Grey Hat SEO
The first word we hear when we talk about digital marketing is SEO (search engine Optimization).
What is search engine optimization (SEO)? Why is it important when it comes to digital platform?
Search engines is a software program that helps user to find the information online by using keywords or phrases. The major search engines are: Google, Bing, yahoo.
Optimization is the process or an act or methodology.
Search engine optimization is the process toincrease the traffic and page views on website using search engines which ultimately increases ranking on search engine result page. One can optimize it by updating the content one the website, using the desired keyword, focusing on user’s experience.
We need to understand the types of SEO before optimization:
- White hat SEO: Google approved tactics to improve the ranking of the website
- Black Hat SEO: Manipulate with search algorithms to get higher rankings. These techniques are prohibited by Google.
- Grey Hat SEO: Middle ground of white hat SEO and black hat SEO. (we will discuss grey hat SEO in detail)
Grey Hat SEO
As we discussed, grey hat SEO is the combination of black and white SEO. When we say combination, it means these tactics are not banned by google but are also not encourage to use. They are like grey areas or loopholes that one implement to increase the traffic on a website in order to increase the ranking on search engine.
Grey Hat SEO Techniques:
There are various techniques used in grey hat SEO:
- Purchasing Expired Domain
- 301 Redirect
- Keyword stuffing
- Paid Reviews
- Trade links
- Modifying original content
- Multiple social media accounts
- Private Blog Network (PBN)
- Web directories
1. Purchasing Expired Domain:
One of the techniques which are widely used in grey hat SEO is purchasing or buying the expired or dead domains, which are also known as domain grabbing. Popular expired links are use to increase the traffic and to push the ranking on SERP. Though buying popular domains help to boost the ranking on search engine but they are not reliable. In most of the cases, domains are spammed or irrelevant to the content user is looking for.
2. 301 Redirect:
It is a permanent redirect from one URL to another, meaning all users that request an old URL will be automatically sent to a new URL. A 301 redirect passes all ranking power from the old URL to the new URL, and is most commonly used when a page has been permanently moved or removed from a website.
Many companies, in order to increase their ranking, uses 301 redirect to land user on a new URL which is irrelevant for him.
3. Keyword Stuffing:
This is the most common technique used in grey hat SEO. In this, one uses the best or the most searched keyword in every sentence in order to grow the page organically. This can have a negative impact on the user landing on the site.
It is bad and should be avoided. One should maintain perfect keyword density.If the keyword is stuffed where it is not required, it may improve the ranking of the page on search engine but will lose users eventually which will decrease the page ranking or can be removed from search engine.
4. Paid reviews:
Many people pay in cash or in kind to get the positive review on google which increases their rating on the search engine.Getting positive reviews from friend and families also comes under grey hat SEO. One must focus on getting genuine ratings and reviews which will attract genuine users on his page.
5. Trade links:
Purchasing links in order to increase ranking. This can be done by purposively between two site owners where they can promote their content or products or services. If the content is uncommon which is being linked, then it will come under grey hat SEO.
6. Modifying original content:
Spinning or modifying the original content is an unethical practice and comes under grey hat SEO. This is discouraged as one copies the original content and gets automated through tools. Google identify those sites and remove these sites from the search engine result page.
7. Multiple Social Media Accounts:
Many people create dummy accounts on Facebook, Instagram or twitter and reshare their content. Theses dummy accounts make effort to increase the likes and retweets option to reach the mass. Using dummies account to increase the visibility of the page comes under grey hat SEO.
8. Private Blog Network (PBN):
A private blog network (PBN) is a network of authoritative websites that are used to build backlinks for a single website.
It’s a list of unrelated sites all linking to one central domain to pass link equity to it and improve its’ rankings. It begins with buying lots of old domains that have high authority in the search engines. Then, they start creating content on those sites while linking to their main website. That gives the central site lots of quality backlinks. And just like that, they get to boost their ranking on SERP for the main domain and get higher traffic on it. Google has now prohibited this technique and comes under black hat SEO.
9. Web directories:
Many websites get themselves listed in the irrelevant platform. In short run, it increases the traffic on their page but they are not the targeted audience. It is not encouraged and comes under grey hat SEO technique. If any page or website gets listed on the relevant directories, then, it is a white hat SEO.
Many companies those use grey hat SEO creates microsites to create backlinks to land the user on the primary webpage. If done without violating google guidelines, one can get high visibility and more traffic.
How one can avoid Grey hat SEO:
Fresh content that is attractive, original and informative should be encouraged. Quality content should be focused to increase the engagement level of the users.
In order to increase traffic and page views, products or services should be improved. Features mentioned on website should be the same as offline which will result in positive ratings and reviews.
This is the most important in order to get page views and ranking. One must improve the loading time of the website, provide in-depth detail about the products. Customer support should be provided on the website where customer can address their problems.
One should provide informative and genuine backlinks where users can learn more in-depth. This will result in the trustworthiness of the page among users, which in turn will improve the page visibility.
Perfect keyword Density:
Keyword stuffing should be avoided. Perfect keyword density should be maintained in the content. Keyword should be used where it is relevant.
Grey hat SEO is the middle man of white hat SEO and black hat SEO. It is not banned by google or illegal. but in many cases, it is used in an unethical way. It increases page views, ratings, traffic which leads to a good ranking on search engines. If used similar to black hat SEO, one loses the credibility of the page which leads to loss of traffic or users. Generally, agencies that offer grey hat SEO techniques charge a low fee as these are not reliable and trustworthy methods. This hat has always been a questionable technique as it can turn into black hat SEO. These are dubious tactics that are risky in nature and gives short term profits to companies but in long run, it cost the goodwill and its reputation.
If you want to know about advanced SEO techniques, click here