There are two main types of SEO – commonly referred to as White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. It’s a little like having the Wicked Witch Of The West versus Tinkerbell. Implementing almost any black hat SEO technique will usually result in three things: massive exposure of your site, often with your brand rocketing up the search results listing. This is quickly followed by being penalised or completely blacklisted by every major search engine in the world, which ultimately results in your brand being completely invisible and receiving virtually no traffic at all.
White hat SEO is the only truly effective, ethical, long term SEO approach, but there’s a problem. Because with so many different sites, blogs and people recommending different techniques, how are you supposed to know which methods are acceptable and which could get your website blacklisted forever?
To some extent it’s fairly evident when you read information recommending you to stuff keywords, hide text and use other sneaky methods which attempt to trick or fool the search engines that something isn’t right. White hat SEO will involve focussing on quality every time. If a technique involves being sneaky, using ‘tricks’ or hiding or disguising content, then you’re on the rocky path to oblivion. Whatever SEO technique you employ it’s absolutely vital that you focus on quality and honesty so that your campaign evolves naturally.
Black hat techniques such as stuffing web pages full of keywords which are written so small that they just look like horizontal lines, or colouring them the same as the background so they’re invisible, or including landing pages which are keyword stuffed and which then immediately redirect visitors to the real home page are all to be avoided. But there’s many others techniques you should be avoiding, for a complete list take a look at the Black Hat SEO Techniques article kindly provided by Beanstalk Inc.
If you’re in any doubt about a recommended technique, talk to the experts who will be able to advise what works, and what works in the long term.