Black Hat SEO vs. White Hat SEO

Not all SEO techniques are inherently good for your site, some generate traffic by adopting legitimate tactics, while others apply shady tricks that may bring more harm than good to your site in the long run.

In general, we can categorise SEO techniques by the metaphorical ‘hat’ they don – white hat and black hat. Both are being used to improve website visibility, but with different approaches.

Black Hat SEO

The primary motivation of black hat SEO is to gain quick attention from search engine. Instead of creating valuable content to attract audience, they exploit loopholes and attempt to trick the system into perceiving high relevance value in their website. These techniques tend to be search-engine centric rather than human centric. Usually, it is not difficult to spot these websites, as their content are typically incoherent and making little or no sense at all.

Some popular tricks engaged by of black hat SEO are doorway pages, cloaking, keyword stuffing, and link farm.

Websites that engage black hat SEO not only look spammy, but also bring on bad reputation. When visitors find no value on the webpage, they simply leave and never turn back.

There is one thing we can count on – loopholes are meant to be closed. It is only a matter of time before Google found it and mend it. Websites found exploiting loopholes are often get penalised heavily, or even banned from search engine. We are looking at years of works instantly undone at a tweak of Google algorithm. Those tricks became obsolete and new tricks awaiting to sprout.

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO, on another hand, applies honest tactics. It may takes longer time to achieve the amount of traffic desired, but the result will also be more reliable and long lasting.

We have all heard of ‘Content is the King’, and that is exactly how we should approach it. The content (king) deserve our utmost attention. Only with quality content we can generate sustainable organic traffic.

Once we get our content right, there are techniques to be applied to make sure our content reach out to audience successfully.

Some examples of white hat SEO techniques are keyword research, title tags, meta tags, URL canonicalization and link building.

There are many tools and skills involved, but you don’t need to master them all, no one can. Just focus on a few basic ones, and then you can gradually build up from there.


In certain sense, black hat SEO is like white hat SEO goes extreme. For example, good keyword research turns into keyword stuffing, and quality backlink become link farm. There are a lot of similarities in their underlying strategies, but one meant to sprint only at the start while the other one meant to last.

In the end of the day, even with the ever evolving Google search engine algorithm, one constant that we can be sure is the quality of content. Without that, not even the best SEO strategies could help with anything.

What white hat or black hat SEO tactics are you applying?

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Hi, I am Grace, the founder of Kernel Affiliate.

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