Beware of The Fine Line Between White and Black Hat SEO
March 20, 2013 - SEO
If anyone tells you the difference between “white hat” and “black hat” SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is grey hat SEO, you may want to take pause before you take that as true. The fact is that grey hat SEO is the same thing as black hat SEO. Both will get the culprit into trouble. There is a huge difference between white hat SEO and both of the others. White hat SEO is any SEO that follows to the letter the rules set forth by the search engines like Google. A person who uses black hat SEO blatantly breaks those rules in order to obtain a rank that they do not deserve. It would be more understandable if they were obtaining a rank that was unobtainable with white hat techniques, but that simply is not the case. Google and other search engines do not make up random rules of SEO for the sake of making them. Each rule is designed to help the customer and the website, whereas using anything less than white hat only helps the website. The question is why use black hat SEO if the same rank can be achieved using the techniques that go by the rules? The answer is a sad one indeed. Working for a high rank requires work. It is an ongoing process of search engine optimization. Black hat SEO is easier and that is all there is to it. People just do not want to have to work for what they get. Of course, nothing is ever that clear. If you look at anything long enough, you will find areas of unclear distinction. Take for example Google’s link policy. You are not allowed to purchase links unless you are paying a directory. Many people do not see the distinction. Buying a link is buying a link. The thing is, the people who see these grey areas are the people who have no trouble using methods other than white hat SEO. So what are the differences between white and black hat SEO? White hat SEO follows the rules with no exceptions. Black hat SEO abuses the rules for keywords, link buying, and even coding. Take keywords as an example. If you are using white hat SEO, you research the keywords relevant to your use. They are incorporated into unique, interesting content naturally, as well as link anchor text; alt tags, titles, and anywhere else that it makes sense to place them. You then optimize your site’s content by studying the information obtained through analytics and point your traffic to relevant pages with targeted keywords. This ongoing process would see fresh content and fresh keywords almost daily to obtain the best rank that you possibly can in your niche.Black hat SEO abuses this system by obtaining high rankings without going through the process. They stuff keywords into the content to the point that it barely makes sense. When they can do more keyword stuffing wherever they can, (Meta tags, alt tags, etc.) they make keywords the same color as the background so that they are there, but they are invisible to the naked eye. They do not work for the results that are obtained. Many of them believe that the rest of us are just mad because we did not think of it or are too scared to try it, but nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, it is no fun trying to compete with a website that takes the easy, unethical way, but that is not what upsets us. If they want to take the risk, more power to them. What really upsets us is the fact that the customer gains no benefit from this whatsoever; any unethical website using black hat SEO can rank where unsuspecting customers could fall prey to their unethical practices.