White hat, Grey hat or Black hat ?

In this article, we are going to highlights the correlations existing between user experience on the internet and the desire that websites have to stand out from the concurrence. Note these two notions are opposed and it’s hard to find a balance. But then, how the acquisition of traffic impact the user’s experience ?
black hat grey hat white hat

December 1, 2020


The references algorithm

Don’t you ever wonder how a search engin works ? What are these objectives ? First of all a search engin will best answer to the user demand when he will tape key words in the search bar. It’s the only objectif of the references algorithm, when it indexe the internet, it will try to best classify the different pages it has browsed in order to improve the user’s experience. Although the basic principle of an reference algorithm is quit easy, understand what the user is looking for when he is doing a research is another task much more complicated. In fact, it exist many criteria of references that take into account aspects such as language or location, security, seniority or design…

We will then remember that reference algorithm is only design to think of the user experience.

An assumed paradox

But what about website paying in order to increase their traffic ?

Let’s take the adwords case. You know the ad systems that pace sites first in search results. This system is clearly opposed to reference algorythms, since these ads are systematically placed in first position. In this practical case the ad has been placed at the top of the results in order to obtain more visits. The interest is then no longer focused on the user but on the acquisition of traffic. Indeed, in this way a poor quality website could end up in pole position.

Not to mention just adwords, we can also mention sponsored posts in social networks. Again, algorithms designed to improve the relevance of news feeds largely oppose such posts wich can adversely affect user experience. These traffic acquisition techniques are not part of the black hat, grey hat or white hat criteria. Indeed, these concepts come from a more specific discipline of traffic acquisition : search engine optimization (SEO).

So, are you white, grey or black ?

Just as there is a multitude of SEO criteria for a search engine to index a website, there are a multitude of techniques to improve SEO. These are the ones that are classified as white hat, grey hat or black hat.

If you have never used techniques to try to modify the search results by any manipulation whatsoever, you have no questions to ask yourself, your strategy is white hat. Conversely, if you have tried to exploit the flaw in an SEO algorithm without considering the user ec-xperience, then your traffic acquisition strategy is black hat. Otherwise, if you attempting to manipulate search engine results while giving importance to user experience, the your strategy is grey hat.

Finally we cannot ignore that the acquisition of traffic has an impact on the users. However, the nuisance is not always the same and although some techniques are clearly bad because they don’t give any importance to the user experience, others are much harder to qualify. Isn’t the right question to ask yourself : « And I, as a user, would I mind if we use these techniques ? »