SEO

The Differences Between White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO, and Gray Hat SEO

With the goal to succeed in online marketing, businesses need to construct effective SEO strategies that can increase your website ranking in the Search Engine Result Pages. Unfortunately, not all SEO experts comply with rules. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between the black hat SEO, white hat SEO, and grey hat SEO, and what does it do to improve a website’s search engine ranking.

The 3 Different types of SEO techniques

1. White Hat

The term “White hat SEO” deals with the use of optimization strategies, techniques, and tactics that are in compliance with the terms and conditions of the major search engines, like Google. These techniques stay within the boundaries as set by Google.  Examples of white hat SEO include the following:  

  • Optimize your page titles and descriptions
  • Have short URLs
  • Use HTML headers properly
  • Boost your website using a content delivery network
  • Include links to your previous content (internal and external)
  • Use Google Search Console
  • Maximize the length of your content
  • Submit a sitemap to Google
  • Add engaging videos
  • Get high-quality backlinks

The most common concern regarding the use of white hat SEO is that it requires a long term approach to get results. Following the correct form of SEO can take months before you can achieve a desirable result. Most business owners also say that the benefit of these techniques is very tricky to achieve.

2. Black Hat

The term “black hat” began in Western movies to identify the “bad guys” (who wore black hats) and the “good guys” (who wore white hats.)

Black Hat SEO is more commonly used by people who plan to have a quicker ROI (Return on Investment) for their business, instead of a long-term investment in white hat SEO. It uses techniques that are classified as unacceptable by search engines.

Anyone who is detected using black hat SEO techniques can suffer the consequences like penalties or much worse, totally banned from the rankings. Despite that, some users of black hat SEO don’t mind getting banned from the search engines since their focus is usually on a quicker ROI. An example of Black hat SEO includes: 

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Invisible texts and links
  • Doorway pages
  • Cloaking
  • Link farms
  • Sneaky and shady redirects
  • Comment spamming
  • Automatically generated content
  • Participating in link schemes
  • Creating pages with malicious behavior

3. Grey Hat

As the name suggests, Grey Hat SEO falls somewhere in the middle of the White hat SEO and the Black hat SEO. It is not good, but at the same time, it is not completely bad. However, it is fair to say that using a grey hat technique is like taking your chances. An example of Grey hat technique includes:

  • Cloaking
  • Purchasing old domains
  • Duplicate content
  • Link buying
  • Social media automation and purchasing followers

Similar to black hat SEO, grey hat SEO can only give you temporary benefits.


Keep in mind that if someday you plan to work with an SEO company or expert, make sure to ask their opinions regarding the three techniques mentioned above. After all, it is your business who will have to deal with the outcomes of deploying these techniques.

Author: Editorial Team

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