Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Internet Marketing: White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

Nobody on the Internet likes SPAM. People want to read good, valuable things. They don’t want to have to sift through garbage.

Yet, there still is a lot of SPAM. Why is that?

We will need to answer something else, first.

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

First, let’s explain each term.

White Hat SEO represents so-called good guy tactics to optimize your website and marketing efforts to earn a good search engine ranking position (SERP) on Google (and other search engines). The higher your SERP, the better chance there is that people will visit your site and possibly buy what you are trying to sell.

White Hat SEO is often considered "Good Guy" Internet Marketing Techniques
White Hat SEO methods improve the value of the Internet by finding ways to add content that is valuable to people looking for the type of information that you are representing.

For example, if you have a website that sells toys for dogs, you might be interest to learn about the dog toy brands with the best reputation. You might be interested in dog care tips. Overall, you are probably interested to learn things about dogs, toy products, or toy companies when you are searching for dog toys.

You will probably find many of these things valuable. It is really neat to have so much information available within just a single click or two.

See Also: Google SEO: It really ain't that hard - Only 2 Main Questions to Ask

Black Hat SEO represents so-called bad guy tactics to optimize your website and marketing efforts. While White Hat SEO tactics do things to try earning a favorable SERP, Black Hat SEO does things to try to trick Google (and other search engines) into giving your website a higher ranking than it really deserves.

How does that work? What do I mean by a ranking “higher than it deserves?”

White Hat SEO is often considered "Bad Guy" Internet Marketing Techniques
Some examples of Black Hat SEO involve unscrupulous backlinking. The websites that link from their website to your website (a backlink), the more “popular” Google thinks your website really is. When you know a really cool website, you might suggest it to other people.

However, Black Hat SEO tactics might have you pay other people to create these backlinks for you on sites, even when the comment that they are leaving does not relate to the overall conversation. Quite possibly, the website where they are leaving that comment and backlink might not have anything to do with your website, except that there is now a backlink to your website.

Another example is to have a website that has a specific keyword that is overused. In the worst cases, that keyword might be the ONLY thing having to do with the topic on the entire website. Some people might get ranked for a certain topic keyword only to switch the content (and topic) once they get that high ranking.

Returning to our dog toy website example, imagine when you are searching for dog toys, you suddenly see a website that is titled, “The Best Dog Toys.” You have an idea of what that website is going to have, or do you? Black Hat SEO might have that website really contain things like, “The best dog toys get thrown into the incinerator. You should give it MyBrand whiskey.” You would be irritated, unless you happened to really like MyBrand whiskey. This website would probably make it easy for you to buy that. If you don’t like whiskey, then you are going to be frustrated that it has nothing to do with the dog toys that you wanted to buy for your lovable cuddly puppy.

Essentially, Black Hat SEO produces things that do not add value to other people on the Internet. They only serve to help market your website, but it is done at the expense of other people’s enjoyment.

Why do people use Black Hat SEO?

People do these types of things, because Black Hat SEO is a shortcut. It generally takes less time to trick Google than it does to earn it the right way.

It takes time to create good quality content. Google eventually rewards this, but it is a lot easier if you cheat…and get away with it.

If Google rewards Black Hat SEO, shouldn’t I do it?

Besides being the wrong thing to do, it actually is not a very good long term approach.

There are definitely short term benefits.

Google uses an algorithm to determine which websites are listed when certain keyword phrases are typed into the search bar. Google is constantly trying to find ways to improve the quality of these search results, and they are constantly making adjustments to their algorithm to account for new factors.

However, the Internet is huge and is constantly changing. Google’s search ranking algorithm is very good, but it is not perfect.

Black Hat SEO takes advantage of places within Google’s algorithm that are vulnerable. By doing this, people can get their websites ranking well really quickly, even if they have not really earned that ranking.

Black Hat SEO is not a long term strategy, though. Eventually, Google makes adjustments to its algorithm, and catches most of these unscrupulous Black Hat SEO techniques.

Despite the fact that nobody really likes SPAM, why is there a lot of SPAM, still?

Because often it works, still--in the short term.

If your marketing efforts ONLY contain Black Hat SEO methods without any White Hat SEO methods, your website’s search ranking will suddenly drop. Sometimes, Google might even put your website in its so-called “sandbox,” where nobody will ever find it through one of its searches.

Therefore, it is probably best to focus on using White Hat SEO techniques. If you insist upon using Black Hat SEO techniques, then you might want to consider blending those efforts with true White Hat SEO, also.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

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  1. As an SEO specialist I prefer doing the white hat seo. Most sites do not need to be promoted via exceptionally risky methods. You wouldn't want your website to get banned in the search engines especially Google, right?

  2. Truthfully, when it comes to Offsite SEO...

    White Hat SEO = Natural Backlinks
    Black Hat SEO = Backlinks that WE Create

    Unfortunately, we do both.

    Plus, not all Black Hat SEO is the same. Some is more selfish or even malicious than other Black Hat SEO methods.


Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

Let me know if you would like for me to address a topic by sending me an email at Chris@TheUltimateAnalyst.com.

Thanks, again. I look forward to seeing you soon.