There are about 1.9 million websites currently on the internet, states a report by Hosting Tribunal. So, how do you make your site stand out in this heavy competition?
Well, you should know some of the SEO best practices to improve your search engine ranking. A vital thing to know is the difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO. These terminologies define the techniques used when you are trying to improve your search engine ranking.
If you aren’t aware of these SEO practices, we hereby vouch to help you understand what these tactics are, the difference between them, and their advantages and disadvantages in this article. Keep reading to explore everything you need to know about white hat and black hat SEO.
White Hat SEO Vs. Black Hat SEO
The main difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO is that the former enhances user experience by following Google’s guidelines and best practices, whereas the latter is mostly an unethical method that violates the guidelines and does not regard the needs of human users.
While there are several white hat SEO practices to help you keep your business safe on the internet and stay on the right side of Google’s regulations, you must know about the advantages that black hat SEO can bring in some scenarios. Well, let’s take a closer look at both of these SEO techniques.
What does Google consider “White Hat”?
First, we can say that white hat SEO is an ethical and appropriate way of optimizing a website. This practice –
Adheres to the Search Engine Guidelines
White hat SEO implements the webmaster guidelines defined by Google. These are Google’s rules that indicate proper ways to optimize sites. This method is recommended as it is ethical and does not follow manipulative practices.
If you don’t wish to cheat Google’s algorithm or manipulate search rankings, you should use white hat SEO and follow the advised rules and guidelines.
Caters to Human Users
Google’s prime priority is to deliver the best search results to users, and white hat SEO helps achieve this goal. However, this is in line with effective SEO methods that experts use to enhance visitors’ user experience. These include improving site load times, publishing good quality content, and enabling easy page navigation. Google approves all these strategies.
Looks at Long-Term Results
Following Google’s rules are work-intensive and time-consuming. While it offers a better user experience, the results will take some time to manifest. It ensures long-lasting benefits to your website traffic. Simply follow the strategies that boost user experience, and you will get consistent rankings for target keywords.
White hat SEO is thus a long-term process as it involves creating content for years to generate traffic and implementing tactics that Google favors.
What does Google consider “Black Hat”?
When compared to white hat SEO, the black hat method follows contrasting practices. It –
Violates Google Rules
Black hat SEO does not follow Google’s guidelines, which instruct clearly that SEO experts should not use unethical practices to rank higher on search engines.
Uses Manipulative Strategies
It adopts deceptive practices to try to get Google to believe that the website offers more benefits to visitors than it actually does.
Focuses on Fast Results
Black hat SEO strategies try to exploit any loopholes in Google’s algorithms to achieve rapid results. Therefore, the outcomes are short-lived as Google typically catches these unethical methods quickly.
Google continually improves its algorithms to deliver the best search results to users and penalizes sites that do not offer an excellent user experience. Therefore, with every new update to the algorithms, websites deploying black hat tactics stand to lose their rankings. That’s why this method only delivers short-term results.
White vs. Black – Advantages & Drawbacks
Now that you determined what these SEO techniques are let’s delve into their benefits and drawbacks.
The Benefits of White Hat SEO
- Cost-Effective: The white hat SEO is a cheaper method that offers consistent, long-term results.
- Boosts Your Brand Image: It helps you provide an excellent site experience, enhancing your company’s online reputation. Customers will trust your brand and look forward to building closer relationships.
- Less Risky: It reduces the risk of Google penalties as it promotes organic rankings.
- Develop Multiple Revenue Avenues: The white hat SEO enables you to get natural and organic results that deliver genuine traffic. Thus, you can promote your content and products more efficiently and attract visitors who are actually interested in reading or buying your services and products.
The Drawbacks of White Hat SEO
- Time-consuming: As white hat SEO adheres to legal and approved practices by Google algorithm, it requires you to be patient in getting results. However, the wait is worth it for long-time results.
The Benefits of Black Hat SEO
- Faster Results: This method is faster than white hat SEO as you may see a swift rise in your site’s search rankings.
- Low Competition: Competition is negligible as this method is generally unethical and not recommended.
- Easier Method: It doesn’t require you to do the hard work of building a great user experience or creating valuable content to boost your site ranking.
The Drawbacks of Black Hat
- Risk of Ban: The search engine may ban your website if it detects black hat techniques. Therefore, this method is not recommended.
- Exposed to Fraudsters: As backlinks cannot be adequately checked and regulated, your site becomes vulnerable to risks and hacking. Fraudsters and cybercriminals may exploit loopholes in your website to try and benefit from them.
- Harm to Reputation: If customers learn you’re using unethical SEO practices, they may shun your brand and move over to your competitors.
As you dig deeper into the digital marketing world, you may often come across to choose between black hat SEO and white hat SEO. But, your choice must be clear. While black hat SEO may more likely lead you to a penalty, white hat SEO impacts your search visibility positively and ethically. So, with that in mind, get ready to optimize your site.