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Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO

Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO


Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is the process that increases the visibility of your website in a search engine’s results page.  Sites that rank highly on search engine results pages (SERP) attract more visitors.  Major engines such as Google use exclusive algorithms to determine a site’s ranking.  Although sites use their own algorithms, their methods are based on specific principles. When optimizing a site to increase its SERP rank, it is important to apply the same principles.  When a site is optimized, various techniques of SEO are applied in order to achieve the desired result.

The White Hat technique creates content for users, focusing on its relevance and quality of writing, as well as its usability and readability.  It follows the same basic principles and guidelines of SEO, ensuring that the content indexed by search engines is also visible to users.  White Hat SEO incorporates internal cross-linking on websites and inbound links from relevant, reputable sources and is approved by search engines.

Black Hat SEO drives traffic to sites through unethical methods not approved by search engines, and unlike other techniques, does not comply with SEO standards.  These practices go against current search engine guidelines, by using ‘hacks’ to drive traffic to sites.  This yields quick results, however, becomes problematic in the long-term.

The following are examples of Black Hat techniques:

1. Spamdexing – When irrelevant phrases are repeated to influence resources indexed by search engines

2. Keyword Stuffing – The addition of several keywords to manipulate SERP.  Content appears to be redundant and its writing style lacks in quality.

3. Invisible Iframes – When the page that appears to users is not hosted by the webpage’s company, allowing software to be downloaded without the user’s knowledge.

4. Invisible Text – Hiding keywords on a site by making the font color the same as page’s background.  This attracts search engine spiders, however, is not immediately visible to humans.

5. Fake Doorway Pages – Pages that are not visible to users because they don’t actually exist.  Again, another that attracts search spiders in order increase the site’s index.

SEO has become a necessity in every skilled digital marketer’s arsenal.  Due the significance of SEO, major search engines are constantly developing new methods to weed out those who abuse it. With the ongoing evolution of digital trends, it is important to implement ethical techniques and search engine approved practices to maintain your website’s, and company’s reputation.

Do you need help with your Toronto Search Engine Optimization?


Chris A. Hughes