Black Hat vs White Hat SEO: What’s the Difference?
For those of you who are familiar with SEO marketing techniques, you are probably well acquainted with the terms “black hat” and “white hat” when describing different methods in marketing. At the same time, however, since there are hardly any rules on the Internet, there can often be no motivation to avoid the “dirty tricks” that often comprise black hat. What’s worse, sometimes there is confusion as to whether something is black or white, called gray hat. Here are some general tips for navigating your way around SEO marketing to avoid the bad and improve the good.
1. White hat is about content, black hat is about numbers.
This is the biggest and plainest difference between black hat and white hat SEO techniques. Black hatters try their best to be constantly up-to-date on even the slightest algorithm change on popular search engines like Google, in order to “game” the system, where as for white hatters, this does not come into the picture as much. If you do white hat SEO, you should know the basics of search engines and how they work. Knowing how different users look for items on the Internet is also very important, and knowing how to get your business or other businesses to tweak their content such that it appeals to their target audience, is absolutely essential as well.
2. If, as a user, you wouldn’t be happy, then don’t do it.
This might seem like common sense, but put yourself in your users’ shoes. If you are annoyed by spammy stuff in your email inbox, why would you resort to using similar tactics on someone else? Bottom line: Be nice.
3. Black hat may be tempting, but it’s not a sustainable business model.
Although many will knock black hatters for being “evil,” it isn’t simply a question of morality. It’s a matter of being bad for business. Black hat techniques are basically techniques used to solve quick problems and get users to buy into or search for a product or service of subpar quality. If you are representing a subpar product, then consider how to enhance the quality of what you are providing to establish a better long-term plan for growth.
4. Don’t be too judgmental of black hatters.
While black hatters get a lot of grief for being “immoral,” don’t automatically equate black hat techniques with mortal sins. Of course, those practices make the Internet an annoying place to hang out, but at the same time, black hat techniques direct to poor quality content, and if you don’t look for poor quality, then you won’t have much of a problem, especially now that Google has become better at detecting content farms and the like. Just rest assured that cheap tricks won’t be successful long term, so there’s no use getting upset over their underhanded practices like keyword stuffing.