White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO vs Grey Hat SEO

White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO vs Grey Hat SEO

What is White Hat SEO?

White Hat SEO refers to the ethical ways approved by the search engines to optimize a site.
Let us further know it in bit detail –

-It follows search engine guidelines

Generally, widely accepted and known techniques that follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are White Hat SEO techniques. Ethical SEO techniques specifically mean the techniques which are not manipulative.

If one is not intending to manipulate rankings or tamper with other algorithms of Google, one is likely to follow its guidelines & thus practising White Hat SEO techniques.

-Visitor’s – A priority

Visitor’s and their requirements form the topmost priority while using the search engine like Google. White hat SEO techniques, therefore, includes making necessary changes that are beneficial to a site’s visitors.

These include techniques such as publishing high-quality content, easy navigation, faster loading time thereby improving the value that users get from a site.

– It takes a long-term approach

When one decides to follow the strategies laid down by Google’s guidelines for generating a positive user experience and get good leads such processes take a long time than any general black hat SEO technique. But to note on the brighter side, these white hat SEO techniques have a much more lasting impact.


What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO is said to be the exact opposite of white hat SEO. Black hat optimization refers to a set of methods or practices that are used to increase a site or page rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ policy/terms of service.

– It does not adhere to search engine guidelines

Black hat SEO might not be illegal but it does violate certain guidelines laid down by the search engines. It’s against the rules.

-It depends on manipulative tactics

Unlike white hat SEO which involves looking for ways to improvise user experience, the black hat SEO technique depends on manipulating Google’s algorithm to ascend in its rankings.

It focuses on “quick wins”

Black Hat SEO Techniques are generally good for a short run but as they are involved in manipulating with Google’s algorithm, they might not work for a long run and hence your SEO ranking might be affected as well. For some quick wins, one must not forego the guidelines as there’s always a risk of getting penalised.


What is Grey Hat SEO?

White hat SEO techniques include strategies approved by search engines like Google, whereas techniques which are banned and practising which can lead to Search engine’s penalty are black hat SEO practices.

Grey hat SEO is a combination of both types of strategies – white hat SEO and black hat SEO. One can use Grey Hat SEO Techniques to accelerate the white hat SEO process.


Examples of Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO, Grey Hat SEO

Following are the examples of various types of SEO techniques

Examples of black hat SEO include:

  • Keyword stuffing, white text with white background is an example of keyword stuffing
  • Plagiarism; copying content from competitors’ site or from anywhere
  • Backlinks, purchasing links to get SE rankings in return of free stuff
  • Doorway pages, multiple similar pages with a slightly different content
  • Cloaking, Content shown to users/visitors is different from content shown to search engines

Examples of white hat SEO include:

  • Writing unique, meaningful & relevant content that helps the audience find what they are searching for.
  • Organising content so that visitors search becomes easier & faster
  • Regularly promoting content and links on social media to get exposure and leads

Examples of Grey hat SEO include:

  • Use of clickbait, to attract visitors attention and encourage them to click on a link to a particular web page while not delivering value or desired result
  • Paying for reviews or feedback
  • Spun, reusing slightly altered content


What are Bad and Good Practices?

When working on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), there are a certain set of rules laid down by the search engines or SEO experts which determines the nature of techniques one has used. The decision solely lays with the search engines to infer whether all the set conditions are met or not to get featured. Some algorithms which are made by the search engines help to check the credibility of the sites and check whether they are abiding or manipulating the rules to achieve their desired rankings.

It is thus recommended to abide by the rules & algorithms set by the search engines to get your desired results for a longer run & save your site from being blacklisted.

Guidelines Set by Google

Google has laid down a set of guidelines for the webmasters which are used by many SEO professionals. These specify the rules and the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behaviour if any practised by the professionals.

These guidelines have the changes & updates made by Google in its algorithm over the past years These guidelines also include a variety of activities that are mentioned like “scraped content”, “doorway pages” and “cloaking” which fall under black hat SEO practices.

The risks of using Black Hat or Grey Hat Tactics

Using black hat and grey hat SEO techniques might be favourable for a while but it surely puts a great risk in the longer run. This may include the risk of a ban on your site for some time or forever, demotion, or penalty for failing to comply with Google guidelines. Black hat SEO can return value quickly, but at a potentially high cost which might be a huge loss for the company.