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The Black and White Hats of SEO

White Hat Black Hat SEOGone are the days where internet marketing was filled with tricks, shady techniques, link schemes, and keyword stuffing. Google and its competitor search engines have just gotten too good. By honing their search algorithms and monitoring user experience even more closely than before, search engines have been able to detect, isolate, and punish search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that don’t add value to their users.

The war between white hat and black hat SEO tactics is nearing an end.

To begin to understand what this means for your law firm, it’s helpful to have a clear picture of the basic difference between the two sides.

The Goal of SEO

The big goal of the practice of SEO is to make your website appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). The higher your site appears, the more people click on it, the more traffic your site gets, the better the site becomes.

How this goal is pursued, however, can be risky and shady (black hat), or definite and legitimate (white hat).

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO tactics are about tricking search engines into thinking that your site should go near the top of the SERPs. One of the ways search engines judge websites is by looking at how many other sites link to it – these links show that your site has a good reputation. So a black hat SEO tactic is to add backlinks to other sites, sometimes without their knowledge or concurrence. Search engines also pay attention to keywords on a website – when someone Googles “San Diego attorney dog bite”, Google will look for sites that have those words in them. So a black hat SEO would be to add those words, over and over and over again, into a website, completely and utterly without context.

These are just a couple of the more obvious black hat SEO moves out there, but they get the point across succinctly: They boost the site’s SERP position, without adding value to the person doing the searching.

White Hat SEO

In contrast to black hat SEO, white hat SEO focuses on developing a site’s online prominence by maximizing the user’s experience with it. It’s based on the idea that search engines are good at what they do, and will reward the sites that provide search engine users with good experiences. Therefore, white hat SEO is pretty straightforward – find out what the audience wants, and then give it to them.

For law firms, this involves filling their firm’s webpage with quality content that people are interested in reading. If you’re a personal injury attorney in San Diego, looking to attract clients who have been bitten by a dog, this would involve populating your site with articles on relevant issues like medical expenses associated with a dog bite, rabies, dog leash recalls, and permanent debilitation caused by nerve damage. When the site’s readers go through these articles and have a good experience on the web site, search engines will notice and improve its ranking in their SERPs.

How Myers Freelance and Legal Blogging Fits In

Myers Freelance is a white hat SEO firm that uses legal blogging as the platform for the kind of worthwhile content that will promote your website. Our professional law writers can research and write topics across the legal spectrum, to help populate your firm’s site with relevant content that attracts readers. Contact us today to get started, and check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep updated on discounts, news, and other law blog writing tips.