White Hat SEO: White Hat SEO (search engine optimization) refers to ethical tactics to improve a website's ranking in a search engine, typically by promoting more natural or organic search traffic to that website. The term "white hat" refers to a type of hacker or computer security expert who ensures the security of a firm's system rather than hacking for malicious purposes.
White hat SEO techniques are often geared toward gaining long-term results in search engines. These techniques include complying with a search engine's webmaster guidelines and showing search users the same content that the search engine indexes (i.e. no sneaky redirects). White hat SEO services provide content for people -- not just for search engines -- which helps pages see higher results.
White hat SEO differs from black hat SEO, the latter of which derives its name from black hat, or malicious, hacking tactics. Black hat SEO relies on more deceptive techniques to intentionally manipulate search rankings and indexes (sometimes called "spamdexing"). These tricks can include anything from keyword stuffing and invisible text to browser hijacking and cloaking. While white hat and black hat SEO are often confused for one another, the ultimate goal of white hat SEO is to make content easier for search engine crawlers to find rather than tricking them into finding it.
Google can find websites that use black hat tactics both through its algorithm and through manual reviews and penalizes them. An example of this is BMW's German website, which was found using deceptive practices in February 2006. However, BMW was able to fix the offending pages and was restored to Google's index.