If your business or website is using anything other than White Hat SEO tactics, Google is eventually going to catch up with you and take action. Search engines may not need to penalize you directly, as they can simply penalize the source of backlinks, authority and PageRank, and your rankings will decline accordingly. Therefore, white hat tactics are the only safe bet, and the only policy that provides real value to users.
The theory behind white hat can best be summarized as: the development of valuable content and the distribution of that content to the users who most desire it. There are 5 major ways that this can be done that caters to both search engines and consumers:
1.) Article Marketing
By producing and distributing articles related to your industry, you'll be doing a lot more than just promoting your brand and building an online reputation. You'll also be contributing to the value of the internet overall:
*Proper syndication of your articles provides related websites with valuable content
*Consumers are able to find and share your information more easily
*Search engines are able to return more relevant, useful results
Article marketing is actually a traditional public relations strategy that people have been using for the last century offline, and is likely a strategy that will remain effective for years to come.
2.) Press Release Syndication
Like article marketing, press release syndication is an effective way to promote your brand and remain consistently in the public eye. By offering news stories and important notices about events and changes related to your company and industry, you're providing valuable content that caters to Google's new Freshness Indicator – a measure of how "recently involved" your company or website has been on the internet.
3.) Video Marketing
With YouTube being the second most popular "search engine" in the world, video marketing is one of the most successful white-hat SEO strategies currently in use. In fact, some estimates indicate that pages with videos are 50+ times more likely to convert than pages without. And as long as the videos you produce are related to your industry and provide useful information or entertainment, your video marketing efforts will always be considered within the big G's Webmaster Guidelines.
4.) Blog Participation
There are few better ways to interact among your related online communities than blog participation. This can range from a company blog with moderated comments, to active participation on other blogs and forums. This allows companies to interact directly with users – something Google reportedly ranks as part of its algorithm filter called Social Influence. The more responsive and useful your level of participation is, the more backlinks, readership, traffic and social influence you'll build.
5.) Social Media
Two of the most important metrics search algorithms will use for the foreseeable future: the Freshness indicator and Social Influence - are best served by using Social Media to your advantage. Participation on sites like Facebook and Twitter are powerful stand-alone marketing tactics, but when combined as part of a white-hat SEO campaign, this strategy becomes what is quite possibly the most powerful one out there.
Regardless of what search engine optimization tactics you use, if you produce informative, useful content and offer it in the places where users are actively seeking it, you'll almost certainly be within accepted white-hat practices. But if you have any doubt or question whatsoever, don't chance it. Call the number at the top of your screen now for an immediate, free consultation to determine if you're within Webmaster Guidelines. Because ultimately, if you're not, your entire online business could come crumbling down before your eyes.