I’ve been asked many times by clients what exactly black hat search engine optimization is. To put it simply, black hat SEO is using methods that are contrary to the rules of a search engine to achieve good SEO. However, these results aren’t maintainable and you will eventually be caught violating search engine rules. In fact, in the long term, using black hat techniques will actually end up hurting your website and its reputation. Search engines will eventually catch on to what you are doing and your website may be omitted from search results. Some examples of black hat SEO are: using invisible text to put more keywords on your site, adding unrelated keywords to the page content, or copying content from an another website.
White SEO on the other hand is doing SEO according to the guidelines created by the search engines, and unlike black hat SEO, will take a lot longer before you begin to notice results. Although It may take a long time to get a good SEO ranking using white hat methods, once you’ve achieved a good ranking, you will have lasting results. White hat SEO is the natural way to improve your search result ranking – and can be achieved by focusing on putting up high quality content on your website.
Gray hat SEO is the middle ground between the two, although the practices may allow you to acquire SEO results quicker than white hat SEO, there is still a risk that your methods may eventually lead to the removal of your website from search results. Search engines are improving the way they detect manipulation in search rankings and once they’ve caught on to what you’ve been doing; you can be penalized the same way black hat SEO’s are. Some examples of gray hat SEO are: buying up expired domains and filling it with content and back links to your website, creating a web ring of websites that link to each other, or copying content from another website but changing a few words around.
At A Nerd’s World we don’t take short cuts and believe in doing things the right way from the beginning. We make sure that the results we give you will actually be beneficial to you in the long term. A competitor may be able to use black hat methods to give you SEO results tomorrow and for very cheap, but whether it’s a few days, a week, or even a month from now you will lose those results. In fact, you may even be in a worse position than you were when you started. I strongly advise everyone to focus on creating a website with good content rather than trying to take short cuts.
It is important for anyone who has a website to make sure that the methods being used on their site are white hat SEO techniques. Because if black hat SEO techniques are used on your websites, you will be the one who ultimately has to deal with the penalties.
Chris A. Hughes