White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
Two terms you will hear being thrown around in the SEO world is “white hat SEO” and “black hat SEO”.
White hat SEO refers to implementing SEO techniques on your site that don’t violate any of the search engines terms of service. In other words you are doing SEO like I described it above and not trying anything to “trick” the search engines.
Here is a link to read Google’s rules for website owners: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769
Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat. This is the practice of doing anything you can to trick the search engines into ranking well. If you are showing your visitors one thing and the search engines another, you are using black hat techniques. In the olden days it included adding hidden text on your site that was filled with keywords so that search engines could see them but visitors to your site couldn’t.
There are many ways people have come up with to try and trick the search engines into giving them higher rankings. This is a short sighted practice and eventually it will catch up to you. Google will penalize your site for using black hat techniques. This could mean that your site loses rankings and you end up on page 7 of the search results. The worse case scenario is that your site gets banned from Google and you can no longer be found anywhere for any search terms.
We preach doing SEO for long term results since you are building a long term business online. If you ever have any question about an SEO practice whether it is OK or not just don’t do it. I have given everything you need to be successful above.