SEO uses to achieve the best possible position in search engines a variety of techniques. These techniques can be generally divided into permitted, so-called white hat SEO, and banned so-called black hat SEO. In SEO it is possible to focus on on-page and off-page factors. Similarly, SEO techniques can thus be divided into those that affect the on-page factors and off-page factors.

In this article we will describe the various optimization techniques and explain how they work. We also explain here which methods are in terms of SEO the most effective and which techniques are better to avoid.

White hat SEO techniques

This group includes SEO techniques that are not only permissible for the optimization but also directly desirable and search engines attach a high importance to its use. In the past, almost all SEO techniques belonged to this category, since search engines were not able to recognize their fraudulent character. How the search engine algorithms evolve and improve, using of some techniques gradually began to be forbidden and penalized, and thus the division of white hat SEO and black hat SEO had arose.

White hat SEO techniques can be further divided into techniques that affect the on-page and off-page factors.

Techniques that affect the on-page factors

Web copywriting

Web copywriting is one of the most important areas of SEO techniques, because it helps to create attractive text for search engines. Well written text should contain a sufficient number of keywords for that the websites are optimized (the optimum keyword density is given 4 to 7% of total words).

Another rule, which should be adhered during creation of content, is unique texts. This means that any content appearing on the web should be different, even the same passage or paragraph should not be used only with wrong order of sentences. Search engines such texts evaluate as duplicate and the relevance is then attached to only one of them. Other articles with duplicate content are usually ignored. Content of the website should be current and should be regularly changed as well.

Using of short and understandable URL addresses

URL addresses should always be as short and understandable for users as possible. They should not contain a cluster of random characters and numbers, which were especially common at websites created at the time of formation and development of the Internet. On the contrary, it is recommended to use in URL addresses keywords, which increases the relevance of websites to the search query. The benefit of easily readable and short URL addresses from the user perspective is then their easy memorizing and their direct access to the site directly by typing in the web browser.

Using HTML (XHTML) marks in accordance with standards

When programming websites (both in HTML and XHTML) should be laid stress on the correct use of formatting tags, like h1 to h6 for headings of each level, strong for bold font in the text, etc. If the title is defined only by the size or font colour, the search engine will not assign it the same meaning as in properly formatted titles.

Correct completion of metatags

Metatags provide basic information about the website, such as which coding is used, who is its author, etc. In terms of SEO is then especially important to correctly fill out a metatags description, keywords, robots and revisit after. Metatag description should include a description of the website. Search engines attribute relatively high weight to this metatag, it is important to correctly describe the contents of the site. It is also appropriate to include relevant keywords for that page.

The relevant keywords for a website are filled in the metatag keywords. Different search engines assign this metatag different weight, but it is still recommended to have completed this tag. Metatag robots notifies search engine of what it should do with the website, whether or not it should index it, or whether it should index links on this website, etc. Metatag revisit after informs the search engine robots about how long it takes to visit a website again, so what is the expected time for its update.

Techniques that affect off-page factors

Linkbuilding

This technique is important in terms of SEO, it helps acquire backlinks pointing to a website. When linkbuilding website is registered in the web directory, links are inserted into Internet discussions, forums, etc. When linkbuilding it is needed to realize that links from different sites have different weight, which depends on PageRank of the page. PageRank informs the search engine of quality of website, according to it then assigns a weight to the link. Contextual links are also differently evaluated, they lead from websites dealing with the same theme as the target website and non-contextual links, thus focusing on an entirely different topic.

Linkbaiting

Way of building links through linkbaiting is one of the most difficult. The purpose of linkbaiting is to create so interesting content that links to the website will be spread over the Internet thanks to its popularity among users. This technique is also sometimes referred to as viral marketing.

Building microsites

Microsites are small websites narrowly specialized in specific product, product line or service. Their purpose is to build websites with high densities of occurrences of a small circle of key words, which increases the relevance of the search engines due to these queries. Therefore, they allow websites to achieve better positions than at a large site such as e-shop. After the search of a query, users first visit the microsite, which redirects them to the main site. In addition to obtaining better positions in search engines, the creating of microsites has one advantage, and that these satellite websites provide quality and relevant backlinks.

Black hat SEO techniques

Nowadays, the use of banned techniques is now usually easy detected and subsequently penalized by search engines. Penalization can be for example reduction of the position in search results, or complete deletion from the list of search results. However, in the past, search engines sometimes are not be able to identify these forbidden techniques, and therefore, especially in the nineties of the 20th century, they were very popular and on the websites have been used very often. Their popularity stemmed from the fact that websites optimized using black hat SEO techniques, search engines attached a very high relevance and ranked them in the top positions.

Today, their use is rather on the decline thanks to improved search engine algorithms and their easy detection. Black hat techniques can work only in a very short term, pending their identification, their long-term effect is only negative.

Most Commonly Used Black Hat SEO techniques:

Cloaking

To obtain better positions in search results, the content presented to the search engine is different from that presented to the user´s. The content for the search engine can be adapted exactly to its algorithms, on the contrary, visitors can view website optimized in terms of the user.

Doorway page

It is similar to cloaking - the content presented to the search engine is different, and that is specially modified entry page. This entry page usually contains a large number of constantly repeating key words or text links. This page is redirected via javascript on the main site, or to the destination website linking to advertising banners.

Hidden content

Use of the hidden content on the web can have various forms. For example, text can be inserted below the picture or background due to the same font colour, it can be hidden by CSS styles or using zero font size.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content occurs when the same text is inserted in multiple URLs. Duplicate content can be recognized by search engines and they subsequently index only one page with text, others are ignored. Rather than a deception it is often a problem in web programming (websites working with www and without www before the URL can be considered to duplicate content), therefore the search engines usually do not penalize duplicate content.

Link farms

Link farms are composed of many websites connected by links, which leads to artificially increase of their PageRank. Link farms rank now among the penalized techniques, that is why, it is not appropriate to refer to them and to receive backlink from them.

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