Black Hat, White Hat or Gray Hat SEO Technique: A Hasty Critique

Gray Hat techniques refer to those techniques that are not Black Hat or White Hat techniques. There are a number of debates associated with the usefulness of Gray Hat SEO techniques. Buying links is a prominent instance of Gray Hat SEO. Obviously, a bit of risk is involved in this method. There are certain differences among White Hat, Black Hat and Gray Hat SEO. We know that ethical SEO is White Hat and Black Hat is unethical. So, where does Gray Hat stand? It can be depicted as a blend of the two. Why? Let’s find out.

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Gray Hat Techniques vs. Other SEO Techniques

It is assumed that Gray Hat techniques are riskier than the White Hat SEO methods. However, there is no risk of your site of being prohibited from search engines. But if you adopt these methods, then there is a little bit of risk involved since what is Gray Hat today might turn out Black Hat tomorrow. Examples of the three methods given below will clearly delineate the differences among them:

1. Examples of Gray Hat SEO Techniques


  • Posting duplicate content on different websites.
  • Using a keyword density which is sufficient to appear abnormal though not to the extent of keyword stuffing, typically used in the Black Hat

SEE ALSO: Find Duplicate Content Issues on Your Website and Fix Them


  • Intended three-way linking.
  • Link building where no stress on relevance is given
  • Usage of paid links

2. Examples of Black Hat SEO techniques


Keyword stuffing

  • Putting keywords in hidden text (obscured from viewers, that is) by using the same color for the font which has been used for the backdrop of the page.
  • Extensive usage of keywords in ALT tags, comment tags, as well as meta tags.
  • Excessive usage of keywords in the visible text to that extent where the recurrence is obvious to the viewers.

Deceptive content

  • Cloaking: Cloaking is the method of showing separate content to search engines than to individual viewers through distinguishing viewers with Internet Protocol or other techniques.
  • Gateway or Doorway pages: These are pages that are full of keywords though visible for just the search engines since visitors get redirected to the page with the actual content.


  • Link farms: Pages that have an unassociated links exclusively for the objective of generating increased number of links to the target pages.
  • Spamming blogs, communities, and other social media websites using the links (there may not be any fine imposed by search engines as a result, however this is regarded unprincipled)

3. Examples of White Hat SEO techniques


  • Usage of appropriate HTML markup (for instance, header tags) in order to make sure that search engines are able to recognize headers and other features of content properly.
  • Ensuring that all the codes are legitimate (or won’t deter search engine bots as a minimum).
  • Making site maps to ensure that each page is interlinked and search engine bots are able to crawl each page
  • Usage of CSS for segregating content from markup and consequently enhancing keyword density through the lower extent of markup for crawling.


  • Incorporating keywords in headings, page titles, link anchor text, ALT tags, and other page content in a natural way.
  • Exploring appropriate keywords (long tail and short tail).
  • Constantly uploading fresh content.
  • Assessing Analytics statements and modifying the content for optimizing it additionally for specific keywords and to facilitate direct traffic to the targeted pages.


  • Producing informative content that viewers will be interested to link to.
  • Requesting for directories and other appropriate sites for linking to your site.
  • Building social media awareness via page optimization with the expectation of getting links from social media sites.
  • Going for link exchanges with particular websites (regarded by a section as Gray Hat technique)

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