What Is White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO?

22 Sep, 2022 Tips & Help

Have you ever encountered content that might be relevant to what you typed in the search bar, but the more you read it, the more it seemed off-topic? If so, the website you were on may be practicing some black hat SEO practices.

It is no secret that website traffic and content quality is heavily correlated with site rankings. White and black hat SEO refers to the good and bad search engine optimization techniques.

How to Identify Between White vs. Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO refers to unethical practices that violate search engine guidelines. Typical examples include:

  • Keyword stuffing,
  • Hidden texts or links,
  • Duplicated content, and
  • Blog comment spam, among others.

Black hat SEO is used for a short-term, fast reward, but the site will often get banned or suspended once caught.

As the name implies, white hat SEO is the opposite of black hat: it is the implementation of ethical search engine optimization. Its main goal is to create user-friendly, quality content that attracts accurate and long-lasting results. Some standard practices with white hat SEO include:

  • Proper and thorough research
  • The appropriate number of keywords
  • Relevant content, and
  • Overall, working to create a great user experience.

The fast results that black hat SEO provides can be tempting, but it’s not worth risking your reputation and long-term goals. As we always say, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.

What is Grey Hat SEO?

Grey hat SEO lies between black hat and white hat. This refers to practices that are less risky than black hat SEO but still not as ethical as white hat SEO. Some common gray hat methods include duplicated content from another site and incentivized reviews. Grey hat SEO can be harder to identify since it can blur the line between white hat and black hat SEO. However, we’d always recommend white hat.

What Approach Is Best for My Business?

There are numerous tactics to increase visibility and search engine rankings, but it’s important to note that although white hat SEO takes longer to see results, its benefits are often longer lasting and avoid the potential of getting your site penalized.

Overall, putting in the resources and time by investing in white hat SEO is the best approach if you’re looking to improve your site’s authority and rankings.  To learn more about proper SEO practices, schedule a consultation with BluShark Digital today.