Every SEO strategy falls under any four types, namely black hat, white hat, gray hat, and negative SEO. The strategy you choose will depend on the results you wish to achieve by making the best utilization of SEO.
Black and white hats were a standard cinema prop used in western movies during the 1920s. It quickly explained to the audience who was the protagonist and the antagonist. The hero would wear the white one, while black for the villain.
Over the past century, the concept has been greatly incorporated to differentiate the good and the bad. As an SEO strategy, white and black hats refer to ethical and unethical practices.
White hat SEO practices mean following rules set by search engine standards. At the same time, black hat SEO involves taking risks to incorporate practices that go against guidelines.
Life is a bit of good and evil, making all things gray! Well, the same applies to SEO strategy and planning. The fine line between black and white hats is where the gray hat comes into practice.
The gray hat is neither black nor white. It takes the best of both SEO practices to help you achieve quick results while trying your best to follow all guidelines.
Gray hat strategies are applied when you need to incorporate malicious activities, but not let Google find out. It is trying to play with fire but learning how not to burn yourself.
Gray hat does not necessarily have to be a bad practice. But one has to keep in mind to avoid the repercussions of using black hat SEO.
To understand the difference between a white hat and a gray hat, you need to know the strategies that fall under these. The following list of SEO strategies will give you a complete idea:
A major white hat SEO technique is following a structured research process to select relevant keywords to write and post fresh content. It must include quality images, plagiarism-free text, and follow Yoast guidelines for readability.
Structured websites get better recognition on the search engine. It must have one code that matches the website theme.
Developing a website and making it mobile-friendly has become necessary. More people are using smartphones to browse what they require compared to their laptops. Making websites mobile-friendly by shortening non-essential blocks, incorporating voice searches, and increasing speed are white hat strategies.
The quantity of backlinks added directly impacts SERP ranking. While it is one of the black hat SEO techniques, there are ethical ways that can make it gray.
For example, obtaining links from independent platforms, guest posting, outreach, and effective practices. These add ranking value and are also not penalized by Google.
Black hat SEO practices keyword stuffing to make content have too many keywords without proper relevance or significance. Such techniques, when recognized, are penalized by Google. Optimizing the usage of keywords by fitting them organically, and adding LSI keywords, are ways not to make your content look spammy.
Cloaking is a way of showing users results different from what is already presented to search engine crawlers. It is an indirect way to draw traffic to your website by using specific keywords. It is a way to trick the search engine into achieving rank with specific keywords not relevant to what users expect.
While white hat SEO techniques abide by guidelines set by Google, it is a time-consuming and expensive process. On the contrary, black hat SEO practices like content automation, keyword stuffing, and link manipulation can be harmful to the website.
The best way to make your website get a significant ranking is using the middle way by applying gray hat techniques. It allows you to blend the best of both that gets you a certain rank without facing penalization or disruption.
With years of experience in developing and building websites, PromotEdge has a complete idea of using SEO strategies optimally. According to your business goals, we strategize tactics that best fit your requirements and apply SEO tools applicable to you.