What is the difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?
First, let's have a reminder of what SEO.
SEO is the process of increasing the amount of traffic to your website, by increasing the visibility of your website (or it's pages posts) to search engines such as Google, and thus to those looking for information about you, your business or your services.
SEO is the term used when this is achieved through organic (or free) methods such as keywords.
It's well know that many people don't go past page one when looking for info on the web. But you can outrank your competition and get to page one and stay there using White Hat SEO techniques.
Examples of White Hat SEO
- Well written, original and relevant content about your business, service or website blog topic.
- Images that have relevant labels and alt-text.
- Links and references that are relevant to your services and overall content. Don't link to/from a website about shoes if you're a plumber!
- Good grammar and spelling on your website.
- Appropriate keyword use - not too much and not too little - just the right balance.
- Relevant and original page titles.
- Site performance such as page speed.
Examples of Black Hat SEO
- Duplicate content - don't use content you've copied from other websites, and if you hire writers for your content make sure they prove it is original content on a service like Copyscape. Remember - you get what you pay for.
- Links and content that are not relevant to your website
- Purchased links (link farming) - Google can tell if you've bought multiple and inappropriate links.
- Keyword stuffing - ensure you have just the right amount of short and longtail keywords in your content.
- Private networks with guest posting.
Whilst Black Hat SEO isn't illegal - in the long run it won't help or improve your page ranking. In this case any short term gain you receive in page ranking will not be worth the pain if Google or other search engines penalise your website and your ranking disappears.
Google gets smarter by the day - their algorithms will catch up with you eventually, so why risk losing one of your business assets - and your website is an asset - by conducting black hat SEO methods and being penalised.