White hat SEO uses techniques to promote a website in a way that is accepted by search engines and follows its guidelines, rules, and policies. In general, these techniques tend to focus more on a target audience rather than on using loopholes or back doors to attract a more significant amount of traffic to a website and increase its search engine ranking.
This type of SEO is also often referred to as organic SEO meaning that it optimizes features of a website that would naturally increase its ranking in the long run. The techniques, therefore, provide a bonus of creating a better site that is designed to improve user experience thereby attracting a higher customer base or clients.
One of the most common and oldest white hat SEO techniques is the regular addition of relevant content that is unique and of high quality. This allows new web pages to be crawled and constantly indexed, increasing a search engine ranking according to relevance. Relevance plays an essential role in the content, and each new addition should not only be relevant to the website, it’s products and services but also to internet users that receive some value from the information contained in the content.
Another conventional technique is link building. Adding links to web pages creates a pathway for search engines to use to locate and correctly index new content. Strong links should once again be relevant and preferably to a site that is an authority on the subject. It is recommended to be careful when using link building strategies that are not strictly white hat and can result in penalties. For example, backlinks that do not link to quality, relevant sites may be detrimental.
Search engines have also been increasing their focus on providing a better user experience over the past couple of years. Websites that have low bounce rates and can keep visitors on their site for a more extended period get credit. Sites that have been optimized for mobile usage and have faster loading times are also ranked higher. Providing more significant value to search engine users will also increase a ranking on a search engine results page.
Unlike white hat SEO, black hat SEO techniques do not follow search engine rules and guidelines and can, therefore, result in penalties that negatively impact a search engine ranking. In some cases, these black hat strategies can result in a website being banned.