White Hat vs Black Hat vs Grey Hat SEO

First off, what is SEO, and why is it important? Well, you can refer to the complete breakdown here, but in a nutshell, SEO is the process of website optimisation to rank high in search engines such as Google and Bing. This is crucial as many people get their information from organic searches on Google and the like.

Make no mistake; SEO is complex and takes hours of training to become an SEO specialist. However, it’s possible if you have the time and patience.

As Search Engine Optimisation is a multi-faceted digital science, there are multiple ways to approach it. Many do SEO legitimately and ethically, such as us here at Purpose Communications. We call this white hat SEO. Unfortunately, many select the unethical way of SEO. This is referred to as black hat SEO.

What is White Hat SEO?

white hat seo

White Hat SEO, in layman’s terms, is playing by the rules of Google and other search engines. Like most things in life, the legitimate route takes time, effort, and patience. This is especially true for SEO. To see any results, it takes a matter of three to six months on average.

Some white hat SEO methods include website analysis, niche keyword selection & research, on-page SEO, technical SEO, content drafting & optimising (content meaning “the written word”, sometimes referred to as copy, with the process known as copy writing or copy editing). Each one of these aspects can take hours alone. As such, many agencies out there promise quick results, but the truth is quick doesn’t exist in this industry. Therefore, many agencies use black hat methods.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO is the dark side of this facet of digital marketing. Various black hat methods include keyword stuffing, website hacking, hidden pages, and spammy backlinks from harmful websites.

Fortunately for us who practice ethical SEO and ethical marketing, black hat methods don’t work in the longrun. Utilising black hat methods will get your website penalised by All Mighty Lord Google.

What is Grey Hat SEO?

Grey Hat search engine optimisation is precisely how the name sounds; it’s the grey area between legitimate and shady SEO practices – it’s like keyword stuffing, except in moderation, or simply buying semi-legit backlinks for your written content.

Google desires users to acquire backlinks naturally; however, purchasing a few here and there won’t hurt your ranking (unless they’re a dodgy website, which isn’t always obvious to the inexperienced).

It’s perhaps incorrect to classify grey hat tactics as ethical or unethical; sometimes it’s beneficial to use such techniques, and won’t get you penalised, especially if a website is in its infancy stages. Be careful though – it can be a slippery slope. SEO is hard to do right so don’t get tricked into grey area shortcuts. 

Best Ethical SEO Practices

Search Engine Optimisation is a series of diverse tactics which can be executed to help a website rank in search engines and ultimately get more traffic. The best way to approach SEO depends on the function of your website and what stage of development it’s at – but we can confidently say that an ethical approach will always leave you in good stead (unless of course you’re expressly intending to hoodwink people). 

Firstly, write, photograph, and film some content. Get a plethora of content drafted and ready to publish on your website. Make sure that it’s valuable & insightful and optimised from a human perspective.

In terms of images and video, you can opt to go original and create it yourself or take copyright-free stuff from the internet. Pexels is an excellent source for this.

Once the first stage is implemented, you can begin to publish content on your website. If the website has already been established, you can implement on-page SEO to optimise the content with keywords, minimise image size, fix technical errors, and so forth.

These various SEO tasks should all operate in conjunction with one another. For one to work effectively, you must have the other. That’s why Purpose Communications offers SEO packages tailored to unique business needs, regardless of whether that be local SEO, global SEO, content, backlinks, or a bit of everything.

Google works on an algorithm designed to make the internet rich with valuable information and quality content. Over the years, this algorithm has changed along with the various methods people have developed to trick Google – the whole thing is an ongoing arms race. It’s crucial to play by the rules of Google and produce quality stuff, which is why we depend exclusively on white hat tactics.

If you need help creating and developing a winning SEO strategy, contact Purpose Communications – your ethical local SEO in Melbourne, Australia.

Ready for your free 30 minute strategy session?

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