SEO Guides
Nov 12, 2019

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO: Our Guide

Have you ever watched a movie where a hero in a white hat runs around saving the day while the villain donned in a black one tries desperately to foil his plans? Although the symbolism may not be as obvious, SEO is a lot more similar to this movie than you would think. When you plan out your SEO strategy, you have to make the decision of whether you want to wear a white hat or a black one. Before making the decision, it’s crucial that you distinguish the differences between each of your alternatives and evaluate them carefully.

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

Every SEO strategy has the same goal: enhancing a website’s ranking on the search engine results pages. Nevertheless, SEO is separated into two main strategies: white hat and black hat. In a nutshell, white hat SEO underlines the importance of quality content in accordance with Google’s guidelines. Black hat SEO, on the other hand, is typically used by those who don’t mind bending the rules to aggressively reach their goals. By evaluating the pros and cons of these tactics, you will be able to pick the right hat to use for your business. In this blog article, we’ll walk you through these strategies and help you achieve the most effective approach to optimize your site.

What is White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO is an approach to optimize the site of a company by emphasizing on increasing human traffic through organic link generation and quality content in an ethical way. Here are a few components crucial to the success of white hat SEO:

High-quality content

It is very important to create high-quality content. In fact, it is one of the most essential factors to have when ranking high on the SERPs. Before you start creating content, take a step back and think about how quality content can be created. Make sure that you know who is your target audience and how you can reach them best. The content you publish should be professional, original, and able to answer your target readers’ queries. This will help you to create high-quality content, which will effectively allow you to establish a trusting relationship with your target audience. Stepping up your game by generating inbound traffic to your site is more than achievable when you fully understand your readers.

Strong and relevant keywords

The first step in creating a sound SEO strategy is conducting keyword research. Keyword research plays an important role in guiding your company’s direction as it helps you to receive valuable insight from your target audience. You will be able to identify what phrases your potential customers are searching for when looking for products or services you provide. It’s important to note that keywords do not have to be single terms. It has been found that long-tailed keywords are often a lot less competitive, meaning that you will have a better chance to grab that coveted first spot. Make sure that your keywords are strategically placed in the proper locations on your site by prioritizing your readers instead of search engines.

Natural backlinks

Content and keywords aren’t the only important parts of SEO. A backlink is an inbound link from another website. Websites using white hat SEO tactics prioritize the quality of links over the quantity. Natural backlinks are not easily obtained. After all, they are from quality sites that are trustworthy in the eyes of search engines and don’t have any outbound links to scam sites. Quality sites should also have relevant content to your products or services. Most importantly, quality links will help you raise your brand awareness and attract potential customers to your site.

Internal links

Although backlinks from external websites are important, internal links are also crucial for improving your rankings. Make sure to include these links to help users navigate your site. Adding navigational links or taxonomies will also help Google to understand the big picture of your site and direct the right audience in your direction.

To learn more about internal links and their importance, click here.

Meta descriptions

A meta description is displayed in the search results below your title as a summary of your site. It provides an opportunity to advertise your website. Make sure that it is relevant to your site and as compelling to searchers as possible. Moreover, remember that your target is readers not search engines. It’s also important to avoid duplicate meta description tags and exclude double quotation marks.

If you want to learn how to write an excellent meta description, then take a look here.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Now that we’ve met the protagonist of this story, let’s take a look at the antagonist: black hat SEO. This type of SEO puts the focus on search engines rather than human audiences. Black hat SEO tactics are more likely to involve manipulative techniques that allow you to achieve short-term financial goals rather than long-term objectives. A few examples of black hat tactics are as follows:

Keyword stuffing

The black hat keyword technique often involves keywords that were not adequately researched. Keyword stuffing occurs when the site is loaded with unnatural keywords in the content. Example of keyword stuffing includes repeating the keyword over and over, placing keywords invisibly, or using keywords incorrectly. Keyword stuffing mainly focuses on the algorithm of search engines, in which the results of keyword stuffing is always problematic. Visitors will find your site spammy and never return. Moreover, modern search engines have been created to recognize these unnatural keyword placements and penalize the rankings of sites that include them.

Low-quality content

Automatically generated content is often of low-quality and sometimes programmatically produced. It often is neither understandable to your visitors nor related to your products or services. Scraped content is also commonly used by black hat SEO. Scraped content occurs when you copy blog posts from other sites without giving them credit. It’s important to remember that search engines can recognize low-quality content and will make sure that you are penalized for it.

Doorway pages

Doorway pages occur when generating many pages which funnel visitors to one page. These doorway pages offer no value to visitors and prevent them from obtaining information. Not only do search engines ban doorway techniques, but this tactic also worsens the visitor experience.

Cloaking

Cloaking refers to manipulative techniques in which contents showed to search engines and visitors are different by using HTTP header information or IP addresses. Searchers will not able to see the site they are looking for. That’s why cloaking violates search engines rules which will result in penalties.

White hat SEO is obviously a better and safer approach that can effectively help you improve your rankings, whereas black hat tactic is more likely to lead to penalties, rather than your SEO goal. With that in mind, make sure that you choose the right hat!

At Ranked, we provide a safe white hat SEO with a lasting impact. Get started today!


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