Black Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO
SEO is the most basic – yet most intricate forms of organically getting your website – or pages thereof – to rank high in Google’s search results.
There are above-board ways to go about getting this done, and some other, less savoury ways of getting it done.
We explain the difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO, and why you should always, always make sure you’re within Google Best Practice Guidelines.
What is Black Hat SEO?
“Black hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually does not obey search engines guidelines.”
Some examples of black hat SEO include:
- Using duplicated content that is keyword dense; packing in your keyword a hundred times is not going to help you rank better with Google!
- Using inbound links from link farms; links are as precious as gold – but very hard to get! You have to earn your links. As soon as Google runs an algorithm update, your site WILL be crawled, and you WILL be penalised for using link farms to make your Domain Authority seem better.
- Click bait. You’ve been click-baited before! The thumbnail and headline of the article are in no way related – but the website got a page click. Just don’t do this!
- Unrelated keywords – you can’t write an article on Trumpets and use Trump as keyword, just to gain traction…
- Tiny Text, Hidden Text, and Hidden Links. Google WILL pick this up, and you’ll be pushed right to the back of the queue with your previously number 1 ranking article before you can say…
- This is a technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. The purpose of cloaking is sometimes to deceive search engines so they display the page when it would not otherwise be displayed.
Black hat SEO is an insanely simple way to get your page rankings to just go higher and higher, with no real effort, strategizing or work. The content that black hat SEO produces is more often than not below-par, un-enjoyable reading for the end user.
What is White Hat SEO?
“White hat SEO refers to the usage of optimization strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies.”
Some examples of white hat SEO include:
- Quality content. You can see that someone, somewhere, has put in a lot of research and carefully structured the article. They have correct headers, a clear and concise headline. They have related pictures, they make sense, and there are a few links within the article.
- Effective keyword use. You’ll see that the keyword is mentioned a few times throughout the article, exactly as it should be. The keywords aren’t forcefully stuffed into the article a hundred times, even in places they make no sense in.
- Well-earned inbound links; this doesn’t happen overnight, but it is visible when done correctly. If you’ve pored your heart into writing an article, researching it, structuring it well – and someone on the internet finds it useful, there’s a very high likelihood they are going to link to it when they write an article that is relevant to yours. Keep at it – and keep reaching out!
- Correctly structured blogs or articles have the following elements:
- Title – a concise article containing your focus keyword
- Meta Description – expands on the article to allow reads a glimpse of what it contains.
- Meta Keywords – these tags allow Google to easily comb through your site, and present relevant results in any related searches.
- Heading Elements
- <H1> – your title should be repeated at the beginning of your blog or article, and tagged as an H1 Header.
- <H2> – all of your subtitles should be formatted as H2 headers. Use related keywords in these fore the best results!
- Alt Tag – SUPER IMPORTANT when you use images. The only way Google can “understand” what an image is, is if it contains an ALT tag. Use related keywords when tagging your images with ALT text.
- Links – hard, but so worth it! Another type of link is an internal link. You can link to any other article you may have written, that might bear relevance to the on you are currently writing. This will improve your CTR (Click Through Tate) – where users spend more time on your website!
White hat SEO aims the intention of creation to answer anything a reader might ask, to keep them interested and allow them to build trust in your brand.
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Cover Image credit: LinkedIn