Search Engine Optimization entails having profound knowledge of white, grey, and black hat techniques. Website owners who are familiar with how Search Engine Optimization works know which methods to make use of and which ones to avoid.
While certain practices are either legal or illegal (leading to getting a site penalized), there is a certain pool of activities that are on the borderline and have been confusing the SEO experts for quite some time.
In order to understand the said techniques better, let’s delve in the intricacies of each.
White Hat SEO
According to SEO Experts at Healthy Links, White Hat SEO includes all those practices that improve a site’s performance in the SERP without breaking any guidelines set by the sear SEO engine guru; Google.
White Hat SEO is the most ethical route to winning a good ranking for a website. For beginners, it is essential to understand the importance of adhering to the Google Webmaster guidelines. The algorithm is smart enough to identify which site is complying and which ones aren’t and how.
White hat practices are what forms the basis of Search Engine Optimization.
Inclusion of keywords in the titles, headings, meta description in just the right density is all forms of white hat practices.
Grey Hat SEO
Just as any other guideline entails loopholes, Google Webmaster guidelines, too, haven’t explained everything to its core. Although the guidelines do differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable practices, there is still room for exploitation. This is where the grey hat techniques come from.
Grey Hat SEO practices are techniques maneuvered in such a way that the chances of a site being penalized because of them are minuscule.
Mind you that whenever an SEO expert makes use of the said practices, there is always a risk. The website might or might not get penalized because of it.
If there is a risk factor involved, then why do people go for grey hat techniques rather than white hat ones?
The answer is simple; Grey hat techniques are more powerful in improving the website’s performance in SERP.
Unnatural and pushy link building comes under the ambit of grey hat techniques. Now, this is a bit tricky to understand. If you do not ask another website to give you links and wait for the backlinks to start flowing naturally, then you are doing it the White Hat SEO way. But if you are creating duplicate content on multiple sites with the intention to get links for your websites then you have crossed the border; you have now become a grey hatter.
But that is still somewhat acceptable as long as you are not actually employing illegal tactics.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO techniques are straight-out illegal and will most definitely get you in trouble. Google has strictly forbidden the use of malpractices to manipulate a website’s ranking in Google. All these practices are termed as black hat techniques.
These practices can get you the desired results most quickly and ruin your reputation too in the other instant.
It does not take long for the algorithm to identify the black hat techniques, and once a website is identified using it, penalty follows.
Black hat in SEO includes stuffing of keywords. This is when a website tries to go beyond the set standards of keyword density.
Private blogging networks are one of the most commonly used black hat techniques. PBNs (Private Blogging Networks) are basically small groups of networks that work collectively to improve a website’s rank in Google. This network includes websites that have either an expired domain (purchased for PMNs) or a domain that has authority in Google but is now irrelevant.
Experts say if there is any type of SEO practice that one should avoid at all costs, it is the black hat SEO. Once a website is penalized because of it, it gets next to impossible to rebuild its reputation in Google.
Although all the SEO experts clearly know the consequences of using illegal means to pace up their website’s performance, they still use it.
If your website has managed to survive by using black hat techniques without getting caught, it won’t take long for a new update to break the deal for you. Black hatters are always on the edge of their seats, hoping against hope not to get caught.
So, it is always advisable to not employ the illegal practices and wait for your efforts to bear fruit.