SEO White Hat vs. Black Hat

SEO at its heart is manipulating search engine results to raise your results higher than Google or Bing believe they should show up.  There are series of ever-changing methods to accomplish this.  Unfortunately, there are more bad SEO vendors in good.  I hope this article will give you the tools to understand enough to avoid bad SEO vendors and find a good.


SEO White Hat

SEO white hat methods are considered the safest but most labor-intensive methods of manipulating the search engine.  Initially Google and Bing frowned on any manipulation at all.  Today they recognize that there are some activities that both help them, and the consumer.  These activities are referred to as white hat, a reference to the cowboy days of old.  They are widely accepted as safe and beneficial.  The big downside of white hat SEO is it is usually labor-intensive and impossible to automate.  This inability to automate makes white hat SEO unpopular with many of the companies that claim to do search engine optimization.


SEO Black Hat

SEO black hat is more commonly implemented.  It’s typically marketed as a slick way to beat the search engines.  It’s cheap to implement and can easily be automated.  There is of course one major flaw.  It doesn’t work.  Google and Bing are massive intelligent computer systems.  They are trained to spot patterns, and every form of automation has a pattern.  Which means that every three months, sometimes sooner Bing and Google do a massive purge of the search results.  Sometimes this purge means your business is no longer listed highly in search.  Other times, your business is erased from search.

Why Vendors do Black Hat SEO

Many of you probably asking if it doesn’t work. Why would anyone do it?  The answer is simple, the turnover of SEO vendors is so high that many companies have made a good living by going in cheaply doing black hat SEO delivering short-term results and then either getting the clients to stop looking at results or expecting to get fired six months to year down the road.  When they do get fired, they find another person and repeat.


Common White Hat Tactics

Content Creation – The writing of original material that your potential customers would be interested in reading.

Optimization of existing content – the rewording and optimizing of existing content.

Backlinking – collaborating with other local or industry websites to mention and send traffic to each other.

you should never allow or do black hat SEO.


SEO Black Hat versions of White Hat practices

Spun Content – creating content by taking stolen content and rearranging the words so it looks more original.

Keyword stuffing – saturating your website with ill fitted keywords in the hope of tricking search engines about what your website is about.

Backlink spamming – submitting your website to shady back link sites.  To artificially create links from non-businesses or directories back to your website.


SEO what you should do?  You need to find SEO vendors that have had their customers for years not months. A White Hat SEO provider talks in terms of the labor that needs to be done versus the magic of their system. There are many more tactics and practices for both black hat and white hat SEO but these are the most common.  I’d like to to end this with the advice I try and give to every small business owner who asks me about SEO.  Before you sign up with a vendor you should ask the following series of questions.

  1. What is the labor that is going to be performed?
  2. How often will it be performed?
  3. How will I be able to see that it has been done?
  4. What are the expected results of the labor?
  5. How will he be able to see if were getting those results?
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