Understanding Black, Grey & White Hat SEO

Looking at SEO's Three Hats

Black, grey and white hat SEO sounds rather intriguing, doesn't it? Picturing SEO professionals sitting around wearing hats, doing their best to get websites ranking high on Google...

We'll take a look at what using each colour hat involves and help you decide which one you should be using for your website's SEO.

Understanding Each SEO Hat Type

The three main types of SEO tactics are:

  • white hat SEO
  • grey hat SEO
  • black hat SEO

These refer to the practices or types of strategies a person uses to help improve the visibility of a website in search engine results. The differences between each of these three hats is related to how closely they fit with Google's guidelines, the time it takes to implement them, the risks involved and the value you receive from using them. 

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is the type of SEO you want to avoid at all costs. Everything for black hat SEO goes against what Google recommends. It is also incredibly risky to use as you are highly likely to have your website demoted or banned from search engine results.

Black hat SEO is known for providing quick bursts of SEO advantages in a short period of time, but are highly likely to be penalised for using them. Examples of black hat SEO include keyword stuffing, paid backlinks, and cloaking (showing different content to visitors and search engines).

What is Grey Hat SEO?

Grey hat SEO is kind of in the middle between white and black hat SEO, hence it is a grey area. While the things done when using grey hat SEO are not specifically listed as no-no's by Google, they are still risky to use. It takes a middle of the road time frame to achieve and see results.

Examples of grey hat SEO practices include clickbait, spun content, paying for reviews and a lot of link exchanges.

What is White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO is the goodie of all SEO type practices and the one you should be using for your website. It follows the exact practices that Google recommends, takes the longest to do, and also provides the best results overall.

Examples of white hat SEO include writing relevant and unique content that your audience wants, sharing links to your website through social media, and having customers provide genuine reviews.

For further information about search engine optimsation, take a look through our list of SEO resources and articles.

Posted: Friday 13 September 2019



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