Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique increasingly used by big and small companies in the digital world in order to boost their website’s rankings on search engines and therefore earn more visibility in the search results. Let’s look at the four different types of SEO practices and techniques used by companies all over the world.

1.White Hat SEO

One of the most commonly used SEO techniques is the White Hat SEO. The methods and techniques used in White Hat SEO are legitimate, implying that these strictly adhere to the regulations and guidelines of search engines and are used to improve the ranking of a website on different search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This improvement in the rankings of the website is steady but gradual and is meant to be lasting for quite some time. Using White Hat SEO, therefore, takes a long time and is costlier than other types of SEO, but carries far less number of risks. The most popular techniques used by White Hat SEO include optimizing and restructuring website HTML, developing high-quality content, manual research, and campaigns on social media for link acquisition that are supported by high-quality content. Most of the reputed SEO publications and content marketing organizations such as Search Engine Watch, Stone Temple and Search Engine Journal can be found using White Hat SEO techniques as they are less likely to be facing any negative consequences of possible algorithm changes in future.  Click here to learn SEO.

2.Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is just the opposite of White Hat SEO. It does not use methods that abide by the guidelines set by search engines for getting higher rankings for a website but makes use of the weaknesses in the search engines or their algorithms. Using Black Hat SEO would lead to an unpredictable and fast improvement in the ranking of the website on the results pages of search engines, but this growth in rankings does not last for a long time. Hidden texts, plagiarism, link spamming, and hidden links are some of the techniques used in Black Hat SEO. Since it involves the use of these and other shortcuts to the top, this method is usually less costly than using White Hat SEO. Most of the methods used in Black Hat SEO are illegitimate, and so using these techniques carries with it the risk of your website being banned from the search results on a search engine. Companies using Black Hat SEO might also be negatively affected by algorithm changes in future. For example, the next time the ranking algorithms are updated by a search engine, a company using Black Hat SEO may be demoted. This would negate the short-term improvement in the rankings on the search results that were achieved by the company.

3.Grey Hat SEO

Grey Hat SEO involves the use of a combination of the techniques used in White Hat and Black Hat SEO. In order to deliver better results faster, companies may use Grey Hat SEO without crossing the line completely over to Black Hat SEO. It uses techniques and methods like spun or slightly modified content, paying for reviews, and link exchanges. Grey Hat SEO techniques are not specified as banned in search engine guidelines but are still considered to be involving a lot of risks.

4.Negative SEO

In order to cause harm to their competitors, companies may implement Grey or Black Hat SEO practices on the websites of their competitors to remove them from search engine results and improve their own ranking in the process. These techniques include posting negative reviews about a competitor, stealing his or her content, hacking and modifying the content of the competitor’s website, or building undesirable links on that site.

Published by Karen Anthony