Black Hat vs. White Hat Techniques and the Gray Hat Area
Here at Master Google, we are not afraid to admit it: SEO is a lot of work. White hat techniques require real effort. After all, the things that white hat SEO requires are all big commitments (which is why a team of specialists is key).Let’s take a look at a few of the basics of white hat content: quality content, site optimization, link baiting, guest blogging, internal linking, and semantic markup. The differences between white, gray and black hat marketing efforts are described to perfection in the form of a clever picture titled SEO Wars: What Color is Your Lightsaber, featured in a recent article by Angie Schottmuller of Search Engine Watch.
The definitions of gray and black hat seo practices are also made more clear by this picture. The gray hat area of SEO techniques include: spinning/rewriting articles, reciprocal links, buying old/expired domains, and Google bombing/washing. Black hat techniques include: keyword stuffing, link farms, hidden text, cloaking, scraping, doorway pages, comment spam, and paid links/content+.
Keep in mind that both gray hat and black hat areas will hurt you in the long run, according to Ali Husayni, the CEO of the SEO service company, Master Google. Heed the warning of Google’s anti-spam strategy: they can distinguish between black hat and white hat SEO techniques, and your rank will rise and fall accordingly.
“The only thing not changing with SEO is that it’s always changing,” Husayni says. “Be diligent in keeping up with those changes as [you handle your] site’s SEO, or partner with a qualified SEO provider to handle that task.”
After all, the battle lines between white hat, gray hat, and black hat techniques are drawn quite clearly, so pick an SEO practice and stick with it, urges Schottmuller, using Star Wars as an analogy.
“Will you uphold the righteous values of quality content and serve as a SEO Light Jedi, or do you long to be a master of deception as a SEO Sith Lord?” Schottmuller says. “Perhaps you’re a SEO Dark Jedi – once believing in white hat tactics and now thirsting for the dark side. Or perhaps you’re a SEO Jedi Fashionista – knowledgeable of both sides, but discreet in practices to keep up appearances.”
Our strong suggestion: do your search engine optimization efforts justice by sticking with white hat techniques.