White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO

Written by Zafri Samad

On February 7, 2020
white hat seo vs black hat seo

Did you know what is White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO? These two hats are the techniques used when trying to improve your website in SEO ranking. They are aiming for the same things, which is having good results for a website in search engines. However, there are differences between white hat and black hat SEO. The method has been used is the differences bet these two; the black hat method is illegal or unethical, while the white hat method is following Google’s guideline.

What is White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO is an ethical guideline set by Google or any search engine for individuals or organizations must follow to improve search engine ranking. White hat practices focus on improving the quality of the website and concentrate on sending the right signals to Google so the search engine can recognize a site’s purpose and authority.

White hat SEO includes the following criteria:

1. Following SEO guidelines

There are the rules that Google has set to determine the right way to optimize your site.  If you want to know the guideline, you can go through Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. In general, if you’re not attempting to manipulate rankings or otherwise deceive Google’s algorithm, you’re likely following their guidelines and using white hat SEO.

2. Focused on Human Visitor

Typical white hat SEO tactics aim to create and optimize content so it targets people rather than search bots. The more content-rich your site is, the better as it will appear to be more valuable to the search engines, human visitors and webmasters who would most likely link to your site.

3. Long-term approach

Creating quality content may be time-consuming, but it will be well worth it in the long run. This means that it will take time to see the results you want. When you use strategies that are designed to improve your overall site experience, you can achieve steady rankings for your target keywords.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO refers to techniques and strategies used to get higher search rankings, and breaking search engine rules. Black hat strategy maximizes short-term gains for a website by taking advantage of gaps, limitations, or blind spots in search engine algorithms. Usually, black hat geared towards search bots first, rather than human readers. This strategy carries a high risk of being penalized by Google.

Below is how black hat SEO is working, however, you shouldn’t follow this:

1. Keywords Stuffing

Websites want to rank for certain keywords. Keyword stuffing used to be a way to get your content to rank higher in search engines, by including all your chosen keywords in the content. Using unrelated or too many keywords is likely to result in downgrading your content.

2. Hiding Text

Hiding text involves changing the color of a text’s font to make it invisible to human eyes. For example, they changing the color of the text so they match the page background, making the font size ultra-tiny so nobody can see it, or by linking an unnoticeable piece of punctuation. The keywords are supposed to fool a search engine into giving the web page and the site to which it belongs a good ranking in search engines.

3. Automated Spamming

The internet is a network of hyperlinks. To try and manipulate search engines with links, black hat SEO practitioners have been known to insert links to web pages in comment fields of blog posts and on forums, believing these links will send positive signals to search engines.

4. Link Schemes

Black hat SEO usually attempt to boost search engine ranking artificially. These include the use of automated programs to build links to a website, offering someone a free product in exchange for a positive review and a link, and “excessive link exchanges,” in which websites exchange links to each other gratuitously.

5. Scraping Content

Content scraping is where someone grabs your RSS feed (especially if it’s a full-text RSS feed) and republishes the content on their site. This content created by a bot that is oftentimes gibberish, with the intent to fool search engines.

6. Cloaking

Cloaking is the practice of showing one thing to visitors and another to search engines. For example, your visitor might be looking at an image, while there are hidden links and text in the HTML that search engine spiders are looking at. Someone using black hat SEO could use this technique to insert keywords without the visitors’ knowledge, for example.


Now that you know the difference between white hat vs. black hat SEO and understand the black hat SEO strategies to avoid, you can be the hero of your own SEO story.

White hat SEO is the better approach and you shouldn’t listen to anyone who attempts to tell you otherwise. On the other hand, white hats SEO follows search engine guidelines, focuses on a human audience, and takes a long-term approach. 

While black hat SEO may enable some site owners to achieve quick wins, it directly violates Google’s guidelines, relies on manipulative tactics, and is ultimately much more likely to lead to a penalty than the results you want. 

So with that in mind, you might be wondering what, exactly you can do to optimize your site in a way that has a positive impact.

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