The Difference Between White-Hat and Black-Hat SEO

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    In the world of Search Engine Optimization, SEO, there are a number of techniques that many use to secure higher visibility in the search engines. This includes content creation, Pay-per-click banners, linking from other sites, business advertising, and especially social media integration are also vital tools in enhancing web presence. While the ultimate goal is to rank high on leading search engines, there are certain rules and guidelines that we follow to ensure long lasting placement. For one, spamming and keyword stuffing can result in permanent search engine bans. False advertising and unscrupulous techniques can also lead to permanent site and blog removals. In this challenging industry, these techniques are referred to as white hat SEO and black hat SEO.

    White Hat SEO

    White hat SEO is designed to produce lasting results. With white hat, web developers strictly conform to search engine guidelines. They also follow designated rules and limits. In fact, search engines recommend white hat as part of good overall design meaning the indexed content that is indexed and ranked, is the same content users will see. Therefore, there are never any deceptive tricks.

    In a nutshell, white hat SEO is mainly content creation for users. This content is then made accessible to search engine spiders, which index and rank the materials. For visitors, what they see is what they get. There are never any algorithm tricks or hidden codes to improve search engine rankings.

    While white hat promotes user accessibility, the content of the site or forum remains the same. Unless changed by the owner or web design firm, users have access to web content within a safe and regulated environment.

    Black Hat SEO

    Unlike White hat SEO, Black hat SEO utilizes techniques that search engines do not approve. This includes spamming, keyword stuffing, search engine poisoning, or spam-dexing. These are all deliberate manipulations of search engines to increase online visibility. Others implement these techniques to generate revenue and deceive online users.

    As a result, these sites can be permanently banned from leading searches. This, of course, occurs once the search engines discover what they are doing. These unethical practices can also lead to financial restitution for those that have been cheated.

    One of the most common, yet effective, techniques, is to use hidden text used within the content or blended in with the background. These hidden words may also contain harmful links, which can result in ad-ware, spy-ware, and even viruses being downloaded. Since deception is the key to black hat SEO, hidden div or off-screen text can be used as well. Black hat SEO also tries to trick search engines by algorithm manipulation.

    This includes cloaking, which is a technique that uses two different forms of content. The first is for search engine spiders to secure placement within engines. The second, however, is completely different for users that land on these pages.

    These deceptive practices are always monitored, and eventually lead to ranking reductions or complete removal of listings from search engines.

    Wearing The Right, White Hat

    Unless you want your sites to be permanently removed, white hat SEO is the only way to go. With white hat, your sites and forums have met all search engine guidelines. These sites also entail ethical embedding of metadata and keywords throughout the content and images. Black hat SEO never complies with search engine rules. As a result, web owners can tarnish their online reputations, while suffering from diminished rankings and complete web removal. Penalties and fines can even be assessed if black hat SEO results in online criminal activities.

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    Christina Hawkins

    Christina Hawkins is CEO of GlobalSpex, Inc. and a Fractional CMO for her clients. A seasoned digital marketer since 1999, Christina has designed and built exceptional websites partnering with small businesses to help them grow and increase revenue. She understands that digital marketing is a constantly evolving technology and works to stay on top of the latest changes. She is always looking for the best route for clients' lead generation needs and revenue. In addition to her ability as a digital marketer, Christina is a coach and mentor with Agency Mavericks to other digital marketing freelancers, helping them grow their businesses. She is also a sponsor and co-leader of Houston's WordPress Meetup.

    1 Comment

    1. Anirban Pathak on May 23, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Good summary of black hat SEO techniques. It is important to understand the difference between white hat and black hat so that black hat techniques can be avoided.

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