With search engine optimization becoming a buzzword on companies today, various techniques have been identified as potential approaches in developing SEO based solutions to benefit businesses in different industries. These techniques are interestingly known as White hat, Black hat and Gray Hat SEO approaches with the color symbolizing the degree of ethical practices adopted.
White hat SEO
Companies that operate professionally in the market would adopt White hat SEO as they are compelled by the strong ethics underpinning their operations. White hat SEO techniques are highly valued by top search engines and professional business entities as well as ethical authorities. These approaches use ethical SEO techniques that benefit web visitors and search engines for a faster and better search on the web.
White hat SEO serves to improve search engine rankings of business websites to enjoy better market positions as professional implementation methods are adopted without violating top search engines’ SEO algorithms. Web business sites adopting white hat SEO techniques would not fall into the black books of search engines or be penalized for failing to adhere to stringent procedures.
However, white hat SEO methods may tend to generate the desired results slower than their counterparts; hence, some companies may choose to divert from white hat options with SEO tools and solutions.
Components of White hat SEO
Successful white hat SEO techniques adopt a thorough research of relevant keywords for generating quality content to be displayed on websites. Crucial keywords are identified in webpage titles and headings as well as in link anchor text or alt tags with optimization to direct more traffic to the website.
White hat SEO web features include application of correct HMTL markup to enable an easy search by top search engines for faster search results and better page rankings. The white hat technique uses CSS to separate markup from content with an increased density to reduce markup crawls.
High quality content is generated via white hat SEO techniques with relevant backlinks and optimized pages for social media marketing that would entice more traffic from the millions of social media users on the Internet every day.
Black hat SEO
On the other hand, Black hat SEO refers to the inappropriate application of techniques that are deemed unprofessional and unacceptable in the market especially top search engines. Black hat SEO techniques are viewed as unprofessional options to boost a website ranking or market position unfairly. An unfair advantage is given to websites that adopt black hat features that try to bypass the stipulated process of online searches and webpage positioning in the market to boost the company’s market visibility.
These techniques try to trick search engines in positioning preferred web pages higher over those with white hat SEO approaches or features. However, top search engines continually improve their search algorithms to identify black hat SEO features to blacklist such sites which make it hard for companies to gain credibility in the marketplace. Hence, companies that adopt black hat SEO solutions may find themselves in the bad books of popular search engines.
Black hat SEO techniques work to deceive or hoodwink search engines until they are exposed by intelligent search engine algorithms or competitors who report to relevant authorities, although they can generate faster results for desperate companies. Optimization of the websites is fast, but the risk is high with stringent checks and penalties set in place to discourage such practices.
Components of Black hat SEO
Examples of Black hat SEO implementation include overusing keywords in the article to secure a faster search or placing keywords in the text that are hidden using font color that is the same as the page background color. Deceptive content is apparent to skilled web page readers where pages are stuffed with keywords making them more apparent to readers. The use of cloaking is common with a black hat SEO approach where different contents are submitted to search engines via IP. Link farms or unrelated links are created to generate more links to target pages.
Black hat SEO techniques are considered unethical as their approaches can be deceiving and unfair to other parties that adopt white hat methods.
Gray hat SEO
Gray hat SEO techniques contain some of white hat SEO techniques with certain risks incorporated. Websites that adopt gray hat SEO techniques or features may get away more easily than those with black hat SEO approaches as there are certain white hat SEO features adopted.
Smart search engine algorithms that can identify gray hat SEO techniques may penalize the website, although a hard ban may not result. Gray hat SEO techniques are deemed as questionable search engine optimization approaches that fall neither into white or black categories.
Components of gray hat SEO
An example of a gray hat SEO technique is the high keyword density in an article that does not cross the line of heavy density as in a black hat implemented article. Gray hat SEO techniques also include publishing the same content on various sites to hit more markets and implementing three-way links for greater benefits among the targeted websites.
An article with paid links to drive traffic to the desired site is deemed to be implementing gray hat SEO features, although it is up to various search engines to define gray hat SEO techniques on questionable features implemented on the website.
The market is flooded with offerings of white hat, black hat and gray hat SEO techniques to boost their market presence and higher bottom lines quickly. It is up to individual companies to decide on the type of SEO hats they want to wear and be identified in the market as competitors, authorities and web consumers would be able to identify their operating modes easily after some time.
The type of SEO hat adopted by companies reflects the business ethics and philosophy of the company that would draw or repel consumers to support them with black hat SEO techniques considered as unethical and spamming with a heavy leveraging on technologies to gain volume in web traffic and sales while gray hat SEO techniques do not reflect the company position strongly in the market.