White Hat vs Black hat SEO & What Is In-Between

White Hat vs Black hat SEO

White hat vs black hat SEO: These are terms in the industry that are used to distinguish between practices that are approved by search engines and practices that are breaking the rules of search engines.

White hat SEO refers to anything that is known to be approved by search engines in terms of improving search engine rankings.

Black hat SEO is the opposite. These techniques are actively banned by search engines and, if you’re caught, you will be punished.

White Hat vs Black hat SEO & What Is In-Between

In-between the White Hat vs Black hat SEO


Now, it makes sense that there will also be some sort of medium, foggy, unknown ground between the two of these. Not every technique can be classified as binarily as either good or bad, white hat vs black hat SEO, 1 or 0. In marketing, this grey area is, funnily enough, known as grey hat SEO.


White hat SEO

In this battle of white hat vs black hat SEO, this is where you want to be sitting in my opinion. Especially if you are new, and don’t know what you are doing.

As we have established by now, white hat SEO is viewed positively by search engines, and it is proven to work to increase your sites search rankings without risk.  This includes:

On-page/On-site SEO

This is the practice of optimising your webpages on your website to improve search rankings.

You must cater your pages around planned keywords in order to aim to rank on search engines for those particular keywords.

Your site must be mobile friendly and load fast.

Your site must be correctly structured – also referred to as siloing your website.

Off-site SEO

Once you have correctly structured your website according the agreed upon best SEO practices, you need to work on off-site SEO. This is much harder than on-page SEO.

Off-site SEO means anything that is not on your website that will increase your search rankings. One main part of this, for example, is gaining backlinks. This can be a very long and hard process.

Another part of this is social media management, which is a massive part of marketing today in itself.


Black hat SEO

Now that you understand the basic concept of what white hat SEO is, let’s talk about what exactly black hat SEO is.

Now we already know black hat SEO is not allowed in the eyes of search engines. So, initially that doesn’t make any sense.. How does black hat SEO exist if search engines don’t allow it?

The point of black hat SEO is that it can be extremely effective if executed correctly. You can increase your domain authority very quickly using black hat techniques, which will increase your search rankings seemingly overnight.

Sound amazing, right?


Black hat SEO may have the appeal of being extremely effective and fast, however it comes with a huge risk. If you are found out by search engines to be using black hat SEO methods you will be penalised. This means all of your search rankings will drastically decrease, below what they were before you started this black hat effort. Think about this when you are considering white hat vs black hat SEO.

There most certainly are sites that profit from using black hat techniques. But I would not recommend it. You need to know what you’re doing and you need to accept the risk. Furthermore, do not try to outsource black hat SEO techniques because you don’t know how, but you want the quick boost. These will go wrong and there is nothing you can do.

Since you are probably wondering, one example of a black hat SEO technique is building a private blog network. This is where you own a network of sites that funnel link juice to your money site in order to increase domain authority and search rankings.

The risks are not work the reward. If you are considering white hat vs black hat SEO, just use approved SEO methods.

Grey hat SEO

This is the murky in-between of white hat vs black hat SEO. This area is the unknown.

Techniques labelled as grey hat are not necessarily approved by search engines, but they aren’t necessarily blacklisted either. Take that for what you will. Not technically wrong, but maybe not right to perform these.

Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the risk. What do you think?


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