Good Content Wins Over White Hat, Black Hat SEO Methods
For years webmasters have been ruminating on and sharing the best methods of optimizing their websites, methods that ensure their websites rank higher than their competitor's websites rank in the search engine results pages (SERPS). Webmasters have tried a variety of methods, some good and some bad, but the best optimization method may be to simply offer visitors excellent content.
"Black hat" SEO methods manipulate the search engine results in ways that go against the search engine's guidelines. The methods are considered to be unethical attempts at "gaming" the system in order to gain an advantage over competitors. The methods a black hatter uses may give his site a spike in the rankings, but it's usually temporary. Once the search engines notice unethical tactics, the site's rankings will drop, usually considerably.
"White hat" SEO methods ensure the site's ranking is natural and less forced. It's a slower process, but sites optimized with "white hat" methods have longevity. They move up the rankings without the need to implement unethical tricks.
Some webmasters believe that all SEO is unethical, since any method used to ensure the search engines rank a website is a form of manipulation, a way to game the system. With "white hat" SEO methods you are still tweaking your site's content to gain an edge, still going after links rather than letting them come to your site naturally, and still using keywords to ensure your content shows up in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
The truest form of SEO is created by webmasters who don't make a conscious effort to optimize. They gain ranking naturally due to excellent content and a low bounce rate. There are many websites with high page rankings created by webmasters who have no idea what SEO is, but they do know what good content is. They also understand their readers and know what they want. The best SEO is simply offering the best possible content you can. The best content keeps people on a website longer, keeps them coming back, brings in new readers every day, and simply offers those readers a great place to peruse.
In the early days of the Internet, websites with the best content had the edge, and today those aged websites still rank high. As the Internet became the money-making venue it is today, above and beyond the information highway, it resulted in something akin to a lion's den. The competition to rank well has been fierce, and it has given birth to hundreds of optimization methods, but good content is still king. Every day there are new sites that rank well quickly with little or no optimization methods used by the webmaster. Good content is their first and primary consideration.