How Does SEO Work? The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for 2023

Jedi vs Sith. God vs The Devil. Aslan vs The White Witch.

White Hat strategies encompass the array of ethical strategies for improving a website’s rankings and visibility. This is typically achieved through writing high-quality content, providing an engaging website user experience, and building natural backlinks through guest posting and strong, strategic outreach efforts. Basically, everything we’ve promoted above!

History – and all the best stories – have pitted good against evil; arraigned the forces of light against those of darkness. And SEO is no different.

As an ethical endeavor, SEO can be loosely divided into two groups: White Hat and Black Hat.

Black Hat strategies are the opposite. These are unethical (and, quite frankly, lazy) efforts to climb the SERPs. Black Hat strategies include keyword stuffing – packing target keywords into content over and over again, in a way that’s unnatural and compromises the content’s usefulness – and purchasing backlinks.

Keyword stuffing example
This example, from ContentWriters, demonstrates how keyword stuffing can look on a page – and why it’s a Black Hat SEO strategy that should be avoided! 

And, just as the forces of good tend to overcome their nefarious counterparts, White Hat SEO strategies always win out over Black Hat ones. Search engine algorithms are complex, and can sniff out and squash Black Hat strategies faster than you can say “penalties”. Which, if you pursue SEO’s dark side, is exactly what your business and brand will be getting!