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The difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO has to do with the techniques used when trying to improve a website’s search engine ranking.

Black hat SEO refers to techniques and strategies used to get higher search rankings, and breaking search engine rules. Black hat SEO focuses on only search engines and not so much a human audience. Black hat SEO is typically used by those who are looking for a quick return on their site, rather than a long-term investment on their site. Some techniques used in black hat SEO include: keyword stuffing, link farming, hidden texts and links, and blog content spamming. Consequences of black hat SEO can possibly result in your site being banned from a search engine and de-indexed as a penalization for using unethical techniques.

White hat SEO refers to the use of techniques and strategies that target a human audience opposed to a search engine. Techniques that are typically used in white hat SEO include using keywords, and keyword analysis, doing research, rewriting meta tags in order for them to be more relevant, backlinking, link building as well as writing content for human readers. Those who use white hat SEO expect to make a long-term investment on their website, as the results last a long time.

White hat SEO techniques:

Creating quality content is important because it shows the search engines that your site is unique and appropriate to display. Researching keywords that are both short and long tail and are relevant to your site is necessary to do as well. Be sure to include keywords naturally in headings, link anchor texts and page titles. Furthermore, it is important to add new relevant content regularly. The more content-rich your site is, the better as it will appear to be more valuable to the search engines, human visitors and webmasters who would most likely link to your site. Although creating quality content may be time consuming, it will be well worth it in the long run.

Black hat SEO refers to attempts to improve rankings in ways that are not approved by search engines and involve deception. They go against current search engine guidelines. White hat SEO refers to use of good practice methods to achieve high search engine rankings. They comply with search engine guidelines.

Major Differences

  • Compliance: Black Hat SEO involves techniques which are considered unethical by search engines, while White Hat SEO techniques conform to regulations and include no deception.
  • Approval: White Hat SEO is approved by all search engines, while Black Hat is not.
  • Consequence: The result of engaging in Black Hat SEO is that the website may get penalized with lower rankings, de-indexed, and might even be banned, and these penalties last for a long time.
  • Methods: Where White Hat SEO includes techniques such as research, quality content, analysis, web design, and relevant meta tags. Black Hat SEO methods comprise of blog comment spam, link farming, keyword stuffing, hidden links, and cloaked pages.

One has to wonder why people continue to insist upon using Black Hat SEO when the penalties imposed are so severe.

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