Goofus and Gallant: What is White Hat SEO?

Here at, we’ve heard all of the best and worst about SEO. At best, our clients say that SEO has helped them to grow their business and gain a reputation as the best in their field.

At worst, we’ve heard the fears of potential clients: that SEO does not work, that it is spam.

It’s time for a little clarification.

What you may not know is there are two camps of SEO: black hat SEO and white hat SEO.

Making this Analogy Work

Think of these two categories as the Goofus and Gallant of the SEO world, Goofus as a black hat SEO and Gallant as a white hat SEO. Gallant plays by the rules to make the world a better place, and the other one…well, the thought of Goofus sitting in a juvenile detention hall isn’t that far-fetched. Compare that to having your website removed from ranking consideration on a major search engine—the results of black hat SEO are never pretty.

So what is the etiquette of good SEO and how do you distinguish between Goofus and Gallant when it comes to the Web? Well, here are some key differences:

Of course, there are many other factors that distinguish white hat SEO from black hat SEO. But the main thing to keep in mind when it comes to investing in SEO is that if it sounds too good to be true or you have a twinge of uneasiness for any reason, you should probably look for another firm that makes you feel more comfortable.