SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engine companies recommend as part of good design ("white hat"), and those techniques of which search engines do not approve ("black hat"). The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the latter, among them spamdexing. Industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either white hat SEO, or black hat SEO.[49] White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing.[50]
People tend to view the first results on the first page.[5] Each page of search engine results usually contains 10 organic listings (however some results pages may have fewer organic listings). The listings, which are on the first page are the most important ones, because those get 91% of the click through rates (CTR) from a particular search. According to a 2013 study,[6] the CTR's for the first page goes as:
There are two options for which ads are delivered: standard and accelerated. The standard delivery method shows ads evenly throughout the day. This option is good for advertisers who may have budget restrictions and want to ensure their ads show throughout the day. Depending on the budget concerns, ads will not show at all times. Accelerated delivery method shows ads until the budget is depleted. This option is best for advertisers who may not have budget restrictions and want to ensure their ads show for every query.

There are three main types of results on a SERP: Pages that the search engine spider has crawled and indexed; pages that have been manually added to the search engine’s directory; and pages that appear as a result of paid inclusion. The highest-ranking hits generally link to the most useful information; links grow less relevant as they move farther down the list.

Notice that the description of the game is suspiciously similar to copy written by a marketing department. “Mario’s off on his biggest adventure ever, and this time he has brought a friend.” That is not the language that searchers write queries in, and it is not the type of message that is likely to answer a searcher's query. Compare this to the first sentence of the Wikipedia example: “Super Mario World is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack–in launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.”. In the poorly optimized example, all that is established by the first sentence is that someone or something called Mario is on an adventure that is bigger than his or her previous adventure (how do you quantify that?) and he or she is accompanied by an unnamed friend.
For example, suppose you're a law firm targeting the phrase "divorce attorney" with a broad match ad. Your ad should appear on the results page for the search query "divorce attorney," but it could also show up for the phrases "reasons for divorce," "dui attorney" or "dealing with divorce for children." In these cases, you may be wasting money on irrelevant searches.
Companies that employ overly aggressive techniques can get their client websites banned from the search results. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported on a company, Traffic Power, which allegedly used high-risk techniques and failed to disclose those risks to its clients.[15] Wired magazine reported that the same company sued blogger and SEO Aaron Wall for writing about the ban.[16] Google's Matt Cutts later confirmed that Google did in fact ban Traffic Power and some of its clients.[17]