The Many Hats of SEO
You may or may not know of the different ‘hats’ that the SEO industry has come to acknowledge. If you don’t, you’re in luck. I’m here to distill any questions you have about the many hats of SEO and give you a few examples of the types of work each one does.
White Hat SEO
White hat SEO is the cleanest and most ethical SEO technique and tactic. This type of SEO is where all the tactics used conform to all the major search engines’ rules and guidelines. Usually, white hat SEO techniques take a longer amount of time to accomplish a goal, but every tactic used will pass the test of time. Some of the techniques include: regular production of properly optimized content, link building with high quality sites and sharing links on different social media sites.
Grey Hat SEO
Grey hat SEO techniques are little “dingier” than pure white hat SEO techniques. Most of these tactics straddle the line of conforming to the search engines rules. Most of the times if you aren’t caught using these tactics then you are ok, but the search engines are just like the IRS. If the search engines are performing an audit on your site and “think” you are using a shadier SEO tactic then they may penalize you, but not ban you completely. Some grey hat SEO techniques could include: buying links instead of earning links or having a higher keyword density than recommended.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO techniques are the reason most people think SEO is just a bunch of SPAM and doesn’t have a real effect on sales or that SEO isn’t a true marketing channel. These types of techniques will give you a slight burst of traffic and exposure, but ultimately your site will drop from the top and be banned from the search engines. Some black hat SEO techniques include: cloaking content, hidden text stuffed with keywords or associating your site with link farms to boost your backlink count. If you hear any SEO company say that they are using these types of tactics, run.
We here at Merge hold true to white hat SEO techniques and tactics. I myself have always strived to stay as far away from black hat SEO as possible. Just remember, white hat SEO may take longer to deliver results, but it will provide your site with higher quality traffic and links that will keep your site high on the search results pages.