Black hats, white hats and SEO

After taking a break from freelance feature writing and content writing I am picking up a job here and there as my husband and I are working toward buying a house. I focus mainly on featuring writing since I am a journalist but I love the challenge of writing content for websites. As I have scoured the job sites and content offerings, I see some of the same needs as I was seeing three years ago. .

“SEO content needed”

“Get my site to the top of Google”

“AdSense expert needed.”

Unless you are a business owner who is serious about your online presence, this sounds like another language to you. I am just getting back into this industry on a limited basis and I may not be the best person to explain this. But while you may not understand SEO, it is directed  towards YOU. Here’s an example: You need a new car and you really want a Lexus. You want to find a slightly used one with low miles. You may first type “used Lexus” in the search engine bar and at the top you see listings that look different than the rest. Those are usually ads that a business has purchased to specifically target people, probably in your area, looking for a Lexus. It’s called AdSense and there is a formula using what are called adwords used to target people searches.

And what shows up first in your search is not an accident.Most companies use SEO techniques so you see their listings first. Some of them use what could be called shady techniques–these are called Black Hat marketers. These techniques are employed only to get you to go to the page and may not have the information you need. Google has actually targeted these types of marketers by using formulas that detect the techniques. The sites are often removed or penalized.

Others make good use of keywords (for example used Lexus Atlanta) to get their sites at the top of the search.These are called White Hat marketing techniques. These sites actually provide you the information you are looking for when you type those words in the search engines.

The Internet has replaced phone books, encyclopedias and a host of other things we needed just 20 years ago to provide information. And in the process an entire industry focused on marketing online was created.





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