Before diving into the types of SEO, let’s first revise the definition of Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of getting high-quality traffic by ranking higher in the SERP. Refer to Introduction to SEO for better understanding.
But before jumping into Types of Seo, it is important for us to know the changes in Google’s algorithm over a period of time.
Google Algorithm Changes
The majority of the search traffic is taken by Google. So out of all the search engines, let’s take the example of Google.
20 years ago, Google matched the websites with the search term. It was a very basic algorithm. There were not many websites back then. So, if your content contained keywords you could rank on the SERP. Google had incorporated Artificial Intelligence, and it was still learning back then. And so it came to know about the search intent.
The websites started indulging in shady practices such as keyword stuffing, not giving any content, etc. just to rank. And therefore, the quality of search results was getting affected. When Google figured it out in 2011, It introduced the Panda update, to remove websites with thin content and websites with keyword stuffing. This resulted in many websites getting deranked and ended up losing a lot of traffic. The main benefit was that high-quality content websites started ranking. This ultimately improved the user experience.
Once, people figured out that thin content and keyword stuffing won’t work, they started manipulating the links. Google figured out this too and introduced the Penguin update in 2012. If the website received many hundreds and thousands of links from not-so-credible websites, Google came to know and deranked the website.
Then came the hummingbird update. Google realized that 30% of the searches on its search engine is happening on the mobile phone. So they started to focus on mobile responsiveness. If the websites were not responsive, Google would derank the website.
For Google, content is always the king.
In present days, all new websites can rank only after 6 months to 8 months. This will ensure Good user experience.
The search results are way better now than before.
TYPES OF SEO
White hat SEO
White hat means it’s good. This type of SEO follows all the Googles terms of service There is no risk of penalties and you will receive slow but steady traffic to your website. Your website gives the users a good experience and it does not use any deceptive techniques. The links are not fake links or paid links. They are natural and quality links that your website has earned. Other people link to your website because your content is good for their audience. This type of SEO will help you last for a long time. So if you want your business to last for a long time, white hat SEO is the way to go.
Black Hat SEO
This type of SEO is against Google’s or any other search engines’ policy. This includes shady tactics and rank manipulation. It includes websites that indulge in malicious practices such as spreading viruses, websites operated by hackers, etc. If you are using Black hat SEO, your website will last for only a short period of time. Using these techniques, you can stay on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page and get a lot of high-quality traffic and earn a lot of money before the search engines ban your website. These techniques are unethical and sometimes illegal. For example- Killing someone else’s website through negative SEO or using paid links and private blog networks. Comment spamming is also a Black hat technique. The links in the comments are nofollow links.
The Google algorithm is getting smarter by the day and therefore black hat techniques are becoming more and more expensive. There is a possibility that Black hat will become impossible or very difficult in the future.
Grey Hat SEO
The definition of grey hat keeps on changing. For some people, a certain technique may be white hat and for others maybe not. Grey hat is something when you don’t know when something is a white hat or black hat. Grey hat is riskier than the white hat SEO but less risky than the black hat SEO. Guest Blogging, which was once a legitimate backlinking option, is now considered a grey hat technique. This came to be because people started abusing guest blogging by selling/buying links.
Hence, depending upon the changes in Google’s algorithms, it keeps on changing.
For example- Private Blog Networks started as White hat SEO, which later turned into Grey Hat SEO, and currently, it is regarded as Black hat SEO.
Strategy within the terms of Google
There is a very thin line between White hat SEO and Grey hat SEO. Google now considers Guest blogging as manipulative. But you can do guest blogging. If you guest blog, do it on the website which has 10 times more traffic than you. This is because these websites have established trust and they will make sure that the article you write is top-notch.
Get natural traffic and say no-no to paid links.
As the Google Algorithm changes, the definition of grey hat SEO and black hat SEO changes. From the above article, you can observe that what was white hat SEO before is now considered as a black hat/ grey hat SEO. This is because Google is always learning and someday, it’s possible that there will be a day when black hat SEO will become impossible in practice.