What is Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO?

Learn about black hat & white hat SEO techniques & how they affect your website's ranking in SERPs. Understand what tactics you should avoid & why.

What is Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO is a set of ethical, technical and aesthetic practices that are employed to improve the search engine results of a website or group of websites. It involves looking for ways to enhance the user experience, while black hat SEO relies on manipulating Google's algorithm to boost rankings. In a nutshell, if a tactic is designed to make Google think that a site offers more value than it actually does, it's misleading and it's a black-hat SEO. Black hat SEO refers to attempts to improve rankings in ways that are not approved by search engines and involve deception.

They go against current search engine guidelines. White hat SEO, on the other hand, refers to the use of best practice methods to achieve high search engine rankings. It complies with search engine guidelines and consists of relevant internal and external links, while black hat SEO consists of irrelevant backlinks. Black Hat SEO webmasters exchange backlinks to increase their website ranking. Using these techniques can sometimes lead to immediate benefits, such as a sudden increase in SEO ranking or showing the website at the top of the SERP on the first query itself. However, the long-term results will be detrimental to your website and your overall brand.

It's beneficial due to the fact that a website will capture additional traffic from a search engine by ranking better on the search engine results page (SERP). The factors that appear on the page include the use of keywords that match the search query, relevant title tags, an appropriate body structure, the use of internal links, etc. People use black hat tactics under the assumption, right or wrong, that they can trick search engines. For example, the Panda algorithm, which received 28 updates over the course of four years, lowers the rating of web pages on search engine results pages (SERPs) that have poor quality content and too many ads. Search engine optimization or SEO is the process by which you can improve the volume and quality of traffic to a website. It's a type of Internet advertising method in which websites are optimized to improve the quality and quantity of their search engine traffic. Black hat SEO practices can produce quick results, but there's also a greater risk of penalty if discovered.

Implementing them on your website can be considered a good practice that helps to progressively boost SEO ranking and preserve the credibility of the website. You should think of effective White Hat SEO as a process, not as a checklist that you can simply complete and end up with. Instead, choosing to invest in content that suits your audience will strengthen your credibility with both users and search engines, increasing your SERP ranking over time. The consequences of black hat SEO can cause your site to be banned from a search engine and deindexed as a penalty for using unethical techniques. There's a long list of Black Hat SEO tactics you should avoid, but some of the main prohibitions include keyword stuffing, hidden text, and manipulative links.