As you check out SEO services, you may wonder how to determine what sets one company’s SEO services apart from another’s. SEO providers usually use different SEO strategies, tools and methodologies for optimizing their clients’ websites. These approaches are termed as “hats.” SEO services usually are categorized as three different hats:
Black Hat SEO Services
Black Hat SEO is also known as SEO spamming. The second part of the description is pretty self-explanatory.
Black Hat SEO is based on creating sites and link structures that are designed for manipulating or tricking search engines for improved site ranking. It relies heavily on automation and software programs to come up with large numbers of far below standard pages and scraps links from other sites which are usually not even relevant to the topic or desired keywords. Consequently, this SEO tactic typically produces poor or even damaging Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs.
What initially seems to be advantageous with Black Hat SEO strategies is that it will often get your site on the top of search engine rankings within a short period of time. However, those results can cause long term ranking damage. To make matters worse, once search engines figure out that your site has attempted to “game” their results; your site could run the risk of being completely de-indexed or banned from the search engines altogether.
So if your ranking needs are only short term and you are not worried about the long-term reputation and health of your site, then Black Hat SEO may be the way to go.
White Hat SEO Services
Like everything in life, there is always a polar opposite. This remains true for SEO services as well.
White Hat SEO strategies, rely on the advantages of an almost scientific precision strategy of relevant content combined with proven and effective marketing strategies to push a website to top rankings in the search engines. Search engine optimization providers that utilize white hat SEO will put a lot of focus on your site layout and content. These SEO service providers will assist you and your company to create content that will be more attractive to potential clients, as well as search engines.
Quality content is a massive factor in quality white hat search engine optimization. With high quality content, your SEO expert will be able to achieve more highly relevant inbound links from other websites that will help improve the trust factor with the search engines.
White hat SEO is generally considered to be the much better choice for search engine optimization services. Many high end technical SEO experts report an average of 50% to 65% higher ROI for their clients than any other form of advertising or marketing.
Grey Hat SEO Services
Grey Hat SEO obviously lies somewhere between the two previously mentioned styles and is more of a tight wire balance between the values of risk vs reward.
In reality there are actually a growing number of search engine optimization companies that subscribe to these types of strategies. Some companies will use more questionable strategies and take larger risks to produce rapid results and top rankings.
Many middle of the line, or “Gray hat,” services will typically obey search engine guidelines for best practices, but others will only follow them loosely or not at all. Should you decide to go with a “gray hat” style company, be certain to check their credentials and credibility and keep in mind what you are risking.
Which style hat is best for you?
As you can imagine, the search engines will label black hat as bad, white hat as good, and gray hat as dangerous. Any search engine optimization company that uses exclusively one style will tell you that the others are bad or not effective for one reason or another.
The fact remains that depending on the desired outcome, each one can potentially serve a purpose. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish for your company. For long term results and strong credibility, “white hat” or even “gray hat” would most likely be your best bet.
Any way you go, be sure to interview your prospective company and get to know what it is that they do. Then make your decision based on that.
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