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What is the difference between white hat and black hat SEO?

Updated on March 24, 2013

What is the difference between white hat and black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is essentially a sneaky way of tricking Google into ranking certain websites favourably. However, these methods are often unethical and are not to be recommended! The strategies may include cloaking, keyword stuffing, hidden text and also spamming other sites. Black hat SEO is basically a short term solution to a long term problem, as search engines will eventually penalise those sites which have been subjected to black hat techniques.

White hat SEO is the correct way of carrying out SEO. The techniques are organic and are fair to all internet users. White hat SEO will include producing brand new and original content for websites and blog posts and creating natural links between different sites.

As the internet is not currently regulated, it is very difficult to prevent some users from carrying out unethical and sneaky methods of pushing their sites onto page 1. Google carry out regular updates to their algorithms, partly as a way to banish black hat SEO and unfavourable techniques. It is also a way of keeping white hat SEO specialists on their toes; you can never take it for granted that a popular website will stay at page 1 forever!

Although some black hat techniques may produce much quicker results than white hat, Google will undoubtedly at some point pick up on these methods and will penalise those sites which have been optimised using black hat strategies. The rankings can completely disappear off the major search engines and it can take months to correct the faults.

It is therefore worth sticking with the ethical option to ensure that Google will reward the genuine hard work and effort put into a website and hopefully keep it at the top of the listings for as long as possible.

If you would like to learn more about SEO then we would love to hear from you!

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