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What Is Grey Hat SEO?

If you’re an SEO savvy marketer, you will know the different colour hats stapled on SEO companies. If you don’t, you have come to the right page to learn and get to know the differences.

Depending on which guru you speak to or website you click on, on Google, the answer to ‘What Is Grey Hat SEO’ will vary. Some say the grey hat SEO techniques use a range of white hat and black hat techniques and others state it’s not here or there.

In this GrowTraffic Blog, we give our opinion on the matter and what we feel grey hat SEO is and the techniques you could potentially use.

What Is A White Hat SEO?

White hat SEO company deploys tactics to increase a website’s position on the search engine results page (SERPs). A white hat company does this by creating organic traffic, rather than paying for PPC services on Google.

What Is A Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is the complete opposite of white hat. The black hat goes against the guidelines of Google or other search engines to get their website to rank higher. Unethical tactics that black hat SEO companies use include keyword stuffing, cloaking, and using private link networks.

All of these can result in a penalty to your company’s rankings.

What Optimisation Does Grey Hat SEO Use?

We believe in white hat SEO, and our techniques back that up. The reason we do so is that all of our techniques don’t go against Google’s published guidelines.

It’s important to understand grey hat SEO correctly because like black hat SEO it can improve your website’s rankings. But, it isn’t something that you would willingly inform Google you are doing. Then again, not something you should automatically be penalised for either.

It’s not necessarily a bad practice, but it is being done to get ahead in the rankings. So make your own mind up on that one.

Here are some grey hat techniques:

Increased Content

If you don’t have a blog section on your website yet, be sure to add one. If you have one, look at the length of the blog post. If your posts are 1,000 to 1,500 words, but you are in a highly competitive niche market, look for ways to expand to 2,000 words or more.


Creating content purely for the sake of gaining links could be considered against Google’s guidelines by the definition of link building. However, if that content is relevant and valuable to visitors to the site, is it really against the spirit of the guidelines? A grey area.

Using Expired Domains

This is a common grey hat SEO strategy that borderlines between black and white SEO.

It refers to buying a domain that the owner has let expire but still has a lot of authority because of the number and quality of backlinks still pointing to the site.

Automated Content

Automating content is when you use software to automate the manual processes required in content creation. The purpose is to feed your blog with a constant stream of content so you have more opportunities to rank higher on Google and to get traffic.

Why Should You Avoid Black Hat SEO?

Deciding which techniques to follow as an SEO company should be determined by the outcome. The colour scheme helps keep SEO practitioners in check when they are working on websites that they don’t own.

Black hat techniques, ones that deliberately go against the search engine guidelines, carry risks. As such, websites that go against the guidelines could be penalised by an outright, or partial ban from the search engine.

That’s very serious if the website isn’t your own.

You may cause a business to lose its largest source of income if it can no longer be found through its main organic source. I know I wouldn’t want my company to have such results on my back.

GrowTraffic: White Hat SEO

Our three core values here at GrowTraffic include honesty, transparency and integrity and we live by them. The same not only apply our relationship with our customers, but the work we do also.

All our SEO techniques follow Google’s guidelines. After all, if we treat Google how it expresses, your company will reap the rewards.

If you have tried white hat techniques and aren’t seeing the benefits or feel the task is too big, please contact us here at GrowTraffic.

We are a multi-award-winning digital marketing agency based in Lancashire and Yorkshire that offers a wide range of digital marketing services.

We specialise in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and content marketing! You can call us on 0161 706 0012 or send us an email at

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