How have the Definitions of Black Hat and White Hat SEO Changed?
Since the time SEO grew in popularity, there has been a villain and a hero in the game; the villain being “Black Hat SEO” and the hero being “White Hat SEO”. It won’t be wrong to say that those times are long gone by when there were distinct and obvious differences in SEO in the name of ethics.
Understanding the Difference between Blackhat and Whitehat SEO
The fact is people define and perceive these two characters of SEO in a different way and most of them have different sorts of examples to explain each of them. Today, it is important that we think and understand the tactical and strategic differences between the two and not just accept White Hat SEO without knowing how “White” it actually is.
Thinking on differentSEO processes and their probable effects on your website is crucial; after all, these SEO processes help in driving organic traffic to your website and you can’t just leave out few of these processes just because few people consider them to be Black Hat SEO.
In the following sections, we will take a close and honest look at different practical options we have, to boost our rankings without worrying too much about White Hat or Black Hat and at the same time not venturing into illegitimate territories.
Assessing the Impact on Your Business
It’s most important to assess what value is added to your websites and its rankings by the tactics you use should define what steps you take. Spam is usually referred to as one of the low value tactics, but a close look at it would tell you that it is neither unethical nor illegal and is mostly done for so-called SEO purposes that don’t really produce good results. Of course, it largely depends upon your point of view. Let us take an example, where you link all the websites of your clients to your website with the target keywords. This is not unethical but it also doesn’t add any value because Google understands how painfully simple this is, and tends to value only links coming from contextual, high quality sources. People go for such tactics because they believe they would get higher returns for lower investment of time. This, however, is rarely true!
Risk factor is something that you can’t afford to overlook at any point of time!
Ask yourself how much risk you can take and what would happen if one fine day Google decides to throw your websites away? What would you do then? Answers to these questions will only scare you if you have been consistently practicing only SEO focused tactics that are normally Black Hat or Gray Hat or semi innocent tactics. Call them whatever you want, but the risk factor associated with such methods has dramatically gone up since the advent ofGoogle Penguin update. Earlier, we used to hear websites getting de-indexed and then coming back again in few weeks; but post Penguin update, such stories have literally become fairy-tales. Even the ones who managed to come back requiredseveral months or even up to a year, and to do so; they had to bear revenue losses for such a long period.
So, if there’s high risk associated with anything, then it’s worth trying out any Blackhat SEO tactics.
Adopting Different Tactics for AchievingShort Term and Long Term Goals
Planning to promote a product, which will be off the market in next 10-12, will require different set of efforts than planning to promote an established business that is looking for long term results. The biggest problem is that even the big businesses are in hurry to get instant results and they end up taking steps that backfire, whereas there is never any hurry for such businesses to get quick results.
They should invest quality time and money in building a strong online reputation over a period of good 1 or 2 years and the results after that, will be positively overwhelming. So, patience is the key here, but when it comes to promoting upcoming events and any of the upcoming launches, slight usage of grey-hat SEO won’t do any harm, because you’re not looking at long-term results.
Anthony is an expert SEO and blogger who regularly contributes articles to SEOP, a reputable search engine optimization company providing effective and affordable SEO services."