Which SEO Hat to wear?

Did you know that when it comes to SEO, the conformist, the rebel and the fence sitter really exist on the WWW?
And they even have a color and a hat attached?

Yes, they come as White Hat, Black Hat, and Grey Hat.

The White Hat is the goody, goody conformist, who strictly adheres to the Google SEO guidelines. You won't find any hanky panky. White Hat SEO concentrates on building good content towards SEO. The accent here is that quality content and effective marketing strategies will help achieve top search engine rankings.

And by the way, White Hat SEO writes content for people and not search engines. So you’ll see, they are able to get more inbound links from other websites and this is considered to be a better SEO tool.

Since a White Hat SEO company does not run the risk of being blacklisted by search engines, all the visitors to the specified website get converted easily.

Here are some common White Hat SEO Techniques:

  • White Hats consider how search algorithms work and what people are searching for when they optimize a website. Their site’s posses clean cut and well-structured source codes, they add unique and relevant content, and legitimate trustworthy inbound links.
  • The sites are also designed so search engines can easily index and spider them.
  • White Hats are opposed to the abuse of computer systems and the use of an unethical method and they are usually equally as skilled as the Black Hats.

Black Hat, you guessed right, is the rebel who flouts Google’s unequivocal SEO guidelines. Black Hat SEO indulges in spamming, targeted at tricking and manipulating search engines and thereby get irrelevant or poor quality search engine result pages (SERP).

Using technology and automation, it creates large numbers of sub-standard web pages and easily pulls in links from other irrelevant websites. This method often gets the website to top most search engine ranking within a short span of time. But, when search engines detect such sites, they’re banned or crash on view.

Here are some common Black Hat SEO Techniques: Black Hat tactics include link farms, keyword stuffing, and hidden text.

Black Hat tactics include link farms, keyword stuffing, cloaking and hidden text.

  • A link farm is any group of websites that all link to each other without any regard to quality or relevance.
  • Keyword Stuffing is one of the most popular Black Hat SEO methods. In this method, the website is ‘stuffed’ full of any given keyword; as a result, the content and readability of the text is severely compromised. The text is often pushed to the bottom of the page and put in a small font, in the hope is that the search engine will see the keyword is used many times and rank it well.
  • Cloaking is a Black Hat SEO technique in which different content is presented to search engine spiders and humans. When a human types in a request, a normal web page is shown. When a search engine makes a request, a highly keyword optimized, a human-unreadable page is shown. This way, the search engines are fooled into believing that the content they see is highly relevant and optimized.
  • Hidden Text is a similar method where a keyword is written repeatedly in the same color as the background; this usually gets the site reported by its competitors quickly and results in the site being blacklisted.

Gray Hat SEO is more like someone who’s caught in-between. Many of us fall in this category. Some tend to use more dubious devices and take bigger risks. While some Gray Hat techniques may obey search engine rules, others go ahead and take risks that might land them. Besides, Gray Hat SEO techniques remain ill-defined by all Google SEO guidelines.

So what’s the best path?

Google categorizes White Hat SEO as good, Black Hat SEO, bad and Gray Hat SEO as mostly dicey.

So it’s best to stay far from Black Hat techniques, focus on White Hat and if you must, only then tread the middle Grey path but not before thoroughly assessing the risks involved.

Do you have anything to comment on this article? Please feel free to do so. Give us your take or insight. We’re all ears (oops, eyes)!

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