Black Hat Vs White Hat Search Engine Optimization – What’s the Difference?

Website SEO is all about is making sure that your website appears in the top 10 search results pages for relevant search terms. The more often your website appears in these search results, the more visitors you will have and the more potential customers you will gain. Search engine optimization or SEO as it is also known, is an essential tool for increasing website traffic and visibility. Here are some of the basic website SEO concepts to help you understand the importance of optimizing your website.

website SEO

Black Hat SEO is considered by many to be a black hat technique. In this case, the optimization techniques are used without any valid or ethical reason. In other words, black hat search engine optimization involves using manipulative techniques to get high rankings in search engine results pages despite the fact that such techniques are not natural or right. This type of search engine optimization can lead to severe consequences for the website owner as well as the business. Black hat search engine optimization should be avoided at all costs.

On-Page Optimization simply refers to everything that is done on the actual webpage itself. This includes elements such as navigation menus, title tags, images, flash movies, sounds and video selections. It also includes off-page factors such as meta tags, headers and image alt tags. This means everything that is rendered or displayed on a webpage needs to be optimized on the server, in the browser and on the Internet. There are basically two types of on-page optimization – white hat SEO and black hat SEO.

The main difference between white hat and black hat SEO is that white hat search engine optimization focuses more on what is displayed on the actual webpage itself while black hat SEO focuses more on what the user will see upon initial visit. Black hat SEO has been called “spider bait” due to the fact that every website owner will use techniques such as writing articles with the sole purpose of getting links attached to them. These links will in turn lead to direct new leads being generated. This process is called “links farming”. Another example of this would be websites that use software to generate the same content and post it onto different sites. Software isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you want to maximize your SEO returns then making sure that the content is original and posted on your own site is always a better choice.

When creating content for your website, don’t forget to focus on the usability factor as well. Many people make the huge mistake of thinking that they have to come up with great content only to later submit their site to the major search engines. This is not the case – your site will be rejected by the major search engines if the usability and quality of the content are below standard.

So how does one create high quality content that will still help your website gain good rankings? The most important off-page factors that you do not have direct control over are meta tags and keywords. Meta tags are used by the search engines to help them categorize your site. Keywords are another important off-page factor that helps search engines rank you pages. Creating good keyword density is another very effective way to boost your search engine ranking.

Off-page factors such as these are what you should concentrate on when it comes to your website optimization. However, these factors are not enough on their own. The importance of keywords and meta tags cannot be understated. If you want to benefit from the best practices on SEO then you need to make sure that you put the proper effort into it.

Now that we understand the differences between black hat and white hat search engine optimization techniques, how do you know which one is best for your website? The answer is that you don’t have any easy way of telling which is which. The best practices will depend entirely on your business needs. If you are a brick and mortar business then you are likely to be affected by the black hat methods such as directory submission. However if you are to run an online business you will benefit from using the white hat techniques.