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White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

When SEO was closer to its infancy, black hat tactics were the norm for some early digital marketers. Over the years, Google has cracked down on black hat SEO practices. In fact, Google has explicitly stated that websites employing spammy SEO tactics will be severely penalized in search engine results pages, assuming they continue to rank in them at all. Even if you hire a third-party to manage your SEO, Google will still penalize your site if black hat practices are used in an attempt to manipulate the “system” without your knowledge or approval. 

These days, Google’s algorithm rewards websites that employ white hat SEO to create high-quality, relevant content, improve their page load speed, and provide a pleasant user experience. For this reason, reputable SEO providers only use white hat SEO tactics.

What Is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO involves practices that search engines frown upon, meaning tactics that can result in penalties, a lower rank in search engine results pages or a ban. Even though the punishment for engaging in black hat SEO can be severe, it’s still tempting because it can temporarily increase the traffic that visits your website. While black hat SEO can yield short-term results, they won’t last because search engines will catch on quickly and your website will pay, often in dramatic fashion.

Here are some common black hat SEO practices:

  • Baiting search engines with unrelated keywords: This tactic involves using keywords that have nothing to do with the published content to bait search engines into thinking the material is relevant to a person’s search for information.
  • Automating content or comments: While automated content and comments often include a keyword or two, this type of material typically makes no sense to a viewer and search engines are quick to pick up on that fact.
  • Using doorway pages: A doorway page consists of keyword stuffed content that sends people to another location when they click on it. In other words, doorway pages are meaningless, wasteful “pass-throughs.”
  • Embedding invisible links or text: Embedding invisible links or text in content is meant to improve where a page lands in SERPs where it wouldn’t rank as well without the unseen links or text, if it ranked at all.
  • Cloaking content: This technique is exactly what its description implies—it’s the practice of disguising content so it appears in SERPs where it doesn’t belong.

What Is White Hat SEO?

Whereas black hat SEO can produce short-term results that aren’t sustainable, white hat SEO is geared to yield lasting results over the long-term. White hat SEO is intended to make your site more visible in SERPs through approved techniques that will yield improved rankings, not penalties.

Here are some current white hat SEO practices:

  • Publishing high-quality, link-worthy, error-free content that’s directly relevant and meaningful to your target audience
  • Using relevant keywords appropriately without overusing them
  • Securing quality backlinks from credible websites
  • Including a limited number of links to your own content on each webpage
  • Using keywords in your pages’ meta titles, meta descriptions and alt text boxes

NW Media Collective Inc.: An SEO Agency You Can Trust with Your White Hat SEO

NW Media Collective Inc. is a full-service digital marketing agency that offers a suite of search engine optimization services. We adhere to SEO best practices, which means we engage in white hat SEO exclusively. Our goal is to produce lasting results for our clients, not unsustainable, short-term gains.

To learn how our SEO agency can generate ongoing results for your business, contact NW Media Collective Inc. now.

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