The two faced world of SEO: Black and White hat methods by Agam Berry
SEO is one of the most popular forms of internet marketing. With SEO, the goal of a marketer is to help improve the ranking of a website in a specific or in several search engines. With the emergence of SEO in the last decade or so, a massive number of consultants have appeared from different sectors, such as web design, conventional marketing and even from those who are simply passionate about internet innovations. SEO is a popular tool but it pays to know that there are 2 different methods that are very much discussed by many consultants and marketers from across the globe. These are the white hat and black hat methods. It’s like the two conscience of the marketer. One is all about following standards and set ethics about creating quality presence on search engines using accepted strategies while the other one is about sneaky schemes and methods that are geared towards fast and immediate results though they are not approved and are considered unethical.
Those who prefer white hat tactics come to a conclusion that black hat makes SEO services and the entire industry upside down. Most white hat proponents agree that there are established methods to doing SEO while black hats agree that the method is irrelevant such as the goal is to reach the same ends. The final one uses a more Machiavellian philosophy but does that really justify the actions?
According to an interview with Agam Berry, white hat methods use processes that have been considered as ethical. There were published guidelines that are deemed as unacceptable. Thus, White hat uses user friendly methods and the focus is not totally intended towards taking advantage of the search engines. It focuses on the idea of creating a site that actual people will benefit from but at the same time, follows traditional rules about generating organic content. Any process that benefits the end users with relevant and useful content can be deemed as a white hat method.
The black hat methods, according to Agam Berry is all about finding efforts for fast, and immediate results whatever it takes. Since the goal is immediate gratification for the site, the black hat SEO users tend to take advantage of the blind side of search engines. There are several known black hat methods used before such as keyword stuffing, duplicating keywords, hidden keywords on the background as well as other methods that undermine ethical standards established and published by White hat proponents and even search engines. Deception can generate immediate results but for the most part, the results are not long lasting and it could have a long term effect on the site’s ranking and general appeal to people out there.
One way to differentiate white from black hat methods is to look at the focus of the process. If the marketer focuses on effective process and strategy, and the results germinate and grow in time, then it could be white hat. If the process is focused on non- targeted and immediate results, then it could be considered as black hat.