Why It's High Time We Retired Black, White, and Gray Hats in SEO

by WarriorForum.com Administrator
8 replies
  • SEO
  • |
A new article on Search Engine Journal says that it's high time to ditch white, gray, and black hats when it comes to SEO terminology.

The author says that experienced SEO professionals are goal-oriented workers who work with clients to improve website traffic. The article says the terms "black hat," "white hat," and "gray hat" have been used for years to legitimize and criticize different SEO tactics - and that they're now dated. Not only that, but it says it's become increasingly clear that this terminology does more harm than good for the SEO industry.

Color-coding relates to the ethicality of ranking techniques. Black Hat refers to "unethical" SEO tactics that violate search engine guidelines to boost ranking. Some of the strategies used by black-hat SEOs are:
  • Cloaking.
  • Keyword stuffing.
  • Paid links.
  • Link farms.
  • Guest posting networks.
  • Content automation.

Employing any of these frowned upon tactics may result in an immediate Google penalty.

Gray Hat SEO tactics are in between black and white territory. Employing these tactics may result in a Google penalty too, but methods don't break the rules like black-hat practises.

White Hat SEO tactics are ethical and adhere strictly to Google's guidelines, so they won't result in any penalty. White hat SEO practices include:
  • Optimizing your site for mobile.
  • Improving loading speed.
  • Keyword research.
  • Creating useful content.
  • Issues with Current SEO Semantics

The Current Terminology Relies Too Heavily on Ethical Principles

The author suggests the words used to describe and discuss SEO tactics matter and says the definitions of black, gray, and white hat SEO derive from Google's guidelines and what actions Google permits or penalizes. The terms spread the ethical values that Google wants users to embrace - but the author asks since when did Google become a moral authority anyway?

This is an interesting article, and there's far more than I can summarize here, so make sure to check it out!
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