Three Main Types
There are basically three types of search engine optimization, all designed to improve your online visibility:
The time, cost, risk, and value differentiates the types of SEO.
Black Hat SEO will get you fast results. Black Hat SEO is usually cheap because you are taking shortcuts to get good results against Google’s policy.
Black Hat SEO is very risky and your website might be banned or removed from search results or demoted anytime Google changes its algorithm.
Google updates its ranking algorithm roughly 500-600 times a year. Black Hat SEO returns value quickly, but there is a high risk that the value cannot last long.
White Hat SEO techniques, on the other hand, adhere to Google Webmaster Guidelines but usually take longer and expensive to implement.
White Hat SEO is less risky and tends to deliver lasting and compounding value over time. You’ll find most of the respected SEO and content marketing companies like Moz, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable, the SEM Post, Stone Temple, GSQI, and Philadelphia-area Seer Interactive and SEMRush all use and recommend White Hat SEO tools and techniques.
Grey Hat SEO falls somewhere in the middle as these tactics are not listed in Google’s Guidelines.
On-Page and Off-Page SEO
You might have heard terms like “on-page SEO” and “off-page SEO”. These mean that the subject of your optimization efforts can employ any of the above White, Grey and/or Black Hat SEO techniques.
On-page SEO focuses on your website and its content. Its objective is to make sure search engines and searchers can easily find, use, and understand your content. On-page SEO primarily helps Google and visitors decide whether your content is relevant and valuable.
Off-page SEO is all about sending backlinks from backlink sites to your website. If your content is relevant to a search query, off-page SEO will help Google decide where to position it in search results. Examples include an incoming hyperlink from an external website or an unlinked mention of your company or website on social media, a website forum, a question and answer site, an online directory, or any other external website.
If you are searching for SEO services, make sure you listen attentively to what providers are offering you. Once Black Hat SEO or Grey Hat tactics are mentioned, it’s advisable you look elsewhere.