The Difference between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO
Search Engine Optimization is necessary if you want to rise in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and attract visitors to your website. There are two types of organic SEO: white hat and black hat. The main difference between the two relates to the techniques used to improve the website’s search engine ranking.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is all about the search engines and getting them to notice you. Some of the techniques used in black hat SEO include:
- Keyword stuffing. This is the practice of loading a web page with keywords to try to manipulate the search engines into ranking it higher. These keywords can appear in a list or grouped together. They are out of context and don’t flow naturally in the text. They don’t add value to the content.
- Link farming. A link farm is a website (or a group of websites) created only for the purpose of increasing the link popularity of another site by increasing the number of incoming links. A link farm usually looks like a regular web page, but the majority of the content is hyperlinks — often random and unrelated — to other websites.
- Hidden text or links. This is another form of keyword stuffing, but even sneakier, in that the text and links are invisible to the human eye. They are, however, visible to web crawlers, so their purpose is to build SEO with the search engines. Text or links can be hidden by:
- Using white text on a white background
- Locating text behind an image
- Using CSS to position text off-screen
- Setting the font size to 0
- Hiding a link by only linking one small character—for example, a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph
- Content spamming. This means using irrelevant content in web copy, blogs, articles and other content by dumping duplicate content from other sources. It is used expressly for search engines and does not serve your target audience.
White Hat SEO
White hat SEO is the process of creating a long term SEO strategy. It is directed toward a human audience, while also building up credence and rankings with the search engines. Techniques used in white hate SEO include:
- Extensive keyword research and analysis. This is a process that identifies popular keywords and phrases used to find products or services similar to those of your business. It provides a better understanding of the demand and competition for certain keywords in order to determine the best SEO strategy.
- Interesting and useful content. Creating blogs, articles, social media posts and other forms of content that is interesting to your target customers will help generate the traffic you want. Consistently producing great content will increase sharing and build trust.
- Meta tags and descriptions. Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s code. They are little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about.
- Link building. Link building is the process of getting links to your websites (also known as inbound links or backlinks) from other websites. Including backlinks from relevant sites to your site proves to search engines that your content is good and interesting enough for others to share. Include internal links also within your site for the same reason.
Use White Hat SEO for Better Long-Term Results
Even though quick results make black hat SEO tempting, it can get your site banned (de-indexed) or heavily penalized for the use of unethical practices. It is widely believed that the risk is not worthwhile for websites that plan to be operational over the long haul.
Moreover, black hat SEO methods give only short term results. White hat SEO can get your site ranked higher by use of ethical techniques, good content, appropriate keywords and a combination of smart marketing angles providing long lasting results.
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