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Using ethical search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is time-consuming, but ultimately worth it, said Ash Buckles, SEO.com president, at a Utah Valley University conference Thursday afternoon.
Buckles opened the conference with a discussion on white hat, or ethical, and black hat, or unethical, SEO. He said Google and Bing make it clear what search engine optimization techniques are and are not allowed. If a company uses black hat SEO and is detected by the search engine, it will be penalized.
While the search engines will not tell companies exactly how to receive higher rankings, Buckles said companies do know what is banned. If those terms are violated, the company could temporarily rank lower in searches and lose revenue and trust from customers.
“Black hat SEO is unethical. It’s wrong. It’s cheating and it’s not worth the risk,” said Greg Shuey, vice president for client services at SEO.com, in a panel following Buckles’ presentation.
One of the attendees asked the panel if removing white and black designations for SEO would even the playing field for companies. Buckles said he thinks the playing field is even, because all companies know what they can’t do.
However Aaron Willis, instructor of information technology at UVU, said he would love for Google to release its ranking algorithms because that would truly level the playing field.
Buckles offered the following white hat SEO techniques for companies to follow: