Tarek Chaaban

Tarek Chaaban, M.Sc's official blog. It contains current web project portfolio, posts regarding his Canadian army experience, news, sports articles, and web tutorials on programming and using social networking technologies.

SEO – White Hat versus Black Hat

It was in the middle of the 90s when webmasters and content providers began doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This was the time when the early developed search engines were in the process of cataloging the contents in the Web. It took some time for it to really get a niche in the Internet world.

As site optimization became more necessary, techniques have also become more effective and efficient. At present, there are at least two categories of techniques used. White hat SEO techniques are those that are recommended by search engines as having good design. Search engines issue guidelines to which techniques must conform. In addition, white hat techniques do not involve any deception. This is a very important consideration because there have been cases of deception that really did harm to search engine users.

The other techniques referred to as black hat SEO are those that are not approved by search engines and also referred to as “spamdexing”. The main objective of these techniques is to generate high rankings in search results, usually by the use of deceit. The use of hidden text which could be set in the same color as the background or positioned off-screen could do the trick. “Cloaking” is another black hat technique that involves generating a different page other than the one requested by a visitor.

Between the two groups of techniques, white hats produce long-lasting and better results. Black hats could only work for a time, but users of these techniques also recognize the fact that sooner or later their sites would be banned. Both groups of techniques really improve site rankings. However, white hat techniques for obvious reasons are recommended. Aside from being approved by search engines, deception as a tool used by black hat techniques would not create a good impression on any site that uses such just to rank high in search results.

Sites that use black hats may be penalized. Upon discovery, two things could be meted on the offender – reduction of the site’s ranking, or eliminating the site’s listings from the search engine’s databases. This clearly shows that SEO is not just about high rankings but more importantly about living by the rules.

1 Comment

  1. As your article says, black hat is really only good if you want to make a quick buck. Your site will rank good, you’ll earn money from ads, and then it’ll get banned with you having a small profit. Most black hatters do this, then rinse and repeat.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.