Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs) can wear many “hats”. The SEO methodology and the methods used to optimize websites determine the color of each hat. We often speak of:
- Black Hat SEO
- White Hat SEO
- Gray Hat SEO
It is crucial to be able to distinguish between single SEO Hats and understand the risks.
Black Hat SEO, also known as SEO Spamming, is when websites are created that have no or little value and are designed to trick search engines into providing low-quality or irrelevant search results.
Black Hat SEO uses technology and automation to make low quality websites and get inbound links from other websites. This is known as link spam. The owner of the website will usually use some type of redirect or cloaking to show the visitor a product sales page. This is the true goal of Black Hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO is all about fast results. Their method of optimizing websites can often quickly get them to the top search engines. However, if search engines catch on, the website may crash or be banned.
Black Hat SEO is not something I condone for affiliates. It is a very risky business and can be especially harmful if it is used on websites that you have made significant investments in.
White Hat Search
White Hat SEO focuses on quality content and not SEO. White Hat SEO can use automation and technology to build websites, but they do so to achieve different goals. They create content for people and not search engines. White Hat SEO relies more on the content and marketing skills of their clients to get a high ranking than any automated programs.
White Hat SEO recognizes that search engine rankings are not easy to achieve and doesn’t rush to get results. White Hat SEO can get more links from other websites because their content has been considered valuable. They believe that content is king.
White Hat SEO techniques are completely safe and you won’t be banned by search engines. Visitors who visit your site will also be more likely convert.
Gray Hat SEO
Many SEO fall under the Gray Hat category. There are many shades of gray. Gray Hat SEO may use less ethical tactics and take more risks. Gray Hat SEO is about risk versus rewards. Gray Hat SEO is all about risk versus reward. Some techniques might be disapproved by search engines but they are not always against their rules. Other techniques, however, may be more risky so be sure to carefully consider.
Which SEO hat should I wear?
Your goals and objectives should dictate the hat you choose to wear. Black hat SEO strategies are usually short-lived and can almost always result in you being banned from search engines.
Everyone should aim to be a white-hat SEO and concentrate on quality content. Gray Hat SEO techniques can be useful in certain situations to gain competitive advantage. Gray Hat SEO strategies can be very beneficial, but it is important to evaluate the risks and rewards of each strategy and decide if they are right for you.
It is crucial that you don’t take too much risk with your most important websites. Here it is even more valuable that you create a safer and more long-term SEO strategy.