Black Hat Vs. White Hat SEO Services (and What About Grey Hat?)

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Have you heard about “white hat” and “black hat” SEO services but aren’t sure which is right for you? Does it seem like either is a good, viable option for your company? And, if there is a black hat and a white hat, doesn’t that necessitate that there must be a “grey hat” as well? The truth is that these aren’t just references to “Spy vs. Spy,” they’re actually SEO terms that have been around for a long time. 

Here at Website Depot, we only use “white hat” services. There are many reasons for that. With “white hat” SEO, you have the best opportunity to grow your business for a long time to come. 

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White Hat SEO Explained 

If you’ve read any of our previous blogs, all of that was written about “white hat” SEO services. The defining feature of “white hat” SEO is that it’s about people. It’s about users. It’s about creating content, web design, and more for a human audience.

So, it means that you do everything “right.” Your keyword analysis and research are thorough, meticulous, and help you to find the most accurate keywords. Those are the ones that your potential customers/clients are going to be searching for organically. 

When you create content, you want it to have real value for someone reading it. You write your meta tags to be more relevant, to help folks to understand exactly what your page is going to be about. By that same token, you backlink to relevant, authoritative sites that can provide real value for your readers. Everything is done to improve the human experience, to really give folks something. That’s what white hat SEO is all about. 

Black Hat 

Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of white hat. It’s not done for a human audience, for users. Rather, it’s done to “beat” search engines. Instead of following their rules by creating something that’s better for users, a black hat is, for all intents and purposes, a shortcut. It’s a way to circumvent hard work and simply “game” the system. 

Some of the key black hat SEO practices are “keyword stuffing.” This is a real example of “you’ll know what it is when you see it.” You, as a reader, know within seconds the difference between content that’s created to provide you with value and content that’s created to be stuffed with keywords. Essentially unreadable and with no value to a reader, it’s just done to try to climb a search engine algorithm. 

Speaking of “stuffing,” another black hat tactic is to spam blog comments, too. Again, it’s doing something inhuman and unnatural to beat Google’s system. Other common black hat tactics include hiding texts and links within sites and even trading and farming links. All of this is done not to provide any value to a reader, but to “short circuit” Google’s algorithm, thus making it rank higher more quickly. 

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The Main Problem with Black Hat SEO 

As you might imagine, when it comes to black hat tactics, Google is on to them. Google knows what they are. Moreover, Google ruthlessly searches online to find them and penalizes any who engages in these activities. 

That’s why, even if you weren’t morally opposed to them, these black hat SEO tactics are a bad idea. Should you use them and succeed, the chances that Google will find you and hurt you are high. Moreover, they’ll penalize you so much worse than any success you may have had. 

Moreover, black hat SEO tactics hurt you with real users. When someone clicks on your site and finds that it’s all keyword-stuffed nonsense, the odds of them staying at your site for very long are minimal. The odds that they’ll actually use your product or service are longer still. No matter what kind of SEO you’re engaged in, Google penalizes those who have a high bounce rate. Keyword stuffed content always does. 

You’re always better off avoiding the black hat. 

Grey Hat 

Gray hat, grey hat, whatever you may call it does exist. Many SEO companies engage in these “grey hat” tactics because they believe, rightly, that it’s not as “bad” as black hat SEO. However, it’s still not as good as white hat SEO. Moreover, Google will most likely punish you for them if they find that you’ve engaged in them. As a point of emphasis, we do not use gray hat SEO tactics here at Website Depot. 

Some common grey hat tactics include content “spinning.” This is what it sounds like: instead of just copying, pasting, and plagiarizing content, instead, a gray hat company will reword/rewrite something to where it’s just one step ahead of software that picks up on plagiarism. Is this good for users? No. It is an example of good content? Absolutely not. Yet, it is faster than creating all-new content, of course. 

Another common tactic: using a domain that’s expired. See, even though a site has expired, a company may want to use it because it still has some backlinks, authority, and more. Another one: buying or trading links. It’s a lot faster than organically backlinking. 

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White Hat SEO Services Experts 

As you can see, so many black hat and grey hat tactics are really shortcuts. They’re ways of avoiding hard work, of trying to get a lot for a little bit of effort. As you know, that’s not how the world works. 

Good SEO is as good as anything else: you have to work for it. There are no shortcuts, no workarounds, nothing but hard work done right. That’s what we do here at Website Depot. We use white hat SEO services to help our clients grow. For a free consultation, call us at (888) 477-9540.