Whether you are simply trying to decide what type of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques you would like to employ, or if you are looking at inbound marketing firms or SEO firms, it’s important that you know the difference between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO.
The differences between the two are vast, and can definitely play a huge role in just how successful your inbound marketing campaign is.
What is Black Hat SEO?
There’s a good chance that you’ve already seen Black Hat SEO tactics in use. Most of them are blatantly obvious and don’t offer any real value to the content of a web page or blog. One of the most popular forms of Black Hat SEO is keyword stuffing. We all know what that is; a sentence like “CheapComputerRepairs is the best site for cheap computer repairs for people who want cheap computer repairs!”
Another Black Hat SEO tactic is “cloaking”. What this basically is would be if you created a web page that would appear to be one thing to search engines, like 10 tips on weight loss. However, when visitors come to your site, your web page is entirely different, like an advertisement for some weight loss pill. This is very annoying and unprofessional.
Doorway pages are another common Black Hat SEO tactic. These sneaky little pages serve as passageways to other pages. So let’s say you were looking for a website on how to strengthen your core. A doorway page would trick Google and other search engines into thinking that their page is about strengthening your core, but when you actually click on that “doorway” page, it’s really a website selling an exercise DVD.
The last Black Hat SEO tactic that is common is hidden text. You’ll most often be able to see this when you see a ton of keywords stuffed at the bottom of a page or along the side column that then blends into the background. Lazy SEO companies and bloggers do this when they just couldn’t be bothered to incorporate keywords properly into the actual content of their site or blog.
What is White Hat SEO?
Unlike Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO is fair, reliable, and won’t get you into trouble (and we’ll talk about what kind of trouble in a minute).
Rather than keyword stuffing, White Hat SEO is all about bidding for keywords and then using these keywords to help enhance your site and make it easier for search engines to find you. So instead of just jamming a keyword into a page of content as often as possible, White Hat SEO will incorporate the keywords in a way that make sense, flows, and that helps create and support valuable content for a visitor.
Backlinking and link building are two other SEO practices that White Hat SEO uses. Link building is an important process as it involves a website getting “votes” for being credible from those who visit it. The more “votes” a website gets, the more credible a website is perceived, and therefore the more valuable it’s seen by search engines like Google and Bing. As a result, it’ll rank higher than websites with less back links.
Why Choose White Hat SEO?
Apart from White Hat SEO being the ethical means of getting organic traffic to your website, if you choose to engage in Black Hat SEO, you may be severely penalized. Sure, Black Hat SEO may get you to the top of search engines faster than most White Hat SEO tactics, but your site will be taken down just as quickly.
In some cases, search engines like Google have been known to permanently block any attempts for new websites to be built after continual Black Hat SEO abuse, so if you do decide to use Black Hat SEO and you are blocked, you’ll have to try and trick Google – and that’s no easy feat! Once you’re on the Google blacklist, it’s near impossible to get off of it. And given that Google is the #1 engine that will likely bring in the majority of your traffic, you don’t want to end up on that list.
So here’s why you DON’T choose Black Hat SEO: it’s totally unnecessary. Unless you just want a quick website to make a buck for maybe a day or so (which really, who’s going to find your site within a couple of days?) then Black Hat SEO could seem beneficial.
But if you want to use an ethical, proven, long-lasting way of getting your site to rise up in the search engines, then definitely choose White Hat SEO.
- Black Hat SEO focuses on unethical practices to help boost your sites search ranking.
- Most Black Hat SEO tactics are empty promises used to promote another product or service.
- White Hat SEO practices focus on generating keywords that will naturally boost your websites ranking.
- White Hat SEO is the more effective and ethical approach.
If search engine optimization is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule a free marketing analysis.