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Grey Hat SEO

If you are a professional digital marketer or just a beginner in the field, it is advisable to keep a check on various SEO techniques that are recommended or are required to be refrained from, in order to avoid getting blacklisted in the long run.

Having known this, let us understand various terminologies related to these techniques, and which activities fall under these categories. The activities can be clubbed under three types White Hat, Black Hat, and Grey Hat SEO.

White Hat SEO

All the ethical practices in SEO are considered White Hat which involves writing quality and unique content, including relevant internal links and backlinks, improving the user experience to increase traffic, and not following any Black Hat SEO techniques.

Black Hat SEO

All the unethical practices in SEO are considered Black Hat which involves -


This is a technique that website owners opt for when showcasing different content to human versus bot users. There are various types of cloaking like User-Agent, IP Based, Javascript, HTTP-Referrer and HTTP Accept Header cloaking.

Stuffing Keywords

Usually, SEO means optimizing content that matches keywords that are generally searched by users on a search engine. If the website owner tends to stuff keywords rather than writing content that relates to the keywords then this technique is called keyword stuffing.


This means the website owner has copied content from another source or has published duplicate content which may have been rephrased. The sole idea here is that the content is not authentic and has copyright issues. There are many free tools out there that can identify if your content is unique.

Hidden text and links

This means website owners place texts or links between the content which are hidden using the same background color as that of the text or link. This way the copywriter is trying to trick the search engine spider into showcasing the relevant content, but in reality, it is not.

Link spamming

This means the content writer is placing content links on all possible forums without relevance. This is mostly seen in blog comments, social media post comments, forums, and any other place where the links can be posted.

Link farming

This is when a website or a group of websites is solely meant to post links for increasing page authority. This was used to give the crawlers an impression that the website page is linked to several other websites and must be ranked higher in SERP, but with the advancement in algorithms, this technique can result in lowering your page authority and may be penalized or blacklisted.

All the above Black Hat techniques result in your website being penalized by Google by lowering your domain authority and rank. Though these techniques must be avoided in general, there are places where website owners may get away with using a bit of Black Hat which is discussed in the next section.

Grey Hat SEO

When SEO is implemented with a mixture of White Hat and Black Hat techniques then this is considered Grey Hat SEO. Usually, it is believed to be 95% White Hat versus 5% Black Hat but in practice, the line seems to be very thin.

It is a good practice to always follow White Hat SEO, but in reality when the business owners need faster results, then a pinch of grey becomes inevitable. Now, this technique is utilized at the discretion of the website owners, though the side effects of using Black Hat SEO are not wiped out.

To know more about SEO and other techniques relayed to digital marketing check my blog Digi Marketer Online.

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