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Black Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO: What's the Difference?

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    Black Hat and White Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques are aimed at the same thing: to achieve good results for a website in search engines. Both techniques aim to get a site to rank higher when someone enters a search query or a number of different queries. Then, if a site ranks high i.e. on page one, users will be more likely to visit the site.

    However, there is a big difference between the two in that black hat SEO tactics are used to game the system, while white hat practices work within the system to achieve the best and sustainable results. If compared, a black hat is like a child who cheats during school, while a white hat is a student who tries to improve his knowledge and quality of work to get the best grades. Can you already guess the general picture, Erzedka Friends? Read more below, OK!

    1. What is Black Hat SEO?

    Black Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO: What's the Difference?

    Black hat SEO is a set of illegal or unethical practices implemented by an individual or group of individuals in an attempt to improve search engine results for a website or group of websites. This strategy maximizes short-term profits for websites by exploiting loopholes, limitations, or blind spots in search engine algorithms. Usually they use spammy practices that are bad for users.

    1.1 Black Hat SEO Techniques

    Here are some of the most common techniques found in black hat SEO:

    1. Keyword Stuffing: In order to rank, websites need to use certain keywords. This technique usually crams excessive volumes of keywords in an effort to send stronger keyword signals to search engines. This is done for the sake of making the website rank higher for the targeted keywords.
    2. Hiding Keywords: Similar to Keyword Stuffing, hiding keywords involves changing the font color of the text so that they are invisible to the human eye. Invisible keywords are created to deceive search engines and give pages and websites a good ranking.
    3. Link Spamming in Comments and Forums: To manipulate search engines with links, this black hat technique includes links to web pages in the comments section of blog posts and in other people's forums. Black hat technical practitioners believe that these links will send positive signals to search engines.
    4. Link Schemes: Google details various link schemes that go against its webmaster guidelines. These include 'automated ways' of building links to websites, offering someone a free product in exchange for a positive review and link, and 'link exaggeration', where websites randomly exchange links with one another.
    5. Misleading Redirects: If a web page is out of date or broken, the webmaster may redirect the user to another page. These unsolicited redirects redirect users to a page where they are located and usually with content that is different from that which can be read by search engine web crawlers.
    6. Automated Content / Scraped Content: This is content created by bots which is often content with no content or no educational value, with the intent to deceive search engines.
    7. Cloaking: Similar to Misleading Redirects, Cloaking generally displays different content between users and search engine bots. For example, a user is looking at an image while the image contains links and hidden text in the HTML that search engine bots see.

    1.2 Black Hat SEO and Google Algorithm Updates

    Black hat SEO tactics are primarily aimed at manipulating Google. Initially, this was one big problem for Google until the search engine giant released its Penguin algorithm update in 2012. Some of the most notable Google search algorithm updates are:

    1. Florida: penalizes websites that use the keyword stuffing method.
    2. Panda: penalizes websites that have low quality content.
    3. Penguin: penalizes unnatural linking practices.

    Penguin examines manipulative tactics and introduces algorithms to punish websites that engage in them. If you were a webmaster or SEO expert for a website using black hat tactics back in April 2012, you must have experienced a big change when Penguin made those web pages invisible to the point where traffic and revenue plummeted.

    Since then, Google has made more updates, ranging from minor to significant changes. Google makes updates to improve user experience (UX) to the point where it employs Search Quality Evaluators who evaluate pages against implemented guidelines.

    Evaluations like these help inform and train Google's algorithms. Since black hat SEO doesn't optimize UX, every Google update goes against this tactic. For example Panda's algorithm lowers the ranking of web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs) that have poor content quality and too many ads. Ultimately the update is to reward web pages that offer users a quality experience.

    1.3 How Does Black Hat SEO Ruin Websites?

    Websites that engage in black hat SEO techniques will suffer several types of penalties such as:

    1. Algorithm deprioritization: Once Google's algorithms crawl a website and find these techniques performed on it, the website can suffer a significant drop in ranking. That website could just sink in Google's SERP list.
    2. Blacklisting: If this practice is severe on a website, Google may take steps to completely remove the website from its index.

    In either case, Google will not notify the website. Websites that are banned or deprioritized should find out for themselves by searching their own site on Google or via a notification in their Google Search Console.

    1.4 Why Do People Still Use Black Hat SEO Techniques?

    People usually use black hat tactics so that they can trick search engines and get better rankings instantly. The algorithm has blind spots. Black hat SEO strategies are used to take advantage of these blind spots. The people using this technique do not want to offer any value to internet users; their goal is just to have the highest rating and earn easy money.

    Unfortunately, they sometimes don't consider the consequences of black hat SEO practices which will actually backfire on managed websites.

    2. What is White Hat SEO?

    What is White Hat SEO?

    White hat SEO is a set of practices that concentrate on improving the quality of websites. This technique is applied by individuals or groups of individuals in an effort to improve search engine results for websites. White hat SEO also concentrates on sending the right cues to Google so search engines can recognize a site's purpose and authority.

    This technique also takes into account Google's quality guidelines, guidelines from other search engines, and the foundation of a good user experience. In doing so, they optimize websites for user goals as well as search engine algorithms.

    2.1 White Hat SEO Techniques

    White hat SEO usually starts with an analysis of the website and its competitors. The goal is to find loopholes and problems with the signals that websites send to search engines. It is used to fix problems in websites so that search engines and users can more easily find websites that are useful for their purposes.

    A well-thought-out content marketing strategy is one of the biggest do-it-yourself SEO aids. You can create more content to fulfill queries that users may have related to targeted keywords.

    White hat SEO takes a long-term approach to optimization, so it can take a long time to get results. Here are some white hat techniques including:

    1. Content Optimization: This technique optimizes any content on the managed site to suit its purpose. Most importantly, the content can interest users because it is informative or even entertaining. Content optimization can also create new content and revise old content to attract the target audience. When creating content, make the most of it. Don't use excessive keywords, always use subheadings, and images that are relevant to the context of the content. If possible, also include content that will provide rich snippets, so that the opportunity for the content page to be in the top ranking will be even greater. Search engines rate the increase in relevant, authoritative, and quality content, so they think the site deserves to be rewarded by ranking high in search results.
    2. Technical SEO: Site meta-structure, internal linking, tags and keyword usage are just a few of the defining aspects from a technical point of view. An SEO audit can better evaluate technical issues and improvement opportunities. Websites that improve their technical SEO often see an increase in search engines.
    3. Link Building: This technique prioritizes sharing useful content with other websites. Google and other search engines consider this a good thing because relevant links can help direct users to what they are looking for from a particular page. Link building focuses on sharing information to inform users and search engines within the broader context of the internet. When search engines see this link sending cues from a continuous external website, it can result in a ranking increase.

    White hat SEO concentrates on organic strategies that improve a website's ranking over time. This technique does require a longer time to achieve results. However, white hat SEO is suitable for working with search engines and users who want to experience the value of the website, products and services offered.

    2.2 Why is White Hat SEO Recommended?

    White hat SEO is worth the time and money for many reasons. First, you can feel comfortable with what you offer users, both in terms of content, products and services.

    Second, white hat SEO helps to be successful and get a solid ROI in the long term. This strategy doesn't try to manipulate Google's search algorithm — instead, it protects and improves the website for future algorithm changes.

    Third, the business being run can be further developed as the website grows. White hat SEO focuses on the value of the site itself. When providing the best values through a website that is run, every aspect of the business will definitely follow it.

    3. Conclusion

    It can be concluded that white hat SEO practices are much safer to implement on websites. Not only does this keep the site safe on search results pages, this technique also helps to conform to search engine algorithms in the future.

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