What Is Black Hat SEO (and Why Should I Avoid It?)

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For those of us who grew up reading Mad Magazine, the image above makes the difference between white hat and black hat SEO crystal clear.

For the rest of us, black hat SEO can best be defined as a ‘morally and ethically ambiguous’ business practice.  Black hat SEO practitioners, in an effort to secure high rankings, will break search engine regulations and throw any notion of a positive search experience out the window.

Examples of black hat SEO practices include keyword stuffing (ie stringing every keyword you wish to rank for in the title tag of your page, whether or not it is relevant for each term) and the time-honored invisible text (ie adding white text to a white background on your page.)

Make no mistake, black hat SEO tactics can result in higher rankings for your website.  So why should you avoid them?

By becoming black hat you are choosing to go to war with the engines.  As they become more and more advanced, search engines will get far more efficient at squashing those who go against its regulations.  This can mean rankings that are here today, gone tomorrow.

On a similar note, the major search engines revenue streams are rooted in providing a pleasant search experience.  To think that search engines are squashing out black hat practices simply to flex their own muscle is as short-sighted as thinking high rankings are the be-all, end-all of successful SEO campaigns.

White hat SEO depends on search engines and SEOs working together to produce a positive search experience, whereby a user finds what it is they are looking for with as few clicks as possible.  Black hat depends on rogue SEOs working alone on narrow-minded goals that, even if achieved, mean very little.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) programs offered by TopRank® Online Marketing are always white-hat and focus on providing and implementing recommendations offering the highest impact as it relates to our client’s objectives.  Contact TopRank® Online Marketing to learn more about high impact SEO by calling toll free at 1-877-872-6628 or locally in the Twin Cities at 952-400-0194.

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