Before paying someone to perform SEO on your website, you need to understand the two core categories of SEO practices that specialists use. Without understanding this difference, you could potentially be putting your website at risk.
The good news? We at SEO Sydney are going to explain to you the two categories, the differences, and which one should be used!
What is White Hat SEO?
Quite simply, White Hat SEO is a set of practices that prioritise the overall hygiene of your website while also being in line with the search engine’s terms of service. So what kind of practices do White Hat SEOs follow?
Here are some common ones:
- Creating highly relevant content
- Ensuring pages are fast
- Improving web page navigation
- Building backlinks naturally through networking
- Optimising images for accessibility
Deviating from these best practices will potentially put your website at risk of being given a disadvantage in the rankings or in rare cases, banned. This is why it’s advised that a search engine’s terms of service are followed closely.
What is Black Hat SEO?
On the contrary, Black Hat SEO prioritises doing the complete opposite of what White Hat SEOs do. A Black Hat’s SEO actively goes against the terms of service provided by a search engine, using any tactic they can to gain an advantage.
Some common schemes, Black Hat SEOs will use are:
- Doorway pages
- Linking schemes
- Keyword stuffing
- Duplicate content
- Paid backlinks
Typically, search engines such as Google will punish websites using these techniques by pushing their website down in ranking or even permanently banning them from appearing on the search results page.
What’s the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?
The core difference between these two concepts is the focus on providing a good service versus providing cheap ways to boost you temporarily until you inevitably get banned. Black Hat SEOs will typically charge low prices with promises of large amounts of traffic, but their schemes will never work. Google and other big search engines immediately crack down on these dishonest techniques, and they are always caught.
Example of Black Hat SEO
As mentioned earlier, a popular way for Black Hat SEOs to attempt tricking the search engine algorithm is to do what is known as keyword stuffing. With this, SEOs will try to repeat the focus keyword as many times as possible in the hope of tricking the ranking algorithm. They write for the algorithm, not for the people, meaning their content is not valuable to the users reading it.
Example of White Hat SEO
Alternatively, a White Hat SEO will allow keywords to appear naturally in the text, they prioritise providing valuable people-first content. They understand the importance of creating content that contains Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EEAT).
Which One Should Be Used?
We would highly suggest avoiding Black Hat SEO companies as much as possible, they will only put your website at risk. It’s recommended you spend the time looking for companies that offer honest transparent services.
Between both of these categories of SEO strategies, lies the concept of Grey-Hat SEO. These types of SEOs will find techniques that aren’t explicitly against the rules but are outside of what is typically considered best practice.
This could include:
- Click baiting in titles
- AI generating content
- Creating fake reviews
While these techniques can help provide you with a boost in your website ranking, the risk outweighs the reward. Big search engines may choose to start cracking down on these techniques, and it’s not unlikely that with the release of a new update, your website could potentially be removed from their index.
At SEO Sydney, we pride ourselves on offering ethical SEO to our clients, because you don’t deserve to be given services that may damage your business.
SEO Sydney: Key Takeaways
When looking for an agency to optimise your website, we recommend avoiding companies that use Black Hat SEO. If you want to avoid potentially damaging your business, then it’s important you ensure you hire a company that offers ethical SEO.
Stressed about trying to find a company you can trust? Not to worry, at SEO Sydney we believe in providing our clients with ethical SEO that aligns with Google’s terms of service – Get a quote!