In episode 017 we talk with Nicole Hampton, who works with SEO both in her daytime job and as a blogger about SEO and what black hat tactics are.

We cover information about what the definition of black, white and grey SEO is, how to avoid falling into traps and how important it is to stick to reliable resources and websites.

Listen on the player in this post or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Dough-Eyed
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Nicole has been a food blogger for about 10 years at Dough-Eyed, a food blog for people who want to bake for their family and friends in high-altitude areas.

Nicole’s day job is in SEO. She’s worked on a wide variety of websites in many industries over the years. Nicole has been able to take what she knows from work and put it to use with her blog. With this, Nicole has had amazing results -about 2/3 of the traffic to Dough-Eyed is from organic search results.


  • Black Hat SEO: SEO tactics that are aggressive and typically in violation of Google’s rules and guidelines for websites to be able to show up in their search results. A lot of what we consider black hat today is actually just what used to work- old tactics that used to be okay.
  • Stick with reliable sources in the field of SEO even if it means cross checking them yourself. Look for authority sites to get your information. There may be some good tips on other sites but they aren’t reliable or accurate all the time and could lead you astray.
  • Gray Hat SEO – pushing the limits of what Google has advised but not directly violated the rules. 
  • Google will display the best results possible and improve the system so it can’t be cheated.
  • Website over-optimization: over using the same key words and focusing on one topic without broadening the conversation to try and get better ranking. 

  • You can’t cheat the Google algorithm for very long. They will figure out your tactics, and what you did to achieve a higher ranking will go away. 

  • Steer clear of adding content that isn’t relevant to your readers on your site. If it could almost be relevant topics but aren’t in the food blog industry specifically, then steer clear of this type of “help”.

  • There are many specific red flags to look for such as 75 characters in an email or there’s no one to actually speak addresses have 75 characters in them. 
  • All of these sources can all be cross-checked – if you see it on one of these, most of these sites will back up what the other is saying because it’s reliable information.
  • If you answer the questions people really have about your topic and recipe, they won’t bounce off your site as much or as quickly and that’s valuable to Google. 
  • Create quality content around searcher intent, which is what Google Console can help you with. These tactics will always benefit you.
  • Backlinks are a good thing and adds a ton of value to your website.  Ask for a link that’s “follow” instead of “no follow”. It’s a code that’s added to the link itself that allows the search engines to follow from site to site. You can see no-follow in the actual link if it’s no follow if you wanted to look for it.

Resources Mentioned

  • To deep dive into different areas of your blog, then Food Blogger Pro is a good resource. It is subscription based.
  • MOZ is a well known source. They have great resources for the basics. To help you be aware of what is ok and what isn’t. 
  • Hub spot is a bigger SEO authority you can use. 

Recommended article from SEMrush with Casey Markee that talks about SEO: click HERE

Ready For More SEO?

Episode 155 is full of tips and tricks shared by Hashtag Jeff that you definitely need to listen to!


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