Whenever you go on a website that has to do with SEO, or some place where people talk about SEO, or if you even buy an ebook about SEO, what you see almost all the time is that people tell you that White Hat SEO is the way to go and you must always use White Hat SEO for your websites, people also say that Black Hat SEO is not worth the effort because its use will ultimately get you banned.
This notion could be rested upon a simple logic of the ethical and unethical, White Hat SEO is purely ethical Search Engine Optimization, and Black Hat SEO is like using cheat codes in a video game, in other words unethical SEO, but the difference between using a cheat code in a video game and using Black Hat SEO for your website is that when you use the cheat codes, there’s no real harm done, you just enhance your gaming experience sitting in front of your computer.
But when one uses Black Hat SEO for their websites, it results in simple, straight forward, yours truly, Bans. Bans from the search engines who think being unethical is simply not the way to go, as common sense states. However, through my personal research I have found out that Black Hat SEO is reigning supreme amongst start-up SEO’s and novice SEO’s, even more commercially than personally.
What happened was that I was reviewing a friend’s new website he said he had got optimized for best Search Engine performance by a local SEO, I checked into the source code etc. and much to my surprise I found keywords stuffed in the bottom of each web page in background color font. There were also many more trails of a Black Hat on the website, which I removed off my friend’s website upon telling him that it was ethical.
This was not the first case I saw of Black Hat, but a lot of self proclaimed novice SEOs today are using Black Hat to give their clients the results they want on Search Engines, most of these people work this way, they promise their clients a certain spot on some keyphrases/keywords. With Black Hat SEO, they obtain 50% of the keywords, which is mentioned in their clause as the minimum required results to be paid. These SEO’s then get paid and get out of the scene.
Some time later, the clients’ website gets banned. Much to the dismay of the client, but the SEO can not be technically accused of anything as he did give the rank he promised. Even though it was through deceptive practices. This brings me to the next point, why don’t SEO’s choose the white hat way? Especially the novice ones? Well there are certain reasons –
– White Hat SEO is hard to learn
– White Hat SEO requires lots of practice
– Building links with White Hat is a tough job
– White Hat is a slow process
– White Hat SEO requires more time and money
So basically we can see that in an effort to earn a lot of money quickly, novice SEO’s shove Black Hat down the throats of their clients and their websites. A website might even get permanently banned due to these practices. Most Black Hat SEOs are smart and will not let you know whats going on, you might even get the impression that they are performing their task honestly. But the truth might be otherwise, therefore here is what you should do when you’re getting your website optimized for the Search Engines:
– Ask someone experienced with White Hat to look at your website
– Look in your source code, if you find keywords stuffed in anywhere except the Meta Tags, then its Black Hat.
– Browse your whole website at regular intervals to make sure if any page-forwarding etc. is not going on
– Ask your SEO what are they doing to your website.
– If you find anything suspicious, talk about it with your SEO and with someone experienced with White Hat.
A few precautions here and there will save you from falling prey to the effects of Black Hat, I used to believe nobody would use Black Hat commercially in their business, but these shocking experiences I have had say otherwise, therefore make sure you keep a watch if you’re buying SEO services from anywhere.