White Hat and Black Hat SEO: What is the Difference and Why it is Important to Know When Hiring an SEO Consultant

The internet is a huge place that can be difficult to navigate for the average person. The whole point of SEO is helping the website rank legally, at least according to Google, while providing relevant and useful information to the users. Some ranking methods may even seem like they’re cheating because they give you an unfair advantage. In this article, you will learn what white hat and black hat SEO mean and why you should care about them when hiring an SEO consultant for your business or website!

What is White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO is a term that refers to the methods used in search engine optimization. These are techniques that focus on satisfying the needs and wants of your target audience, such as providing high-quality content or optimizing for specific keywords. Whitehat SEO also includes following search engines’ guidelines, so you don’t get penalized by Google algorithms. This type of SEO usually takes a long time to show results, but the full-time commitment is worth ranking well and not getting penalized.

White Hat SEO is all about making sure your content is seen and read by as many people as possible. It’s the kind of thing that would make Google happy to see because they’re always trying to show their users what they want, not just what someone paid them for. White hat sites do the following:

-create and update content that is relevant, valuable, unique, and fresh.

-display ads in a way that doesn’t interfere with the user experience or tilt search results toward any particular commercial result.

– avoid cloaking (which refers to presenting different text or more prominent links to human readers than what you display for crawlers).

-avoid spamdexing (which refers to the practice of purchasing links that pass PageRank or Alexa rank without any consideration for a site’s quality. It can also refer to mass-buying up many URLs, so they show up with high rankings on Google and then “selling” them off one by one at a profit).

-avoid participating in link schemes (which are links where the webmaster gets paid per click or that include text such as “sponsor” and target keywords for search engine ranking purposes)

-use your site’s language to make it easier for international users.

What is Black Hat SEO?

The term Black Hat SEO is a bit of a misnomer. The only thing black hat SEOs have in common is that they are trying to cheat Google and other search engines by violating their guidelines, leading to being penalized or banned from the index. Black hat SEO is a way to make your site higher on the search engine ranking pages without following the rules. Black hat SEO techniques include:

-keyword stuffing, which means you use certain keywords in every post or page found in that domain. For example, you might have a page about “Top Ten Cat Breeds.” On that page, you might put the word “cat” ten times. This is clearly not helpful to any human reading your site and only helps search engine crawlers find what they’re looking for, so it’s black hat SEO.

-duplicate content on other sites or directories.

– using content copied from other sites without giving credit or linking back to the original source.

-using spamdexing instead of buying links directly

-engaging in cloaking

-buying links

What are the differences between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO?

All of the differences between the white hat and black hat SEO are found in what you do to manipulate search engine results. White hats make websites that humans enjoy visiting, while black hats try to trick Google into thinking their sites deserve high rankings because they’re popular even if no one ever visits them. For example:

-White Hat SEOs put their content out on the internet for people to read and enjoy.

-Black Hat SEOs create traffic or rank higher by manipulating Google’s algorithm without considering the human audience.

-White Hat SEO builds links through things like guest posting or social media outreach (i.e., having someone write about your site). Black hat SEOs buy links through things like link schemes and spamdexing (i.e., paying someone to put a link on their site in an article that talks about your product).

-White Hat SEO builds high-quality content that attracts readers, so they share it with others who might find it helpful or interesting. Black Hat SEO makes content that is designed only to rank, not to engage people.

-White Hat SEOs are trying to do what Google wants by following their guidelines and building quality sites. Black Hat SEOs are trying to game the system to get higher on search engine ranking pages without doing anything other than violating guidelines set out by Google.

Why is it Important to Know the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO When Hiring an SEO Consultant?

You need a knowledgeable person or agency to help your site rank. It’s a lot easier to rank for the search term “buy a new house” than it is for “buying houses.” If your SEO consultant can’t tell the difference, you risk being penalized for violating Google’s terms and conditions. If you hire an SEO consultant on the assumption that they are white hatters but in fact, they are black hatters, then your site will be penalized or banned from Google’s index.

There is a huge difference between monthly ranking costs and what it takes to rank at all. A good way of telling the difference is to look at what happens when you stop paying for your SEO services. If there are black hats SEOs, your site may stop ranking higher in the search results.  However, suppose they’re white hat SEOs. In that case, your website ranking won’t immediately plummet after you stop spending money on it, because the engaging content they created and the keywords they ranked for before are still there.

Another way that knowing the difference between white hat and black hat techniques will help is identifying black hat techniques. If your SEO consultant doesn’t share their strategies with you, or if their strategies seem too good to be true because they promise you top rankings for only a few hundred dollars, then there’s a chance that this could be a black hat consultant.

Bottom Line

Black hat and white hat SEO have many similarities, with some experts purporting that white hat SEO is a way of executing black hat ranking techniques legally. Whichever the case, business owners need to tell them apart when choosing an SEO consultant to avoid the risks brought by black hat SEO.