It’s a battle out there – a battle of wits, cunning, and ethics. Between black and white, who wins?
Is it the ethical, the ambiguous, or the sly? SEO strategies are currently categorized into three hats: the white, the black, and the grey. Reminiscent of the old Western films, the white hatters are ethical people who follow search engine policies when it comes to SEO. On the other hand, the black hatters seek to get around these policies to advance their SEO ideals. But the picture is not complete without the grey hatters – a mixture of people who are in-between the good, the bad, and the ugly. Is it worth it? Let’s see below.
The Advantages of Grey Hat SEO
The punishments are not harsh – if not fatal. Black hat SEO consists of acts that command the harshest punishment out there – a total ban of their site or the lower SERP. That is, if they are caught. For grey hat SEO, the punishment is not too harsh because the policies, although sort of circumvented, are not really considered unethical.
The color speaks for itself. It could have been blue, yellow, or even pink. Yet people called it grey hat SEO because of its ambiguous nature. In the ethical community, grey hat SEO is neither good nor bad. It is a collection of strategies that takes advantage of the loopholes in search engine policies and uses such to build SERP or traffic on its own. This is to say those grey hatters are relatively safe in their dealings.
Temporary increase in traffic. For both grey and black SEO, the immediate result of any related action is a temporary increase in traffic. At least with that temporariness can lead to a probable surge in SERP, conversion rate, and traffic. For a minute or for a number of days, grey hatters can enjoy momentary glory.
It’s not at all bad. If you engage in grey hat SEO practices like spinning or duplicating content, you will not be condemned to the hells of search engine sanction in a second. At least the online purgatory gets to deliberate on your case. Besides, you can claim being in a practice of half-ethical and half-crooked means.
The Disadvantages of Grey Hat SEO
Questionable reputation. You’ll definitely on the watch list – a list comprised of probable and likely candidates of being banned or demoted in terms of SERP if search engines like Google or Bing catches you. As search engines cannot readily ban sites without probable cause, intent, and evidence, they can sit and wait until you commit that ultimate mistake. Good luck with that.
The concept of temporariness. Well, there are no shortcuts to glory. Grey hat SEO is not recommended for long-term strategic plans. So if you have great visions for your business, settle with the most accepted means to build traffic on your site.
As you can see, even the grey areas of any discipline are looked upon with certain levels criticality. The same applies to grey hat SEO. It has its advantages but it offers risks that can damage your business forever.