SEO (Search engine optimization) is the science of making a website go up in search engine results, basically making the website pop up higher in user searches. For example, if you have a website selling closets, you want your website to be on the first page of the search when prospective customers type “buy closets” in the Google or Yahoo search bar. This doesn’t happen easily and you need to put in hard work and “please” the search engine by feeding it what it wants: original content, many websites linking to your site and other types of gratifications proving that your website is both legit and quite well known.
Basically, there are two ways of building good SEO for your website, antithetically named white hat and black hat. White hat refers to the proper, legit ways of making your website more visible, while black hat refers to those techniques that try to cheat the search engine itself and that might get you banned. In simpler terms, white hat practices refer to those methods which are aimed at real users and are more user friendly and are visible. Spiders- programs that index content for search engines, “like” more this type of content, as it’s exactly the type of content that real users will read and pass forward. Black hat refers to articles or other type of information that are valuable only of “fast food” for spiders and are not actually viewed by (that many) users, and which artificially raise the ranking of a site. Next, let’s take a look at what is labeled as black hat and white hat by search engines.
Meta tags: These tags are the words used to describe your content. These are not visible on the site and are used to filter results for users when they look for something online. For example, if you look for a clothing store, meta tags could be “buy clothes online”, “clothes” etc. If you’re using black hat techniques, you can put in other terms than the ones actually describing your website and thus attract even those people looking for something else online. White hat behavior recommends to use strong keywords that properly describe your content and honestly drive traffic to your site.
Content: In order to make more people visit your site, you can “hide” content and keywords on the website, so it seems like it’s read by people when actually it’s not. This is definitely black hat SEO, while white hat refers to properly written and displayed content that’s related to the topic of your website and that contains a keyword that’s displayed on each page of the website.
Linking: Black hat linking refers to building a link farm, which is a group of dummy websites linking to your website. This is meant to artificially increase the page rank of your website because it tries to fool the search engine that many other sites link to yours and thus claiming it’s more popular. In white hat terms, you have to create quality content that will determine other site owners to link to your content in their posts. This means that you’re offering other people out there quality content that is worth spreading- and that’s what search engines will appreciate and promote. This way, your ranking grows naturally, without you having to do anything else than deliver quality content.