White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO vs. Gray Hat SEO: What You Should Choose for Your SEO Strategy
June 25, 2021
White Hat vs Black Hat vs Gray Hat SEO: This blog will help you understand them and learn about their differences, features, and the associated practices.
Additional Information: What is SEO & How it Works?
What is White Hat SEO?
White Hat SEO refers to implementing search engine optimization techniques that adhere to the terms and conditions or guidelines of search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, etc. In a nutshell, White Hat SEO relates to ethical SEO practices for improving your website’s rankings and authority organically.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is the wrongful manipulation of search engine optimization tactics to rank a website on search engines quickly. Major search engines flag Black Hat SEO, and using it can very likely get your website removed or delisted from search results.
What is Gray Hat SEO?
Gray Hat SEO is a hybrid SEO practice that falls somewhere between following Search Essentials guidelines, i.e., White Hat SEO, and the practices that violate them (Black Hat SEO).
Differences In White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO, and Gray Hat SEO
Here’s a table that will help you learn about the differences in White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO, and Gray Hat SEO –
||White Hat SEO
||Black Hat SEO
||Gray Hat SEO
||There aren’t any risks involved with White Hat SEO, as you implement tactics that adhere to guidelines suggested by search engines. The only thing that concerns marketers is the time it takes to drive results.
||Implementing Black Hat Techniques to drive results has many risks. For example, Google penalizes websites that have implemented unscrupulous Black Hat tactics, and it takes a long time to recover from a Google penalty.
||Gray Hat SEO is a combination of White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO techniques. Here, one passes Black Hat SEO tactics as White Hat ones. If, or rather when, a search engine catches this: you’ll lose rankings and organic traffic.
|Longevity / Sustainability
||The results achieved from White Hat SEO strategies are long-term. Thus, once you successfully increase your website’s rankings on search engines through ethical White Hat SEO techniques, your rankings are likely to be permanent and long-lasting.
||Because of the unscrupulous tactics of Black Hat SEO, the results are tragically short-lived, and your website can easily lose rankings. Also, the search results can be reversed any time a search engine updates its algorithms
||The results achieved from Gray Hat SEO techniques last longer as one cloaks Black Hat SEO and passes them off as White Hat SEO. When these tactics get flagged, the ranking drops, and Search engines keep updating their algorithms to demote websites using these techniques.
||Readers find the content helpful, relevant, and informative.
||The content is clickbait, misleading, and of no use to readers.
||While the content may appear helpful at first, it doesn’t really solve the readers’ queries.
A Rundown on White Hat, Black Hat, and Gray Hat SEO
This checklist will tell you how to identify activities pertaining to White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO vs Gray Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO vs Gray Hat SEO, and other possible combinations.
||White Hat SEO
||Black Hat SEO
||Gray Hat SEO
||Natural backlinks or contextual backlinks
||Link farming, especially on money keywords
||Sponsored links without a sponsor tag
||Natural keywords insertion that meets the search intent
||Overstuffing of keywords; adding keywords to content that do not match the search intent
||Unnecessary keyword stuffing that disturbs the reading experience
||Creating unique, descriptive, and helpful content
||Cloaking, unnecessary redirects, content duplication, unnecessarily lengthening the content for ranking, and putting out hidden content
||Spinning the content by rewriting top ranked pages or blogs, or using AI tools
||Creating designated landing pages for the products or services you offer by following Google guidelines
||Using hidden text and irrelevant links in the landing pages in an attempt to achieve higher rankings on SERPs
||Creating doorway pages
||Using relevant schema markup
||Abusing rich snippets markup
||Using relevant schemas with irrelevant information
||Repetitive words and keyword stuffing
||Using well-labeled images in your content and adding sources for unowned assets
||Using images not relevant to content, improper positioning of images, adding impertinent alt text to the images, etc.
||Using someone else’s image ideas and spinning to add it to your content
Which SEO Strategy Should You Follow: White Hat, Black Hat, or Gray Hat?
Search engines have established their own guidelines to help website managers, business owners, and SEO experts follow best practices related to search engine optimization. For instance:
- Google has established quality guidelines (Google Search Essentials)
- Bing has established Webmaster Guidelines
- Yahoo has Community Guidelines
White SEO basically means following the guidelines for search engines.
Following search engines’ guidelines will ensure your website can withstand any negative impact on your rankings incurred by an algorithm update, e.g., a Google update.
Here’s an example of the results achieved through White Hat SEO techniques.
Hopefully, this blog has provided you with all the necessary information pertaining to White Hat, Black Hat, and Gray Hat SEO techniques, along with a rundown of practices that fall under them.
White Hat SEO is the only SEO technique you should use, and gradually, it will certainly bolster your digital presence and drive the right kind of traffic toward your website.
If you need help correcting the consequences of your black hat or gray hat SEO techniques or need to implement white hat ones, connect with our experts.