SEO is a technique that is applied to increase visibility and get a high rank in SERPs. There are three main types of SEO viz. white hat SEO, grey hat SEO and black hat SEO. The concept of black hat and white hat is old. During the 1920s the heroes would wear a white hat, and the villain would wear a black hat. This concept has been used in many fields. The SEO industry also adopted this phrase to explain the various types of SEO activities.
White Hat SEO
The process of following search engine guidelines and using only ethical tactics while performing SEO is known as White Hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO
It is the process of applying risky tactics and not following the search engine guidelines. In this, the SEOs use several tactics that are against the guidelines of Google. To find out what is inside the ethical SEO practices is quite tricky. There is no definite explanation for it.
Good and Bad Practices in SEO
We all are advised to follow only those rules that are provided by Google itself because it’s their platform. The search engine has all the power to decide what features should be in the content. It took many years to develop the algorithm of most search engines with proper research and manipulation.
The search engine easily catch the websites that go against the search engine guidelines. Google has all the power to decide which website is using ethical tactics and which are using unethical ways.
The most popular search engine’s guidelines are quite clear and can be easily understandable by any SEO professional. Google provides “Quality guidelines” to its users so that they wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time in understanding manipulative behaviour. The guidelines also talk about change in the algorithm of Google as it keeps updating its algorithm now and then. Google decreases the presence of those websites which don’t follow the search engine guidelines.
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Black Hat & White Hat – The Difference
The significant difference between black hat and white hat SEO is whether you are working according to Google’s guidelines or not. But many users find a few guidelines of search engine unclear. In such situations, what should they do?
Grey Hat SEO
Many SEO professionals are debating the concept of Grey hat SEO. If you want to know what is Grey hat SEO, then you should check Google’s blog posts about it. However, you will find many articles on Google that would differ in their definition of Grey hat SEO. Some items would state that it’s a mixture both the black hat and white hat SEO tactics. Some would say it’s either the white hat or black hat, but with a few changes, it can become the opposite.
Well, both of the definitions mentioned above have a similarity. The main point is grey hat SEO is neither black nor white. It is the transition between both of them. If you are doing it, then you are not willingly informing Google about it. You can also not get automatically penalized for doing it. Grey hat SEO is not a bad practice, but it is to increase the rankings of any website.
Importance of These Definitions
The usage of all the three types of SEO is arbitrary, and their primary purpose is to help SEO professionals in checking whether their website is working well or not. The black hat strategies always go against the guidelines of the search engine and carry a few risks with them. And those websites who practice this SEO technique can be penalized or can also be banned when caught. It’s quite a severe issue, especially when the site is not your own. If you are using it for a business which is not your own, then because of your unethical practices, the company can face a tremendous loss. Non-ethical way of link building is the most common example of a black hat SEO practice.
White hat involves the creation of content that provides value to the audience. It inspires users or enlightens them. The content should be so good that the other websites want to connect with it.
Addition of the web site’s link to blog comment and paying for the links is also the practice that goes against Google’s guidelines.
In this, the blog posts are written entirely for ranking. It is incorporated with keywords to attract visitors. The page doesn’t provide much value to the audience.
All three types of SEO are different. But grey and black hat may differ entirely from each other. But the third one, which is a white hat SEO is related to neither of them. Sticking to white hat SEO is the best way to take the website to a higher level and provide value to the audience. Many SEO professionals who help business owners with SEO strategies and offer affordable SEO packages use any of the three tactics. Before hiring SEOs, you should find out what practice do they use.