What Top Gun can teach us about white-hat SEO

Jon Baglow

Senior SEO Specialist

Like in any industry, digital marketing has its foul-play. Black and grey-hat SEO techniques appeal to many because they provide fast-track results, despite the long-term effects and repercussions. Unfortunately success in the ‘here and now’ only lasts so long, and then the trouble begins. And in light of recent Penguin and Panda updates, you can guarantee it.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Stay out of trouble; keep it clean and ethical. Keep it ‘white-hat’. But don’t just take our word for it; here’s what Top Gun can teach us about white-hat SEO and why you should adopt only the best practice to make it to the top [rank].

Do you 'feel the need, the need for SPEED'?

Low on Fuel: Low on Link Juice

So, in times of doubt, do it like Maverick. You will only reach high altitude by possessing the skills to get there, and educated strategising is key or you will quickly run into problems. Perhaps the biggest danger in aviation is running low on fuel, and in terms of SEO: link juice. Scattered links existing on low-authority sites provide little value to a campaign, so it’s far more worthwhile to do it properly by having fewer, but ‘elite’, links; less is more. Fuel up by seeking and pitching to quality, more authoritative websites, and in return gain more equity.

Has your inspiration for more quality links ‘lost that loving-feeling’? Take a leaf out of our pilot’s book, and ‘turn & burn’ back into the action. Full throttle.


Caught in the Jetwash: Failing Campaign

'Talk to me, Goose'

The danger with links on such poor sites, and even worse, those that have been black-hat wired (and hence considered spam) is that the campaign will begin to spiral out of control and there’s nothing you can do about it. Bye-bye Goose. The damage is irrevocable. So what does Maverick do next? He lets go in order to recover. Toss those dog-tags away and disavow the links that are hindering your success. Now start again, but this time do it the white-hat way.


Now Go to War: White-Hat Vs Black-Hat

The recovery of a lost campaign is the real test, and you’re ‘gonna need a beer to put these flames out.’ So as Maverick puts his training, lessons learnt, and nerve to the test, digital marketers will be similarly striving to rank top with keywords. ‘This is the real thing’, there’s no room for error because we’ve seen how disastrous that can be. So follow the ethical path, well fuelled and carefully planned. Take the time to research keyphrases thoroughly and then weave them into content accordingly. Win the war by leading troops to a website through relevant and useful content.


The Rewards

'So you're the one?', 'yes Ma'am'

You’ve put yourself in Maverick and Goose’s shoes. What’s the dream? To be the elite, to be the best of the best, flying close to the tower. Mind, they don’t expect this to happen overnight; they’re prepared to put in the work to get there, and they are rewarded by being sent to Top Gun. Hello white-hat SEO. Put the time, expertise and commitment in to creating useful, relevant and high-quality content and links, and become the best by doing so.

White-hat is paving the way for successful SEO campaigns, and although it isn’t the fast-track route to rank, it will put you at the top and keep you there.

Maverick proves himself under pressure and his efforts don’t go unrewarded. He is invited to return to Top Gun as an Instructor, a leader in his field. Either fly with the elite, benefitting from longevity and reputation, or crash or burn on the dark side, fizzling out with a Google penalty - the plaque for alternates is in the ladies’ room.


“Top Gun rules of engagement are written for your safety and for that of your team. They are not flexible, nor am I. Either obey them or you are history. Is that clear?”



'Eh, lieutenant, what were you doing there?', 'Communicating.'

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