In short, White Label SEO (also known as White Hat SEO) is a term used to describe SEO practices that are accepted and suggested by search engines. On the other hand, Black Label (or Black Hat) SEO is a set of practices in violation of search engine guidelines.
But why Are White Hat SEO techniques important? Why do search engines care how you get your webpage to rank? And what are the core differences between black hat and white hat SEO? Those are the questions we will attempt to explain in this article.
The safest and best long term solution for your website is to work within the parameters of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. And to achieve this, you can make use of the options offered by White Hat SEO.
For a better understanding of both strategies, we will talk about the philosophy of SEO. Although generally White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO are opposite elements, this does not mean that they are incompatible. Some employ Gray Hat SEO, which is a combination of approved and unapproved SEO strategies.
Types of SEO
SEO is a very broad field that includes many different strategies, and therefore, it is more comfortable to talk about more specific types of SEO. Over the years there have been several different classifications, but the most important ones have been grouped around two dimensions.
Depending on whether we apply it on our page or we do not find:
- On-site SEO: as its name suggests, it is what we do within our website. It deals with relevance, search engine optimization, content, user experience etc. The advantage of this type is that we have a lot of control over what happens or not on our page.
- Off-site SEO: refers to factors external to our website, and the most important is the number and quality of the links. It takes into account the domain’s presence on social networks, the media, etc. Although we can contribute to off-site SEO, there are many elements that are out of our control.
Although the ideal is that both types of SEO are extremely important, it is suggested that you start with On-Site Optimization.
Think of it as a brick-and-mortar establishment; It is useless to attract customers who do not know you yet (Off-site) if your store is a disaster inside (On-site). Once you offer a quality website, it is time to capture traffic.
The second dimension of SEO does not refer so much to the scope of application as to the “ethics” of the strategies we use. Thus, we find two new types of SEO:
- Black Hat SEO: it is based on improving the positioning through unethical techniques, which go against the guidelines of search engines. These tactics include keyword stuffing, spam, etc. It is a risky SEO, with generally quick results but in the short term.
- White Hat SEO: they are the ethically correct actions that comply with the guidelines of the engines. It is the one that makes a search more relevant by providing more value to the user, and it is the one that must be used for serious long-term projects.
Considering the types of SEO, we are going to specify a little more what are factors or steps to follow to modify our web positioning. How important are search engine algorithms to rate our page?
What are the right SEO tactics?
- Get quality inbound links
A website that references your content by inserting a link that points to it is a guarantee of quality. Indeed, the site’s administrators found it so interesting that they pointed it out to their audience.
Therefore, search engines consider these backlinks to be a “vote of confidence”.
Google specifies that these backlinks must be acquired naturally. In other words, the volume of getting those backlinks must be peak-free and the sites that insert them must have relevant content with yours.
It is important to build your link profile naturally. One of the main practices in Black Hat SEO obtaining massive amounts of low quality links to make a website appear better than it is. This can result in a great improvement in rankings. However, once Google catches on, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to recover.
- Publish quality and unique content
If your content is of quality, it will provide a complete answer to the Internet user’s question, help them make a decision, or simply be interesting to them. Conversely, poor content provides a partial answer.
There is no precise definition of “quality” or “poor”. In fact, it depends on the content that is present in the pages that are displayed at the same time as yours.
That’s why it is a good idea to start by analyzing the content that appears on the first page on Google and try to make content even more relevant.
Be careful, your content must also be unique. It is out of the question to copy-paste, even partial content of competing pages.
Black Hat’s version of content is rather unhelpful to the reader. It often involves bot-created content and is just used as a means of stuffing keywords into a site. It is simply content for the sake of content. This is what you want to avoid if you want to see long-term growth.
Note: do not hesitate to regularly identify your poor content to improve it in order to achieve a better position.
- Use high potential keywords without stuffing them into your pages
One practice is to find keywords with high potential.
These are therefore queries that have a significant monthly search volume and for which the difficulty of reaching the first page is feasible.
Use a tool like Ahrefs for example that gives you this information along with a list of related keyword ideas.
Then, to facilitate the understanding of your content by Google, place the keyword (or key phrase) sparingly in strategic places of your content, such as the title, meta description, alt text of the images, and sprinkled throughout your content.
You want to avoid the Black Hat strategy of keyword stuffing. That would look something like this:
“We sell cheap cars. Come to Sam’s Cars for the best selection of cheap cars if you want cheap cars”
While they are making it clear to Google that they want to rank for cheap cars, Google is smart. Google’s crawlers will easily be able to detect that these sentences sound unnatural, and Sam’s Cars will be penalized for it.
Note : make sure your text is understandable by a human being. In this way, you avoid the keyword stuffing syndrome.
- Provide your site with a clear architecture
The architecture of a website represents the organization of all the content on your website.
In fact, it’s a bit like a supermarket, there are shelves and the products are sorted by categories.
Your content should be organized so that a human being can easily navigate.
Also, the internal links between your content must also be “natural”. Most often, they point to articles on the same theme or even the same sub-sub-sub … theme.
All this helps Internet users in their process to understand what you have to offer them. This is why it is important that its architecture is as simple as possible and that Google takes this component into account.
In addition, good architecture also helps search engine spiders to crawl your website.
To guide you, Google provides some general guidelines to help it find, index, and rank your business site.
Some Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid
- Post duplicate content or suck content from other sites.
- Automate the publication of the content of no value to users.
- Create thousands of links using software to create a multitude of poor quality backlinks in a very short time.
- Discrediting a competitor by falsely reporting him as a user of “Black Hat” techniques.
- Set up satellite pages. A satellite page is a page created specifically to “seduce” search engine algorithms and in particular the one used by Google. They play the role of a tout with keywords to redirect to another unrelated site.
- Include invisible text in your pages (hidden by an image or the same color as the background).
- Use scripts that display different content, depending on whether the visitor is a Google robot or a human. This technique is called “cloaking”!
- Use robot programs like some “Black Hat” SEOs to spam forums or post comments on blogs.
In short, “Black Hat SEO” takes advantage of the “weakness” of search engine algorithms. By exploiting their flaws, the results obtained are often surprising.
But, because there is always a but, every loophole has to be filled. You will surely penalized heavily when the crawlers are able to detect what is really going on.
Black Hat techniques ignore this process and use more aggressive techniques to quickly obtain a good position. However, they skip the most important precept for Google: create content of value for the user.
We are convinced that what Google cannot detect today, will be detected tomorrow. We also see it in a whole new light. Google is not our enemy, its ultimate goal is to offer the most relevant and high value content possible.
White Hat SEO Versus Black Hat SEO
In short, SEO is a race to the top of the first page of Google results.
This is how search engine optimization (SEO) was born.
These methods and guidelines are intended to improve the visibility of a website or web page in search engines.
But you can take different routes.
Some Digital Marketing experts use a few “tips” to position their business website well.
This is “Black Hat” referencing, the purpose of which is to manipulate the results of search engines.
Conversely, “White Hat” SEO follows the guidelines required by search engines.
As a business, it is highly recommend that you carefully distance yourself from these questionable practices.
It is important to know that you are not fighting against Google, but against your competitors. If you can learn to work with search engines better than your competitors, Google will always find you.