Before we get into the differences between White Hat and Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO), let me define SEO and explain why it is so important.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines to a website or web page. SEO focuses on unpaid traffic (also known as “natural” or “organic” results) rather than paid or direct traffic. Unpaid traffic can come from a variety of sources, including image and video searches, academic and news searches, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
SEO, as an Internet marketing strategy, considers how search engines work, the computer-programmed algorithms that govern search engine behavior, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. SEO is done because a website will receive more visitors from a search engine if it ranks higher on the search engine results page (SERP). These visitors have the potential to become customers.
Here are a few articles with complete SEO details. Look into it.:
- On-Page SEO: What Is It? SEO Guide for Beginners
- Off-page SEO: What is it? and Off-Page SEO 12 Factor that Increase your Search Result
- Guidelines How Can You Improve Your Technical SEO?
- 8 Easy YouTube SEO Tips to Boost Your Video Rankings
Now, let’s talk about White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO.
White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO are two completely different SEO strategies that produce varying results, but one is superior to the other. We’ll go over everything you need to know about both and help you decide which one is worth incorporating into your strategy.
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO refers to SEO techniques that are ethical, transparent, and not penalised by search engines. In a conclusion, it’s the proper way to do SEO. In a conclusion, it’s the proper way to do SEO.
White hat SEO complies with search engine guidelines and rules in order to boost ranking and organic traffic. White-hat SEO ensures that both marketers and search engines can provide value and security to users by following the guidelines. White hat SEO avoids using shady tactics or sneaky workarounds to fool the algorithm, and Google notices.
White Hat SEO Strategies
- Keyword research: keyword research is used to find the most relevant search terms for your brand. The idea is to use them naturally in your content (written texts, images, headers, etc.) but be careful! Keyword stuffing (repeating keywords again and again at the cost of readability) is considered black hat SEO, so avoid doing this.
- Content creation: unique, engaging, and original content offers high value to users and generates incoming links naturally, which improves your reputation and position on search engines.
- Mobile optimization: since Google’s algorithm uses the mobile version of the websites as the basis for its indexing, it is essential to optimize your mobile site, with either responsive design or AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
- Improved loading speed: this is another relevant factor, not only for search engine positioning but also for the user experience. An overlooked white hat SEO technique is ensuring that your website’s loading time is not slow.
- Structure of content and URLs: a well-organized website with good internal linking greatly facilitates the work of Google’s spider and is therefore rewarded with good positioning.
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO looks to achieve fast results through methods that violate Google’s standards. They usually rely on tricking search engines in some way to climb the search engine results pages (SERPs) quickly.
Although black hat SEO may sometimes bring immediate results, in the long run it is never worth it because search engine give out severe penalties if they detect any attempt to cheat the system. Therefore, black hat SEO usually ends up impeding your success and lowering your rankings in the long run.
The other problem with black hat SEO is that it does not bring any value to end users. Although it may be effective in the short term, it ends up being detrimental to a company’s marketing objectives. It’s always better to go step by step and build a solid foundation using white hat techniques.
Common Black Hat SEO Techniques
- Keyword stuffing. This consists of entering a keyword over and over again on a website or in a piece of content so that the search engine will you position for it. According to Google rules, the keyword should always be used naturally and respond to users’ needs by providing valuable information. Repeating a word over and over again without reason will negatively affect content quality and user experience.
- Cloaking. One of the most important standards of ethical SEO is that websites must appear the same for users and trackers. With cloaking, the idea is to generate a super-optimized website for search engines that would be unreadable to a human being. The unreadable website is then cloaked, or covered, with another website designed for users but that is not traceable in search engines.
- Spinning. Spinning is based on “hacking” content creation using programs that modify a single article to generate several different texts by using synonyms, for example. Logically, this practice does not add any value to the reader, and Google’s algorithms are increasingly able to detect it.
- Hidden text. This black hat SEO practice is very old and violates the regulations of displaying the same content to users and crawlers. It involves hiding texts that repeat keywords over and over by putting the text in the same color as the background or by reducing its size.
- Link selling. Backlinks, or inbound links, are one of the most important factors for positioning a website, but these must be obtained organically. Therefore, purchasing and selling backlinks is considered a black hat SEO technique and is subject to penalty.
The Difference Between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO
Essentially the difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO boils down to doing the right thing or not. In the midst of the two categories, there is a third that tries to push the boundaries of what is allowed, and this is grey hat SEO.
While it may be tempting to use quick tricks and sneaky steps to bypass the hard work of SEO, this will never benefit your website or brand in the long run. Sticking with white hat SEO is what will give your site the best shot at increasing its domain authority and landing in the number one spot on Google and other search engines.