As with any industry as big as SEO, you will find different opinions on the most effective way to go about site optimization.
And although many of these strategies can work, and the concept of “best” is largely thematic, there is one difference you need to be aware of: White hat vs. black hat SEO.
While some SEOs may portray these as two different ideas, they are not equally categorized as the right and wrong way to do SEO.
So on this page, we will enter the differences between White Hat and Black Hat SEO, as well as the strategies involved in each and a few White Hat SEO examples.
We’ll also discuss a less general middle-class category, and “What is gray hat SEO?” I will answer the question.
So if you want to know more, keep reading about these different methods of search engine optimization – and how to create a strategy that will not put your business at risk.
What is White Hat SEO?
First, let’s take a look at the term “white hat” SEO.
Optimizing a website in an ethical way is known as White Hat SEO.
But to give you a more precise idea of what this means, a white hat strategy meets the following three criteria.
#1 It follows search engine guidelines
The most widely accepted definition of white hat SEO is that it follows Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Google has developed these rules to define the right way to optimize a site
And when they go into some detail about what an “ethical” SEO strategy looks like, they can basically be summarized with a simple idea: don’t falsify.
So, in general, if you do not try to manipulate the rankings or otherwise cheat Google’s algorithm, you are probably following their guidelines and using white hat SEO.
#2 It centers on a human listener
White hat SEO involves making changes that are beneficial to a site’s visitors.
And when you consider that Google’s highest priority is to deliver the best results to its users, then it is an essential element of the “right” way of doing SEO.
Fortunately, many effective SEO strategies have already taken steps to improve the experience that a site provides to its visitors.
Strategies such as publishing high-quality content and improving page load times improve the value users get from a site and the way they can easily navigate through it – their superior, Google-approved strategies.
#3 It takes a long-term approach
Strategies that follow Google’s guidelines and create a positive user experience are often more time-consuming and work-intensive than the black hat method.
This means it will take time to see the results you like.
But on the flip side, white hat SEO has a much more lasting effect. Because when you use strategies that are designed to improve your overall site experience, you can achieve consistent rankings for your target keywords.
Since it invests in content that can generate results for next year and uses strategies that don’t put you at risk of retribution from Google, White Hat is a long-term approach.
What is Black Hat SEO?
In short, Black hat SEO is mainly the exact opposite of white hat SEO which means if an SEO strategy meets the following criteria, then it can be classified as a black hat SEO.
#1 It violates the search engine guidelines
Black hat strategies violate Google’s guidelines, and in many cases, these guidelines refer directly to what you should not use.
#2 It depends on the manipulation strategy
While White Hat SEO involves finding ways to improve the user experience, Black Hat relies on manipulating Google’s algorithm to improve SEO rankings.
Simply put, if a strategy is created to make Google think that a site pays users more than that, it is fraudulent – and it is black hat SEO.
#3 It focuses on “quick win”
Many of the strategies involved in Black Hat SEO focus on exploiting flaws in Google’s algorithms that can improve rankings without too much work.
And while some of these strategies may bring results, they are almost always short-lived.
Because Google is constantly improving its algorithms to provide the best results for searchers and to prevent site owners from providing a good site experience from being well-ranked.
This means that sites that use black hat strategies run the risk of losing their rankings whenever a new algorithm is updated – a much more short-term approach than white hat SEO.
White vs Black Hat SEO: What’s the main difference?
The biggest difference between these two approaches is that White Hat SEO follows Google’s guidelines and improves the user experience, while Black Hat SEO violates those guidelines and generally completely ignores human users.