Someone posted in a forum thread over at v7n.com asking If White Hat or Black Hat SEO was better?
My response -
“I’m assuming you’re new to SEO in general by your question. While it’s true that black hat tactics can get your site moving, they are never recommended in my opinion.
While it may take an extra week or two to get moving using white hat SEO, there are tricks to doing it the right way and still getting the benefits of black hat. I have clients that ask for black hat all the time, and I tell them my recommendations, which is never to use it. If they insist, I send them on to another SEO programmer.
In the length of things, my sites usually have better positioning for longer periods of times. Do what you feel is best, but if are looking to build up a good client base or increase your reputation in the SEO world, I suggest staying away from black hat SEO.”
Should I have dove in a little deeper in my explanation of the black and white hat process? After much thought, I decided to display a little about the processes of each tactic.
Black Hat Tactics
- Link Farming – It’s quick, easy and will usually get your ranking on the SERP dropped after about 4-6 weeks.
- Hidden Text – It does work. Only thing is that the search engine algorithms are constantly being redeveloped and it may not last long. Plus, should the crawler discover it or your competition complain about it, you’re most likely going to be getting the -30 (30 day ranking drop penalty) treatment.
White Hat Tactics -
- Adding in relevant words into your page text is helpful when search engines do crawls of your site. Those words showing up the most in your text do make your site seem more important for those relevant words or phrases searched by possible visitors.
- Meta tags properly made will help you on Yahoo and Ask.com. Google and MSN Live (updated Jan 21, 2011 – MSN Live is now Bing.com) doesn’t really use the keywords in the meta tags but they are still important to use if you’re looking for a ranking with one of those other search engines.
Search engines will give your site a fair ranking depending on the importance and relevance of your site and how you set up your white hat practices. Keep that in mind for future, long term SEO goals. You want your site to stay higher on the SERP for longer. You may get a boost using black hat SEO, but let’s say you got 1000 visitors for 1 week and then you got penalized and dropped back down in the rankings. Now with my White Hat SEO I might have only received 200 visitors a week, but I should consistently get those 200 visitors every week since my site wasn’t penalized and didn’t get pushed back down the SERP.
Using White Hat SEO is going to be the best way in my opinion. It will help keep your site or your client site in the rankings. Not to mention, once you get penalized it takes search engines a long time to get your back into rotation. Some times you may even need to get crawled again and re indexed. All that time you are losing visitors.