Search Engine Optimization consultant touching SEO button on whiteboard

Understanding the Difference Between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO

Blogs and content are almost as old as the Internet itself. In the 25 years since the internet started, there are now over 170 million blogs online.


Add in the rest of the websites and it can be staggering how much competition there is for Internet traffic.


Business owners and marketing professionals need to master SEO. But there is a lot of confusion on how to best market and showcase your online content to excel on the rankings.


Unfortunately, if you don’t know the difference between white hat and black hat SEO you may be doing your company a huge disservice. You may spend time and money on marketing investments that show great initial returns and end up backfiring.

Different Techniques for SEO

Just like any other aspect of business and marketing, there are different strategies to achieve SEO. If you are thinking of spending internal resources or hiring a service you’ll want to know the basic approach you’re pursuing.


Black hat seeks to break the rules of Google and other search engines to build traffic. White hat strategies work to build value and cater to client needs.

Hidden Text and Black Hat

Including text on your website and blog that your visitors cannot see is a black hat strategy for boosting traffic. Web designers may include text with the same color as the background.


This text is readable by search engines but not visitors to your site. This tactic allows companies to overstuffed keywords in order to boost traffic.


What’s the problem with using extra keywords to get visitors to your site? It will work to penalize you with the search engines when they catch on.


And they will catch on. Google is getting smarter to deliver better results for their visitors. That initial traffic boost from enhanced SEO will backfire with this black hat trick.

Protecting Your Brand With White Hat SEO

If you are like many business owners your brand is the lifeblood of your organization. Your marketing and operations start and end with managing and protecting your brand.


Business owners who value longevity, client retention and customer loyalty invest in their branding. It’s the difference between being a value and a commodity in the marketplace.


Branding and brand management is so essential to the longevity of companies that they will be using AI to tailor their messaging to customers.


But black hat tactics are more suited to quick and aggressive marketing. They will undermine your branding and present your company in a negative light.


Marketers who care about branding need to rely on white hat SEO.

More About Black Hat Keyword Stuffing

Even if the text is visible to audiences, keywords stuffing is still a black hat technique. It can be very tempting to repeat your keyword phrase over and over again to promote traffic.


Avoid the temptation to engage in keyword stuffing unless your plans for the site are brief. Just as with hidden text, keyword stuffing comes with a heavy price and a penalty.


Your use of keywords in your content should be organic and natural. It should be useful and relevant to visitors.


The moment it isn’t relevant your content is in danger of being black hat SEO by search engines.

And the longer the internet is around the better search engines are at distinguishing keyword stuffing. If you focus on relevant content, you will be in the good graces of the search engines.


If not, you risk being penalized.

Black Hat Vs. White Hat SEO and Timing

If black hat can backfire so quickly why would anyone bother in the first place? I’m terms of a quick return, black hat does likely work faster than white hat strategies.


But it is a bit like the traveling snake oil salesmen of the 1800’s. You may sell a lot at first but you need to skip town fast before people catch on.


The only problem is that with the internet there is no skipping town. Your website will be largely useless and you’ll have to start all over again.


The return on white hat SEO builds on itself. You’ll be investing in a gradual build that increases your results over time.


This is a solid investment with accumulating ROI.

Building Value With Content

The quick return on tricking search engines with black hat is no replacement for building value.

When you learn more about the services online marketing support can bring it’s all about building value.


Building Value is better because it leads to conversions. If you are showing value to your visitors you are building a relationship that is more likely to result in revenues.


What good is using tricks to get traffic to your website if the visitors won’t stay? By focusing on creating content instead you will be focusing on building your bottom line.

Link Building and Guest Posts

None of this is to say there aren’t proven ways to boost your SEO through white hat. But most of these strategies start and end with trying to build value.


For instance, when you hire an SEO company they will likely focus on link building and recruit guest posts for your blog.


Guest blogging is simply writing sites for another person’s blog. This is effective as it builds links to your site.


But great content will also have people from other sites looking to get you featured on their sites.


The same is true for link building. The best way to create links to your site and your content is by creating unique content.


The reason you see things shared on social media and on blogs is that people found it interesting.

Optimize Your Site

There is little question that white hat SEO provides the better value. It is a lower risk because there is no chance it will backfire.


With black hat, you can spend time and money to build SEO only to see it vanish when Google catches on.


But if you start by thinking of your clients and visitors and designing your web presence around their needs, there’s no need to gamble on black hat.


Find out more about white hat and what it can do for you. Come learn about white hat link building strategies now.

Written by CrazyLeaf Editorial

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