Friday, 4 August 2017

What is SEO and its types?

What is SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a process designed to optimize a website for search engines. It helps websites achieve higher ranking in search engine results when people search keywords related to their products and services. Thus, it increases the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic search engine results.

Types of SEO

White Hat SEO

It refers to the SEO techniques which are in accordance with the SEO guidelines set by the search engines. It means it uses approved search engine optimization techniques to improve the ranking of a site on search engine results pages (SERP).

Unlike Black Hat SEO, it mainly focuses on the human audience opposed to a search engine. People who are looking for a long-term investment on their websites rely on white hat SEO techniques.

Black Hat SEO

It refers to the SEO techniques which are not in accordance with the SEO guidelines set by the search engines. These techniques exploit the weaknesses in search engines to get higher rankings for websites on the search engine results pages (SERP).

It mainly focuses on search engines and not on the human audience. People who are looking for a quick financial return on their website rather than a long term investment use black hat SEO techniques.

White Hat SEO Techniques

A list of 5 popular white hat SEO techniques are given below:

1) Good content

A unique well-written content makes your website appear more trustworthy and valuable to search engines and human visitors. It optimizes your website for search engines which helps you get higher ranking on the search engine listings as search engines offer the most appropriate website to the end users for their search.

2) Proper use of title, keywords and metatags

The information contained in the HTML code is known as Metadata. It provides crawler the information about the site for classification and indexing purposes. So, proper title, keyword and metatag should be incorporated in the metadata.

3) Ease of navigation

Search engines also consider the ease of navigation while assessing the usefulness of a site, so avoid the irrelevant links and use universally recognizable links. It is not only important for the users but also for the crawlers who index the sites.

4) Site Performance

Site and page performance is another factor considered by search engines to assess the sites. The unavailable sites or the unavailable pages cannot be indexed by crawlers of search engines; a week or even a day of non-performing site or pages can adversely affect the site traffic. So, make sure your site loads fast and is accessible all the time.

5) Quality inbound links

The site must have quality inbound links as search engines regularly assess back links for their relevance. If a site is found to have irrelevant backlinks it will be discounted or penalized by the search engine, e.g. a website about farming in India containing a number of links from Europeans websites about technology will be degraded by the search engines.

Black Hat SEO Techniques

A list of top 6 black hat SEO techniques are given below:

1) Keyword Stuffing

Search engine analyzes the keywords and key phrases on the webpages to index the websites. To exploit this feature of search engine, some SEO practitioners increase keyword density to get higher ranking which is considered a black hat SEO technique. Keyword density between two to four percent is considered optimal, increasing keyword density beyond that will irritate your readers and affect your ranking.

2) Cloaking

It refers to coding webpages in such a way that search engines see one set of content and visitors see the another set of content, i.e. a user searching for "gold price" clicks on a search result "current gold price" and is greeted with a travel and tourism site. This practice is not in accordance with search engines' guidelines which say to create content for users not for the search engines.

3) Hidden Text

The text which search engines can view but readers can't is known as hidden text. This technique is used to incorporate irrelevant keywords and hide text or links to increase keyword density or improve internal link structure. Some of the ways to hide text are to set the font size to zero, use CSS to set text off-screen, create white text on a white background, etc.

4) Doorway Pages

The poorly written pages which are rich in keywords but don't contain relevant information and focus on the links to redirect users to an unrelated page are called doorway pages. These pages are used by black hat SEO professionals to pass on user traffic to unrelated sites.

5) Article Spinning

It involves rewriting a single article to produce its different copies in such a way that each copy looks like a new article. The content of such articles is repetitive, poorly written and has low value for the visitors. In this technique, such articles are regularly uploaded to create the illusion of fresh articles.

6) Duplicate Content

The content copied from a website to publish it on another website as original content is known as duplicate content. This black hat technique is known as plagiarism.