For a blogger, optimising his blog or website for search engines is a critical step to success. He can make use of mainly two different kinds of techniques for this purpose – Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO techniques.
In this article, I am going to discuss about the major differences between Black Hat and White Hat SEO techniques and the ways to deal with them.
What are black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO?
If your SEO strategies are designed only for Search Engines and not for your readers, the strategies what you adopt are mostly Black Hat SEO strategies. Such strategies mostly involve manipulating Search Engine algorithms to have better SERP for websites. They go against the Webmaster guidelines set by Google. People resort to Black hat SEO strategies for quicker financial gains.
White Hat SEO strategies on the other hand are ethical SEO practices. These strategies concentrate on bettering reader experience and thereby increase traffic to website. Google vouch for such practices and you would be rewarded in the long time with White Hat SEO strategies.
Now we have seen what these Black Hat and White Hat SEO strategies are. To learn more about the differences between black Hat and White Hat SEO techniques, let’s see some of the major Black Hat and White Hat SEO strategies followed by SEO experts around the world in detail.
Black Hat SEO Techniques
1. Keyword Stuffing
Overusing of keywords in content or in the meta description is regarded as keyword stuffing practices by Google. This practice would ruin the quality of content.
So, make sure you limit keyword density to an acceptable level in your content. A keyword density between 2-3% is regarded as normal. Anything above that would invite penalties from Google.
Having two different versions of the same website – one for search engine bots and other for users is called Cloaking.
These websites provide highly SEO optimised content to Search Engine spiders for ranking purposes and non-SEO optimised content for readers.
This practice of Cloaking goes against Google’s Webmaster guidelines for SEO and would be penalized.
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3. Link Scheming
Mainly buying and selling of links in exchange of money or other benefits are regarded as link scheming practices. Suppose you are having a product review website. You include link to an external website along with the review in exchange of money or freebies. This is considered as link selling.
The opposite scenario where you pay popular blogs for adding links to your websites in them – Link buying is another Link scheming practice. Both are regarded as Black Hat SEO practices by Google.
To avoid Google penalty, you will have to include a ‘no-follow’ tag along with the links. No-follow tag prevents the flow of link juice.
4. Gateway Pages
These are the pages that are created only for SEO purposes and provide very less or no value to the reader. Black Hat SEO practisers fill these pages with certain popular keywords so that these pages appear among the top ranks of those keywords.
Since these pages are automatically redirected to the landing pages of websites, the user do not even see these pages. This is one black hat technique used by SEO experts to rank their websites higher in Google search engine results.
This may not yield the expected benefits in many cases as gateway pages can increase the bounce rates for your sites. Also, if search engine spiders detect such pages, they would flag your website as spam or ban it.
5. Article Spinning
Readers come to your website for original and useful content. With increased competition in the blogging industry, today there are numerous blogs operating in the same niche.
There is a tendency among the beginner level bloggers to publish articles which are just rehashed versions of articles in other popular blogs. Google does not encourage this practice as this would ruin the quality of Google Search results.
So this practice of plagiarism would be regarded as a black hat SEO technique and would result in penalties from Google.
So far we have seen, some of the commonly used black hat SEO examples. Let’s discuss about the other side now – the better side. That is, the use of white hat SEO techniques.
Black Hat SEO techniques are the shortcuts to success in SEO. As we all know results obtained through shortcuts are never permanent. So instead I would advise everyone to stay away from Black Hat SEO practices and adopt the following White Hat SEO techniques.
1. Original and Quality Content
Content is regarded as the king in SEO industry. It’s the foundation to be laid for success with SEO. Content has to be useful, original and unique. So always generate content with your readers in mind.
Good quality content could increase the traffic to your website dramatically. Search Engines reward the websites who follow this White Hat SEO strategy with high SERP rankings.
2. Making Use of Keywords in the Right Way
Keywords as we all know are an integral part of SEO. Researching for appropriate keywords and keyword phrases for the content in website and using them judiciously in the content is regarded as a White Hat SEO strategy.
Search engines match the user search queries with the keywords used in websites and direct users to respective websites. By making use of the right keywords in your website, you could help Google in providing faultless search results to users.
3. Associate Yourselves with Quality Links
You can include Backlinks to other websites in your website. While doing this, ensure that you link only to quality and reliable websites.
Also stay away from various link scheming practices – buying and selling of links as we have discussed earlier.
So these were some important White Hat SEO examples.
Over to You
So that’s the whole discussion on Black Hat SEO versus White Hat SEO. I would personally advise all my readers to adopt White Hat SEO strategies so as to have long lasting success with your blog or website.