For those of you who don’t know, grey-hat Search Engine Optimisation practises are those which fall somewhere between good practices encouraged by search engines like Google and bad practices which essentially go against the policies set forth. The good ones are classed as the implementation of white hat SEO, while the bad ones are classed as black hat SEO.
Before getting into the discussion of why you should avoid grey hat SEO practices it’s perhaps pertinent to touch on SEO itself, by way of what exactly Search Engine Optimisation is and the common ways of going about it.
What is SEO?
So Search Engine Optimisation is the act of putting into effect some practices which are likely to have your webpage ranked higher by the search engines, particularly Google, and it’s mostly a trial-and-error thing, however if there are millions and millions of people all over the world each taking a shot at cracking the search engine ranking algorithm, someone is bound to figure it out.
People who manage to figure it out then usually make use of the information they have to generate some money, so they find ways to sell that information, either directly or as a service. That’s why there’s an entire industry dedicated to SEO, which goes beyond the exploits of an SEO agency.
Typical black hat SEO practices
If you’re not sure about SEO practices which are frowned upon by Google then you can head on over to their Terms of Service page and read their best practices, otherwise deep down pretty much anyone who has had any experience with SEO knows what the black hat practices constitute. Going on a back-linking spree is one example of black hat SEO practices, even though in this day and age there are entire agencies and service providers who have dedicated their livelihoods to tricking the ranking algorithms through excessive back-linking that is made to seem legitimate.
Typical white hat SEO practices
There are many other black hat SEO practices I could perhaps have discussed, but I intentionally stopped at excessive back-linking because that’s pretty much what most black hat SEO practices come down to, which is the opposite of what constitutes white hat SEO practices. White hat SEO is pretty much comprised out of following the guidelines Google sets forth by way of what they’re trying to align their ranking algorithm to and basically it just wants the user to get a great user experience when they visit your page.
Why you should avoid grey hat SEO practices
Grey hat SEO should be avoided simply because there’s really no such thing. It’s like saying someone is only a little bit pregnant, which is not possible because you’re either pregnant or you aren’t. The truth is that most SEO agencies aim to get ahead of their competitors by delivering fast results and the only way they do this really is by either incorporating a mixture of black hat SEO with white hat SEO or by going completely black hat while they report to the client that they’re fully white hat.