How scary is Black Hat SEO, really?
What does SEO stand for? And more importantly, what does any color HAT SEO stand for?
If you’re not sure what’s up with all the White Hat, Black Hat, and Gray Hat SEO let us shine some light on this subject.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the “science” of attracting as many qualified visitors to your website as possible. How do you do that? By adopting a philosophy and following some techniques.
Now White, Black, and Gray Hat SEO are just ways to describe the philosophy an SEO expert adopted for their own or their client’s website.
We don’t want to jump to any conclusions and say one of them is better than the other, and we firmly believe that there are little to no entirely White or Black Hat SEO services.
Who are the White Hat SEO experts?
If you can say for sure you follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to a T, means you’re wearing a white hat.
White Hats love to keep their actions within Google’s rules so they don’t risk in any shape or form getting a penalty.
They also know that when you stick to the rules, the rankings go up and stay up for a longer time, which means you’ll eventually have to work less and less on your SEO.
A white hat chooses the longer road, but the most secure one, whereas a black hat looks for shortcuts and easy wins.
We have to mention that sometimes, poorly executed White Hat SEO can bring more damage to a website than Black SEO techniques. Make sure you practice good quality SEO, not just a rule-abiding one.
Theoretically, a white hat is in less danger of getting penalized but since there are almost none of the pure practitioners of this philosophy we have to introduce the Gray Hat SEO expert to the team.
Is the Gray Hat SEO the answer to all our needs?
When you hire someone to deliver professional SEO services for your website, expect to deal with a Gray Hat expert most of the time.
More often than not, White Hat wannabes don’t get links naturally. They make deals and reach out to various website owners to guest post or exchange links.
If they were to follow the exact rules in the Webmaster guidelines, they would have to wait for years to get organically linked to. And let’s be serious, nobody has time for that.
Link acquisition is mainly the only time white hat SEO practitioner steps out of line. So yeah, the Gray Hat SEO might just be exactly what you’re looking for if you want to stay within Google’s guidelines.
What’s Black Hat SEO and, and should you really avoid it?
By deduction, if white hat means abiding by the rules, Black Hat means tricking the algorithms and going around some of these said rules.
So here is what you need to do if you want to put on the stylish black hat:
- Hidden text/links – these texts and links are usually full of keywords and are there just to boost the ranking. They usually use the same color font as the background or tiny text sizes.
- Irrelevant keywords – stuffing your content with irrelevant keywords will make your traffic go up, but so will your bounce rates. You’ll get plenty of people to click on your site, but they won’t find what they came there for.
- Page cloaking – it’s a technique used to mislead the search engine by showing one content in the results and entirely different content on the actual page. Furthermore, the user also goes on a page that contains content they were not searching for.
- Content automation– means posting content generated automatically with the help of a tool. These texts don’t require a person’s involvement and do not contain any SEO key components (heading, style, images).
- Duplicate content – it’s one of the worst practices of black hat SEO. It means duplicating content from a different website that ranked high. Search engines index content just once, and if it appears on another website, it’s marked as copied.
- Buying and selling links – getting multiple links on third-party websites that point to your website is very beneficial to your rankings. One thing is for sure, sooner or later Google will find out that your website was part of a link-selling scheme and will penalize your website forever with no option to recover from it.
- SPAMing – mass posting on Social Media or sending mass messages that will include a link to your website.
One thing is for sure, Google is improving its ways to detect tactics inconsistent with their guidelines. There is no way you can go on breaking the rules for a long time. If you’re ok with being penalized eventually, go ahead and do it.
Why is SEO important?
We’ll answer that with another question. If you have a website with no traffic what good does it do? So chose any color hat you want, just be mindful of your SEO in general.
What does Black Hat SEO even exist? Because for some smaller websites, with no big plans for the future, no big investments or money to be made, it works. We don’t condone it, we truly believe there are niches where you can get away with practicing a little Black SEO.
Sometimes, when your field isn’t a competitive one or your targeted market is in a less competitive geographical area, Black Hat SEO websites rank higher than NO-SEO-at-all websites. If your livelihood depends on the well-being of your website, we highly recommend you invest in some affordable SEO services for small businesses rather than using these easily accessible Black SEO techniques for short-term wins.
Whether you pick an SEO expert that does White, Black, or Gray hat SEO make sure they are honest with you.
There are “professionals” who you can hire for quality, rule-abiding SEO, and they end up destroying your rankings, getting your site penalized, and sinking your profits.
We position ourselves as White Hat SEO fans and would like to find out more about your online goals.
Contact Seolitte for affordable SEO services for your website today!