White Hat SEO is no longer relevant!

White Hat SEO is no longer relevant!

What is White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO refers to approved search engine optimization tactics and optimization strategies, techniques that focus on optimizing the website keeping the audience into consideration instead of search engines, which is designed to increase the position of a website on a search engine result page. These tactics are well in tune with the terms and conditions laid by search engines like Google. White Hat SEO is the ethical way of improving the traffic to your website. The techniques used in white hat SEO make the website easy to navigate for visitors and accessible for search engines.

There are two ways of getting things done: one is the honest way or the ethical way and the other is the wrong way, which is frowned upon by majority of people. In SEO, the same thing applies, the good or the ethical way, the White Hat SEO and the unethical way of reaching the goal, i.e. the Black Hat SEO. People who are looking to make a long term investment on their website usually go for White Hat SEO, whereas people who think that their company is just a one time hit can go for Black Hat SEO. People in the SEO industry promoting themselves as the ethical White Hat SEOs usually point out that black hat SEOs are the bad guys. However, things might not just be black or white like you’ve been led to believe.

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is certainly not just about ethics. The concept of White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO is not based on ethics, but is a marketing strategy. By painting Black Hat SEO in a poor light, White Hats can contrast them in a positive light. Companies self describing themselves as White Hat SEOs are doing this for the sole purpose of marketing, but the practices usually do not benefit the client. When a company hires a top SEO agency, it does so for the purpose of improving their ranking on search engines and they do so while hiding from their competitors which company they have hired. White hat SEOs say that their work is transparent and they have nothing to hide, however disclosing the client list as a marketing practice is definitely an unethical practice.

Pointing fingers at others and calling them black hats to paint them in a bad light to look good by comparison, while engaging themselves in an unethical practice is hypocrisy.

A good 15 to 20 years back, white hat SEO mainly focused on exploiting Google’s webmaster guidelines and backed off when Google closed them. Both White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO focused on exploiting loopholes, however in employing strategies there is a difference between the two SEOs.

White Hat SEO

Some Black Hat myths told by White Hats:

1. Black Hats Think of themselves above the rules: Google provides guidelines which give an idea to the publisher as to what would work and what does not. Google differentiates a good and a bad SEO on the basis of these guidelines. These guidelines, however are not lawsand do not have any moral force. Violating Google’s guidelines on behalf of a client who does not have any idea about them is an unethical practice. Apart from that, violation of guidelines does not necessarily mean violating a code of ethics, but balancing the risk and reward of a tactic.

The White Hat SEO industry defines SEO in broader terms that uses technique like link building, competitor research, backlinking, keyword analysis, content creation for human readers and gaining an understanding of how the search engine functions. Both White Hat and Black Hat SEO go beyond Google’s standard definition of search engine optimization and work up to and across the line that Google has defined.

2. Black Hat SEOs are Short term thinkers:

Black Hat SEO takes month of planning and analysis to execute a plan that results in enormous profits. This might lead some white hats to believe that black hats are short term thinkers. However, Black Hat SEO is in a constant state of planning and creation and though this business model violates Google’s guidelines, it does not violate any law. Black Hat SEO is however in a higher state of adversarial tension with Google.

3. Black Hats are hackers:

Black Hats violates the search engines term of service but does not break any laws. A hacker is a person who violates laws and does not practice SEO. Black Hats are most certainly not criminals or hackers.

4. Short Term Ranking by Black Hats as a business model:

White hats usually accuse the black hat strategies as a failure as these strategies, also called Churn and Burn are short term strategies. This strategy of generating a website, monetizing it and then getting penalized (burned), might indicate the fact that it is a poor strategy. This however is not a strategy, but a business model, which is based on cashing in on the opportunity, when it is readily available.

5. Search Engines like Google make black hat SEO pointless:

Search engines like Google have made huge progress against aggressive SEO strategies, but it is a fact that many SEOs claiming themselves to be white hats are also spamming Google and getting away with it. Both white hats and white hats use the strategy of scaling up SEO and creating hundreds of pages of content and e-mailing a database of millions of web publishers. White SEOs also pay to be listed in major newspapers and pay for testimonial to build trust among users and to create a brand popularity that results well in the search engine. Some low level black hat strategies are pointless, but many strategies do work as well.

6. Black Hat SEO is unethical:

To show themselves in a positive light, White hat SEOs  like to paint black hat SEO techniques as unethical. It is an unethical practice to use Black Hat SEO on behalf of an unknowing client. If everyone was to go by Google’s guidelines, all SEOS would be termed as black hat SEOs as Google’s definition is limited to making a site easy to crawl and making sure that the content is of good quality.

White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO

SEO industry’s classification of SEO tactics based on the 3 colored hats: black, grey and white is misleading and is stopping you from becoming the best SEO. Google uses certain Webmaster Guidelines, according to which any link or activity which manipulates to improve Google ranking is a scheme is a black hat. So, if you making efforts to optimize your website for search engines, then you most definitely are carrying black hat tactics. Every SEO, be it white, black or grey attempts to influence Googles’s assessment of the site in hope of getting higher rankings. So, even a white hat SEO is a black hat.

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