There are stark differences in the approach and long-term results of WHITE HAT and BLACK HAT search engine optimization. Though both types of SEO have their proponents, most companies/websites with long-term, stable, and sustainable goals will tend to stay away from the dark-colored variety.
|Basis||White Hat SEO||Black Hat SEO|
|Definition||White hat SEO utilizes techniques and methods to improve the search engine rankings of a website which don’t run afoul of search engine (mainly Google) guidelines.||Black Hat SEO exploits weaknesses in the search engine algorithms to obtain high rankings for a website. Such techniques and methods are in direct conflict with search engine guidelines.|
|Wholesomeness Level||High||Very Low (not wholesome at all if you ask those in charge of cleaning search engine result page spam)|
|Techniques||Some white hat SEO techniques include: high quality content development, website HTML optimization and restructuring, link acquisition campaigns supported by high quality content and manual research and outreach.||Some black hat SEO techniques include: link spam, keyword stuffing, cloaking, hidden text, and hidden links.|
|What to Expect||Steady, gradual, but lasting growth in rankings.||Quick, unpredictable, and short-lasting growth in rankings.|
Gray Hat SEO – Mixing it up!
Gray hat is a tactic that is merely a mixture of pure white, do only what Google (or whoever) tells us we can and then add a dash of strategies that bend the rules a little.
So for example, if pure gray hat you might build links to your site through link distribution methods, but never would you purchase links directly from a link seller. Or you would write content is great quantities, knowing it isn’t perfectly relevant, but making sure it is of some quality, relevance, and substance, but you would never use a content spinner.
This method is commonly used to help speed up results, but minimize the risk of penalties by the search engines.
If done by someone with excellent skills and a lot of experience, it will appear natural and the site will seem to have acquired its algorithm weights naturally.
If not careful, this can appear to slip into black hat SEO.