As you have certainly noticed, marketing in the 21st century has changed dramatically. As recently as fifteen years ago, a business could get away with operating a mostly real-world presence. The World Wide Web was still in its infancy, and many customers did not have ready access, so it did not have as much importance. This has changed pretty drastically, though. Customers often go to the internet first when they are searching for products and services. They will typically use a search engine to find what they are looking for. Because of this, an entire industry has developed around search media marketing. Businesses will often employ third-party professionals who understand the complex business of optimizing search engine results.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process or set of procedures for increasing a website’s visibility to a search engine. This is accomplished with advertisers, keyword phrases, and various techniques. For example, a business will utilize employees who write articles about their industry. These articles will contain keywords which tend to be commonly searched phrases. So when a search engine sends its “spiders” to crawl through a web page, they will find the keyword phrases in various articles. The complex algorithms will determine how relevant that article is to the keyword phrase. If it is very relevant, it will move up in the results.
Because of the obvious benefits of being higher up on search results, businesses in the 1990s would employ black hat and white hat techniques.
Black hat techniques are a variety of techniques that are considered unscrupulous by search engines as well as the users. In the broadest sense, black hat SEO is writing content for the search engine as opposed to the user. This means that the content of a website will be manipulated to feature keyword phrases that have very little relevance to the content of the website. This can mean that the meta tags are irrelevant. Also, some businesses would simply write content that was just an unrelated string of keyword phrases. To hide these from the user, the website could place them underneath an invisible link or make the text the same color as the background. This results in users being led to web pages that do not feature any relevant information. Obviously this is undesirable for the search engine or the user. If a search engine regularly returns irrelevant pages, people will stop using it. Therefore, this unscrupulous brand of search media marketing is banned by most search engines.
White hat techniques are those that are deemed acceptable by the search engines. They are techniques such as writing relevant content and featuring relevant meta tags. The content is designed for the user and indexed by websites.
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