Google can figure out which sites you like, why can’t they figure out what sites everyone likes? I loved this idea from Haynes and what it implies: Google wants to provide users with the best possible experience. It wants to give users what they are looking for, and the updates we are seeing now are geared to do that.

Case in point: Preston noted Disney removed 80,000 low-quality pages and got a boost in organic traffic. Most sites that remove content don’t see a jump in organic; however, because the majority of these pages were low-quality and receiving ~1 visit per month, they weren’t helping the site in any way.

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Content Development Tips

As Google makes their updates and other search engines come into play, it’s a great time to think about how you can stay ahead of the game in 2018. Do you know if you’re producing quality content? If you’re selling a product that can be bought elsewhere, how do you separate your approach from your competition? Do you offer real value that consumers won’t find anywhere else? What do you do to get people to read your content? These are some questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to SEO content development. Check out our 5 tips for SEO content development below:

  1. Keyword Research

Before you start creating great content, the most important factor is performing keyword research. There are online tools that you can use to find out what people are searching for online in your local area. Make sure you do thorough research of keywords to find out how often those words are searched in an average month. With this information you then want to use those keywords to produce content that effectively “answers” their search query. These are now called your target keywords.

  1. Use of Keywords in Page Content

No matter if you have the quality content already written or if you’re going to start creating, you should look for opportunities to implement your target keywords within the content. The key here is to make sure your content is original and sounds natural. Be sure to not keyword stuff or use any other black hat SEO practices. Write for the reader, not the crawler.

Be sure your website has the following pages and include your keywords within these pages:

  • Homepage – The content on this page should include your main goals and what your site is offering.
  • Category Pages – You should have separate pages for each of your services. If you combine them onto one page then it makes it harder for Google to understand what that page is about, which can affect your ranking.
  • Product Pages – Be sure to include separate, SEO-friendly landing pages for each of your products.
  • About Us & Contact Page – Include a page that has your business hours, directions, locations and any contact information. This page should be easily found on your website.
  1. Page Layout

Remember good content is great, and more of it is even better. Longer copy not only gives you a chance to talk about your services or products, it’s also good for search engines. The more information, the greater the opportunities search engines have to crawl the content on your page. But keep in mind – quality always comes before quantity! If you don’t have quality content, then you’re wasting your time.

Also, keep the reader’s attention span in mind; focus on being clear and more conversational than over the top informative. Using bullet points and lists can be a great way to help organize your content and keep it to the point. When it comes to laying out your page, make sure it first and foremost makes sense and it’s easy to read, but also make sure to include the following when applicable:

  • Keyword-Rich Headers – Separate the content with keyword-rich headers and use H1 or H2 tags. Keyword-rich headers further help search engines identify what your page is about. When writing headers, it’s important to make sure they are engaging, influential and keyword-rich. This will also help the reader quickly identity what the content is about.
  • Image Captions – Entering a caption and ALT text for your images is a great way to add more copy on the page. Ensure that you include your target keywords in the captions and that those target keywords match the keyword strategy for that specific page. This is yet another great opportunity to optimize your webpage.
  1. Keep It Fresh

People are online every day reading articles, searching for information and looking for products. The only way to really attract people and to stay ahead of the game is to provide new fresh content. Make sure you continue to improve the content on your website; this is an ongoing process. Also, be sure to include a blog either within your website off link to it from your website. Blogging is a great way to stay on top of sharing fresh content.

  1. Tracking Engagement

How engaging are you? What do you do to get people to actually read your content? Ultimately, you want to make sure the interactions with your content on your website are meaningful. You’re probably thinking, what does that mean and how do I know? An easy way to track engagement to your website is by using Google Analytics.

When it comes to measuring page engagement, there are two important metrics to watch for, your bounce rate and your pages per session. The bounce rate is a percentage of single-page visits; which tracks the visits in which the person left your site from the arrival page without interacting further with the site. A high bounce rate could be a sign that your page content or layout is not engaging or user-friendly. A good way to measure how people move around your site is by tracking how many pages a person visits per session. If someone visits multiple pages on your website you can most likely assume that they’re engaged and interested in finding out more information.

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Creating And Growing Your Personal Brand

Why Personal Brands Are for Everyone

Personal brands should be important to everyone. Personal brands are not only for the entrepreneur that owns their own business. It is the secret sauce that can make you stand out of a stack of resumes.

If you don’t develop your own personal brand others will do it for you. Developing your personal brand is the proactive way of controlling your career development and how you are perceived in the marketplace.

A strong personal brand will impact your ability to get the right jobs, promotions, and increase your ability to attract talent and capital.  So, let’s look at these tips that can help you in creating your own personal brand:

  1. Build Your Platform

If you are going to have a personal brand you will need a website in order to create your virtual platform.  Your website should be your name. You will also need social media accounts that represent your brand.

 You will use these platforms to share your voice.

  1. Identify Your Uniqueness and Your Strengths

Think about the characteristics and strengths you’ve built in your career. If you are stuck thinking about that “one thing” that everyone says you rock at. If you’re still stuck, ask others.

  1. Own Your Space

Once you’ve identified your uniqueness and strengths, perfect them.

Learn all that you can and become the expert in that area. You can never stop learning. Read, absorb, and teach.

  1. Share Your Knowledge

It’s not enough to learn it; you have to teach it and share your knowledge by helping others. Do this through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline. This is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so.

  1. Be Yourself

Find your own style. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and just follow the crowd. Use your style and uniqueness to attract the jobs and clientele that you desire. When I think of this tip I’m always reminded of Gary Vaynerchuk and how he built his brand by doing videos sharing wine reviews and tips. No one else was doing it and now look around hundreds of people are following in his footsteps. Find your own style and create a new set of footprints for others to follow in.

  1. Identify Your Values and Set Your Priorities

It’s important to have a clear picture of your personal and professional goals, both short and long term. This will help you to not only identify the most important things to spend your time on but will also have something to align new projects with. Use your values and priorities as a compass that guides you both in action and your decision-making process.

This will ensure you stay on track.

  1. Craft Your Personal Brand Persona

This will help in creating your brand. Your persona can be created by:

  • Identifying your emotional appeal. What are your personality features? This can be as easy as saying you have a crazy sense of humor or that you are obsessively organized. Take a few moments, why do you think people are attracted to the brand of you?
  • Describing yourself. When it comes to your brand who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  • Identifying your specialty. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them?

Use these exercises to create a strong personal brand persona that you can always refer to when it comes to creating materials that support your brand.

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Tips For All Of Your Content

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Designed to help you rank well in search engines and enjoy a wider audience, writing content for SEO is a critical part of becoming a well-known blogger in your given field.

Write your page to load quickly.

 

While it’s not an element of on-page SEO necessarily, page load time is a huge factor in the world of SEO, and there are certain steps you can take during the writing process to streamline load times. 40% of people abandon web page when they take more than 3 seconds to load, so it’s essential to keep load time in mind as you craft your pages.

 

  • Optimize your images. Images are an important part of a good blog, and they’re critical for SEO, as well. When they’re too long, though, they can easily harm a page’s load times. With this in mind, optimize your images to load more rapidly. This involves adjusting your image sizes so that they’re not excessively large, uploading speed-friendly image formats (JPEGS are the best options), and inputting image src codes to prevent the browser from surveying the page directory in an attempt to “read” the image.

 

  • Keep redirects at bay. Redirects can destroy your page load time, so it’s important to keep them to the bare minimum. As much as you can, avoid citing URLs in your content that redirect to other URLs. This will help enhance your load time and create a better user experience.

 

Make your headlines powerful and attention-grabbing.

 

The headline is a huge asset when writing content for SEO. In addition to the fact that the headline is the first thing people see, it’s also one of the primary things that Google evaluates when ranking your sites. To ensure that your headlines are performing well and drawing readers, be sure to do the following:

 

  • Include relevant keywords. For best results, input your keyword phrase at the beginning of your headline to make it as prominent as possible.
  • Keep them the correct length. Current stats say 65 characters or fewer.
  • Use action words. Action words make readers want to act. When your headline asks someone to click, share, or download, they’re more likely to do just that.
  • Address the reader directly. Addressing the reader directly makes your headlines more personal, and can grab a reader’s attention from the depths of the SERPs.

 

Optimize your meta description.

 

Meta descriptions are the small snippets of descriptive text that show up in Google’s SERPs. If you want SEO juice, you CANNOT ignore this part.

 

Include keywords (but not too many).

 

Keywords used to be all the rage in the world of SEO. Today, the buzz has quieted a bit, but they’re still an important piece of on-page SEO. With this in mind, you’ll want to include relevant keywords in all of the writing you do, but take pains to not go too far with them and “stuff” your content like a Thanksgiving turkey.

 

Use links to beef up your SEO strategy.

 

Links are a powerful tool to help improve your SEO. While internal links (links that point back to your own content) can help direct users to your other material, external links (to high DA sources with a score of 50 or above) will help communicate to Google and other search engines that your website is authoritative and relevant, and that you value quality connections to other online content.

 

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Content That Supports Good SEO

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  1. Structure the content in your head before you write it.

While nobody is saying you need to sit down and create a “brain map” of your various ideas, content that supports good SEO is the opposite of an impressionist painting. Instead of being random and sudden, it is methodical and categorical. Because of this, brainstorming content is a powerful way to ensure that you’re including all of your main points and topics, and that you can use the content to input links, keywords, and other important SEO elements.

To this end, think about all of your content, with these questions, before you write it:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • Which keywords will you include?
  • What’s the overall point of your material?
  • What do you want the content to communicate?
  • By thinking through the course and structure of your content clearly, it’s easier to publish great content that lends itself nicely to SEO.

 

  1. Structure your content for easy readability & long-tail keywords.

Great blog posts rely on great structure, and good SEO does, too. With this in mind, consider mapping or outlining your blog posts before you write them. In addition to giving you a structure to abide by, this simple task will also help you lay out your introduction, body, and conclusion, and ensure that your content is easy to read, which, in turn, makes it more reader- and search engine-friendly.

Long-tail keywords are your best friends in terms of optimizing for keywords that won’t break the bank (take too long or too much $).

  1. Format all of your content into short chunks.

A large brick of text is intimidating to readers, and it will push people away. With this in mind, be sure to divide all of your content into readable chunks of text, with a beginning, middle, and end.

As a general rule, paragraphs should be only 3-4 sentences in length, and you should do your best to insert subheaders at intervals of every 300 or so words. This makes your content easier for readers to approach and helps keep it from feeling intimidating on the page. It also has the potential to improve your click-through rate, which can boost your overall SEO scores.

  1. Make your headings descriptive.

Beyond just using headings, you need to know how to make them descriptive and useful. Headlines are meant to guide readers through your blog post, and headlines that are highly descriptive and include target keywords will do the best job of this. They’ll also work as a sort of advertisement on Google’s search engine results page and, if they’re written well enough, will draw more people to your content.

  1. Nail the transition.

Transition words are important to your writing, and they can go a long way toward making it smoother and easier to understand for readers. While this sounds simple, it’s important to remember that good content is the foundation of good SEO, and content your customers can’t read doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of ranking well.

With this in mind, don’t hesitate to use transition words and phrases like “However,” “Secondly,” etc. These help your readers keep pace and will work wonders to streamline your writing.

  1. Have other people proofread your posts.

While you may be an effective writer and editor, having other people read your posts will cut down on errors and improve your writing. With this in mind, hire an editor or another writer to help you look over your post before you publish them, and don’t ever make a habit out of publishing something you’ve not adequately proofread, since this is a recipe for mistakes and sloppiness, both of which can damage your rankings.

  1. Make sure your articles are long enough to provide ample main content.

According to Yoast, every article you post should have at least 300 words. The reason for that is that content shorter than that doesn’t provide enough of what Google, in its updated Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, calls “main content.”

While it’s true that longer articles tend to perform better in the world of SEO, the main priority you have as a writer is simply to ensure that your articles provide enough main content to be useful to search engines and people.

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The Importance of Color in Website Design

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Color deeply influences the overall look and feel of a website and can form the first impression about a company for visitors. Color is one of the top three most important factors in a purchasing decision, according to an article by the Touro College Journal.

What do consider when developing a color palette

Companies and clients will often have a set of colors used in the corporate logo that they want implemented in the site design. It’s the web designer’s job to educate the client about how those colors will fit into the site’s style and gently encourage changes if necessary.

Colors have different meanings in different cultures and countries, so understanding the meaning of color in your target market is important. Here are some general guidelines for color codes:

  • Blue is associated with stability, trust, and confidence. It is an excellent color for credit card website or other sites needing to inspire confidence.
  • Black represents elegance, wealth, sophistication, and mystery.
  • White symbolizes peace, purity, and simplicity.
  • Orange represents warmth, enthusiasm, or warning.
  • Red is associated with strength, power, love, and desire.
  • Green can represent nature, health, vigor, and community.
  • Yellow is often associated with brightness, happiness, idealism, and hope.

 

Text colors

Text is harder to read on a monitor than on paper so the choice of background and font colors is supremely important. Readability of text is the primary concern. If the text is light colored, then the background must be dark and vice versa. White and black are the most common combination and red and blue are useful for link and highlighted text. Contrast is important for making text readable, so avoid dark backgrounds with text of too similar a tone.

Browser-safe colors

A common problem when attempting to build a web design around an established set of logo colors is that Pantone colors do not always reproduce accurately in browsers. When a non-browser safe color appears in a website, browsers will adapt by shifting the color. Some computers with aging graphics hardware may also fail to display colors correctly.

The best way to avoid this issue is to stick to the “browser-safe palette” of 256 or 216 colors (for really conservative designers). These colors are designed to be accurately displayed in all browser and hardware environments. While some designers (and clients) may find this limiting, it is the only way to ensure that a site is always viewed at its best. By limiting colors this way, designers can ensure that file sizes are smaller and that the site will load quickly.

Color psychology

Designers of all stripes know that colors can be organized into groups based on the feel they give a viewer. They fall into three basic categories, and sites incorporating colors from each group can have a more balanced feel.

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Everything You Need to Know on Social Media for Small Business

You’ve launched your website, opened your doors and created a Facebook Page for your new small business, but what’s next? It’s time to get people aware of your brand and what better way than social media?

There’s a reason why roughly 94% of small businesses use social media as a marketing tool, but doing it effectively is a whole other subject. Paid ads, organic reach and posting relevant content across your social media channels is not the easiest thing do while running a small business. However, there are ways to rule the digital space, even as a mom and pop.

Find Your Core Social Networks

A big mistake small businesses encounter is trying to tackle every social channel at once. We love your eagerness, but let’s face it–you have to take your time and invest in a few of the essentials first. Unsure what networks are right for you? We’ve got you covered with our small business guides for each main network.

Facebook for Small Business

The first channel nearly every small business jumps to is Facebook. And that’s OK. With over a billion daily active users, you have one of the largest pools to generate an audience. However, you want to be strategic with Facebook especially when it comes to paid and organic content, targeting your audience and engaging your followers. Read more on how to get started with Facebook.

Instagram for Small Business

While other social channels are staples to marketing, the fastest growing network is Instagram. Brands are rushing to Instagram to visually showcase their product or service to younger audiences. But do you fully know your Instagram demographics, what features users prefer or how to monitor hashtags? This guide outlines everything you need to know as a small business using Instagram.

Twitter for Small Business

Many smaller brands are still unsure of their need for Twitter or fear it will take too much time to manage. Let us break the common myths of Twitter for small business and show you how to scale the unscalable in this guide. Learn how to use Twitter to promote, communicate and engage on a small scale that’s perfect for your business.

Understanding the Value & Cost of Social Media

Figuring out the value of social is no easy task, which makes it hard for brands with little to spend know how much it costs to market or advertise. Your marketing and advertising department might just be you, so catch up on the best practices to learning the value and cost of social media.

How to Make the Most of Your Social Media Budget

If you’re trying to plan your social media spend, you’re heading in the right direction. But sometimes, smaller businesses are unsure how to make the most of their budget. While it’s good to be cautious with your budget, it’s just as helpful to know where you can spend. Read this guide to get the most out of your social media budget.

How to Measure the Value of Social Media

What is the value of a like or comment to your business? How much return do you earn from Retweets or mentions on Instagram? These are tricky questions to ask, but there is value to your business when you focus on traffic, awareness and leads within your social marketing strategy.

Ultimate Guide to Measuring Social Media ROI

One of the biggest struggles for businesses of all sizes is to measure social media ROI. But it’s not as impossible as you think. You simply need to look in the right places and understand what you’re tracking the value it brings specifically to your company. Learn more about social media ROI in this helpful guide.

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Tactics To Improve Search Engine Rankings

SEO is a big topic and many web site owners are overwhelmed, feeling like it’s simply too much to handle, getting “fire hosed” with information from consultants. As a result, they look for bite sized chunks of information – tactics. Sometimes these individual tactics can make a dent in the problem, but not considering the overall picture including current site, competition, online marketplace, resources, ongoing marketing and analytics can result in lost opportunity and bottom line lost revenue.

The smart answer to the question about “top three SEO tactics” to focus on starts with an evaluation of the site in question to see if there are any immediate, high impact opportunities such as unblocking search engine spiders from crawling the site or assessing the content management system and any other major possible barriers to getting crawled and included.

Assuming those questions are solved and the market for the web site is well understood, the next thing is to make sure the site content is targeting the right keywords. Understanding what potential customers are looking for and applying that insight with a content creation and promotion strategy is instrumental for optimal search engine visibility.

The second thing to do is to apply the keyword research you’ve done to the web site and content being published to the web.  Make sure each web page contains unique, descriptive text using relevant and popular keywords. The key on-page influences of keywords on search engine rankings include:

* Keywords in the title tag

* Keywords in text links to your web pages from other relevant web sites

* Keywords in the copy of your web pages

* Keywords used in links between pages of your site

 

The last thing I’d recommend (I guess this is 4, not 3 tips) is to tell other sites related to your topic about your site and attract links. The bottom line recommendation with link building is to create content worth linking to. But then you need to tell other web sites about it or they won’t know to link to you. This is especially true with new web sites.

Be a resource for your industry and create content of value to potential customers to make the job of finding, evaluating and buying your products/services easier.  It’s also important to create the kind of content that other influential web sites and blogs will want to link to.

The top 3 or 4 things to focus on for improved search visibility (in my opinion) are:

  1. Make sure search engines have no difficulty in finding and understanding your web site
  2. Research the keywords that are most meaningful for your customers
  3. Use those keywords in your content
  4. Create content and promote content that makes it easy for customers to buy and easy for influential to link to your resources

 

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White Hat SEO And Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO refers to techniques and strategies used to get higher search rankings, and breaking search engine rules. Black hat SEO focuses on only search engines and not so much a human audience. Black hat SEO is typically used by those who are looking for a quick return on their site, rather than a long-term investment on their site. Some techniques used in black hat SEO include: keyword stuffing, link farming, hidden texts and links, and blog content spamming. Consequences of black hat SEO can possibly result in your site being banned from a search engine and de-indexed as a penalization for using unethical techniques.

White hat SEO refers to the use of techniques and strategies that target a human audience opposed to a search engine. Techniques that are typically used in white hat SEO include using keywords, and keyword analysis, doing research, rewriting meta tags in order for them to be more relevant, backlinking, link building as well as writing content for human readers. Those who use white hat SEO expect to make a long-term investment on their website, as the results last a long time.

Effectiveness of white hat vs black hat SEO

SEO is part science, part art. There is a wide range of opinion[1][2] in the SEO practitioner community regarding the effectiveness of white hat vs black hat techniques. Most agree that white hat techniques take longer to improve search rankings.

Consequences of Black hat vs White hat SEO

Even though quick results make black hat SEO tempting, it can get your site banned (de-indexed) or heavily penalized for use of unethical practices. It is widely believed that the risk is not worthwhile for websites that plan to be operational over the long haul. Moreover black hat SEO methods give only short term results. White hat SEO can get your site ranked higher by use of ethical techniques, good content, appropriate keywords and a combination of smart marketing angles providing long lasting results.

Panda

Google’s Panda update rewards websites that have high-quality content. After this algorithm update, low-quality pages on the site affected not just the ranking for those pages but for the entire website.

Penguin

Google’s Penguin update was targeted specifically at black hat SEO techniques using which some website owners had accumulated thousands of links from “link farms”. Thousands of such websites were penalized due to the Penguin update. Webmasters were encouraged to remove bad links pointing to their site. In some cases, they were able to do so successfully but often webmasters cannot control who links to them.

Negative SEO

Because you cannot control who links to your site, it’s possible for a competitor to pay link farms to point “bad links” to your website from poor-quality sites. Google’s algorithms could penalize you for these links, which would hurt your search engine rankings. Bing has a tool that lets webmasters disavow bad links pointing to their website but Google does not. Some analysts have criticized Google for letting their algorithm be gamed with negative SEO.

 

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Black hat SEO refers to techniques and strategies used to get higher search rankings, and breaking search engine rules. Black hat SEO focuses on only search engines and not so much a human audience. Black hat SEO is typically used by those who are looking for a quick return on their site, rather than a long-term investment on their site. Some techniques used in black hat SEO include: keyword stuffing, link farming, hidden texts and links, and blog content spamming. Consequences of black hat SEO can possibly result in your site being banned from a search engine and de-indexed as a penalization for using unethical techniques.

White hat SEO refers to the use of techniques and strategies that target a human audience opposed to a search engine. Techniques that are typically used in white hat SEO include using keywords, and keyword analysis, doing research, rewriting meta tags in order for them to be more relevant, backlinking, link building as well as writing content for human readers. Those who use white hat SEO expect to make a long-term investment on their website, as the results last a long time.

Effectiveness of white hat vs black hat SEO

SEO is part science, part art. There is a wide range of opinion[1][2] in the SEO practitioner community regarding the effectiveness of white hat vs black hat techniques. Most agree that white hat techniques take longer to improve search rankings.

Consequences of Black hat vs White hat SEO

Even though quick results make black hat SEO tempting, it can get your site banned (de-indexed) or heavily penalized for use of unethical practices. It is widely believed that the risk is not worthwhile for websites that plan to be operational over the long haul. Moreover black hat SEO methods give only short term results. White hat SEO can get your site ranked higher by use of ethical techniques, good content, appropriate keywords and a combination of smart marketing angles providing long lasting results.

Panda

Google’s Panda update rewards websites that have high-quality content. After this algorithm update, low-quality pages on the site affected not just the ranking for those pages but for the entire website.

Penguin

Google’s Penguin update was targeted specifically at black hat SEO techniques using which some website owners had accumulated thousands of links from “link farms”. Thousands of such websites were penalized due to the Penguin update. Webmasters were encouraged to remove bad links pointing to their site. In some cases, they were able to do so successfully but often webmasters cannot control who links to them.

Negative SEO

Because you cannot control who links to your site, it’s possible for a competitor to pay link farms to point “bad links” to your website from poor-quality sites. Google’s algorithms could penalize you for these links, which would hurt your search engine rankings. Bing has a tool that lets webmasters disavow bad links pointing to their website but Google does not. Some analysts have criticized Google for letting their algorithm be gamed with negative SEO.

 

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