Black vs White Hat SEO

What is black hat seo?

They are unethical techniques used to inflate your rankings in the search results. Using these techniques goes against Google, Bing and Yahoo and can also create poor user experiences.

Black Hat vs White Hat
Photo from flickr

Some examples of black hat seo techniques so you can spot and avoid them are:

* Keyword stuffing: This was one of the most well known black hat practices. People put long lists of keywords within the “keyword” meta tag of your site as well as cramming more keywords on the page without any relevant content.
* Hidden text: This involves putting lists of keywords in white text on a white background or black text on black background to get more search engine spiders to crawl the site.
*Buying links: This means purchasing links on other websites pointing back to your site in the hope of increasing traffic and rankings.

Why do people use black hat techniques?

They do work – people have seen an increase in the site’s rankings of the back of using the black hat seo.

But it is a short term gain as when the search engines find out, the site will be penalised. It really isn’t worth it.

I am sure you must have seen the case with JC Penney who were caught out buying links. They ended up ranking number one for a lot of terms ranging from “bedding” to “dresses”, a lot of terms they didn’t actually specialise in. Yes they are a department store, but ranking for “furniture” and “table cloths” does not quite fit with their product offering.

So now they have been caught out what next?
Well they now do not rank for these terms and have to deal with a bad lot of PR which means a lot of expensive advertising to recover the damage.

buy links = kicked out of Google = spend more on advertising
Not worth it.

Oh and despite denying they bought links, they fired their search agency SearchDex.

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7 thoughts on “Black vs White Hat SEO

  1. Pingback: Palapple | SEO Solutions for your Business

  2. Glen

    JC Penny are suffering more than is visible right now.
    One gentleman in the audience at SES raised his hand and told about how JC Penny had contacted him after the NY Times article and asked if he would remove the link he had given them on his website.
    The kicker is that the link was entirely legit, totally unpaid for, and in the middle of an article that was incredibly relevant to them.
    So now not only are they penalized (panelised) by the search engines, but they are imposing destructive self-imposed penalties by dismantling their entire link structure, legitimate or not. This non-discretionary action will no doubt hurt them even more in the long run.

    I like the picture, by the way.

    1. Jo Turnbull Post author

      Thanks for the comment Glen. I love the picture too, from flickr – such a good portfolio of photos.


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