Black Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO:What’s the difference
On Page SEO

Black Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO:What’s the difference

Jan 22, 2023
9 mins read

Understanding the difference between black hat vs white hat two strategies is essential for any website owner looking to improve their online presence.

When optimizing a website for search engines, there are two main approaches: black hat vs white hat SEO. The importance of black hat vs white hat SEO lies in the long-term sustainability and ethical considerations of a website’s search engine optimization.

What is Black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO refers to techniques that violate search engine guidelines and are used to manipulate search engine rankings. These techniques may provide a short-term boost in rankings but can ultimately lead to penalties and removing a website from search engine results. In addition, you are at risk of being blocked if you use black-hat SEO.

Black hat seo

What is White hat SEO?

On the other hand, White hat SEO, also known as ethical SEO, helps improve the user experience and follow search engine guidelines. It is also called organic SEO. These techniques include creating high-quality content, optimizing meta tags, and sitemaps, and building backlinks from reputable websites. The goal of white hat SEO is to improve a website’s or web page’s visibility in a way that is sustainable and beneficial for users and search engines. These techniques may take longer to show results but ultimately lead to a sustainable and ethical optimization of a website’s search engine performance.

White hat seo

Techniques and features used in Black hat SEO:

1- Keyword Stuffing:

Stuffing of keywords placement in a website’s content is a black hat SEO technique. The practice involves repeating the same keyword or phrase repeatedly in the content, meta tags, and URLs, often in a way that makes it difficult to read. This technique violates search engine guidelines and can result in penalties or even being banned from the search engine’s index.

For example, if your web page is related to digital marketing and you want your page to rank on digital marketing keywords. You are placing keywords in every single line or using them repetitively. It is important to note that this technique is ineffective in the long run and can even harm your website’s ranking and reputation. 

2. Duplicate content: 

Using someone else content or re-writing existing content to manipulate search engine rankings is also known as the black hat SEO technique. It includes content copied and pasted from one site to another or with different automated tools.

Duplicate content can be a severe problem for search engines, as it makes it difficult for them to determine which version of the content is the most relevant and authoritative. As a result, search engines like Google may penalize or de-index pages that contain duplicate content.

3. Cloaking:

In black hat SEO, cloaking presents different content to Google’s spider than the user’s browser. So when a search engine crawler visits a site, it shows content optimized for search engine rankings, while users visiting the same website see different content. 

There are different types of cloaking, such as Java, HTML, and client-server cloaking.

4. Hidden text or links: 

Hidden text or links is a black hat SEO technique where text or links are hidden on a webpage to manipulate search engine rankings. It uses the exact color text as the background color or CSS or JavaScript to make the text or links invisible to users. The hidden text or links often contain keywords or phrases the website owner wants to rank for but does not want users to see. The purpose of this technique is to trick search engines into thinking the website is more relevant for specific keywords than it is. This technique violates search engine guidelines and can result in penalties or even being banned from the search engine index. Therefore, it is not a recommended practice, and it is better to use ethical and sustainable SEO techniques.

5. Link spamming:

Link spamming is a technique in which a website artificially increases the number of backlinks pointing to it to manipulate search engine rankings. It is done by buying links, trading links with other sites, or using automated software to create links. In addition, links from low-quality or irrelevant websites can harm your website’s ranking.

6. Link farming:

Link farming is a black hat SEO technique in which many low-quality websites solely link to other sites. These websites artificially inflate the backlinks pointing to a target website to manipulate search engine rankings.

Link farming can be challenging, but search engines have implemented sophisticated algorithms to identify and remove them from their indexes.

White Hat SEO techniques:

1-Optimize and quality content:

Search engines like Google prioritize websites offering users valuable, informative, and well-written content. Quality content can help to improve user engagement, increase the time users spend on the website and reduce bounce rate (the rate at which users leave the website after visiting only one page). Additionally, having quality content can help to attract backlinks from other websites, which can further improve the visibility and ranking of the website in search engine results pages (SERPs).

2- Relevant internal links:

Relevant internal links connect different pages within the same website. It can also help distribute link equity (also known as link juice) throughout a website, which can help improve the search engine rankings of individual pages. Additionally, using relevant internal links can also help reduce the bounce rate of a website, as users are more likely to explore other pages if they see relevant links to additional content.

3- Relevant strong backlinks:

Relevant strong backlinks are links from external websites that point to a specific page on your website. These links help increase your website’s visibility and credibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Backlinks are considered “strong” from reputable and high-authority websites.

Relevancy of backlinks is vital because search engines consider the relevance of the linking website to the content on the linked page. Therefore, a backlink from a website relevant to your content is more valuable than a link from an irrelevant website.


Sitemaps are essentially white hat SEO techniques used to improve the indexing and visibility of a website’s pages by search engines. Sitemaps are XML files that list all the pages of a website, along with information such as the date of the last modification, the frequency of updates, and the relative importance of each page. By providing this information to search engines, sitemaps help crawlers to find and crawl website pages.

There are two kinds of sitemaps: XML sitemaps and HTML sitemaps.

HTML sitemaps are user-friendly and provide a hierarchical structure of the website’s pages, making it easy for users to navigate. On the other hand, search engines read XML sitemaps to provide more detailed information about each page, such as the last modification date and the page’s priority.

5-Technical aspects:

White hat SEO involves optimizing several technical aspects of a website. These includes:

  • Site structure and architecture: A well-structured website with a clear hierarchy and logical content organization can make it easier for users and search engines to navigate and understand its content.
  • URL structure: Short, descriptive URLs that use keywords can help improve a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Headings and titles: Properly using headings and titles, such as H1 and H2 tags, can help organize the website’s content and make it more easily understood by users and search engines.
  • Loading speed: A website that loads quickly can provide a better user experience, and search engines consider loading speed a ranking factor.
  • Mobile optimization: As the number of mobile users increases, the website must be mobile optimized.
  • SSL certificate: An SSL certificate for your website ensures that the connection between a user’s browser and the website is secure and private.

Using white hat SEO techniques, you can boost your website’s visibility and credibility in search engine results pages and give your users a better user experience.

Here are a few major differences between Black hat SEO vs White hat SEO:

Black Hat SEOWhite Hat SEO
Uses unethical techniques to manipulate search engine rankingsFollows search engine guidelines and uses ethical techniques to improve rankings
Involves keyword stuffing, cloaking, hidden text, and other manipulative tacticsInvolves creating high-quality, original content, optimizing meta tags, building backlinks from reputable sources, and using keywords in a natural and relevant way
Prioritizes search engine rankings over user experiencePrioritizes both search engine rankings and user experience
Focus on short-term gainsFocuses on long-term success and sustainability
This can result in penalties or ban from search enginesCan improve visibility and credibility in search engine results on pages
Black hat vs white hat seo

What is gray hat SEO?

Gray hat SEO refers to tactics and techniques that fall between black and white hat SEO. Examples of gray hat SEO include:

  • Using automated software to generate backlinks.
  • Using hidden text or links on a website.
  • Using private blog networks (PBNs) to manipulate search engine rankings.

The use of gray hat SEO techniques may not result in penalties or bans from search engines, but they may not be considered best practices and may not be sustainable in the long term. Therefore, many experts recommend avoiding gray hat techniques and sticking to white hat techniques to ensure the longevity and credibility of a website.

Gray hat seo techniques

Which hat is good for SEO?

White hat SEO is considered the best approach for SEO as it follows ethical and legitimate practices that align with search engine guidelines. White hat techniques aim to provide a positive user experience by creating high-quality, original content, optimizing meta tags, building backlinks from reputable sources, and using keywords naturally and relevantly.


It suffices to conclude that White hat SEO is the most practical and beneficial technique of SEO. This approach yields better results, creates beautiful websites, and is not subject to violation. It is more time-consuming, creative, technologically sophisticated, and patience-testing than black hat tactics, but it is beneficial in the long run.


1- what is SEO that is not considered white hat but not exactly black hat?

Gray hat SEO refers to techniques that fall between a white hat (ethical) and black hat (unethical) SEO. Gray hat SEO can include tactics that are not necessarily against search engine guidelines but may not be entirely within them either.

2- What are any 4 factors of black hat SEO?

Keywords stuffing, link farms, cloaking, scraping content

Let’s dive in! Get started for free

Optimize your website with 100% free Top SEO Kit