The Difference Between Black Hat and White Hat SEO
Search engine organization or SEO is key for any company trying to grow its digital business organically, as it helps drive your website to the top of search engine results. However, just like with any reputable system, some rules have to be followed to ensure everyone has the same opportunities. Here-in lies the difference between black hat search engine optimization and white hat search engine optimization. In layman’s terms, white hat SEO is legal and encouraged, and black hat SEO may result in penalties, fines, and less actual traffic and customers for your website. By definition, it’s common sense to follow white hat SEO techniques. Still, it is good practice to clearly understand the difference between the black hat and white hat SEO types and methods.
White Hat SEO
As we already narrated, white hat search engine optimization is the clean side of SEO. This type of search engine organization focuses on the human side of operations instead of the bot side. These include keyword research, keyword analysis, competitor SEO research, and link building, among other things. Results may take longer with white hat SEO than the quick tricks of black hat SEO, but companies who practice white hat SEO techniques are more likely to grow their business long-term and have better-ranking results. White hat SEO creates pages for users and focuses on being user-friendly while also being informative, to the point, and helpful.
Popular White Hat SEO techniques:
- Create consistent and high-quality content.
- Use content-relevant keywords on web pages.
- Use keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions.
- Lean code/well-structured markup language for best output.
- Bring in authentic backlinks to the website.
- Work on user-experience by simplifying the navigation on the website.
- Increase page loading times. GTmetrix is a good tool to optimize web speed.
Black Hat SEO
The term black hat was derived from a Black Gat Hacker, who used to violate the computer security protocols. The black hat search engine organization revolves more around hacks used to get higher search rankings and breaking search engine rules to get high traffic levels quickly. They say, when you have to work FAST, you are bound to break some rules. Some of these black hat SEO techniques include:
- Link farming
- Keyword stuffing
- Hidden links
- Content spamming
Many of these techniques may get your website banned from the more well-known search engines. These techniques are considered unethical because they focus on manipulating and ignoring things’ human side to drive quick numbers. Black hat SEO is considered the villain of the digital marketing industry and is universally denounced by any respectable organization.
A big component of the difference between black hat and white hat SEO is the quality of content presented on a website. It may take a larger time investment to create quality content that will keep people returning to your site for knowledge and information. Still, the payoff of higher customer count and retention will make a difference in the long run. Especially with small businesses, attracting and keeping customers returning to your website is extremely important for sustainability and growth. The tricks used by black hat search engine optimization can quickly turn your business’s human side away when they see your site has no substance.
When a company starts up, using unsavory search engine optimization techniques may be attractive because of the quick turnaround. However, the long-term negativity of being blacklisted from certain search engines and taking the focus completely off the end-user can only result in bad news for any business that chooses to use these practices. Getting involved with an experienced digital marketing company can help take the guesswork out of building your site to bring more people to your business and keep them coming back for years to come.