When it comes to an industry as extensive as SEO, you will get many opinions about the most effective way to approach website optimization. While many tactics work, deciding on the best one is somewhat subjective.
However, one distinction can help determine which type of SEO will work best for you: black hat SEO and white hat SEO.
Image Source: https://neilpatel.com/
What Is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is a set of illegal and unethical practices that people use to improve their website’s search engine results. A Black Hat SEO strategy will usually maximize short-term gains by taking advantage of blind spots in a search engine’s algorithms. This entails spammy practices that negatively affect the ranking of other websites.
Black hat SEO practices change and evolve as search engines update their algorithms. Thus, it includes many SEO practices that may violate the search engine’s terms of service.
Image Source: https://www.ndimensionz.com/
Let’s take a look at some of the most common techniques in Black Hat SEO:
Black Hat SEO Techniques
1. Hiding Keywords
Hiding keywords means changing the color of the text to make it appear invisible to the naked eye. These invisible keywords are placed to fool the search engine into giving the website a good ranking on SERPs (search engines result page).
2. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the practice of excessively using keywords in your content in an attempt to send amplified signals to search engines. This is supposed to make a website rank higher for a particular search query that is relevant to the keyword.
3. Link schemes
Link schemes include various techniques like buying links, link exchanges, sponsored links, and the use of automated programs to build links. By creating false backlinks, these websites will try to manipulate Google’s algorithm into believing their authority and reputation.
4. Spin Content
This refers to content created by a bot that is mostly gibberish and filled with keywords to fool how search engines work and increase organic traffic.
5. Misleading Redirects
Redirects are meant to take the visitor to another page if the requested web page is broken or outdated. Misleading redirect takes the user to a new web page where the content differs from what the Search Engine Web crawler read
Black Hat SEO and Google Algorithm Updates
Google evolves over time, and it is continuously updating its algorithm to present the users with the most relevant and authentic results. This is why Google has more than 200 ranking factors now.
As Google controls more than 90% of the total search engine market, most black hat practices are primarily targeted at manipulating Google. Ever since the Penguin update in 2012, Google has consistently tried to minimize and obliterate black hat practices.
Google now considers manipulative tactics and uses its algorithms to punish websites that engage in such unethical practices. This is why websites that use black hat SEO methods suffer several types of penalties, such as:
● Black Listing
● Algorithm deprioritization
Are People Still Using Black Hat SEO Techniques?
Unfortunately, many people still use Black Hat tactics under the assumption that they can fool the search engines. No matter how advanced a search engine may become, there will always be blind spots in its algorithms.
People will take advantage of these gaps to manipulate search engines. People who use such techniques don’t want to put in the time and effort to offer real value to their Internet users and only want to gain their ranking.
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO is the right or ethical way of optimizing a website, and it starts with website analysis and competitor analysis. White hat SEO strategy focuses on identifying and solving the issues that hinder website performance on search engines.
White hat SEO is based on different strategies and techniques to optimize a website for search engines through various ranking factors like backlinks, keywords relevance authority, etc.
Thus, White hat SEO is centered on organic and long-term strategies that increase ranking over time. This is a comparatively slower process, but it promises stable growth.
Image Source: https://data-flair.training/
White Hat SEO Techniques
Here are a few primary white hat SEO techniques:
1. Content Optimization
According to the search engine giant, Google, “Content Is King”.
Image Source: https://iformatiformat.worldsecuresystems.com/
If you want to create an effective SEO strategy, then content optimization should be your top priority. It involves optimizing the content of a website to suit the search intent. Optimized content is linkable, based on keyword phrase research, and original.
2. Technical SEO
Technical SEO focuses on your website’s meta structure, tags, internal links, keyword usage and other aspects of technical merit. Evaluate technical issues and chances for improvement within your website to enhance its performance. You will experience a quick boost in SERPs when you improve the technical merit of a website.
3. Link Building
SEO link building plays a vital role because it adds credibility and authority to a website by adding a vote of confidence from another site. Backlinks give signals to search engine algorithms that other websites support and rely on your website’s content.
So, if many other websites have linked to the same website or webpage, Google search (or other search engines) accepts that the website is worth linking to, and so it is also worth appearing on the SERP (search engine result page).
White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO
When we compare white hat SEO and black hat SEO, it is always better to use white hat SEO practices. Even though white hat tactics take time, effort, and money to achieve significant results, it offers low risks and higher rewards over time – whether it is for Google or alternative search engines.
Image Source: https://www.seoquake.com/
Furthermore, you will never violate Google’s guidelines and ultimately achieve an authoritative and reputable status.