White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

If you’re interested in Search Engine Optimization (and if you’re trying to solicit business online, you should be) you need to know the difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO techniques.

You’ve seen the old Westerns; the villain always wears the black hat and the hero wears white. Just like in the movies, black hat is bad; white hat is good when it comes to SEO strategies. Let’s look at both strategies, starting with the BAD one first.

Black Hat SEO focuses on what (it assumes) search engines want in terms of ranking sites higher in results. This technique often breaks the search engine rules in the process. Tactics used in Black Hat SEO include:

  • Keyword stuffing – Using keywords that are unrelated to your content will raise a red flag to the search engines. For example, if you use a celebrity name as a keyword phrase to capture the attention of consumers, but that celebrity has nothing to do with your product, that’s a no-no.
  • Doorway pages – These are pages stuffed with keywords to facilitate getting found by search engines. If a user clicks on them, he is redirected to another unrelated page.
  • Hidden text and links – You can embed these into a web page without them being visible to the human eye; for example, adding white text to a white background.
  • Content spamming – This can be in the form of a blog, article or web copy. It contains spam, duplicated or scraped content from other sites.

Those who use Black Hat SEO are looking for a quick fix in rising to the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

White Hat SEO targets human customers. It uses the following tactics to increase traffic to your website:

  • Keyword analysis and research – As opposed to keyword stuffing used in the Black Hat SEO technique, these keywords and long-tail keywords are relevant to your business. Considerable time and effort are needed to produce a list of top keywords for your business. Sometimes it requires trial and error to find the ones that work.
  • Meta tags – Meta tags need to be relevant to your content. The meta description should include information that is directed at humans, not search engines. It’s a one or two line description of the content itself.
  • Link building – This includes backlinks to your site from other sites. This shows the search engines that you have content that is of a quality that others will share. Just make sure the back link comes from a relevant site that also offers great content. You’ll also need to include internal links within your site. This proves you have enough quality content that you want to share it as well.
  • Quality content – Creating content in the form of blogs, articles, social media posts and other sources that is interesting and relevant to your target customer will generate traffic and build trust.

Using the White SEO strategy can provide proven, long-term results. It takes longer to accomplish, but the end results are worth it.

A Successful SEO Strategy Takes Time

Both Black Hat and White Hat SEO have the same ultimate goals: to improve your search ranking, increase traffic to your site, and generate leads. However, their methods of achieving those goals are very different.

It can be tempting to take the risk of using Black Hat SEO to see quick results, but you’re taking the risk of losing Google as an ally. Search engines may catch you and penalize you for it because they consider this method unethical. You may even get banned from the search engine and de-indexed as a consequence.

Contact Philadelphia SEO for Growth

Achieving online marketing success entails having a comprehensive marketing strategy that works for you.

Philadelphia SEO for Growth can help you build that strategy. We can assist you in establishing an online presence that captures customers’ interest, is ranked highly by search engines, generates leads and gets you found online, even in the micro moments. Philadelphia SEO for Growth can help you improve your SEO with a plan that works for your business. Contact us today to learn more!




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