If you’ve been around the world of Internet marketing for a while now, then you’ve probably heard of the term “black hat SEO.” There is also “white hat SEO” and “grey hat SEO.” The three terms basically refer to various strategies to get your web site listed at the top of the rankings for Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines.
Why You Need SEO and the Right Way to Do It
It is well known that if you don’t manage to hit the top page or two, your page hits drop off dramatically. However, as with most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about doing SEO work.
The “right way” is what is known as “White hat SEO.” These are techniques which are specifically approved by the search engines to help you to rise in the rankings. Among these are things like building links from other web sites and creating content which goes viral.
The Wrong Way to do SEO
Black hat SEO by contrast consists of sneaky techniques which have been employed by some people to game the rankings. Some of the more common techniques are things like keyword and putting keywords into white text on a white background so that it shows up for the search engines, but not for your readers.
Grey hat SEO by contrast consists of techniques which are of a questionable nature such as spamming other web sites with links which have no redeeming value.
Why It’s a Problem
There are lots of reasons why you shouldn’t use Black Hat (or for that matter, Grey Hat) SEO techniques. However, here are the three primary reasons why it’s such a problem:
1. The Search Engines Will Remove You or De-rank You –Probably the best reason to avoid black hat SEO techniques is that the search engines will “punish” you for it. All of the main search engines (including search engines on social networks and Amazon) employ various techniques to watch out for black hat SEO by web sites ranking high in their results.
The moment they find such techniques have been employed, the best you can hope for is that you will be places at the very bottom of the rankings. At worst, it’s entirely possible that your web site will be delisted completely meaning no one will ever visit you from search engine results.
2. It Makes Your Web Site Difficult to Navigate and Read—Most black hat SEO techniques make your web site friendly to search engines but not so much to the human readers who come to visit your site. This means that you’ll ultimately lose rankings because you won’t get the link backs you need.
3. It Can Cause a Backlash – By making use of black hat SEO techniques, you will arouse the ire of those who make the effort to do things the right way, the hard way. This can often cause vigilante retaliation by competitors which will ultimately damage your reputation and your web site.