White hat, or ethical Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of developing web sites and an overall communication plan that do NOT spam search engines by trying to manipulate them with programming tricks like hidden text, scripting tricks and link farms.
Why don't we leverage these techniques? While many of these practices will work to various degrees with various search engines, we feel that the risk of getting "black listed" from search engines is too high for many of our clients. Instead, we rely on sound business practices, creative marketing and an in depth knowledge of the Internet and the behaviors of people on the net.
Run the other direction when a web marketing company promises you top Search Engine Placement within a few weeks. If it sounds to good to be true, it is. While they can get you quick results, you will be left holding the bag when your site is black listed and the consulting company has long since collected its money.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a suite of services that creates better opportunity for your site to be found quicker and more easily in search engines. There are four major areas of focus in Search Engine Optimization:
Keyword Optimization of Content
External Links (The number and quality of web sites that link to your site. For example, if CNN.com were to link to your site, that would have greater impact on your search engine placement then say, johndoe.com, marydoe.com, etc.)
The Keyword Analysis is an essential component to optimizing your site. Based on a strong, strategically thought-out list of keyword phrases your existing site is given an editorial content review to find opportunities to use more friendly search engine language. This is known as Keyword Optimization of Content.
Additionally, we examine your site architecture and report on how “Search Engine Friendly” it is. There are many ways to build a web sites today; some development paths make it easier than others for search engines to index the site content. Site indexing by search engines is a way of defining how much the given engine can see of your site and thus what people can find when searching.
Development paths today include, HTML, DHTML, Content Management Systems (database driven), XML, WML, Flash, PDF pages, and hybrids of all the above. Even within a vertical development path there are best practices that seldom are followed and can degrade your site’s Search Engine Friendliness.
It’s during the Site Architecture task that key aspects such as META Tags, Titles, and many other programmatic features are examined and reported on. Actual site programming and development are not included in this phase of work.
TMA's SEO services also include reporting on external links. This will show which sites are linking to your site. We will identify those sites that may put your Search Engine Ranking in jeopardy. Google, for example, has a “bad neighborhood” policy that can penalize your site if found in that neighborhood.
After reporting from TMA, an additional internal review of external links should be done to see if you want to be linked within a given site. Conversely, there other sites linking to yours that you may want to encourage linking to you. The strength and quality of external sites that link to yours can bring a great advantage to overall awareness of your brand. There are additional tactics outside of SEO that TMA employs to cultivate external linking to your site. Contact us to find out more about our strategic Internet marketing.
BEWARE: There are many techniques to gain top level listing in Search Engines. Some of these are considered questionable "Black Hat" practices by Search Engines and the sites that employ these techniques run a very real risk of being black listed. No one can promise you top listing in a search engine. Anyone making such promises should be avoided at all costs. TMA Guild employs Clean Search Engine Optimization practices and steers clear of techniques that could put your domain at risk.
Other questionable sales tactics of SEO's involve SEO's providing free or pay-for-performance services. It sounds like a great and even logical to pay for performance however as we have mentioned you can on the first page of Google via Black Hat techniques. Once you pay for services (typically at a premium) your site will then be come blacklisted from the search engine.