While the terms white hat and blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) may sound like something out of a spy movie, they actually refer to how you go about optimizing your website for search engines. White hat SEO is the more ethical approach, while black hat SEO is considered unethical and can get your website penalized by Google. We’ll break down the differences between white hat and black hat SEO so you can make the best decision for your website.
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO is an ethical approach to optimizing your website. It follows all of Google’s webmaster guidelines, which are the rules for using search engine optimization techniques. White hat SEO focuses on providing value to your users rather than focusing on manipulating search engines, which isn’t sustainable in the long run.
White hat Long Island SEO is a great way to build a strong link profile and a strong foundation for your website. A website that uses white hat SEO techniques will have a natural link profile, which means that the links it has are the result of providing value to other websites. If your page becomes popular, you will naturally attract links from other websites. However, if your website uses black hat techniques, the links it has are not naturally occurring and can suck up resources you would have better spent on other things.
Techniques commonly used in white hat SEO include:
- Improving user experience
- Adding new, quality content to your website
- Investing in high-quality, relevant backlinks
- Quality keyword research
- Using social media to drive traffic to your website
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat or nefarious SEO is a technique that tricks search engines into ranking your website higher than you deserve. Black hat techniques are not sustainable in the long run, but they can provide an initial boost to your rankings. An example of black hat techniques include:
- Creating fake reviews on websites like Yelp
- Building backlinks from spammy, irrelevant websites
- Overusing keywords on your page in an attempt to manipulate Google into ranking you higher
- Using sneaky redirects to redirect users to another website
- Article spinning, which is rewriting passages from other websites to use as your own
- Using PBNs, or private blog networks, which are groups of domain names you’ve purchased to link back to your main website
- Cloaking, which is showing different content to Google than you show to your users
Black hat SEO is an easy trap for new webmasters to fall into because doing one or two black hat techniques can give you an initial boost in rankings. However, Google is constantly fighting against black hat SEO and updating its algorithm to find new black hat tactics. Once Google finds out you’re using black hat SEO, your website will likely get a penalty that can seriously damage its rankings.
White Hat SEO is the Way to Go
As you can see, white hat SEO is the best choice for building a strong foundation for your website. Black hat techniques are designed to trick search engines and give you a short-term gain, but they’re not sustainable in the long run. Grey hat SEO is a mixture of both and walks the line of what works and what could get you a Manual Action or rank drop from Google. If you choose to use white hat techniques, such as creating high-quality, relevant content and investing in high-quality backlinks, you will see less of a boost in the short term, but your website will rank higher in the long term. White hat SEO is a sustainable approach to reaching your website’s goals and providing value to its users.
SEO Like A Pro
Hopefully, you have understood the differences between white hat and black hat SEO. White hat SEO is what all webmasters should aspire to do when optimizing their websites for Google organic traffic. It is the best way to provide value to your users and make sure your website ranks higher in search engines for relevant keywords. Black hat SEO is tempting, but it is also the quickest way to get penalized by Google and lose your rankings entirely.