ANALYSING BLACK HAT AND WHITE HAT SEO18Mar
I’ve read many articles on the two major SEO techniques namely ‘The Black Hat Technique’ and ‘ The white Hat Technique’. Majority of them have stated how white hat techniques are correct and black hat techniques incorrect. Black hat techniques are the ones that have to be banned and white hat the ones which have to be used in order to improve search engine rankings of a website. However, my opinion on these two techniques is a slightly different one. I believe that black hat techniques are white hat techniques gone wrong. They are correct techniques which have either been overused or incorrectly used, techniques which are legal and right but in order to gain quick admiration and value, have been used negatively. According to me, not techniques but the way they are used by SEO professionals for website rankings determines their colour. A black technique if used correctly can turn into a white technique. Hence, in this post I will be exploring the concepts of black and white technique of SEO and their interrelation with each other. I am not here to tell you which technique is correct or incorrect or which will be the right technique to use. In fact, I will be analysing black hat and white hat SEO techniques and trying to figure out why certain techniques get labelled as BLACK OR WHITE depending on their usage. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the correct usage of SEO techniques and avoid the whole phenomena of black and white SEO.
SO LET’S START……
WHAT ARE BLACK HAT SEO TECHNIQUES?
Black Hat SEO can be defined as using SEO techniques in a copy paste manner or over using certain SEO techniques in order to increase the website’s ranking on search engines. By making use of black hat SEO, a company goes against the rules and regulations of SEO. Black hat techniques are used by companies in order to jump up in rankings of search engines and are extremely search engine oriented with little importance to human users. It is search engine focused and the main aim of using these techniques is to improve ranking over search engines and increase website visibility over the internet.
- KEYWORD STUFFING
- DUPLICATING /COPYING CONTENT
- INVISIBLE TEXTS AND LINKS
- LINK SCHEMES, LINK SPAMMING
- ILLEGAL BEHAVIOUR (software virus, low quality Websites, frauds)
All the above stated techniques and many more fall under the web of black hat techniques of SEO.
There is a big drawback in using these techniques, a major one being search engines penalising the website and lowering the website’s rankings.
Google follows a strict policy with respect to black hat techniques and penalises in the form of banning the website altogether or making sure that the website never shows up on the first page of search results.
WHAT ARE WHITE HAT SEO TECHNIQUES?
The good child of SEO, white hat techniques are those techniques which are extremely conscious of the various rules and regulations of search engines and only include those techniques that adhere to search engines rules and regulations.
White hat techniques include:
- MOBILE FRIENDLINESS (design, speed,responsiveness)
- ORIGINAL CONTENT
- USER FOCUS
- KEYWORD FOCUS
- LINK BUILDING
- QUALITY DRIVEN WEB-PAGES/ WEBSITES
Websites using white hat techniques are definitely going to have a great head start over other websites and such websites will have skyrocketing rankings over search engines. These are the “perfect search engine websites” as they adhere to all the rules put forth by various search engines.
THE BIRTH OF BLACK HAT SEO ….
Now that you have a basic idea about white and black SEO, we can move forward to see how a technique gets labelled as “black “or “white”. Who decides this?
The answer is very simple: Search Engines. The whole concept of white and black SEO revolves around search engines.
In the 90”s when SEO was introduced many websites used black hat techniques like duplicate content, link spamming, fraud and many more. Back then, the label “black hat techniques” was yet to be introduced into the SEO world.
When the search engines analysed their own content and website rankings, they realised that a lot of it was either duplicate or auto generated or a lot of illegal behaviour like spreading viruses and other frauds were taking place over the internet. Hence, in order to curb these dark activities the Black Hat SEO concept was introduced.
How was it introduced? In a very smooth manner, search engines went through algorithmic changes and started updating their algorithms frequently and also started penalising websites which followed the dark techniques.
THE THIN LINE BETWEEN BLACK HAT AND WHITE HAT …
There are certain black hat techniques like virus spreading, fraud activities, low quality websites which are completely wrong and should never be used by SEO specialists for their websites. However, I will be talking about those techniques which if used correctly do not fall in the black hat category. A lot of websites even today use certain black hat techniques and surprisingly their websites and content have pretty good rankings over search engines until they get caught rather if they get caught. At times, this can actually improve the performance of search engines. How does this happen?
This happens because the techniques used by both the hats are very similar the only difference being that black hat uses the techniques in a wrong way. If one analyses both the techniques of SEO, one will find that they are very similar in different ways.
Let’s take a look at those techniques…
Keywords have an important role in content generation. Keyword research and keyword targeting are two very important aspects of keyword process, if done correctly it can be a white hat technique, however, if keywords are not placed properly or are overused it can lead to the problem of keyword stuffing which is a black hat technique. Keyword stuffing is overusing a keyword within the content in order to attract the attention of search engines and users. Search engines need to know what your content is about and the target keyword used, however using the same keyword infinite number of times will not only bore the reader but also lead to low rankings over search engines. Hence, when it comes to the technique of keywords you have to be very careful while using them, as a single mistake can make this good technique bad.
Even in terms of keyword research one can use various tools provided over the internet for selecting the right keywords instead of selecting wrong keywords for the content. If not paid attention, the problem of keyword stuffing will definitely occur.
Wouldn’t it be great to create an extremely unique content which would put your website on the very first result of every search engine? Content that has never been read before, completely new and fresh? Like Newton’s theory of gravity? Is it possible? Yes, if you spend a vast amount of time in research or are well gifted like Newton and Einstein to come up with your own theories. There are infinite numbers of articles available over the internet over one single topic, hence, a lot of SEO specialists feel that if they duplicate content and copy it directly for their blogs, articles or websites, nobody would notice. This is wrong as search engines notice it and guess what they can even ban your website for it as it turns into a black hat technique.
Automation of content is also another dark technique. Generating content with the help of robots catering only to search engines has become a very common practice. Therefore, it is very important to have well written content which maybe not entirely original but also should not be completely copied. In order to create content for a specific website on a specific topic SEO specialists can research and refer previously created similar topics for understanding the topic better, however, duplicating or copying will definitely get them in trouble .Consistency is also another white technique which can be used to replace the techniques of duplication. An article or a blog for a website does not have to be lengthy instead, it can be brief and well written with original content followed by a number of articles or posts. Being consistent and posting regular content is a must for SEO specialists.
Linking is one of the best techniques one can use in order to improve a website’s rankings. However to gain quick lead in rankings and larger viewership of websites linking can become a bad technique. Techniques like link spamming which involves posting website links on unrelated pages that have nothing to do with the website or the created content. Spamming links as comments or sharing it on various social media platforms but on unrelated groups, chats. Invisible links or texts is another common bad technique, this process involves hiding links or text on a colourless or white background or burying links in small characters like full stops,commas etc.. However, if the practice of linking is done correctly it can be an extremely good SEO practice. This can be done in the form of building relevant back links which can be done by linking your content with other related websites. However, quality of content is extremely important here and you must also be aware of bad links and good links and their effect on your website. Internal linking is another good practice where in you link your content with other related content of your own website; it’s an internal process which can help a visitor understand your website better. Another black hat technique which can be made white is the concept of paid links. The concept of paid links revolves around the method of buying or selling links and is a very big violation. A paid link is easily spotted and is good enough to lower your website rankings .However, if attempted smartly it can help improve your website rankings, this can be done in the form of sponsorship or donation. Your company can donate to a charity or be sponsors of some event this will mean that your company would get the right limelight and also your website would have generated more links. This can be the most legitimate way of making a black hat technique a good one and will also be a good way of contributing towards your society.
I have spoken about the three most important SEO techniques which if done correctly becomes a white hat technique but if overused leads to be a black hat technique. My main aim was to make you all understand that every technique of SEO can be a good one if used correctly and can help your website gain high ranks when used. This brings an end to the Three Part SEO series blogs posts. In my next post I will be talking about SEO and PPC; analysing them and choosing the correct option with respect to your needs.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Kamakshi Ray is a 21 year Sociology student who is currently in her final year of graduation. She is an avid reader and an extremely passionate writer. Currently, She is working as a social media intern for Infozzle Software solutions where she writes about various topics related to SEO, Web Design, E-commerce, etc. and manages the company’s social media profile on Linkedin and Facebook.