The differences between black and white hat SEO

The differences between black and white hat SEO

You know you need the services of a London SEO agency when you start reading about grey hat link building. I’ve just spent an hour or so reading about it, and supporting SEO services, and I think I’m getting a headache. Let me explain it as I understand it.

Before we get into wearing grey hats, we need to go back to monochrome. Before there were grey hats, there were black hats and white hats and, as you’d expect, black hats are bad and white hats are good. And not just in London either.

So, the techniques involved in SEO, search engine optimisation, can be classified into two broad categories, those that search engines recommend as part of good design (and, of course, the only kind of techniques employed by those shiny SEO agency types in London) and those techniques of which search engines do not approve. The industry experts call the former white hat SEO and the latter black hat SEO.

White hat SEO, or ethical SEO, refers to the usage of techniques and strategies that focus on a human audience, those that conform to search engine guidelines and involve no deception. This means creating content for users, not search engines, and making that content easily accessible. The creation of this sort of content involves the use of keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity and writing content for human readers, most of which is best left to an SEO agency in London.

Now there are also those who believe that the end justifies the means and that is certainly the case with black hat SEO, the use of aggressive SEO strategies and tactics that focus entirely on fooling the search engines and, usually, do not obey search engine rules. Methods such as keyword stuffing, invisible text, page stuffing or doorway pages and selling and farming links are all considered unethical. The use of black hat SEO techniques can result in a website being banned from a search engine.

Now the term grey hat can be applied in various IT areas but, in any case, it refers to activities that fall (unsurprisingly) somewhere between black and white, in other words those activities that may be regarded as questionable. Grey hat SEO takes more risks than white hat techniques but won’t necessarily get your website banned from the search engine. Grey hat techniques are those such as having a keyword density that is high enough to sound unnatural but not at the level of the black hat keyword stuffing, publishing duplicate content at different sites, link building where relevance is less important, three-way linking and using paid links. However, it can be argued that the legitimacy (or not) of some of these techniques is purely subjective and what one person may consider grey hat may be black hat to another. Overall, clearly an area that requires the expertise of a London SEO agency.

Leave a comment