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Black Hat vs White Hat Search Engine Optimization

Posted on June 14th, 2016

The term “black hat” originated in Western movies to distinguish the “bad guys” from the “good guys,” who wore white hats. Nowadays, it’s used more commonly to describe computer hackers, virus creators, and those who perform unethical actions with computers. Black Hat SEO (bad) and White Hat SEO (good) is simply the methodology used when trying to improve search ranking in the results pages for a specific website. Black Hat methods used by SEO companies fall into the ‘unethical’ category, which can find a website banned from the search engines.

Black Hat SEO

Refers to techniques, strategies and methods that are disapproved by the search engines, and commonly defined within the search engine’s terms of service. Known as a ‘dirty practice’ to gain organic rankings quickly, Black Hat methods include keyword stuffing, link farming, hidden text and links, and blog content spamming.

SEO companies practicing Black Hat methods are typically looking for a quick return on their website, rather than a long-term investment, caring only about the rankings established in the SE’s, and not a human audience. These methods have negative consequences they can result in a website being banned from a search engine and de-indexed as a penalization for using unethical techniques.

White Hat SEO

whitehat vs blackhat v_3Refers to the use of industry standard techniques and strategies that target a human audience as opposed to just a search engine with lasting affects. Some White Hat methods include using keywords, and keyword analysis, research, rewriting meta tags in order for them to be more relevant, back linking, link building –  and most important – quality content. White Hat SEO focuses on making a long-term investment within the website, creating quality content for results that last.

Gaslight Media’s practices only White Hat methods for our clients search engine optimization (SEO)

Creating quality content shows the search engines that you are a real business with content that should be indexed, and also targets the human visitor to give them unique information and a reason to come back. Research and analyze keywords, both short and long tail specific, that are relevant to your business services and offerings, which is necessary to perform well in the Search Engines. Additional methods include backlinks, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content for human readers.

  • Backlinking – a hyperlink that links from a web page, back to your own web page or website. Also called an Inbound Link (IBL) these links are important in determining the popularity (or importance) of your Web site. Some search engines, including Google will consider Web sites with more backlinks more relevant in search results pages.
  • Link Building is the process of exchanging links with other websites to increase your own website’s backlinks and quality backlinks.
  • Fresh Content – Content that is new or dynamic in nature and gives people a reason to visit your website. Some search engines may crawl a site more frequently as content is changed and updated.