What’s the Difference Between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO?

White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO

You’ve got a good website, and you want to take it to the next level in a competitive industry. You want to generate more sales, which means your prospective customers need to find you in amongst all the other websites in your industry.

If you want to stand out from the crowd online and reach the top few spots on the search engines in order to capture up to 65% of the clicks, then you need a solid SEO strategy.

So who do you go to to make this happen?

You’ve heard that SEO will help you appear higher in the search engines, but now you need to find a good SEO company to work with. You’ve been approached by exactly 11.5 million companies by email or phone from all over the world who want to work with you, but how can you tell a good company from a bad one? Who should you trust, and does it matter who you choose?

The answer is yes, it matters. Be very careful who you trust. A good SEO company will potentially get you very far by building a solid foundation for your website. They will focus on optimising your website based on what Google wants, which is reputable and trustworthy websites built to enhance the human experience.

A bad SEO company will get you blacklisted by Google for using deceptive SEO practices that try to take shortcuts or manipulate the system. In many cases what used to be common SEO practice, is now considered bad SEO practice, so you need to choose a company that stays on top of the current best practices and is aware of Google search algorithm updates.

So how can you tell the difference between a good SEO (white hat) and bad SEO (black hat)?

Before hiring an SEO company, you should be aware of some key differences between good white hat SEO practice vs bad black hat SEO Practice:

White Hat SEO

•    Acts with integrity to optimise positioning organically
•    Provides what is best for the user experience (UX)
•    Focuses on well-written quality content to educate or entertain with some keyword/phrase usage (approx 1-2%)
•    Quality descriptive keyword-rich meta tags
•    Manually generates legitimate backlinks from suitable sources
•    Writes and submits quality articles to relevant blogs and media
•    Varies anchor text
•    Stays on top of changes in SEO best practice

Black Hat SEO

•    Tries to deceive or trick the search engines to gain higher ranking
•    Creates pages without original or useful content
•    Meta tags and content contain keyword cramming
•    Bulk buys and automatically spams backlinks
•    Uses invisible text for search engines rather than for human readers
•    Uses sneaky redirects to direct users to alternative pages
•    Scraped or copied content that does not add value to the user
•    Doesn’t keep up to date with Google requirements or act with best SEO practice in mind.

There are many other good and bad SEO practices to be mindful of, but the principles are the same. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential SEO company some questions to identify if they use white hat or black hat SEO strategies.

When you hire an SEO company, they need to know their stuff and have integrity. They need to help you build the best possible website for users, not for search engines, and need to consider what’s best for you and your website in the long-run.

Good SEO practices take time to implement. SEO is not overly complicated when you know what you’re doing and keep abreast of the best practices, but the process of doing the work is what you’re paying for.

The consequences of hiring a dodgy SEO company just to save some money, will not be worth it in the long-run if it means they get you blacklisted. If you try to get the cheapest SEO rate, you could end up hiring someone who tries to take shortcuts at your expense, but it will cost you in the long-run.

As my grandfather always said, ‘you get what you pay for’ so do your research and make sure you hire the best SEO company for the job.