White hat and black hat SEO can be equated to good and evil. White hat SEO practices conform to the guidelines set by search engines, particularly Google, in the effort to improve a site’s ranking. Conversely, black hat SEO tries to circumvent these guidelines.
While black hat practices may initially yield positive outcomes, this effect is mostly short-lived. More importantly, they open the site to a lot of risks, which could prove disastrous in the long run.
White hat techniques include research and analysis, writing quality content, proper titles and meta data, keyword research and use, and quality links. There is nothing more valuable than having quality content on the website. The title states what can be found on the page, and meta data such as keywords are essential. Keywords help drive people to your site, while linking builds your trustworthiness. These are techniques that follow search engine guidelines.
On the other hand, black hat techniques include hidden text and links, blog comment spams, link farming, doorway pages, and keyword stuffing. These are methods that work around the guidelines and are considered cheats. For example, invisible text involves inserting keywords in white font against a white background. While they may not be seen by viewers, they may serve to attract search engine spiders. Doorway pages are fake pages that have no purpose and can’t be seen by site visitors. As with invisible text, their purpose is simply to trick search engine spiders to get better indexing for the site.