Have you ever heard the phrases white hat and black hat before? These are terms that come from old spy cartoons, where you could always know who was the good guy and who was the bad guy based on the color of the hat that they wore. In reference to search engine optimization, hat color represents how closely your website is adhering to search engine guidelines.
Black hat SEO techniques try to exploit loopholes in the system in order to rank #1 for a specific keyword. These techniques involve dishonest behavior, such as tricking search engines into perceiving information on a web site differently than it really is, for example, and are most commonly utilized by scammers. While these techniques can work rapidly and cause a site to rank highly, the benefits are short lived, and the penalties are steep: if you get caught using Black hat techniques, your site will be banned from Google, possibly for life.
Google is well known for being excellent at detecting black hat techniques and for taking fast action against them.
Grey hat SEO is when you use questionable techniques that go against the spirit of search engine rules and guidelines, if not against the letter of the rules. It’s still quite high risk, because you never know when the rules will be amended to specifically ban what you’re doing — and on that day, you become black hat and take on all of the risks associated with it.
White hat SEO is when you are doing everything right. You are producing content that resonates with your vistors or customers. Your website is optimized to work well on both desktop and mobile and properly uses keywords and backlinking. You are producing content designed to be read by humans and not search engines. It yields long-term, no risk results. At Marketing EQ, we utilize exclusively “white hat” techniques for ourselves and all our clients.