Talking about black and white-hat SEO is like bringing two opposites together.
They are like two different routes people tend to follow in order to reach the same target.
But the big question becomes- Can one actually reach the target with the routes?
If you ask most people to tell the difference between the road to success and the road to destruction. They will simply say:
The road to success is narrow while that of destruction is wide.
Well, that could be true. Because the road to destruction usually look too simple, too cheap, which makes it look wide for anyone to jump in.
Read on to understand what and why black and white SEO are two opposites routes.
Also, what Google said about it, and which way is better for you.
What Does Black-Hat and White-Hat SEO mean?
In a very simple term, black-hat SEO is the act of not abiding strictly with search engines’ rules to achieve SEO’s objectives.
It involves manipulative means, unethical tactics, and strategies etc to gain a higher rank in search engine result pages (SERPs)
In other words, back-hat emphasizes on discovering and taking advantages of search algorithmic faults or weaknesses.
It is the adoption of search optimization approach that is made up of subterfuge or deception.
What about White-Hat SEO?
White-hat SEO is the opposite side of the black hat. It’s about following search engines rules and regulations.
It is good practice tactics used to ensure your web content appears at the top of a search engine result pages (SERPs).
When you talk about SEO tactics that do not involve a gimmick, unethical, approach; you are talking about white-hat methods.
Here at elites content, we keep it white, we follow Google’s rules.
In fact, when we talk about search engine optimization and it’s principles, we are talking about the white side.
That’s what we believe.
Black Hat and White Hat SEO: Which is Best?
Even as we strongly believe in going white. Which implies keeping it straight with google or any other search engine; there still arguments about which route to follow.
You cannot really comprehend the science behind following either the black or white SEO method if you
I recommend you read something that will enlighten you more about SEO basics before you continue. Or better still, walk through this article with the mind of reading it again after carefully reading this guide on SEO.
Here is it:
Lots of experts have argued for and against white and black practices in the search engine business.
Before we will explore them in this section, let me make it clear:
Anyone could use black-hat to achieve the same results as one who used white-hat SEO.
Don’t get mad at me now. Am not saying going black is good or best.
But the truth is, it all depends on your business goals.
For example, if you have a million dollar online website that you wish to expand more and probably make thousands of dollars from it in the future. Would you want to risk losing it overnight?
I guess the answer is a big NO!
So, let’s say, white-hat SEO is a clean game every wise and futuristic digital marketer or online business owner should play.
But, if you are short-sighted and probably don’t think you’re going to do that your online business for long, you could take the risk of black-hat routes. I mean play the dirty game.
But don’t call me when you get a bounce back from search engine bots.
Do you still need to hear from other experts? OK here:
Let’s explore some of them:
Other Thoughts About Black and White-Hat SEO
- Andrea Lehr, specialist of SEO, Content Marketing, Blogging. In an article written at SEJ agreed that white-hat could take time but, it’s worth going for:
An advantage in taking a black hat approach is quick, short-term success through increased traffic, but Google penalties are becoming more and more sophisticated and can have devastating effects on your site.
- Patrick Coyne, an SEO & Social Strategy Manager.
Patrick is a strong advocate of the legal route to optimization of web pages.
As an SEO expert, Patrick advised online businesses on the best route. He opined that some common ways to identify black-hat practitioners are that – they lack transparency.
Since they play black optimization games, they don’t allow their clients to have full knowledge of what they are doing.
Some SEO agencies will go as far as promising their clients a quick result. In most cases, the clients may not even know the routes and tactics applied.
So, your duty as an online business owner or digital marketer is to identify these set of people and avoid them.
See how Patrick expressed it:
As with anything in life, SEO takes a great deal of hard work to find success. If an SEO professional is promising you the world, there’s a good chance their strategy is not on the up-and-up. Buyer beware!
- Dr. Peter J. Meyers, Marketing scientist, and SEO specialist at Moz
Peter noted that black-hat is really getting tough these days. As a matter of fact, search engines like Google has adopted more disciplinary measures against defaulters.
In his advice, he pointed out three basic questions one need to consider in a bid to understand which route to follow.
The questions are:
- High Value or Low value?
- High Risk or Low Risk?
- Short Term or Long Term?
Peter made several points and left the floor open for debate. So, if the route you chose answer the questions right, then go for it.
Moreover, you could also hear people talk about gray-hat SEO. But, that’s like staying in the middle of black and white.
Sincerely, I don’t believe in standing in between. Gray-hat practice is all about following a little black and a little of white-SEO tactics.
Well, this article is strictly emphasizing the two extreme SEO routes – the black and white.
So, let’s move on.
What are the Examples of Black-Hat and White-Hat SEO Practices?
Earlier in this article, I told you that these black and white routes are like two opposite sides.
This means that when one is going right, the other is going left.
Here is a list of some tactics that are found in the two routes:
Examples of Black-Hat SEO Routes
- Keyword stuffing
- Creating Ugly and Spammy Website
- Link Purchase
- Link Fur (Hiding links)
- Private Blogging Network (PBN)
- Hacking other websites
- Stealing Contents
- Content Cloaking (Deceptive contents)
- Manipulative and unethical Approaches
Examples of white-hat SEO Routes
- Building User-friendly website
- Creating quality content
- People-focus approach
- Obeying search engine rules
- Relevant Backlinks
- Legal and ethical methods
- Keyword Research
- Fast Page Loading
- Easy Site Navigations
Why Choose White-Hat SEO?
Search Engine Sophisticatedness
Search engine’s bots or spiders used today are more authentic than before.
These spiders or
For example, search engine giants like Google have used algorithm upgrades like Panda, Rankbrain, Florida, Penguin etc to curb SEO manipulations.
Shockingly, Barry Schwartz, a Search Engine Land’s News Editor announced that recently there have been signals of changes in Google’s search algorithms.
Specifically, between January 6th and 9th, 2019; there have been serious signs of changes.
What does that mean to SEO Practitioners?
It simply tells that search engines like Google don’t want to know whether the year just began or not.
They are making so many alterations and that got both black and white-hat SEO practitioner on a hot seat.
I strongly believe that SEO is even getting hotter for the black-hat game players.
All these search engine volatilities are in the bid to increase web value and enhance user experience.
Higher Cost Implications of Black-Hat
Before now, you can easily pay a hacker just a token to help you manipulate the search engine. But now, the game has changed.
Hence, the amount it may cost you to get into most of those black-hat stuff becomes pretty expensive.
What will it profit you to spend a huge amount of money on something that could crash in a twinkle of an eye?
In fact, the cost of losing it all at once is higher than anything else. Agree?
Obviously, following the white or google approved method to achieve your optimization objective has a long life span.
It will keep your site in good health for years without bleeding. That’s the essence.
Most times, I wonder why people tend to forget the time it takes to even follow this illegal means. But, they alone focus on the results it brings.
If you observe critically, you’ll know that it takes much time to get most of those black-hat tactics done. Yet, some will want to follow the route because they feel the results does not take time.
The truth is, white-hat results will remain for longer time whereas black-hat could probably work for short periods.
What did Google say about SEO Best Practices?
Google, the search engine giants have also provided a guide to legal and acceptable around practices called the Webmaster Guideline
You can check it out if you have time.
In the guide, lots of do’s and Don’ts were spelled out.
They clearly stated why you should follow their quality guidelines.
That’s because failure to do as follows may result in one’s website being removed entirely from the Google index. Also could be seriously affected by an algorithmic upgrade.
Importantly, Google could also use their manual spam action. This could also lead to a site not showing up in their search engine result pages (SERPs).
In fact, they could go as far as removing your web presence from anything that concerns or associates with them.
Do you know Some Clients could lure SEO Experts into Going Black?
Some clients could be too faster than their shadow. They force SEO practitioners into following the black-route. Simply because they need a quick result.
A friend has actually told me this story. How he built a website for a client, and the client called him about 30 minutes the site went live.
He called to complain and ask why the website is not ranking for a particular keyword in his niche.
Isn’t that funny?
Most times, some want to move into ranking #1 in the SERPs without even making certain considerations.
I usually advice online business owners and other stakeholders to find out time to understand some basics.
A little knowledge of what search is about should have told the client that the search engine may have not crawled or seen the website yet.
That they need a few time to understand what the site is about before bringing it in.
The road to success is not tricky. If you follow it right, you will get there.
You just heard it all.
There are two extreme routes to search engine optimization practices -the black and white-hat SEO.
Everything boils down to your goals. Choose to follow the black and get hit one day to probably start from zero. Or follow best practices and rise to the top without the fear of coming down to zero anytime.
You just need to use your tongue to count your teeth, not to use your teeth to count your tongue.
Jackson Cyprian is a Google Certified Digital Marketer. He is the founder of Elites Content and a brand storyteller, not a teller of stories. He is passionate about helping online businesses grow with compelling digital marketing strategies. He is a passionate content marketer and a blogger that derives joy in creating quality content to help both business and marketing practitioners make informed decisions. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.