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Black Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO – Difference and Comparison

People have a natural tendency to use tools to make things easier. That is why in the world of Search Engine Optimization, you can find a lot of automated tools to help make things easy for you. These various tools are able to do so much with little effort that people tend to abuse them. Because of this, the industry had produced two categories of off-page SEO (usually means link-building) – White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO.

What do these hats mean?

With the advent of SEO automation tools, this gave an individual the power to create SPAM. In general, Black Hat SEO equates to spamming, while what Hat SEO equates to non-spamming or offers genuine information in exchange for a link.

When it comes to link building, there are a lot of methods that are described here and widely-known for a SEO specialists. Some of these popular ways of getting links are from making blog post comments, articles, web 2.0, videos, forums and press releases. Whatever the linking method you choose, there is a good chance that you will find software that will automate the creation or submission process for you.

However, not one of these link-building methods is exclusive to either Black Hat SEO or White Hat SEO. Even the software that automates or speeds-up the link building process is not exclusive to either White Hat SEO or Black Hat SEO. It usually depends on how you use the tools.

For example, blog commenting is a good way to get back-links and traffic from a popular blogging site. If you only want to do White Hat SEO, then you can use the software to find blogs that are related to you niche, read the blog and make a genuine comment, and “nice blog post” kind of comments do not count since these kinds of comments are overly used that bloggers and search engine spiders would assume that it’s a spam comment majority of the time.

With Black Hat SEO, you simply let the software grab all the blogs that are related to your niche and let it post comments without you even reading a single word of the blog.

Consequences of Black Hat SEO

As a human, the next logical question is “What happens if I Spam the net with my links?” This is a very good question since with no bad consequences, why bother limiting oneself, right? Remember, most Search Engines have the goal of providing their users with webpages that provide good information or good visitor experience. With spam link-building, not only you are providing useless information, but you may also be annoying or irritating visitors; and this bad for the search engines since they are the ones providing links to a spam-filled site or blog.

That is why search engines spend a huge portion of their resources detecting spam, and eliminating spam-filled sites from their results.

So what are the consequences of Black Hat SEO? It all depends on the severity in the eyes of the search engines. The best case scenario is they would simply ignore those links. Worst case scenario is they would penalize your website. Penalizing your website may mean it would drop a few ranks in the results or it could result to a total removal of your website from their results.

Does this mean automation tools and Black Hat SEO are no good? It depends on two things – ethics or results. If are responsible user of the Internet, then Black Hat SEO is unethical much like spam emails. However, this answer is a personal one, so it up to you to make that decision.

On the other hand, if you want results, then the effectiveness of Black Hat SEO boils down on how you use it. Making hundreds of links overnight and pointing them directly to your website is a clear signal for the search engines.

However, you can point White Hat Links to your site and have Black Hat Links pointing towards your White Hat Links. If you are still worried, it is possible to create two layers of White Hat Links and have all your Black Hat Links Point towards the bottom layer pages with White Hat Links.

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Larry Smith

This post is written by Larry Smith, the Director of Internet Marketing at Neueseo, who is an expert in Web Development, Online Advertising, SEO and a specialist in the management of Google AdWords Advertising Campaigns.

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