Google commands a 93% share in the search engine market, which is why businesses want to appear on the first page of the search engine giant.
For that reason, despite the rise of social media platforms, search engine optimisation is still a thriving industry.
And like every other industry, it has good and bad players.
The good players work within the rules of the system and gun for long-term gains. They are the White Hat SEO experts.
The bad players are always trying to game the system. While it can give them quick results, you run the risk of being penalised, if you are caught by Google. They are the Black Hat SEO players.
Black Hat Versus White Hat SEO: The Difference
The two approaches to search engine optimisation differ not by way of techniques, but how those techniques are used. For instance, link building is one of the best ways to improve your ranking on Google and other search engines.
White hat SEO involves building backlinks via guest blogging, genuine user reviews, reaching out to relevant publications in your industry, and overall, creating high-quality content that people will share.
Black hat SEO, on the other hand, tries to cut corners. The shady approach uses private blog networks to build backlinks for a business.
A private blog network is a bunch of websites, all linking to one another, in order to boost search engine rankings. While such a link-building strategy might work for a bit, Google will penalise your website as soon as the manipulation is caught.
In simpler words, white hat SEO techniques rely on genuine human engagement to boost search engine rankings, and hence, deliver long-term results. Black hat techniques, on the other hand, are designed to fool bots, and mostly, deliver fast but short-term results.
In fact, in certain cases, websites can be manually penalised by Google reviewers if it is found trying to game the system.
Other common black hat SEO techniques include:
Google crawls your website for keywords in order to understand the kind of content you are offering. Right keyword research can, in fact, be the stepping stone to good search engine rankings.
However, including the right words on your website does not mean constantly repeating them, over and over again.
Google recognises keyword stuffing and demotes websites that habitually indulge in such practice. In order to tackle the menace of keyword stuffing, Google introduced semantic search after 2010.
Semantic search takes into account the meaning and context of a sentence to throw up search results instead of just relying on keywords.
Automating content creation
Businesses that blog regularly have 430% more indexed pages than those who don’t. Regular content creation is important for good, consistent search engine rankings.
However, not when you give the job of content creation to bots. A common black hat SEO technique is employing software for article spinning.
Bots crawl keyword research tools for high-ranking keywords. These keywords are then used to create ‘keyword-rich’ content.
However, the content is uninteresting to read. It is not useful for people and Google caught on to that. Putting content creation on auto-pilot no longer works. Any good SEO expert agency will tell you that.
Google is constantly trying to improve user experience. It keeps tweaking its algorithm to deliver high-quality, relevant search results.
Abusing search engine optimisation techniques might get you on the first page of Google quicker, but it also puts you at risk of penalty. White hat SEO is a more durable, legitimate way to rank your business on the search engine giant.