There seems to be a lot of confusion about the differences in White Hat vs Black Hat SEO. This confusion exists both within the digital marketing professional and outside of it.
There are many opinions on the subject, but we like to keep it simple.
White Hat SEO is all about adding value to the human user with links or content. Whereas, Black Hat SEO focuses on trying to trick the search engines into awarding higher rankings in absence of any real value to a human user.
To qualify the above statement it is important to note that many people lump some things underneath the Black Hat banner that are actually legitimate SEO techniques that can add value. https://unamo.com/blog/seo/8-risky-black-hat-seo-techniques-used-today
The most common (but False) idea is that paid links are Black Hat SEO. They certainly can be blackhat but we must first make the distinction as to whether or not that link has added value to the experience of people who might click on it. Is the link a simple paid advertisement? (Nothing Wrong with that) Does it lead to pertinent information that may actually answer the search query of the user? Or, as a black hat example, does it take the user to a totally unrelated site outside of the search thread?
If we think of a link as a referral is become more clear. A referral is a value given by one party to another. If our massage therapist recommends a local chiropractor we do not think there is anything wrong with that, even if the massage therapist benefits by getting a discount when they visit that same chiropractor. Essentially we have a paid exchange, though in this example with an indirect form. The point being, that the client actually benefits from the referral regardless if the individual who made the referral is compensated or not.
This is next level plagiarism and it involves using special software which takes the copied source and rephrases it for later use as a “new”, “unique” post. Again I would like to point out that while article spinning is considered a black hat technique it is not universally evil. Consider, if you will, taking an existing article that has some information of value but other information that is in need of updates or corrections. By making these improvements and then reposting the article we have added value to the user experience. Again the big distinction here is the value-add or not added to the human user.
Again these can be both Blackhat or White Hat. Think of a hammer sitting on a table, you can build a house with it or smash somebody in the head. I operate several websites and have many people commenting on different posts. Some of these comments are very useful and provide a link taking the reader to the commenters site or to a product that is absolutely relevant and beneficial to many who are reading that article. Other comments are absolutely worthless, unrelated to the content and filled with multiple links to junk websites.
In Summary, if you are thinking about the value given to the human user then you are doing SEO as White Hat as can be.
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