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What’s the difference between White Hat, Black Hat and Gray Hat SEO?

The main goal is to build as many backlinks as possible through quality and authority. They are good for your website. (Off Page SEO)

In addition to many differences, there is something in common for a White Hat SEO, a Black Hat SEO and a Gray Hat SEO. That is the goal they have. It is precisely the ability to achieve the best possible visibility and position your site on Google search.

What is White Hat SEO?

The essence of the White Hat Optimization is to respect all the rules set by Google. It contains strategies and methods for SEO optimization that are fully in line with Google’s guidelines.

For example, it follows rules for optimizing content of equal importance, contains rules for proper use of keywords, building links, and properly forming a network of links. Also, to the internal connection networks within the site.

Finally, content design as the most important carrier of the entire structure of a web presentation according to search engines.

What is Black Hat SEO?

A black hat is the opposite of a white hat. You should be careful if you use a black hat, because it can ruin your plans. You can be left without visibility and relevance, let alone without popularity and ranking.

Google punishes cheating in the form of hidden text, exaggeration in the use of keywords and creating fake links.

What is Gray Hat SEO?

The Gray Hat is actually a mixture of White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO techniques. The gray hat engages in optimization activities that are not explicitly prohibited, but carry a high risk of being discarded. These are part of the so-called gray zone of content optimization.

This is certainly not something you would notify Google about. On the other hand, it is not something you should be automatically penalized for. Risk will bring you success for a while, but it is not success in the long run.

You should be careful, especially when it comes to such a sensitive thing as Google.

Search Engines determine what is allowed and what is not?

This refers to good and bad SEO practices. Search engines give us rules we have to follow, and it’s up to us. These are the only rules that exist. After all, it is their platform. Depending on how we apply them, we will end up in Google’s ranking.

Large search engines use years-old algorithms to combat blatant manipulation and useless cheating of search results. They will do their best to catch all the websites that are unfair players, because they determine what a fair game is. Anything that contradicts their ranking system will be punished.

Some activities that you can place in the Black, White, and Gray Hat categories. There are some examples.

Link Building

For White Hat, it would be creating content for users with the goal to  educate, delight and inform. The content is so good that other pages will follow and want to link to it.

In the case of the Black Hat, it will be Private Blog Networks (PBN) if you add links to your site to blog comments and pay links. This is completely against Google’s guidelines.

A Gray Hat could include creating content just to get links. However, if that content is really relevant and noteworthy, is it really against the rules? Slippery ground.

Content quality

In the case of the White Hat, the Content is written to help the user in finding answers to his requests and questions, but also to delight the user.

It ranks well because it is relevant and useful, made and optimized to help audiences find it online. The honest and first goal of the content is to take care of the needs that users have.

In the case of Black Hat, you use content as a separate entry page, deleted from other websites, and no added value or contains keyword spam.

For the Gray Hat, you write the content to rank highly on Google. There isn’t so much value, but there are barely enough keywords in order to attract visitors to the page. This kind of page would be equally useless to the visitor even if there was no text, but it better for the ranking. This is a common SEO practice. Did this rule or not?

What is the main difference?

The basic difference between a black, white and gray hat is not only reflected in their definitions, but also in their risks and rewards. The application of black and gray hat techniques carries the greatest risk.

The risk within Black Hat SEO is clear. If you are caught acting contrary to Google’s guidelines, they may penalize you by removing the content of your site from the search index.

In contrary, White Hat techniques has a high possibility not to work. By logic, if you follow all the rules of the search engine, you should be successful. However, if your business is in a very competitive industry, you may not be able to deal with others that use Black Hat techniques. If you decide to play strictly by the rules, it can cost you positions.

Some predictions say that Gray Hat techniques will be punished in the future. If your activities border on rules, you never know at what point search engines will tighten logarithms to bring them down.


Although the white hat and the black hat are demarcated and seem easy to define at first glance, it is true that most SEO optimized content on the Internet falls under the gray hat.

What is undeniably clear is that SEO with a black hat carries significant risks. If you want to avoid objections and punishments, a White Hat seems to be the best option.  If you use SEO with White Hats and carefully consider SEO with Gray Hats, you will probably go the safest way.

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