Black Hat Vs. White Hat SEO - What's The Difference?
There has been much debate surrounding black and white hat SEO techniques and whether they are good or bad or simply provide different functions.
# White hat SEO uses organic optimization techniques that allow a search engine ranking and therefore online presence or visibility to evolve and improve naturally. These techniques normally take into account search engine algorithms and the criteria that are used to rank web pages.
Blackhat SEO techniques, on the other hand, do not take into account the search engine criteria and often go against what is considered to be the best optimization practices. However, these techniques are also aimed at increasing a search engine ranking and often show much faster and more effective results.
# White hat SEO techniques also take a more human approach and focus on user experience in order to optimize a website for search engines. Black hat techniques focus on search engines and their algorithms and ways in which to get around the rules and protocols that have been put in place.
# Organic, or white hat SEO, is a slow process and it can take time to show results. This results in some businesses taking the black hat techniques to climb up the search engine ranking ladder much faster. However, this is a risky approach as websites can be penalized by search engines which can result in the loss of a coveted ranking position. In some cases, black hat techniques can also result in a website being banned.
# This said black hat SEO does have it’s placed in the digital marketing arena. It is ideal for online businesses who are opening a website and want to make a quick, short-term profit and do not mind their website being banned once they have made their money. Of course, sites with this type of goal are often nefarious in their own right.
On the other hand, white hat techniques are not only designed to improve a search engine ranking but to maintain it. The strategy involves building a strong foundation from which a search engine ranking can grow and be sustainable into the future. In other words, once a search engine ranking has been achieved, it is unlikely that it will ever lose ground.
# It is, however, better to start employing organic SEO techniques sooner rather than later. Websites that have been using optimization strategies from the start will be more difficult to budge from their ranking position and websites that are new to SEO will need to do a lot of catching up.
# It is highly recommended for businesses who want to build a strong and reputable online reputation to avoid black hat SEO techniques altogether. Some of the most common black hat techniques to be wary of include:
- Keywords and phrases that are unrelated to the business, its products or services. For example, including a celebrity’s name in content that really has nothing to do with that celeb. Search engine algorithms are designed to pick up on unrelated keywords.
- Content automation where bots are used to automatically generate keywords and phrases in comments or other sections of content. These phrases often make no sense and are easy for search engines to detect.
- Keyword loading is where a keyword or phrase is overused in the body of the content. Keywords are essential to web pages being crawled and indexed correctly but overuse will be penalized.
- Hiding links is another unwanted black hat technique and involve adding links to content that are basically invisible.
- Gateway pages that redirect users to pages that are unrelated to their keyword search.
# Of course, some black hat SEO consultants may take their approach further and rely on hacking other sites or even using negative strategies to undermine a competitor. These techniques can be reported to a search engine and will result in the immediate banning of a website.
- On the other hand, white hat SEO techniques provide a multitude of benefits for a business. Some of these benefits include:
- An improved search engine ranking.
- Enhanced online brand reputation.
- Greater credibility. People automatically assume that a top-ranked website will provide reliable information and reputable, quality services and products.
- Increased website traffic which basically means more visitors to a website.
- Evens out the playing field for small businesses competing with big business in an online environment. Small businesses can employ exactly the same SEO techniques as larger businesses and reap the same rewards.
- It provides one of the best ROI’s (return on investment). In other words, the value is far greater than the cost of employing SEO techniques.
- Better user experience. Search engines use algorithms in order to provide their users with the best experience possible. It follows that SEO will, therefore, provide a better experience for users of an optimized site.A basic understanding of the different types of SEO techniques, strategies and approaches are very important in order to gain the greatest benefit and avoid the penalties of optimizing a website for search engines.
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