The difference between Black Hat & White Hat SEO refers to the techniques used when trying to improve a website’s search engine ranking.
Black Hat SEO:
Focuses on utilizing techniques and strategies to deceive search engines into ranking their particular websites higher on search results. It’s typically used by those looking to see immediate & quick results, rather than a long-term investment. Often times Black hat SEO focuses on only search engines and not so much a human audience. Black Hat techniques that are seen as deceptive and violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines include:
- Keyword Stuffing: “Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.
- Hidden Text: i.e. using white text on a white background, setting font size to 0, hiding a link by only linking one small character—for example, a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph, etc.
- Link Farming: Links intended to manipulate PageRank1 or a site’s ranking in search results (i.e. buying or selling links that pass PageRank, excessive link exchanges (“Link to me & I’ll link to you”)
- And More
While these techniques can provide quick and immediate SEO results – and may seem appealing in the short run -consequences can result in your site being banned from a search engine (most likely Google) and or ranking penalties. This means people won’t be able to find your site organically, defeating any short lasted traffic/sales/leads you may have gained from Black Hat techniques.
“Black hat SEO focuses on search engines and not so much a human audience.”2
White Hat SEO:
White Hat techniques target human audiences rather than simply search engines.
Techniques and strategies typically utilized in White Hat SEO include: conducting keyword analysis and keyword research, rewriting meta/page titles and meta descriptions to speak more specifically about what the page is about, writing and creating quality content for HUMAN READERS, internal backlinking and natural link building, just to name a few. However, probably the most important White Hat SEO technique is creating quality content.
White Hat SEO is a long-term investment and takes time to build and see ROI, however the pro is that the results last a long time.
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“Creating quality content may be time consuming, but it will be well worth it in the long run. […] The more content-rich your site is, the more valuable it will appear to the search engines and human visitors/ customers/ clients.”
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1 PageRank – (PR) is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results, and is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. IT IS NOT THE ONLY ALGORITHM USED BY GOOGLE to order search results
2 & 3 Quoted from Unamo University – online marketing resource center