Black, Grey and White hat SEO Techniques

black-grey-white-hat-seo techniquesIf you are related to SEO industry then you must have heard of these terms(Black, Grey and White SEO) for sure. Actually they are different ways of doing SEO and depending on various criteria it is categorized as Black, Grey or White hat SEO Techniques.

For eg: anyone can get famous either by doing very good things or by doing very bad things. Both will make you popular but in different circumstances. The situation is very much similar here as in SEO also you need to make your website popular among users and search engines. This can also achieved in two ways: one is the right way that is by following all the guidelines of search engines and then optimizing accordingly. Second one is the wrong way that is going against the guidelines and trying to pass through some of the loopholes in search engine algorithms.

So based on their procedure they are categorized into Black, Grey and White techniques. Let’s get into the details of that:

1) Black Hat SEO

It is the wrong way of getting famous by doing something against the rules. In other words Black hat refers to the illegitimate way of optimizing your site going against the guidelines of search engines. It is intended to trick search engines to rank particular pages higher in search results without considering the actual value of the page. Its only aim to rank higher no matter what it take to do so.

Examples of Black Hat SEO Technique:

  • Link Farm
  • Hidden Text
  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Paid Links
  • Doorway Pages
  • Cloaking
  • Parasite hosting
  • Manipulative redirects


  • It works for all major search engines (till search engines do not find out)
  • It gives fast results compared to other techniques.
  • Black Hat services are much cheaper than other techniques.


  • It is a short term strategy (will work until you are not caught by search bots)
  • If you are found by search engine your site might be banned.
  • Bad User experience.
  • High Risk level
2) White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is the ethical SEO. It is best and the honest way of optimizing your site by following all the guidelines of search engines. These are targeted to improve the position in search results keeping the user prospect in mind, that is the site should be valuable to the user following all the guidelines. It is a time consuming process but long term results are good and permanent.

Examples of White Hat SEO Technique:

  • Guest Blogging
  • Link baiting
  • Valuable Content
  • Internal Linking
  • Title tags and meta tags optimization
  • On page keyword optimization
  • Adding fresh content regularly
  • Sitemap creation


  • It is a long term strategy.
  • It provides the best user experience.
  • No risk is involved as all the guidelines are followed.


  • It is a time consuming process.
  • White Hat SEO Services are the costliest of all techniques.
3) Grey Hat SEO

As the grey color falls between white and black, this technique also lies into the questionable category of search engine optimization. I called it “questionable” because neither it involves the high risk of site banning as Black Hat nor does it gets into complete valid search engine guidelines. It is a shady approach to optimization which does not break any rules but bend them to say the least. This would not give you a serious risk like a Site ban but might curse you with a penalty. Any technique which is considered Grey might become black in future.

Examples of Grey Hat SEO Technique:

  • Three way/ Reciprocal link exchange
  • Buying links for Page Rank
  • Duplicate Content
  • Irrelevant links
  • High keyword density that sounds unnatural but of level of Black Hat.
  • Article Spinning
  • Purchasing Old domains


  • Timeframe involved is not very high.
  • Good user experience.


  • It is also not a permanent strategy.
  • Medium level of risk is always involved.

After reading out the definitions and the Pros and Cons of different SEO Techniques, you might think that White Hat is the best and should be followed for all sites irrespective of their domain of business. But this might not be true in every case. For eg: if you are trying to promote phone accessories, you need to promote your site as soon as the phone gets launched. As we all know mobile industry is the most frequently changing industry so deploying white hat SEO techniques might take up 4 to 6 months which might not be give you the value for money which you invested in White Hat (because a new version or its competitor might overtake). For this we need a short term and quick technique which might be Black or Grey.

Do you agree with my conclusion or you have some other opinion on these techniques. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


9 replies
  1. Olia Frisk says:

    Hi Nishant, White hat techniques works but it will take some days. Many don’t understand that and they use blackhat and ruin their site/blog. i am confusing many big seo companies are still using black hat software and techniques, is it safe for those clients who wants quick results?


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] manipulate the search engine rankings without focusing on user experience. You can also call them Black Hat SEO techniques. These include activities like keyword stuffing, cloaking, paid links […]

  2. […] techniques will gradually move over into the black-hat category as algorithm changes progress. ETech Diary has a great primer on what black, white and grey-hat SEO techniques are in the current environment. […]

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