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What are black hat, white hat and grey hat link building techniques?

Online marketers utilize various strategies for SEO purposes. These are grouped into three techniques: white hat SEO, black hat SEO and gray hat SEO. What are they?

Man wearing a hat to signify What are black hat, white hat and grey hat link building techniques?
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What this definitely suggests is that a number of those strategies are actually allowed by search engines while others are certainly not as much.

White hat SEO is actually what every person looks on as ethical and black hat is what everybody sees as unethical. Gray hat SEO however can be inserted into the line between the two previous ones.

That said, let’s dive in for more details on each of them.

White hat SEO

The methods used in this group are actually permitted by search engines. The strategies are actually useful to both the search engines as well as website visitors.

The objective of any kind of white hat SEO plan is actually to enhance an internet site’s search result position. This, by utilizing techniques that will not create any kind of blowback coming from the search engines as penalties.

White hat strategies usually tend to take longer before results could be noticed. As a result it is actually an on-going process, quite unlike black hat procedures which assure rapid end results.

Examples of white hat SEO are:

The content

– This includes researching all pertinent keyword phrases, long tail as well as short tail

– Inclusion of pertinent keywords in headings, web page titles, anchor text, and so on

– Fine-tuning of content as well as close examination of analytical reports to optimize web site for targeted keyword phrases

– Regular addition of new content


– Taking measures to guarantee that the code is valid

– Use of appropriate HTML markup in an attempt to simplify search engine’ task of determining headings and also other content

– Linking every page to search engine bots and also generating site maps

– Separating content coming from markup by utilizing CSS as a means to increase keyword density


– Ensuring webpages are actually appropriately maximized for social networking sites to attract additional social links

– Creation of really good pertinent content that folks find relevant as well as link up to

– Seeking web links from various popular directories as well as other websites

– Exchanging links with other relevant website

Black hat SEO

Now that you understand what white hat SEO actually is, you may possibly presume what black hat is actually. This is actually making use of SEO techniques that are really indicated to manipulate search engines right into ranking sites more than they should be actually. The goal right here is actually simple; climb to the top of the rankings by any means possible.

Naturally there is actually consistently the danger of the online search engine noticing your techniques as well as punishing you. However lots of people still utilize this method to be successful.

Of course there’s always the risk of the search engine picking up on your tricks and penalizing you. But many people still use these tricks to get ahead.

Black hat methods are actually made use of for these causes:

– They in fact operate for some time till the search engines catch up with them and hurl them to the rear of the line

– A multitude of folks have not yet recognized which tricks are actually black hat. So they contract out SEO to companies that resort to such approaches. And the site gets penalized for it.

Also remember. If the search engines do not instantly catch up with your tricks, your competitions are going to. And they are going to certainly report you without delay.

Listed here below are actually some instances of dark hat SEO:


– Using search phrases in hidden text: normally carried out by maneuvering colors, where the font color is actually made the same as the background color

– Keyword stiffing: tons of sites overuse their keyword phrases, meta tags and also alt tags

– Using a lot of keywords in visible text, which makes it overly repetitive to the average reader

Deceptive content

– Good examples consist of doorways or even gateways which get stuffed with keyword phrases visible only to search engines but which reroute folks to the page with actual content

– Cloaking or even displaying of varying content to search engines while displaying different content to people


– A link farm is actually a page that gets packed with entirely irrelevant links for the objective of generating dozens of web links for different pages

– Spam could be made use of on blogs, discussion forums, as well as social networks sites via links, which the search engine could pick to dismiss as actually unethical

Gray hat SEO

These approaches generally take some risk yet they’re certainly not very likely to lead to any kind of significant penalty coming from the search engines.

They are what you would certainly term doubtful link building yet they do not come under black hat strategies.

Examples include:


– Persistent link building without considering its relevance

– Strategized three-way linking

– Use of unpaid links


– Use of stuffed keyword phrases yet certainly not at the level of black hat

– Publication of duplicate content on different sites

What amount of links do you have on your page?

If the webpage is actually crowded with various other links, the value given to a link can easily become diluted. It would certainly be actually excellent to get linked to a page with far fewer links on it. The extent to which this varies to a search engine is actually not known, yet testing reveals that it matters, just not overwhelmingly so. This is certainly something to keep in mind when building links.

Earn potential referral traffic

The only means to do this is actually not to concentrate wholly on search engines. You will certainly with time determine that the kinds of links that send excellent direct clickthrough traffic are actually much better when all is said and done. Since besides providing your site with improved value for rankings, they likewise provide you targeted useful site visitors to your website, which ought to be actually the goal.

You can easily find out more through noticing the number of page views/visits as revealed through site analytics.

In the event that you cannot access these services, then tools like Google Trends for Websites will be very valuable. Certainly not accurate all the time, it may nevertheless offer even more details on domain-wide website traffic.


Don’t forget that the formula you make use of is going to mostly rely on the kind of site you possess when you get involved in tasks for the purpose of building links.

For example, small websites may be okay with manual link-building. This might consist of link requests, directories and also probably link exchanges as a component of the SEO technique.

When working with bigger websites, these kinds of methods actually prove useless and also commonly fail.

Effective strategies need even more scalable steps so as to make the initiative to become worthwhile.

Internal link building

Do you realize just how you would certainly handle the creation of fantastic internal links?

It is actually simple. You may simply put together a system where your web pages get interlinked.

Right here is actually exactly how to do it:

– Keyword research: when used for link building, a keyword research tool can offer several pointers for pertinent search phrases

– Assign the keywords: the following step is actually to organize the key phrases in a logical as well as strategic system, which will definitely cause a search friendly opportunity for relevant information

– Use targeted anchor text to link pages: the final step is actually to utilize the keywords through interlinking all of them, which takes place when you link to content utilizing the brand new keyword phrases

That final measure is actually pretty decisive. You must make certain you are actually utilizing the anchor text right and also linking to the appropriate web pages.

A number of ideas to assist you interlink:

Use your site search

You may do this for various reasons.

Begin through discovering web pages on your internet site which contain pertinent details and which can be linked to various other web pages on the site.

You can easily additionally create an internal link building wire frame and all you need to have to carry out this is actually to map the key phrases you’re targeting right into logical web pages and also assign each keyword to a given page.


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12 thoughts on “What are black hat, white hat and grey hat link building techniques?”

  1. There is clearly so much information with regards to SEO that I certainly was unaware of so this article has given me some extra help with building my website.

    I had never heard of White Hat, Black Hat or Grey Hat before but after reading your article I now know although some of the information was a little overwhelming. 

    What was very helpful for me was the piece about linking. Can I ask if there is an art to ‘targeted anchor text’ or is it easy to get used to?

    Thank you

    • Hello Imelda,

      I’m happy to have introduced to this piece of SEO information. I hope it really helps you with building your website.

      Knowing the difference between White Hat, Black Hat and Grey Hat techniques can help you get Google love and avoid penalty.

      I think the best way to master ‘targeted anchor text’ is to study how the best websites in your niche use and to copy them.

      Thank you too for your comment.

  2. Thank you for your post. It is useful for me. I started my online blogging business for a while now and understand that SEO is critical for my business success.

    I have been trying my best to build up my SEO, but forget about the Black hat SEO. I always think that more keyword used in the article, the better the SEO. I know from your article that this is keyword stiffing, apparently creating opposite effects. I will definitely try change my keyword strategy. It is important to provide value to my readers, instead of think of my keyword rank.

    • Hello Anthony,

      Thank you too for your comment. Sharing this post with you was a pleasure. Yes, SEO is critical for any online business success.

      Yes, all most of us hear about concerning SEO is the use of keywords. Hardly do we hear about the backlinking. Black hat SEO. Using more keywords in your article is like trying to fool the search engines. While you must take search engines into consideration while writing articles, be sure to write for people.

  3. Hi Akoli,

    Thank you for putting together this very thoughtful article on the different types of SEO.  I really enjoyed watching the video about the hackers that could shut down the internet in 30 minutes if they wanted to.

    I also appreciate all the tips you have on how to increase your website presence without being punished.  It’s good to know where to draw the line.

    Thanks so much for all of your efforts!


    • Hi Michael,

      It was my pleasure putting together this article and a greater joy sharing it with my readers. I’m happy you liked the video I incorporated.

      I hope you will put these tips into practice to increase your website presence without attracting penalty.

  4. Hi there, I love your topic choice! Having an online presence is great but having it secured is ever so important! You want to stay in control of your online entity. I love your use of the video as an introduction, it made the reading a lot more accessible and easier to digest. 

    • Hi Monika,

      Thanks for appreciating my topic choice. Yes, what’s the use having an online presence if it isn’t secured? That’s why I gave these tips. I’m happy the video incorporated enabled you to find reading a lot more accessible and easier to digest.

  5. Hey nice article you have there, your thoughts are indeed invaluable. I was researching online for the best search engine optimization, I was directed to this article. Having gone through the features of the three strategies highlighted in this article. I am convinced that the black hat procedures will be more effective, since it assures of rapid search result which is the basic goal for online marketers

    • Hey there,

      Thanks for appreciating my article and my thoughts. Yes, black hat procedures will be faster but not more effective. It really assures rapid search result but sooner or later Google will catch up with you and penalize you.

  6. Hello there thanks for the review it was really helpful. Black Hat practices are effective, but are risky and can cause your site to be reported. Grey Hat SEO, on the other hand, is SEO practice that remains ill-defined or ill-advised by search engine published guidelines and which can be disagreeable. Black hat SEO is a practice against search engine guidelines, used to get a site ranking higher in search result.

    • Hello Philebur,

      I’m happy that you find my article helpful. It’s important to understand the various SEO techniques in order to rank high in the search engines and also avoid Google penalties.


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