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De-mystifying White Hat and Black Hat SEO

By June 11, 2014 No Comments

What is the difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?

To answer this question we go back to the Wild West and immerse ourselves in the world of cowboys, some good – wearing White Hats and some bad wearing Black Hats, of course.

We get this question a lot.

Search engine optimization is the process by which the  volume and of course quality of traffic to a website can be improved. Search engines determine their rankings through algorithms that are secret and closely guarded and are based on somewhere around 300 ranking factors or principles. A good Charlotte SEO firm will use these principles to improve search rankings. The difference between white hat and black hat SEO relates to what techniques are used when applying these principles.

Some Important White Hat Principles:

  • Fresh original content
  • No keyword stuffing
  • Clear stylization and text

Avoid the following Black Hat techniques:

  • Invisible text
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Link to Text ratio is off

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO is the body of approved search engine optimization tactics designed to increase a website’s position on a search engine result page. This method uses optimization strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a real, engaged human audience opposed to search engines; it is completely following search engine rules and policies. White hat SEO refers to use of good practice methods to achieve high search engine rankings and comply with search engine guidelines, like content marketing. White hat is mostly used by those who intend to make a long term investment on their website.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways which are not approved by search engines. They go against current search engine guidelines. This method focuses only on the search engine and not at all a human audience. Some techniques used are keyword stuffing, hidden texts and links, link farming and spamming of blog content. The consequences of using black hat may result in banning of your website from search engine. Black hat is mostly used by those who want a quick return on their site, rather than a lasting business.

Let’s compare the both in this comparison chart below:

White hat SEO

Black hat SEO

Uses techniques which are approved by search engines.

Techniques used which are not approved by search engines.

Results last for a long time.

Site is banned, de-indexed or penalized through lower ranking.

Conforms to search engine designs and involves no deception.

Techniques used to get higher rankings in unethical manner.

Techniques used are research, analysis, re-write meta tags, content improvement and web redesign.

Techniques used are keyword stuffing, cloaked pages, link farming and blog content spam.


  • Black hat SEO gives quick results and is more tempting, but use of this can lead to banning of your site or being heavily penalized for using unethical means and it also gives only short term results.
  • White hat SEO helps to get your site higher ranked by using ethical techniques, good content, appropriate keywords and a combination of smart marketing angles providing long lasting results.

Explaining The Animals : Panda and Penguin

You may also wonder the difference between the terms “Panda” and “Penguin”. The difference is very simple. Panda is the ferocious search engine beast who analyzes every line of code on your website, including pictures, videos, content, meta tags, internal links and more. Google Penguin is the sneaky algorithm that reads and analyzes the quality and quantity of websites that link to yours among other external factors.  Various factors weight the domains effectiveness.

Webmasters are encouraged to remove bad links pointing to their sites immediately, find out more about Link Removal Services. Our team in Charlotte would love to review your online presence and give you recommendations on improving your SEO rankings using White Hat SEO techniques.