black hat seo

What is the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?

You might have heard the horror stories about businesses, such as yours, using companies to do SEO for them, only to find out too late it’s leading to their demise. These companies are using something called “black hat” SEO tricks that, once uncovered, are punished by Google.


So how do you avoid these tactics and keep your company safe?

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is the term given by the industry for those techniques and tactics used to gain rankings that are not favored or recommended by the search engines. In short, they hack the system to get higher rankings, which is considered unfair by the search engines’ standards. Once discovered, they are ranked lower or even removed.

How Do I Identify Black Hat SEO??

There are many ways, but the point is you don’t need to know them all to steer clear. There are some realities to search engine optimization, and if the promise of the company does not align with those realities, they might be using black hat. Here are some of those promises that would tip me off.

  • First page rankings inside of one month
  • Large upfront success, without a continual effort
  • Fixed rates for keyword rankings
  • No analysis or strategy, just ranking results

The key to observe, if it seems too good to be true, it likely is. 

What Real White Hat SEO Looks Like

In contrast, White Hat SEO, or what the actual good guys wear, is the way legitimate SEO firms create good search engine rankings. The challenge with good search engine ranking results is that it does take time. It also is dependent on each individual keyword and how they are going to approach each word based on the competition and strategy. The point being, its hard. As with everything in life, if you want it done right, it takes some work to make it happen. Be aware of the overnight success, it just doesn’t work like that in the real world without doing it the right way.

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How to Approach your SEO

Now that you know the real difference between white hat and black hat SEO, it’s time to really start thinking about SEO as a tactic for your business. The important aspect is that you are doing SEO for your business. You should be doing on-going SEO work for your site that creates better rankings each month for your business. Here are some of the next steps for SEO:

These and other articles in our Insights Blog, can help you on your SEO journey.

Know what is good and bad for SEO and make your company show up for the right results.

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