The Difference Between White & Black Hat SEO

To anyone who has experience in the marketing field, white hat and black hat SEO may seem somewhat irrelevant as these tactics have been ingrained through experience, however, for any newcomers in the SEO world, it is important to know what white hat and black hat SEO are! While they both tactics provide organic growth, it is even more important to learn why you should never utilize black hat SEO under any circumstance. At the end of the day, content is king, but following SEO tactics will do nothing but help build a reputable image around your site!

Examples Of Black Hat SEO

There are a variety of less ethical ways to improve your organic growth, here are a few tips to watch out for, and also how to find out if you might be utilizing black hat SEO tactics.

Keyword Stuffing
This is when webmasters will put repeated keywords on the page where visitors won’t see them.  Usually near the bottom of the page but it could be anywhere.  They will also use invisible text or text color that matches the background so it looks like nothing is there.

Cloaking is a deceptive method used for gaining traffic to your website. This technique displays content that is not visible to the user (using invisible text color, hiding text in the footer & so forth). By using different keywords, meta, and titles, that aren’t relevant to your website, you are essentially tricking people to view your page. This will not only drop your SERPs, but you run the risk of having your website flagged.

Recognized Black Hat SEO tactics & 44 other Black Hat tactics!

  • Automatically generated content
  • Pages with little or no original content (thin content)
  • Scraped content
  • Duplicate content
  • Cloaking
  • Link farms
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Hidden text or links
  • Doorway pages
  • Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
  • Abusing rich snippets markup
  • Sending automated queries to Google

Examples Of White Hat SEO

White hat SEO refers to any method employed on your website that aims to improve the search rankings for your website on any search engine results page (SERP). Utilizing white hat SEO allows a user to maintain the integrity of your website and staying within good standing in regards to

Optimizing Images
Having a good alt text to tell search engines what the images are comprised of is a great way to help Google crawl your site for relevance, but can also be beneficial for those who may be visually impaired. This can help increase the level of accessibility on your site! Another way to do this is to compress the size of the image as slow load times for websites are usually because an image is too large. Adding a caption also helps as captions are read 300 times more than body text.

Anchor Text Variety & CTAs
Anchor text is the texts in content that are hyperlinked to go to another page on your website or somewhere else. Having these on your website is good, but you want to make sure you diversify these types of text. If you have all words that say “contact” lead a user to the contact page it could have a negative impact on your website in terms of SEO. Try to use long-tailed links such as “call us today”, or use different words that lead to a page. Increased page relevance will always provide a positive benefit as a user will reach the desired page with little to no confusion.


While cheating search engines may provide short term results, in the long run, this will only prove to be incredibly detrimental to your site as Search Engines will penalize your site for using unscrupulous or misleading tactics.  Trying to recover from being penalized or banned is difficult and will double or even triple the time it would normally take using ethical white hat tactics as you have lost faith with Search Engines and even potential clients as well (due to misleading information, bad links, etc). If you are interested in growing your website traffic, it is advised to use tactics in good faith.

Curious about how Search Engines track and penalize websites using unscrupulous growth methods? Learn about Google Penguin.

Boston Web Marketing: The SEO, Web Design & Marketing Experts

Boston Web Marketing can work alongside your internal team of Marketing professionals when it comes to optimizing your business and getting your website back in front of the eyes of those you are trying to reach.  Need a site consultation? Contact us for a free audit! If you are interested in growing your digital presence or looking to revamp your entire website, give Boston Web Marketing a call today at 857-526-0096!

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