Black hat SEO refers to attempts to improve rankings in ways that are not approved by search engines and involve deception. They run counter to current search engine guidelines White hat SEO refers to the use of best practice methods to achieve high search engine rankings. They comply with search engine guidelines. White hat SEO and black hat SEO may seem easy to define on the surface, but in reality, most SEO seems to fall into the gray area.
The difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO has to do with the techniques used when trying to improve the ranking of a website in search engines. Not only does White Hat SEO follow all SEO guidelines, but it ensures that all content indexed by search engines is the same as the content a human user will see. In this author's view, white hat SEO and carefully considered gray hat SEO are probably his safest route. Search engine crawlers have advanced far beyond the old tactics that used to work, and are now much more focused on user satisfaction.
If you're not creating good content, if you write for search engines and you don't care what your viewers see, you're already leaving the realm of white hat SEO. Creating quality content is important because it shows search engines that your site is unique and appropriate to display. And while both white hat and black hat SEO can increase your search engine rankings, white hat SEO is the only activity that is 100% safe from a penalty. The SEO of white hat vs black hat is easy to compare because the techniques and strategies that target the search engine are very different.
The main difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO is if you're working in the spirit of search engine guidelines. Black hat SEO practices can produce quick results, but there is also a higher risk of penalty if discovered. Therefore, if you want to maintain your visibility and traffic for the long term, choosing white hat SEO techniques instead of black hat SEO strategies is the best option for search engine optimization. Being familiar with white hat SEO isn't enough to prevent you from inadvertently crossing into an SEO gray area or, even worse, doing something that violates search engine guidelines in Black Hat SEO territory.
I also have a comprehensive guide on how to create an SEO strategy that includes a list of safe white hat methods. The difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO is related to the techniques used when applying these principles. Black Hat's SEO activities rely solely on manipulating the search engine algorithm to get higher rankings and not worrying about the user experience.