There are a variety of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques out there coined as White hat and black hat. Here we outline some of the differences between the two, in hope that it helps you with services you acquire or techniques you implement yourself to ensure overall success for your website and brand.
White hat SEO
White hat SEO involves techniques that are ethical and approved by search engines. The key factors here are website design, architecture, analysis, and quality content (with relevant meta tags). The primary focus is the users and not the search engines, making the necessary improvements to enhance your visitors experience. This is why we stress the importance of responsive websites that are fast, clean, with great architecture and design. All of this and more makes for a positive experience with your visitors.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is more deceptive, using techniques that are unethical and unapproved by search engines in attempt to ‘game’ the system. The goal is typically to gain higher rankings or fast traffic in a shorter amount of time. While these techniques might bring some quick traffic, its short lived and typically results in your website being blacklisted, banned or penalized. More importantly, this has a very negative impact with your brand.
Promises of Fast traffic?
As discussed previously in Challenges of SEO, if someone is promising you fast traffic or a quick increase in ranking, its safe to assume the techniques are more black hat and to seek out services or advice elsewhere.
There are several popular companies that provide more black hat SEO services and then follow up with a service to fix websites that are blacklisted, due to the very black hat techniques they either provided or suggested. So its defiantly advantageous to have at least a basic understanding of SEO.
If you are hiring out these services take your time and really inquire on the work being performed. If the services are white hat (ethical), they can easily provide you the details on the work they are performing. As you do, question the techniques used and do some research on your own to ensure there are no negative impacts to your website and brand.
Best of luck to your online success!