SEO Tactics: A Comparison Of Black, Grey & White Hat SEO [Infographic]

March 26, 2013 7:00 pm Published by 18 Comments

Many website owners disagree about what is the best way to perfect their website’s SEO. It all comes down to a strategy decision that could affect your website’s longevity and reputation. Some people believe that in order to succeed, you need to apply grey or even black hat SEO tactics. However, white hat SEO optimizers have a different opinion. White hat SEO tactics are always going to give you the most long term effects, and plenty of studies have shown that.

What is the real difference between white hat, grey hat and black hat SEO? It’s quite easy really. White hat is everything that is considered “legal” by search engines. That could be everything from keyword tags to content optimizing. When it comes to black hat and grey hat, it’s a little bit different. Black hat are SEO tactics that involve keyword stuffing, hidden texts and of course link farms and scraping. The latter is a form of content stealing which happens to pretty much every major website or blog.

Endeavoring into black hat SEO is dangerous, and it will most likely end with your website being banned from search engines altogether. White hat SEO tactics have a better impact and tell search engines that you mean business in a professional way. What one should also remember is that paid links are also included into search engine’s no-go SEO tactics. If a search engine finds out you have purchased a link, your site could potentially be banned from indexing as well.

We get a clearer look at what is considered white hat, grey hat and even black hat SEO tactics when we consult an infographic called Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO, presented by Cognitive SEO. If you have ever wondered what the differences are, and how you can prevent your site from being blacklisted from search engines, this infographic will tell you exactly what to do and what to stay away from. Staying within white hat SEO tactics is always the best. There is plenty of creativity to utilize when you stay within white hat SEO. Not only that, but you will also find it has way more impact and can sometimes even yield faster results.

The Difference Between Black, Grey & White Hat SEO Tactics


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This post was written by Richard Darell


  • Michael says:

    I guess I’ll go for blog commenting ang guest blogging those are working good nowadays.

  • Arthur says:

    This is cool, I prefer the white hat SEO strategy but sometimes Google pushes bloggers and webmasters to Grey hat.

  • This is an awesome infographic – absolutely love it! White hat is definitely the way to go as evidenced by all of the sites that are still ranking well post panda and penguin.

    The problem with grey hat strategies is that you never know when the practice will turn from shades of grey to pitch black. I’m sure at one time many of the practices that are now considered black hat were thought of as grey hat.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Matt Lambert says:

    White pays off big time been slowly crawling up up on Google was on page 5 after almost there months doing every thing right then after the update on Google two weeks ago right to page two with no page rank yet so slow and steady will be on page one soon and plan on staying there a long time saw many on page one disappear. gray or black hat worked for them but that the pasted sure could sent up a page today and be on page one but for how long a week or month and then black listed no thank you not going to payoff doing it wrong

  • ahmed tours says:

    That’s gonna be good write up about white hat seo thanks

  • Yeah my concept about white hat seo as well as black hat seo is clear but gray hat about not more clear.

  • wonderful post buddy, it’s very clear to understand white and black seo, i am new search engine optimizer it’s really help for me thanks

  • excellent article, lovely information white and black seo, it’s important for search engine to know properly how to work white seo. thanks for nice information

  • granite kitchen worktops says:

    I always avoid black hat seo as it always wrong way we should to follow white hat seo method whatever i am doing. Yeah that right thing white hat seo take some time to come good position in google but will long lasting.

  • Afroz Siddiqui says:

    White means doing SEO Techniques conforming to the quality SEO guidelines recommended by search engines.

    Gray Hat SEO is all about risk versus reward. Some Gray Hat techniques may be frowned by the search engines, but are not necessarily against their rules, while other techniques may be more risky and should be used only after careful consideration.

    Black hat SEO is used by people trying to cheat search engines and soon or later they are penlized. So if you want your site to be ok in the future – don’t use Black Hat SEO at all.

  • Ataur Rahman says:

    Really very helpful post. Black hat SEO is harmful for any website or blog. Black har SEO is trying to cheat search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. So all blogger should avoid black hat SEO. On the other hands, White hat SEO search engine friendly.

  • CommunityBest says:

    I love picking up media links. The best way to get them is to be an authority on a subject, and that usually means WRITING posts that illustrate some expertise on the matter. A PR agency is a great way of getting you these types of links – they have the contacts. Legitimate PR is one of the most valuable assets in your link earning strategy.

  • Krishna says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I was sitting at my computer today and could not for the life of me think of something to write about. This was really helpful. Thanks again!

  • James Wilson says:

    trying to learn everything I can about seo, doing alot of work myself. My question is submission software is it white or black hat seo. Big companies have to use some kind of software for their customers, I know they are not doing it manually?

  • Tyler says:

    It helped me a lot in devising a strategy for a website dealing with cable TV bundle offers (Y)

  • srini says:

    As tyler said I came across cable tv offers

  • Zeeshan Yousaf says:

    very intersting article.thnkas for sharing

  • Blossom Smith says:

    I personally don’t prefer to use any blackhat methods and never will.

    As this article mentioned, some techniques are taken to the extreme and that’s why some of the methods may be given a very bad name.

    If it works for you and you are doing it with honesty, then I don’t see why not you can’t do. Please, never take anything like this into the extreme. That is never good.

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