What is the difference between Black Hat and White Hat SEO?

Black hat and white hat SEO tactics are renowned for causing debate in the industry.

It is little wonder really, when you consider that most black hat techniques were once ‘the norm’ until greater regulations were put into place by search engines.

But the truth is, the biggest difference between black hat and white hat SEO is what has and has not been approved. Otherwise they are both striving to reach the same goal of improving the rankings of a website.

What is black hat SEO different?

Black hat SEO is quite deceptive in its attempts to get rankings, using methods which can have a huge short term gain but eventually lead to the website being banned from the search engines.

These sites use whatever method it takes to rank as highly and as quickly as possible. Usually, they will reach position 1 in the rankings for just a few days or maybe a couple of weeks (if they are lucky).

In fact, if your website is discovered to be using black hat SEO techniques, search engines will penalise your site by reducing your rankings and may even go as far as eliminating your site completely.

Many black hat SEO’s see this as an acceptable loss, having made their money in the short term, they will buy a new domain name and repeat the whole process again.

How is white hat SEO different?

Essentially white hat SEO involves techniques/methods which conform to search engine guidelines. Doing so ensures the site sees long term success in the search engines results although it may take longer than black hat methods.

In many ways, white hat SEO takes a much friendlier approach by focusing on creating an overall welcoming website experience for the user.

White Hat SEO involves helping to build a brand. Obviously you cannot build a brand online if your website it’s penalised within the search engines so white hat methods will be slower than black hat, but much much safer.

How can I make sure my SEO provider is using white hat SEO?

Unfortunately, some SEO providers manage to slip under the radar, but when you are searching for an SEO provider you can make sure that they do the following:

  • Provide a proposal – this should contain everything they plan to do for your website, including the various techniques they plan to employ.
  • Check their history – get them to provide you with a list of their previous clients. With this information you can research these sites, see how they rank and check that you are sent to the correct pages.
  • Monitor their work – you should keep in regular contact with your SEO provider who in turn should supply you with a monthly report of the work they have done.
  • Be on the lookout for bold promises – any SEO provider who claims they can get your site ranking 1st in a short amount of time should be viewed with caution, as this is too bold a claim for any legitimate SEO provider to make.

You can ensure that your website is supported by quality SEO strategies. Just remember to do your research, do a background check and get them to prove the effectiveness of their strategies.