SEO can be categorized into two main categories: White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. For most business owners looking to run an SEO campaign, these terms won’t mean anything. However, White Hat and Black Hat SEO are two important terms business owners should understand in order to ensure the success of their business. Let’s first begin by explaining the terms.
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO is the process of implementing SEO techniques that search engines approve of and recommend. This is what some people call “ethical SEO,” because they follow the ethos of search engines. Search engines are constantly trying to improve their algorithms to create a better user experience. The goal with any White Hat SEO technique is to follow the rules that the search engines put in place to ensure long-lasting results. If you choose not to follow the rules and guidelines put in place by search engines, then you run the risk of them sandboxing (knocking you down in rankings) or delisting your website from their results.
Some examples of white hat SEO tactics include:
- Site Optimization: The process of building your website to ensure it is read by search engines properly by using proper titles, meta tags, tweaking content, and much more.
- Quality Content: Ensuring your website has content that people want to read. If your content is useful to people who read it, then search engines will favor your website.
- Internal Linking: Making sure that the pages of your website link between each other properly. This helps search engines crawl your website and find the content.
- Guest Blogging: Writing a blog post for someone else’s blog to create more backlinks to your website.
All of the these are tactics that can improve your SEO rankings that search engines are okay with.
Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is the process of implementing SEO techniques that search engines do not approve of or recommend. Black Hat tactics take advantage of weaknesses in search engine algorithms to achieve results. However, because they use techniques that search engines do not like, it’s common for the search engines to change their algorithms or manually sandbox to reduce the effectiveness. As a result, Black Hat SEO is generally seen as a short term goal, even if it is quicker for short term success.
Examples of black hat SEO tactics include:
- Keyword Stuffing: Inserting tons of keywords you want to rank for in the content or meta tags even if that is not what your page is about.
- Blog Spam: Posting random comments on blogs to create backlinks to your site.
- Paid Links: Paying people to post links to your website to increase the number of backlinks.
It needs to be made clear that the above tactics are old and most likely won’t work anymore. Realistically, using these tactics will probably cause search engines to flag your website for review for potential delisting or sandboxing.
Grey Hat SEO
It should also be noted you might run into the term Grey Hat SEO. This is literally the grey area between black hat and white hat techniques. These are tactics that aren’t specifically banned, but are typically frowned upon by search engines.
Why You Should Care
The reason you should care about all of this is because you should know what kind of tactics your SEO campaign is using. If it’s all Black Hat, you might be extremely happy for the first few months, but regretting your decision a year later when Google has delisted your website from their search engines.
At Business Website Builders we use White Hat SEO techniques. We believe in long term business. No one enjoys having to restart their business every six months because all the search engines have banned their website.