In the Arena: EBS Marketing on White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

Anybody who has even a slight knowledge of internet marketing practices knows that in the current climate, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is critical to ensuring that the content you produce for your client reaches the first page of whatever search engine (most often Google, but not always) an internet user is using. SEO works by using keywords, which are often the terms that people most search for in that particular industry, and weaving them into content. Google and other search engines then pick up these keywords, and use them to assess how relevant an article is to the industry in question. Then the article and website it is on move up the search engine rankings, meaning they are more visible to the consumer, meaning that the consumer is more likely to take notice of them.

However SEO is not so clear cut. It is a complex field of internet marketing, and with the importance of content increasing in recent years as far as Google are concerned, they have begun to crack down on negative SEO practices, in order to make sure that when users search for a particular thing, they only find what is relevant. Although the methods used to actually determine these rankings are closely guarded by the search engines, we do know the principals involved in determining these methods. This is where the white hat vs. black hat battle comes into play.

This is basically good SEO practices (white hat SEO) vs. bad SEO practices (black hat SEO). Over the last few years there are marketing experts who have been part of both schools of thought, however, as Google and other search engines place an increasing importance on content, white hat is clearly wining. So the first question we need to ask is, how do we define them? The second, how do they work?

White Hat SEO is a term that refers to good SEO practises and methods all geared towards elevating search engine rankings that comply with search engine guidelines and do not try to go around or bend them. The advantage to white hat is that the results they produce are firm, they endure. Typical white hat techniques include research, analysis, re-writing meta-tags to fall into line with the subject matter, improving the content, relevance of content and even website re-design.

Black Hat SEO is when you use techniques to boost yourself up the rankings that go against search engine guidelines or try to subvert them in some way. Black hat techniques often involve a large amount of deception and trickery, most common techniques including keyword stuffing, doorway and cloaked pages, link farming, hidden text, hidden links and blog comment span posts. The usual consequences of black hat SEO is that the content and/or the website are eventually banned by search engines, which means that people are much less likely to actually see them.

It’s clear that this proves that following the rules really does pay off. At the end of the day, Search Engine companies aren’t idiots; they’re experts at what they do. Don’t try to fool them, they will catch you out.

For a slightly more in depth look at White Hat vs Black Hat SEO – head on over to this mini wiki run by the guys at Diffen.com

EBS Marketing And The Importance of Diving Into Social Media

Social Media Week is upon us in the United Kingdom and what better way to mark it than by giving it a little bit of a gracing nod in this weeks news?

By now it should be no surprise to anybody that social media is one of the top marketing tools any online marketing strategist has at their fingertips to spread the word and get a client’s message out there. The reasons for this are numerous, too numerous to name them all, but the basic idea is that social media reaches people directly, individually, in a way that other forms of online marketing just can’t.

But, as anybody can see simply from surfing the net, there are a plethora of social media sites out there, and, if you are somebody who’s only just entering the world of internet marketing, it can be very confusing. Why are there so many? Who uses them? What functions do they all have? How popular are they? How much do they affect real time sales? If you want to hear some astounding facts and figures on the true power of social media in 2013, then take a look at some of the stats and statistics provided by Erik Qualman.

-          With over a billion people registered as Facebook users, if it were a country, it would have the third largest population in the world, more than the USA, Canada, Russia and Brazil, only being beaten by India and the world’s largest population, China.

-          With over 50% of the world’s population being under 30 years old, social media activity has become the number one web activity in the world, yet in China, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google are all banned.

-          Social Media are the new matchmakers; 1 in in 5 couples meet online, 3 of every 5 gay couples meet online and adversely, 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook

-          The Ford Explorer Launch ad  on Facebook was viewed more times than the average Superbowl ad

-          69% of parents (your main consumer) are friends with their kids on social media and 92% of children under the age of 2 cast a digital shadow (already somehow mentioned online)

-          Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn – that’s the equivalent of the number of people in the Ivy League University system every day

-          YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and sees 72 hours of new video uploaded every minute.

-          If Wikipedia’s entries were crafted into a book it would break records at 2.25 million pages

-          If you’re looking to target women, Pinterest is your best bet as 97% of Pinterest fans are women

-          Twitter: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have more followers on Twitter than the populations of Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Canada, Argentina and Egypt.

-          Consider that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisers then consider that 53% of Twitter users use their accounts to endorse products. Food for thought?

-          93% of marketers use social media for business

There you have it. These facts and statistics prove that social media is a power to be reckoned with in the world of online marketing. If you don’t start taking advantage, who knows how much business you could be losing?