What is the difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO?
When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), there are two types you’ll generally hear about: white hat and black hat. For those who aren’t website experts or who don’t know a lot about search engine optimisation, these two terms can be meaningless.
Yet the difference between them can be vital for the success of your website. So, to prevent any confusion and stop you potentially harming your business’ success online, here is a quick guide about the two terms.
Black hat SEO
Black hat SEO is everything that is considered unethical when it comes to search engine optimisation. Over the years, the list that is considered to be black hat has grown. Those who started in the industry might have used some of the strategies that are now black hat because they worked and were encouraged.
For instance, link farming (where websites are established just to build links to other sites) and keyword stuffing are now considered black hat SEO strategies. Another example is cloaking, which is when your website says one thing to website visitors but another to search engines.
Technically, there is nothing illegal about black hat SEO. However, search engines consider it detrimental to the experience of internet users. Search engines actively look for websites using black hat strategies and can de-list them or apply a penalty to their search engine rank.
If this happens, your website won’t appear at the top of the search pages and website visitors will diminish very quickly. It can also be a pain to remove the penalty from your site.
White hat SEO
White hat SEO, on the other hand, is everything that is considered ethical for increasing the rank of your website on search engines. There are lots of things that are considered ethical for your website, such as improving your website’s speed, creating relevant content on a regular basis and building a strong inbound link strategy.
White hat SEO generally provides results over a longer period, and there is no risk of your site being removed from listings. When you consider that between 60 and 80% of your traffic can be generated from search engines, not losing out on this traffic source is very important.
Always use a white hat SEO company
While you might think all companies offering SEO solutions will offer white hat SEO only, the truth is that some of them don’t. Some will use black hat strategies and therefore you need to know the difference.
Also, should your site be penalised, it is useful to know what strategies have led to the Google penalty and how you can fix it.
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