Black, White, and Gray Hats For SEO


Black, White, and Gray

You have been researching ways to market your business and have come across terms in the search engine optimization industry called a white and black hat. However, you have not a clue what this means. No worries this article will go over in detail what white, black and even gray hat is and why it matters to the success of your SEO campaigns.

Their Origins

Did you know this little-known fact that white and black hat SEO marketing we coined from the old days of western movies where the good guys wore white hats while the villains wore black?

In today’s society, these probably are not the most appropriate terms to use because you are describing something white in color as being good and something black as being bad. I want to state I didn’t coin these terms and if anyone has a better suggestion on what we should call them my ears are open.

What is White Hat SEO

White hat search engine optimization is simply the process of doing SEO that is not violating Google’s or Bing’s terms of service. Meaning you practice SEO in a way that is not trying to blatantly manipulate rankings from black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, to unnatural link building.

The search engine algorithms have gotten smarter of the years making it difficult to scheme or blatantly use black hat techniques to manipulate and boost rankings. However, it still does exist. One black hat technique commonly used today is the use of private blog networks.

What are Private Blog Networks

Private blog networks consist of creating a network of sites designed strictly to provide backlinks to boost your rankings. These types of sites are often built on dropped, expired, or auctioned domains that have backlinks pointing already at them.  This making them valuable since a link on one of these sites will pass along their link authority.

The issue with these sites is they are usually built strictly to provide links. With no real quality in mind. You will often see mismatched domain names from the type of content on the site. When you see this runaway and don’t inquire about a link on these websites. The risk will always out way the reward.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO is the process of using techniques that allow you to have an unfair advantage over your competition. These tactics as mentioned earlier worked better in the past but it still does today. Did you know buying a link is technically labeled as a black hat? You ask well how am I supposed to obtain links if I can’t buy them. Well, Google wants you to build linkable assets that draw links naturally. You and I both know new businesses are not going to be able to achieve this. This is where the gray hat SEO was born and will talk more about this subject later.

Why do people use these techniques if the black hat is so bad? The answer is because if done correctly it provides an unfair advantage. Some website owners might be looking for a quick dollar and will do whatever it takes to make money without caring if they eventually get caught.

Gray Hat SEO

In my opinion, this is the most practiced type of search engine optimization within the industry. Gray hat simply refers to using SEO techniques that could be considered on the fence from being a black or white hat.

Some gray hat techniques that are used today are the use of building web 2.0 sites for backlinks or secretly paying for a guest post. These things are done often on the internet and many small and large companies partake in gray hat SEO techniques.  As mentioned earlier gray hat started because new or small businesses don’t have the branding or clout to get enough links from valuable sites naturally. So, to help their companies grow many marketers push the boundaries to gain better rankings.

In the End

In my opinion, there would be no such thing as black, gray, or white if the search engines didn’t base their algorithm ranking system that can be manipulated so easy such as a purchase of a link. As it is right now the lines are often blurred between the color of the hats. I guess in the end no matter what the search engines do I’m sure people will always be looking for ways to scheme the system.