What is a White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO?


The search engine optimization practices, methods, and strategies that emphasize the needs of the human audience is White hat SEO. The exercise focuses on providing value rather than just appeasing the major search engines.

It is a practice that is used to enhance rankings of a website without compromising its integrity in the process. White hat SEO stays in the boundaries crafted by the major search
engines, for example, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more.

The term White hat SEO refers to SEO tactics that are under the terms and conditions of the major search engines, including Google.

White hat tips to rank without breaking the rules of search engines are:

  • Keyword-rich and descriptive meta tags
  • Focusing on informative and education content
  • No keywords stuffing
  • Observing and adjusting to analytics
  • Easy navigation through the site
  • Making a responsive website that is device friendly
  • Regularly uploading fresh content

White hat SEO is mostly used by people who have long term plans for their website and thuswish to invest accordingly.

What is Black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a highly unpredictable and aggressive strategy for website ranking that is not encouraged by the search engine giants. The tactics used here produce immediate results, but the problem is, the results are not long term and can have extremely adverse effects on the website if and when detected by the search engines.

Black Hat SEO is the dark side of SEO. As against White Hat SEO, it aims at fooling the search engines into ranking the website. However, the results of the crooked strategies are not going to stick for long and are more likely to reverse or do more damage in the long run.

Most popular Black hat SEO techniques are:

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing mostly relates to using more keywords on a single page or a single piece of content. The intention is to fool the Search engines into thinking the page is highly relevant for the query.


It has two different sets of content, one for the user and something entirely different for the search engines. It fools search engines into ranking the site for keywords that have nothing to do with the content of the website.

Hidden text

It mostly has links to websites or text content embedded in the source code and hidden from the eyes of the visitor. The use of hidden text is frowned upon by the search engine giants and thus not a good idea.

Negative SEO

Now, this Black hat SEO is popular; the owner of the website often invests in derating and defaming a competitor by negative SEO for them.

Doorway Pages/ sneaky redirects

The landing pages in this Black hat SEO technique is created and optimized to bring visitors to the page and then redirect the unsuspecting visitor to a completely different page or site.

Paid Links

As is clear from the name, this Black hat SEO technique is linked to paying for links and buying them based on page rank.

Duplicate Content/spinning article

When they say content is king, it most definitely is. It is a widespread practice and is of no
value to the user.

Honorary mentions:

  • Altering the website once it has ranked
  • Automated Queries to Google
  • Content Automation
  • Link Schemes

Why Is Black hat SEO not for you?

Because search engines do not like them, they are highly likely to catch up with your shady tactics at some point. The short term success is not worth the result.


Let’s see which of the above three SEO tactics is better.
It depends.

Condition 1- You have no love for your website and have created it just for the fun of it. You are not going to live long and would like to see it rank for once in your lifetime. Then and only then, Black hat SEO could be your only way.

Condition 2- You like your website, but do not have any intention to keep it for long, but some good traffic, for the time being, would be excellent. Maybe then, Grey hat SEO could be a way to get that done.

Condition 3- Search engines love this. The only recommended SEO tactic for a long term result is White Hat SEO. It is the only way you can be sure to stay around for a long time and create a brand for yourself. The process of ranking can be slow, but the results are definite and final.

Choose wisely.

See more about SEO:

May Rothsmith


Half Thai and half American, digital nomad by mistake!