Black Hat seo vs white hat seo vs gray hat seo - VRankUp

White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO Gray Hat SEO: What do you need to choose to implement the best SEO strategy?

Knowing what kind of SEO you are using for your website and what else is available to be used can prove quite beneficial. But it might prove quite difficult if you don’t know the line between legal and illegal practices. Although there are no set borders and it often gets complicated, governing bodies for SEO practices, i.e., search engines, has some set rules. Google put it in very simple words- ‘would you feel comfortable explaining what practices you used to a google employee?’ If yes, you are on the right path, and if not, you need to change that. 

We can segregate all SEO practices into three categories- white hat SEO, black hat SEO, and grey hat SEO. Grey hat SEO comes in between white and black and uses both of them. As the colors tell their own story, it’s not hard to tell what they stand for.

White hat SEO- Favorite Child of Google

The good guy, follower of rules, the golden child. Everything good and ethical is white hat SEO. It involves SEO practices that are approved by search engines, especially Google.

Some tactics involved in this category are-

  • Creating relevant and strong content
  • Using relevant and genuine links and references
  • Using the right keywords without stuffing it
  • Mobile-friendly content with good UX, UI, and page loading speed.

It is a term used to describe Search Engine Optimization practices endorsed by search engines, specifically Google.

Black Hat SEO- Nuisance to the Search Engine Family

Black hat SEO is that child in the family who is smart and has a creative and quick solution, but their path is risky and often leads them into trouble. It involves unethical, risky practices that do the work but not in the long run. However, it’s the same situation as our society not accepting quirky and unconventional characters. Google says we will not accept it, doesn’t mean it’s illegal. Although there’s a limit, and if crossed, you might have to face legal issues.

Some tactics involved in black hat SEO-

  • Cloaking- different HTML for visitors and google bots on the same site.
  • Plagiarism and stealing content
  • Automatic content spinning
  • Keyword stuffing and irrelevant links
  • Manipulating codes and artificially improving the SERP ranking of your website

Gray hat SEO- The Son Influenced by its Older Siblings

It’s that blurred line between black hat SEO and white hat SEO. It’s a hybrid of tactics involved in these two SEO practices. It depends on the situation you are in and how you process it. For ex: Link building, if you are buying links, that too in bulk, it’s in the dark zone. If the next website links you in return for a favor or a kind gesture, it may not. If you reach out to the website and ask if they are interested in linking with you, it’s ok. In the end, do you feel like you are cheating google? If not, then you are good to go.

Some of the practices involved in grey hat SEO-

  • Buying expired domains
  • Buying or selling links
  • Building blogs or micro-sites
  • Cloaking
  • Hidden text and increased keyword density
  • Submitting to web directories

Which SEO practice you should choose for your SEO strategy

White hat SEO is the way of living on the internet, everyone needs it, and everyone uses it. In the same way, try to avoid black hat SEO, be safe than sorry. Black hat SEO will not work in the end, whether you use it or not, because Google tends to change its algorithm frequently and mend any loopholes. Even the techniques that work in the meantime will disappear soon. Google knows what you are doing; if you try to outsmart it, maybe you will be successful, but not for long. It will eventually catch up to it, and you could get penalized.

And what about grey hat SEO? Everyone uses a little bit of grey hat SEO; even those who claim to be 100% white are not that pure. It all depends on how dark side of the spectrum you are treading on. Link building is more on the lighter side, while cloaking is on the darker side. You can use both but decide how much safety you want and the competition level in your niche. Often, it’s unavoidable to use a grey hat in high-competition niches if you want to remain in that competition and thrive. No one is clean there, so why should you be a saint? A little grey hat SEO is alright and, in most cases, compulsory. Just know the limits and don’t cross them.

There’s no defined line between white hat SEO and black hat SEO. But it’s always wise not to expose your website to substantial risks. In this blog, We have tried to understand what white, black, and grey hat SEO is? We hope this knowledge will help you make informed decisions and implement the right SEO practices for your website.

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