White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO


Overview of White Hat SEO


Good business practice, much like an intelligent SEO strategy, is about excellence and longevity. There is both art and science behind matching the same reputation your business has in the land of brick and mortar to the Web. It’s important to remember that as in life, there’s more than one hat to wear when optimizing for search engine rank.

When considering SEO, there are two distinct methods to achieve prominent ranking in search engine queries – white hat SEO tactics and black hat SEO tactics. Simply put, white hat SEO tactics meet search engine standards and guidelines for maintaining and promoting a website and content. Black hat SEO tactics are methods that violate the actual rules and regulations set by search engine guidelines, or simply the spirit.

Thinking white hat as opposed to black hat is much like thinking ethical, substantial human as opposed to indifferent, disposable machine. Choosing the proper SEO hat is a crucial part of building an online presence that ensures your brand not only achieves, but also maintains, a higher rank in SERPs for the long haul.

History of Terms: White Hat vs. Black Hat

Let’s talk terms. For proper reference, we can think of the names white hat and black hat in terms of old black and white cowboy movies. The good guys (honorable, honest, reputable types) typically wore white hats. The bad guys (sneak thieves, ne’er-do-wells, charlatans) usually sported the black hat. If you think about it, the terms work ironically well for categorizing SEO tactics, especially when considering the methods and likely results...

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White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO
White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO
White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

White Hat SEO Best Practices

Now that we have a starting point, we need to discuss exactly which search engine optimization tactics are considered white hat and which are not. Topping the list of Google’s best practices is keyword saturation and context. Proper keyword use is essential in ranking for search engines, but abuse can cross the SEO line. The right balance of keywords and a natural, yet industry specific tone is important to create a user-friendly, brand...

Google’s Perspective


As we consider the debate of the white hat vs. black hat SEO, it’s important to see things from a search engine perspective. In essence, the job of a search engine is to provide the most relevant, reputable and authentic search results to any query. In an effort to solve and innovate the user experience, Google designed Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird to upgrade our online experience.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Penguin Tackles Black Hat SEO

In 2012, Google answered users’ complaints about the quality of sites on their first page with a program called Penguin. This is where black hat SEO practitioners begin to sweat. Penguin is designed to snuff out black hat tactics and de-index or lower the rank of such sites caught playing any these games. This, again, ensures the highest user experience possible.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Panda Takes on Content

In 2011, Google rolled out Panda to help solve the problem of providing the most relevant quality content for a search query. For SEO aficionados, business professionals and most importantly, your brand, this means the focus must shift toward creating a website experience and content for a human audience relevant to your industry. Think of Panda as Google’s guide to producing (and gaining) accurate search results

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Hummingbird Optimizes Mobile and Context

With mobile technology’s rising prominence, Hummingbird hit the scene to rank your site’s mobile friendly design and optimization. Google’s Hummingbird crawls your website searching for responsive design for mobile users, and as an added answer to user requests, searches for context among the keywords used.

These three programs, though complex, work in concert to continually innovate Google’s SERP quality to provide the best user experience. It begins with expert, optimized design and engaging white hat SEO-optimized content with the customer first in mind.

Definition of Black Hat SEO

Now let’s take a look at the other side of the SEO dynamic: black hat SEO. These shady SEO tactics are designed to manipulate the formulas that search engines like Google and Yahoo use to return relevant search results to a user query. Black hat SEO has been around as long as the Internet and has evolved considerably at the hand of shady, get-rich-quick SEO deviants. The bottom line is, black hat SEO tactics blatantly ignore and manipulate...

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO
White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid

To understand the SEO maneuvers to avoid, let’s examine a few of the most popular that are used by black hat abusers.One common tactic employed by the black hat community is keyword stuffing. Unscrupulous SEO strategists often promote text so saturated with keywords it is useless and unreadable. They exploit the importance and purpose of having the proper keywords on your site to attract undue attention and cash which...

Why Black Hat SEO Hurts the Internet

Now that we have an understanding of the spirit behind black hat SEO strategies, let’s examine the harmful consequences of these irresponsible tactics. Black hat SEO is all about attracting as much attention as possible by any means necessary, no matter the outcome. White hat SEO, on the other hand, is about targeting a particular audience looking to buy your product or service and adding value to their experience as an industry leader...

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO
White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Why Black Hat SEO is a Form of SPAM

No matter how you look at it, black hat SEO relies on SPAM for effectiveness, such as overloading multiple blog comment sections with links in the hope of a site connecting back. Some black hat approaches are so blatant as to present one site to search engine spiders, usually overloaded with keywords and irrelevant links, while presenting another page to visitors. This floods the Internet...

The White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO Litmus


White hat SEO strategies are aboveboard, carefully researched, brand-building strategies. Black hat SEO strategies manipulate the rules of search engines and business ethics in search of fast money. Understanding, designing and implementing a white hat SEO strategy can be daunting–so many factors to take into account, and then there’s the gray area to consider–but there is a litmus test we can use as we sort out which strategies are white hat and which are black hat. To help simplify the optimal SEO strategy guidelines, there are a few key items to keep in mind.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Optimize your site with the user in mind.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

When creating content for your website, ask yourself if it’s something your company’s reputation can stand behind and if it adds value to your customer.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Make sure your site is easy to use and navigate.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Use precise headlines and titles that are keyword-optimized and clear.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Ensure your content represents the brand you’ve spent years of dedication building.

Let the principles of good business guide your online efforts just as it does in your brick and mortar life. Another wise decision is to have a quality, ethical SEO expert evaluate your site and create a specified SEO strategy to build your brand’s online presence, reputation, and rank in the SERPs, for the long haul.customer first in mind.

History of Terms: White Hat vs. Black Hat

Let’s talk terms. For proper reference, we can think of the names white hat and black hat in terms of old black and white cowboy movies.

The good guys (honorable, honest, reputable types) typically wore white hats. The bad guys (sneak thieves, ne’er-do-wells, charlatans) usually sported the black hat. If you think about it, the terms work ironically well for categorizing SEO tactics, especially when considering the methods and likely results.

White hat SEO tactics consistently lead to higher SERP ranking, an increase in organic (unpaid) website traffic, specialized industry influence and recognition as a trusted, established brand that’s here to stay. Wearing the white SEO hat is akin to saying you can trust us, and we are established experts in our industry; here’s the proof.

Black hat SEO strategies, while occasionally profitable for an Internet minute, rely on gimmicky and spammy methods that likely result in de-indexing or banning your company’s site and killing your brand’s reputation. Google, Yahoo, Bing and the rest, will essentially run you out of town (in this case, SERP ranking) for black hat SEO tactics, leaving you to start over with your website and online reputation.

Definition of White Hat SEO

Now that we’ve settled a distinction between the terms white hat and black hat, let’s talk definitions. White hat SEO is a branding strategy that uses only search engine approved methods for increasing website exposure and traffic. You can think of white hat SEO as a brand-building exercise that translates the years of hard work and dedication you’ve put in growing your business to the Web.

There are many components that popular search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing – factor when ranking a website. White hat tactics follow the recommended best practices search engines look for when deciding where to rank your business as an industry resource. The critical factor, above all, is careful research and dedication to building your online brand using expert advice and guidance.

When creating and implementing SEO strategy, white hat strategies focus on creating and promoting a quality experience intended for a human audience, rather than search engine spiders. White hat SEO relies on sound methods like quality keyword research, expert use of those keywords to create readable valuable content and website optimization that follows Google’s rules and regulations. It’s all about quality, responsibility and ethics.

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