Having your website optimized to be ranked the best in the search for keywords, on a search engine is the best way to make it popular. There are many different types of SEO employed by the companies to improve the rankings of a website. Each one of these tactics come at their own respective cost, and take different amount of time to show their effect. There is also a difference in the risk factor and the value of all these different types of tactics.
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In the early decades of the 20th century, the movies made in the United States were representative the nature of the characters in their movies with different coloured hats. For example, the hero would wear a white hat while a villain would wear a black hat. The concept of the different coloured hats was taken to define the various types of SEO, mainly White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO, Grey Hat SEO, and negative SEO. Let us know about these various types of SEO in brief:
This category of SEO techniques will help you get the results faster and it also costs quite less to implement too. However, there is always a catch when things start to sound too good. The Black Hat SEO techniques take shortcuts that are prohibited in the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Many of the practices that are used in this category are mentioned under the list of things that you should not do, since they carry a risk. While these techniques may help your website rank high among the search results, the ranking will not be sustained for a long time and you will have to put in your efforts again.
Quite the opposite of the Black Hat SEO techniques, the White Hat SEO techniques comply with all the guidelines in the Google Webmaster Guidelines. The results are produced after quite a long time and the cost also is thereby increased. However, since the techniques like relevant content, on-page seo, natural links etc are in compliance with the official guidelines, the results are sustained over a long period of time and you will not have to revisit the keyword for a sufficient amount of time.
Many professional agencies adhere to the White Hat SEO techniques to help their clients rank higher in the results, and since the result of their efforts are long lasting, the reputation of these companies is therefore increased in the market.
Lying somewhere in the middle of the Black Hat SEO and the White Hat SEO techniques, the Grey Hat SEO category includes the practices that are not particularly prohibited in the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Essentially, it exploits the loopholes in the guidelines to help the websites rank better.
However, since the Google ranking algorithm is updated regularly every day, there is no guarantee that the loopholes that you will exploit in this category will help you rank your website among the results. One of the most popular example of Grey SEO technique is clickbait.
This involves including an inciting image or information on the title of your webpage, making the audience curious about the information within, in order to increase the visitors on your website.
All the practices in Black Hat SEO and Grey Hat SEO when implemented on your competitor’s website in order to harm their ranking, can be termed as negative SEO. Usually this category of techniques is not ethically moral and should be avoided.Negative SEO includes practices like harmful linking to their website and stealing their content and presenting it better on your website. Acts like hacking their website and modifying their content so that their ranking is harmed, also come under this category.
When you have the information about all the above categories of SEO, you will also have to learn about the differences in these practices. The involvement of the risk in all the above categories is the highest in Black Hat SEO, while the cost and time to implement, and value of efforts are the highest in White Hat SEO. TGrey Hat SEO lies midway, between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO, when all these factors are considered.
On-Page SEO refers to creating internal linking between the various pages on your website. Connecting these pages, makes it easier for the bot to crawl through your website and understand the purpose and information on it. This makes things easier for the search engines such as Google and Bing to understand, if the content on your website is relevant to the keyword,or if the content is just a bunch of keywords strung together without any motive. The various examples of the practices that come under On-Page SEO are the inclusion of title tags, meta tags, meta descriptions, headings, paragraphs, images, and URLs.
Off-Page SEO helps the search engines understand if the content on your website is relevant enough to be ranked among the search results for various keywords. This usually includes practices like external linking or backlinking, or mentions of your business or website in the content of other websites. The relevance of the content helps the search engines to decide the rank of your website. Where On-Page SEO can be understood as the qualitative analysis of your website, Off-Page SEO can be understood as the quantitative analysis by the search engines.
If you are looking to quickly appear in the search results but for a short time, go for the Black Hat SEO techniques. They are quite cheap and are usually less time consuming. As mentioned earlier, there will be a risk of losing the rank due to the constant updates to the Google search algorithm.
However, if you are looking for the right practices that will provide you with long-lasting results, practice the guidelines under the White Hat SEO. In any case, you will have to implement the On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO, since they are vital in bringing your website to the top of the search results. Thus, the different types of SEO are quite specific and used for different use-cases.