If you have spent very much time at all researching SEO, you have quite likely come across the terms “black hat” and “white hat”. However, what exactly does it mean?
Well, if you have imagined the good cowboy in the white hat and the bad one in the black, you can be forgiven – that is certainly the impression people try to give off about the whole deal. Still, what is black hat SEO anyway? Is it legal? Does it work?
And what is white hat SEO? Does it have too soft a touch? And again most importantly, does it work?
The line between black and white hat SEO is sometime a little blurry, in no small part because techniques once considered white hat may not be any longer. Some people will tell you that white hat SEO is ethical while black hat SEO is not. And while there certainly are unethical practices used by some who wear the darker hats, this is a bit of an over simplification.
A general rule of thumb is whether Google likes the practice or not. In its constant effort to return search results it says are relevant, the search company continually updates its search algorithms. Characteristically, anything that works, but that Google will penalize or ban you for, if found out, is considered black hat. Read the rest of this entry