Published on March 23rd, 2013 | by Justin Revell
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
In the Pursuit of Better Rankings: White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
Crafting a search engine optimization strategy can be a pretty complex task, with a large set of rules that governs anything from keyword frequency and ad placement to guest posting and backlinks. Generally as my friend from houston seo puts it, the process of pursuing better search engine rankings and improved conversion rates can be split into two different techniques, each of which will produce dramatically different results for websites. The first is known as “White Hat” search engine optimization, while the alternative is known as “Black Hat” SEO. The techniques are generally considered opposites, and those in the industry should learn their opposing characteristics before pursuing either strategy.
White Hat SEO: What All the Good Kids are Doing Online
As the use of “white” might imply, White Hat SEO is generally defined as the adherence to search engine optimization best practices when pursuing elevated rankings at major search sites like Google and Bing. This includes using keywords, ads, and images, with the recommended frequency. It also means creating websites, guest posts, some affordable Web 20 press release posting and backlinks, which target new customers by living within search engine rules.
Those link builders who follow White Hat SEO rules could easily be compared to the do-gooders in any elementary school classroom. They follow the rules to a fault, they generally receive recognition and good grades, and everyone knows that they’re “going places.’ Black Hat SEO, conversely, is quite a different kind of student in this scenario.
Who Cares About Rules? Not Black Hat SEO Practitioners!
Black Hat SEO sounds distinctively darker and more subversive, and it actually is. The term “Black Hat” is generally applied to websites that don’t particularly care for the rules that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, have created for websites who want to escalate their rankings to the first page of keyword-targeted results.
Websites that engage in Black Hat techniques are generally those that use keyword stuffing, hidden or invisible text, and doorway pages that are more unhelpful than authoritative. These techniques produce short-term results at search engines, with the website rising rapidly in the rankings, but they also lead to the website being banned or seriously punished for its subversive efforts when targeting customers. Those who use “Black Hat” techniques could be compared to the bad kids in a classroom, who gather in the corner and repeatedly get called out by the teacher until they’re sent elsewhere for punishment.
The Choice is Clear: White Hat SEO is a Better Long-Term Strategy
There are certainly plenty of short-term benefits to be enjoyed when using Black Hat techniques. After all, the use of keyword stuffing and other nefarious techniques will send a website quickly to the front pages of search results at major search engines. The problem, though, is that this type of behavior is easily detected, and quickly noticed, and permanently banned. The website that achieves results in this way will find themselves virtually invisible online in a matter of days or weeks.
For the best shot at maintaining a long-term presence in the first results at Google, Bing, or Yahoo, website owners should practice White Hat search engine optimization techniques. Whether it’s careful and deliberate use of keywords, authoritative guest posting, or smart backlinking, these techniques fall within the guidelines for best practices issued by today’s search leaders. They don’t risk punishment, banishment, or other negative consequences, and they achieve dramatic results when it comes to recruiting new visitors and making meaningful conversions.
Be the Good Kid in Class and Reap the Rewards
It’s always tempting to fall in with the bad crowd and have a bit of short-term, rewarding fun. The problem, though, is that the Internet is here to stay and “forever” is a long time when it comes to search engine removal. By following White Hat practices and staying within the rules, websites will achieve their best placement for days, weeks, and even years to come.