White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO – Beginners Guide

White hat vs blach hat seo

What is white hat SEO?

White hat SEO is a word used to define all the search engine optimization processes that are in respect with ethics and Google’s guidelines. It is a continuous approach that concentrates on content quality and user satisfaction more than ranking better at all costs.

The term is often used in the opposite of the so-called black hat SEO. This dichotomy arise in the classic Western movies, where the bad guys and good guys were differentiated by the color of the hat.

White hat SEO does not depend on the “shortcut” techniques such as acquiring (buying) backlinks or spam. Instead, the main focus is on quality content,great user experience and perfect on-page optimization.

How to implement white hat SEO?

The word white hat SEO is generally used only in the opposition to black hat SEO techniques, so to “execute white hat SEO” basically means “to carry out SEO”.

Some of the best practices of white hat SEO include:

  1. Quality content

The backbone of each SEO technique is high-quality,engaging content that answers the query and fulfills the user’s search intention.

In order to write great content, it is essential to study what people are searching for. Proper keyword research could benefit finding ranking opportunities or improve your existing content to achieve improved results.

Keyword tools such as keywordtool.io will help you find keywords that are relevant, popular and achievable.

  1.  Technical & on-page SEO

There are many technical points that need to be addressed in order to succeed in organic search. A good website must stand on solid foundation.

This implies it has to have a better web hosting and be well-coded and optimised for all the desktop and mobile devices. Page speed plays a significant role in SEO too as it is a confirmed ranking element.

Search engine optimization also consists of many on-page modifications, strategies and techniques. The in-page SEO proven practices include user-friendly URLs and well-optimized title tags and meta descriptions.

  1. Greater UX

Even though user experience design and optimization is a separate area, it impacts SEO indirectly. Even more so since Google’s Artificial Intelligence uses data from the user’s behavior to offer the better search results.

In Natural, it is important to make your website online easy to navigate and understand so that the users do not have to exit just because they feel confused.

  1. Link building

Even though link buying is a big no no, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to better the link profile of the your website in possible ways.

If your website content is great, it is more potential that other websites will link to it naturally.certainly, you can help to promote it through social media and email outreach.

There are some other white hat SEO link building techniques, link reclamation, including link baiting, broken link building and skyscraper technique.

If you are about to begin with link building, head over to the basics of backlinks part

What is black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO applies to all the techniques that try to deceive the search engines in the order to gain higher rankings. These frequently include spammy practices and unethical actions with the only motive – to gain better rankings as soon as possible no matter what are the methods.

Black hat SEO is the inverse of white hat SEO which is a term used to explain search engine optimization in respect with Google’s Guidelines.

Both words originate in Western movies where men wearing white hats were considered as the “good guys” and those wearing black hats were considered as “bad guys”.

Black hat SEO tactics 

There are numerous black hat SEO methods, though most of them are out of date and simply do not work anymore because Google has learned to identify them and penalize the websites.

  • Cloaking – display different content to users and search engines
  • Hidden text – hide out text from website visitors so that only crawlers can notice it
  • Keyword stuffing – using an unnatural number of keywords with the goal to to rank higher for certain phrases
  • Read about What is actually keyword stuffing?)
  • Sneaky redirects – redirecting search engine crawlers or users to a dissimilar URL than expected
  • Link manipulation – includes mainly various forms of buying backlinks
  • Private Blog Networks / Link farms – Building websites with the only purpose of linking to other websites
  • Blog comment spam – commenting on another blogs just to include a link to your website

Is it worth it to use black hat SEO tactics?

The straight answer would be no. There are two important reasons:

  1. It is unethical – major black hat SEO techniques indicate that you are breaching the rules to deceive the users and profit at the expense of other. And that is a pathway you should not go.
  2. It is very dangerous – majority of the black hat SEO techniques do more damage than helping in the long run and even if some methods work to a certain extent now, there is a high possibility they won’t tomorrow.

Here is a nice figure of speech by Search Engine Watch about black hat and white hat SEO:

White hats drive in the correct lane, while the black Lamborghini is getting pulled over and given a ticket for speeding 50 mph beyond the limit in the fast lane. Granted, it’s quite imaginable that Lamborghini may never get that ticket as you’re watching it zoom by, but that doesn’t imply there isn’t a cop just a few miles along the road waiting with a radar gun.

Gray hat SEO

Some SEO techniques that do not fall under either black hat SEO or white hat SEO are often called gray hat SEO. In natural, the SEO public is more persistent to them as they do not really hurt anyone although gray hat SEO surely is not “working by the book ”.

Now Let us compare these two sample backlinks:

The first link is bought from a PBN(private block Network) made specifically to sale backlinks. The article include 500 words and does not provide any additional value to the reader. Actually, the website has no traffic online at all and it links to anyone who is willing to pay.

The second backlink is bought from a top quality website online in the same niche as your website. The article where the link is situated is well supported and gets some real traffic. People reading the article actually want to visit your site through the link, as it provides additional value and makes sense in the context of the topic.

Are both links against Google’s guidelines?


Can both be considered black hat SEO?

That depends on the understanding. But most people would certainly say that there is a big dissimilarity between these links and a backlink that offers added value should not be considered black hat SEO even if it was bought.That’s one of the reasons why the word gray hat SEO was created