White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
If you are a small business owner who is just starting out, SEO is a great way of promoting your website on search engines as it helps to increase the visibility of your business allowing new potential customers to find you. However, it is important to understand that in SEO, there are good and bad techniques — and both have an impact on the ranking of your website. Below is a look at two types of SEO techniques – White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO – and how they affect your business.
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO techniques are ethical SEO strategies that improve your website’s search engine rankings. These techniques stick to the set guidelines and regulations of the search engines and include:
1) Offering the users quality content
2) Using the right amount of appropriate keywords
3) Using HTML tags
.Why are White Hat SEO techniques important to your business?
1) Provide value to users
Ethical SEO strategies provide a great user experience, which makes it easy for your website to convert generated leads into sales.
2) Long-term solutions
White Hat SEO creates clean and organic search engine rankings, which withstand various changes to search engine algorithms. Therefore, there is no risk of your website losing rankings after a few months if something changes.
3) They improve your reputation
White Hat SEO provides users with organic and quality content, which improves the reputation of your brand.
4) No risks of penalty
White Hat SEO techniques follow the set search engine’s rules and regulations and therefore carry less danger of being penalized by the search engines.
5) They generate more leads
Good SEO tactics create organic and natural search engine listings, which bring authentic traffic to your website. They also help to bring referral traffic (traffic outside search engine searches as a result of direct links from other websites). This helps to increase your brand’s visibility.
What is Black Hat SEO?
As the name suggests, Black Hat SEO involves the use of ethically questionable techniques to improve your website’s search engine rankings. These techniques work by deceiving the search engine algorithms in order to obtain a higher ranking and are usually in direct violation of the search engines’ rules and regulations.
.Drawbacks of using Black Hat SEO
1) They provide users with low quality content
Black hat SEO is designed to impress the search engine algorithms and not the users. Therefore, while they might increase your website’s ranking, they provide users with low quality content that is not relevant to their search engine queries.
2) They are not effective in the long run
Search engine algorithms change from time to time. If you are using unethical SEO tactics, you must continually revise them so as to maintain your website’s ranking. This makes renders them useless in the long run. It is also expensive and time-consuming to maintain them.
3) They carry the risk of being penalized
Search engines aim to provide users with the useful content that is relevant to their search terms. They are therefore very harsh on websites that use unethical tactics to improve their rankings. In case you are caught using unethical strategies, your website could be ranked much lower in the search engines or even deleted from their listings (“sandboxed”).
.Black Hat SEO techniques you should avoid
1) Using unrelated keywords
This involves using irrelevant keywords in your content to increase the amount of traffic coming to your website. While this strategy can help increase your rankings and bring more visitors to your website, it delivers low quality traffic that is hard to convert into sales.
2) Keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the excessive use of keywords aimed at deceiving the search engine algorithms in order to gain a higher ranking. This SEO strategy delivers low-quality, unreadable content to the users. It is a technique that can lead to search engine penalties. In addition, it creates a poor user experience, which damages the reputation of your brand.
Cloaking is an SEO strategy that creates two sets of content, one keyword shown to the search engines, and another containing readable content shown to the users. This practice is more user-friendly than keyword stuffing. However, it violates the search engines guidelines and can lead to penalties.
4) Duplicate content
Duplicate content involves copying a substantial or exact amount of content from another website and then posting on your website to increase traffic. This is usually done without the permission from the content owner. The search engines frown upon this practice, and it can result in penalties when they catch you.
5) Creating mirror websites
This is a technique where you create two or more websites, which contain similar content. This practice aims at increasing the rankings of each website, which can then be used to obtain backlinks to the primary website. Search engines treat this as offering duplicate content, and can result in harsh penalties.
6) Article spinning
Article spinning involves using a software to rewrite an already existing article into a new article to avoid duplicate content. However, since you are using software to write, the created article contains poor grammar, is usually gibberish, and does not provide any new information to the users. While spinning might be an easy and cheap way of creating content, the content provided to users is usually low quality, which can negatively impact your website.
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO: Summary
When starting out your business, it might be tempting to use Black Hat SEO; however, its effectiveness is limited to a short period and it can be very expensive to maintain. In addition, they deceive the users visiting your website, which can ruin the reputation of your brand. While it might take you longer to get the desired results, they are more effective, long-lasting, and provide your website with ethical search engine rankings and help you build a timeless online brand defined by integrity and value.