How do you distinguish between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO? I think the black hat and white hat SEO discussion is just baseless. It is like discussing how black witchcraft is different from white witchcraft. In witchcraft, when you use a technique to manipulate the result of a situation, it is called black magic. The same applies to SEO. Any technique that is used to influence search engines is termed as ‘Black Hat SEO’. White Hat SEO is no different than Black Hat SEO in my opinion. It does almost the same thing so it is not any better than Black Hat SEO. Only when a particular SEO method, technique or tactic adheres to the search engine guidelines, it is known as white hat SEO method, technique or tactic. There is more to it than following guidelines. White SEO is also about making sure that the content indexed by search engines is the same content a user will see. In a nutshell, White Hat SEO is about content that appeals to the users. Though it is search engine friendly, it is mainly aimed at users. It is designed for users as opposed to manipulating results to one’s advantage. Black hat SEO uses illegal means and methods to improve search engine rankings. Such methods are not approved by search engines. A method that directs users to a page that is not the same as the page described in the search is referred to as Black Hat. Sites that make use of black hat methods had better beware! The consequences can be severe. Your ranking may be affected, you may be removed from listings, etc. Do not use such strategies if you don’t want to be punished by search engines.