In web marketing, in programming, and, really, anywhere computers are used, you’ll see the phrases “white hat” and “black hat” being thrown around. These phrases can refer to the tactics you use to achieve your end goals, or they can refer to those end goals themselves.
In this article, we’re going to lay out what sets black hat SEO apart from white hat SEO.
It can be hard to tell the difference, and there are a lot of gray areas in the middle, but what it ultimately comes down to in SEO is that a white hat SEO writer or marketer uses the system in order to gain more views. A black hat SEO professional games the system.
The differences can be subtle, but what it really comes down to is that white hat SEO is about substance where black hat SEO is more cynical, and more concerned with things like keyword-stuffing than with providing the reader with any real value. People lean towards black hat SEO because it’s easy to get a lot of hits when you stop worrying about content, but white hat SEO tactics will generally serve your purposes better in the long run. Here’s what sets these two approaches apart.
Black Hat SEO Has No Backlist, White Hat SEO Does
The “backlist” concept refers to what happens when people find articles from years ago and that turns them onto the product, or they click a link and you earn some ad revenue. Google is changing every day, though, so the only thing that keeps you relevant over the years is valuable content, not finding out how the system works just enough to cheat it. You don’t get a backlist with black hat, you do with white hat.
Nobody Reads Black Hat SEO Articles, but they do Read White Hat SEO
A keyword stuffed black hat article doesn’t need readers, it just needs to climb the page ranks so that you can sell the website to someone else. If nobody reads it, nobody shares it, and if nobody shares it, then ultimately it fails to keep being seen in the long run. A white hat article with strong content gets shared.
Black Hat SEO Just Isn’t Fun, White Hat SEO is
Ultimately, unlike white hat SEO, dealing in black hat SEO can be a depressing, boring job, even when you’re successful at it. You never earn quite as much as you would with great content, and your entire career is just a process of posting meaningless, unreadable content to the web. It’s not exactly what you pictured growing up wanting to be a great business leader, and it doesn’t earn you enough in the long run to be worth the compromise.
White hat SEO is simple: learn how keywords work, learn how content works, but focus on creating value and earning a real fanbase. Black hat is too complicated, too quickly rendered obsolete, and too boring to be worth the effort.