What do you think? Which one is better? Black Hat or White Hat SEO?
Do you think the Black Hat is the advanced version of White Hat SEO? Or White Hat SEO is good and the Black Hat is bad?
No, the thing is not so simple. In this, there is good and bad. Everything is not black and white!
Here we go wrong!
White Hat = Good guys, Black Hat = Bad guys or at least this is what it means, but it is really not so.
Here I will discuss the points that are generally understood by every hat, which I personally understand and some myths that I hear all the time but simply are nothing but pure lies.
White Hat: What they say it is, and what I think!
They say that White Hat SEO is a good tale. Following the recommendations that are given by Google that mostly came from Matt Cutts in the past and got stuck somewhere in your mind. But you should not forget that there are more search engines that are gaining ground, as like Yahoo, the default search engine for Firefox users.
Generally, those who focus on making this “Black SEO” care about users. That is, they care about creating great content (good is no longer enough today), get links themselves, improve their positions and attract their visitors to get clicks.
And it makes sense. Usually, this kind of SEO brings medium and / or long-term benefits to the project. Blogs seeking to become leaders in their market, companies or individuals who want to position their brand and others. You should not bet on strategies that can help today and harm tomorrow (although companies hire “SEOs” who build exactly such kind of links and you end up disappointed and crossing out the SEO as a scam, but it is another matter).
Myths about White Hat SEO
The White Hat SEO is handmade: Done everything manually!
Variations like: The Black Hat SEOs are superior because they use tools and automate the process, whereas White Hat SEOs takes too much of time because they do everything manually.
It has even gone to extremes: If you create 50 blogs on different platforms following White Hat program (you do everything manually), how much time will it take?
The point is: If you create or do everything manually instead of using software, how much time it will take? Are you simply ready to invest so much of time? Or do you have so much of free time?
Is it true or a myth? No, obviously not!
The difference is that you can usually automate the things like:
- Find prospects for links
- Search and analyze keywords
- Analyze competitors
- Monitor positions
- Audit the content of a site and some other things like shares on social networks, frisking date, etc quantitatively.
Something that you can rarely automate is the creation of links. In all these automation (ranging from paying for software) we can see a little loss of quality but speed makes the difference, but in the case of links, the quality loss is more remarkable!
They never affect Google updates!
Although what Black Hat often affects is completely unknown. Especially understanding what Google considers ‘risky practices’ is not fixed. The activities will expand or get modified over time.
A clear example: Ann Smarty, whose network of blogs for guest posting was penalized. She did not do anything wrong and yet was penalized. This case is special because I think the penalty was performed to be used as an example to discourage people. But just as she was penalized, many people do not intentionally violate Google’s commands, especially the Panda or the Penguin when they hire an “SEO agency” of those that abound.
But it is true that the updates typically affect them much less than the Black Hat.
Here is a reason why the White Hat is “pure” utopia. Today anyone and even their pets can open a blog on the Internet in less than 10 minutes. Every day hundreds and thousands of new posts are published. If you expect that publishing content is good enough, you better go around and look for a comfortable chair.
Moreover, today it is more difficult to convince a webmaster to link back to you. There is a lot of paranoia about linking, if it is not possible to do that, it is better to consider having a Nofollow link, it is better to have something than having nothing. All this is happening largely because of Google.
In short, waiting for the links that will get build without doing anything is a stupid idea, unless you are someone who knows the environment in which you move, with many followers and after publishing an article, can get dozens of links. But for this, it will take some time and you have to make yourself known first! Generally, SEO strategy does not work every time.
Want an example? Here is an excellent post from Graywolf that was posted around six years ago: I Listened To Google And I Failed.
Summing up the post:
One day Graywolf (who is someone who knows what he does) decided to follow Google advice: Create great content that people will find useful to link and you will fall in droves. What happened? He got lots of visits (hundreds of thousands) from sites like Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon, but almost no link. At the end of the day, none of its contents was positioned well for any keyword. And those who received more traffic from Google were those on which he spent some of his time to build some links.
So no, the White Hat will not bring links magically alone!
In fact, the good White Hat usually gets links that Black Hat would not even get in dreams. It requires much more efforts and hard work. Many may think that working for hours to try to get a link is not worth it, but only 1 excellent quality link has more power than thousands of links achieved with some software.
Black Hat: Are they bad? Are they better than White Hat?
No, to begin with, they are not the bad guys. If we say that those who try to follow the guidelines of Google are good and those who do not are bad, it means to say that Google is good!
Let’s see. Is Google good? Good for whom? For the insurance of their shareholders is good. For users alike, it is generally good, why not something you use both?
But what about businesses? What about SEOs? Nah, there is nothing like that!
Taking up this, the Black Hat is not ‘always’ better than White Hat. There are very good White Hats but there are very good Black Hats too.
Neither there is an advanced version of the White Hat nor the Black Hat. In fact, many who call themselves good or experts at Black Hat are only “experts” using any software or hiring services on Fiverr.
Myths about Black Hat SEO
All Black Hat SEOs are advanced? No!
Did you hear a talk about Han script kiddies? In the hacker world, they are those who are known to those who call themselves hackers but only based on scripts and software created by others, not bothering to even know why they do and what they do.
Anyone with a few bucks can rent a VPS to install spam software and get started with spamming the same day. Is this an advanced SEO?
Anyone can hire someone from Fiverr and blast 50,000 comments. Is this an advanced SEO?
No, not advanced SEO. But much less than an advanced version of White Hat SEO.
Many, who say that they are Black Hat rookies, are looking for software that is clicking the catapult to reach the top positions. Many are nothing more than spammers who bought some software, rented a VPS and cracked it down flat.
In short: Not all Black Hat SEOs are advanced. And no, the Black Hat is not the improved version of the White Hat.
The Black Hat is not served today
Whoever says this, one of these is the reason:
- Did not succeed in black hat (lost some places and did not try again)
Like it or not but the Black Hat still works and it is very difficult to stop. The question is, does it work for everyone? I should or I should not apply these techniques?
Black Hat for a website:
The Black Hat is unpredictable. You can take up for months, and then comes a penguin and you are down. Or you can last for a couple of weeks and then disappear. But general rule sooner or later, the pages or posts disappear.
So if you cannot afford to lose the site, what are you doing considering technical Black Hat?
The Black Hat is illegal
No, it is technically not illegal. Then what is illegal? Doing a lot of spam activities and your site will rank higher?
Well, they say, but it is immoral. Immoral? Nope. As I said above, Google is not the good story.
Of course, when combined with hacking websites to inject links, redirect other pages to your own pages and a few other techniques more … so if you already could be talking about something illegal (and I’m not sure if all these activities are seen as something illegal).
Then there is Grey Hat
In Reality, We all are “Grey Hat”.
Simply because what Google considers Black Hat or White Hat (and to be honest, it all revolves around the guidelines from Google Webmaster) is changing over time. And anyone who takes on the SEO more than a couple of months probably already did something that Google might consider Black Hat.
The only difference is that Grey Hat is neither hot nor cold. Sometimes it makes things more Black Hat, sometimes more White Hat. They do not marry any of the two positions and leverage what suits them for each. Of the three positions, I think it is the most convenient.
Myths about Grey Hat? Not much is said about this technique, really they are not a third “hat”. Only use the techniques of the other two, so somehow all previous myths could apply with Grey Hat!
Now let’s talk about Google
Google is not “good”. Repeat it again until you understand. Google IS NOT GOOD therefore being Black Hat is not immoral or illegal nor it is bad.
Google is a business. It has its own interests (Continue to grow and be profitable perhaps). To achieve this, they have to make people use their services: Gmail, Google Drive, AdWords, YouTube, Maps, G+ and of course, their browser.
Especially their browser! Did you know that Google AdWords generated almost 120 billion during 2015?
It is most important. They need people to continue to use their services. Google has a giant block of AdWords ads for each search and probably many users would stop using it if they only display ads. They have to find a balance. And above all, it must satisfy as much as possible to its users, without spending too much.
(That’s why Google’s goal is not to find the best results for each search. Just get a set of ~ 10 acceptable results which satisfy their users and get enough competition. If put to look for 10 best, but seriously better, results for each search would be a much higher and will add more expense to your pocket. And apparently, unnecessary).
So if you believe Google is good and goes around helping SEOs or who have websites, they are completely wrong.
They have made several mistakes Or rather, does some things in a stupid way most of the time.
Why focus on their updates which sweep with sites that do not meet their guidelines rather than to reward those who approach them if they comply?
Why the fuss over the links spam? Why instead of penalizing people with links spam and delete them from the SERPs, they don’t ignore those garbage links?
Why people are so afraid of building the links for their businesses? Why Nofollow tag went out of control?
This is the reason: FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.
What do you think?
What color is your hat: Black, White, Grey or something else?
Or better stop thinking in terms of colors, and which is good or bad. Worry about the work and achieving desired results.
Do you have anything to add to the story or want to share your experience? Post a comment!