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Black Hat SEO vs. White SEO. Does it worth it?

Black Hat SEO vs. White SEO. Does it worth it?

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

Black hat SEO refers to techniques and strategies used to get higher search rankings, and breaking search engine rules. Black hat SEO focuses on only search engines and not so much a human audience. 

Black hat SEO is typically used by those who are looking for a quick return on their site, rather than a long-term investment on their site. Some techniques used in black hat SEO include: keyword stuffing, link farming, hidden texts and links, and blog content spamming. Consequences of black hat SEO can possibly result in your site being banned from a search engine and de-indexed as a penalization for using unethical techniques. And possibility this site never to be restored again. Then you need to do the process for the optimization again from scratch on totally new website, even domain.

What are the Black hat strategies?

  • duplicate meaningless content in order only to repeat the necessary keywords
  • invisible text and stuffed keywords 
  • cloaking / re-directing the visitor to another site/page
  • links from site with non-relevant content

White hat SEO refers to the use of techniques and strategies that target a human audience opposed to a search engine. Techniques that are typically used in white hat SEO include quality content on the website using keywords, and keyword analysis, doing research, rewriting meta tags in order for them to be more relevant, backlinking, link building as well as writing content for human readers. Those who use white hat SEO expect to make a long-term investment on their website, as the results last a long time.

White hats love the challenge of playing within Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and getting big wins. It is a long process of optimization and you need to be a real professional to know all subtleties of the profession.

Because black hat techniques go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They can get a site hit with a Google “penalty”, which means that site might fall off an algorithmic cliff – literally overnight.

So unlike white hat SEO, there is an ethics component to black hat SEO.

Most people of all colored hats agree that you must tell your client about all the risks of using these strategies.

Meaning, black hat is a perfectly legitimate strategy – as long as the client knows what could happen when implemented.

But be aware of special black hat SEO specialists that generally falls into this two categories:

  • Someone who uses Black Hat SEO techniques and other high-risk strategies that can jeopardize the client site WITHOUT telling the client
  • Someone who is not good at SEO, but is taking money from people to rank sites anyway – an SEO In Name Only (SINO)

If you are using these tactics ethically, you must tell the client that you are using strategies that could get them a manual action, and one that could take months to recover from if the site was penalized.

So to decide if this black hat tactics worth it, decide also:

  • if you are a Black Hat and using high-risk tactics on a client’s main company website, is that site covering payroll for a company’s employees? If it is, then you have to ask yourself is this okay to put them in a risky position even if they are informed?
  • if you are the owner of a company with a brand that is already well-recognized or you want to make it recognizable, would you risk by writing nonsense on your website or buying irrelevant links offering sex or viagra leading to your company website?
  • if pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware are good enough to be associated or the risk to infect your website worth it

Many would say, no. It is not okay to risk a client’s bread and butter site for rankings. If people’s jobs are dependent on that site, then that site should not be used for Black Hat SEO.

The bottom line: stick to white hat tactics

White hat SEO takes time. It requires a significant amount of time, effort, and often money, to achieve significant results. And of course to find the right professional. As a result, you might be tempted to look for black hat shortcuts to speed up the process. But when it comes down to it, the risks simply aren’t worth the potential rewards.

Invest in a white hat strategy, and you’ll be much more successful in the long term — without having to worry about algorithm updates or potential penalties.

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