White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can fall in one of two categories: white hat or black hat. White hat SEO is techniques approved by search engines or those conducted in an honest manner. Black hat SEO is methods that search engines disapprove of and attempt to eliminate from their indexing process. These techniques are typically conducted in a dishonest manner. This is a common term in the internet world for driving traffic, making sales and generating leads.

Length of Use

Another dissimilarity between the two is the length of time in which each practice is employed. White hat typically produces long-term results that continue to be used for many years. On the other hand, black hat users often anticipate the banning of their sites once search engines realize the method they are using.

White Hat

An SEO technique is considered white hat if it conforms to the guidelines set forth by the search engine company and has no deception. Although the guidelines are not written and formal, it is more than just following the unwritten rules. White hat also must ensure the content a search engine indexes is the same content a guest user will be viewing.

White hat is accomplished by creating content for the user, not for the search engine algorithm. The more human the content, the better the search engine ranking. The content should be easy to detect by the search engine spiders. White hat SEO is similar to web development in terms of accessibility. White hat SEO has proven to be effective for marketing by drive quality content to the audience.

Black Hat

Black hat SEO is pretty much the opposite of white hat in that it attempts to fool search engine rankings through disapproved techniques. One example of a black hat technique is using hidden text or text that cannot be read due to a color change to drive traffic. Another method is cloaking which involves presenting a different page depending on the visitor (human vs. search engine).

Search engines penalize those sites that utilize black hat methods to drive visitors by dropping their rankings or eliminating their listings altogether. These penalties can be enforced automatically or by the manual review.

It is always advantageous to utilize white hat methods on your website. With the advanced search engines today, it is not worth it to implement black hat practices as the consequences can ruin your reputation forever.

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