Types of Search Engine Optimization – SEO
Types of SEO suggest, there are stark differences in the approach and long-term results of white hat and black hat Search Engine Optimization. Though, both types of Search Engine Optimization have their proponents, most companies/websites with long-term, stable, and sustainable goals will tend to stay away from the dark-colored variety.
White hat SEO
Definition: White hat Search Engine Optimization utilizes techniques and methods to improve the search engine rankings of a website which don’t run afoul of search engine (mainly Google) guidelines.
Wholesomeness Level: High
Techniques: Some white hat SEO techniques include:
– High quality content development
– Website HTML optimization and restructuring
– Link acquisition campaigns supported by high quality content
What to Expect: Steady, gradual, but lasting growth in rankings.
Black Hut SEO
Definition: Black Hat SEO exploits weaknesses in the search engine algorithms to obtain high rankings for a website. Such techniques and methods are in direct conflict with search engine guidelines.
Wholesomeness Level: Very Low (not wholesome at all if you ask those in charge of cleaning SERP spam).
Techniques: Some black hat SEO techniques include: link spam, keyword stuffing, cloaking, hidden text, and hidden links.
What to Expect: Quick, unpredictable, and short-lasting growth in rankings.
The work of most companies, however, operate in a gray area, the aptly named Gray Hat Search Engine Optimization. Whether by design or pressure from clients to deliver results, many Search Engine Optimization companies try to deliver solutions and results for customers by utilizing techniques which don’t quite cross the line into black hat Search Engine Optimization, but are well outside of what would be considered white hat Search Engine Optimization.
Gray hat SEO is recognizable by ‘affordable’ pricing, since the Search Engine Optimization company has to reduce cost by resorting to questionable techniques in order to deliver results, instead of highly involved campaign activities.
In the end there is really no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do search engine optimization, but those shopping for SEO services should be aware of the different types and approaches so that they know the level of risk they are taking on.