Top 11 Grey Hat SEO Techniques

Ankit Thakkar is a Group Head here, at Infidigit. He is associated with us for the last 6 years. He takes care of more than 40+ client deliveries, manages a team of more than 60 people and also takes care for product delivery at Infidigit. With his SEO strategies, he has won more than 10 awards in the SEO space. Ankit has always loved taking up new challenges and is focused on managing tasks efficiently and effectively. Helpful and Hardworking are a few of his skills that we love. When not working, he loves reading books, listening to music and watching series. In

Top 11 Grey Hat SEO Techniques

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    Ranking on SERPs has become challenging. A couple of years back, having high-quality content with relevant, user-specific keywords was enough to rank high in search results. However, time has changed and the difficulty level has spiked. Ranking higher in search results highly depends on SEO and when digging deep, you probably have heard about Black and White hat SEO. But, have you heard about Grey hat SEO? What is Grey hat SEO? Learn all about what Grey Hat SEO is, and explore why it is imperative.

    What Is Grey Hat SEO? 

    Using White Hat SEO strategies in your content is accepted by Google, while Black Hat SEO is not. Grey Hat SEO is simply a combination of both Black and White Hat SEO. In simple words, Grey Hat SEO can be a riskier practice than White hat SEO – but it might still avoid getting your website penalised by search engines and their affiliated websites.

    Is Grey Hat SEO Illegal? 

    No, Grey Hat SEO is not illegal. However, grey hat SEO can actively prohibit certain practices and ban your website from SERPs if not cautiously handled. Since it is a practice halfway between White Hat SEO and Black hat SEO, it is partially safe but riskier than White hat SEO

    Grey Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO 

    The key difference between Grey hat SEO and White hat SEO is that the former can potentially be riskier than White hat SEO but can still escape from getting your website penalised. In simple terms, Grey hat SEO may or may not get a google penalty, depending on the practices followed.

    Grey Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO 

    One of the major differences between Grey hat SEO and Black hat SEO is that grey hat SEO generally uses techniques that do not directly violate Google guidelines. Black hat SEO, however, practices techniques that directly violate the rules of Google. 

    Why Is Grey Hat SEO Important? 

    Many businesses hope for immediate results because they don’t want to wait to improve their ranking and traffic organically. At this point, SEO professionals try applying strategies that are not completely sincere with the pattern of Google algorithms, but still do not violate the guidelines pre-mentioned. This is why understanding grey hat SEO is important since it can produce results within a very short period of time, without having to worry about the consequences that can follow. It is vital to stay updated with any latest categorization, partly since grey hat SEO can change sporadically. But remember, a grey hat SEO practice can often turn either white or black hat SEO practice in no time. 

    Elevate your web presence by Infidigit’s SEO solutions.

    Unlock higher rankings, quality traffic, and increased conversions through tailored award-winning SEO strategies.

    Elevate your web presence by Infidigit’s SEO solutions.

    Unlock higher rankings, quality traffic, and increased conversions through tailored award-winning SEO strategies.

    Top 11 Grey Hat SEO Techniques

    1. Purchased Old or Expired Domains 

    This is one of the major grey hat SEO techniques that centres between Black hat SEO and White hat SEO. Purchasing old or expired domains involves buying a domain that was left to expire but had a dominating authority due to the quantity and quality of backlinks leading back to the site. You can easily apply a grey hat SEO tactic with expired domains in two ways: 

    – You can use a 301 redirection that can help in redirecting the link to the current domain you have now, especially to boost authority. This method is widely used to augment grey hat SEO techniques

    – You can also simultaneously explore archives of the old content and further republish it on the site in an attempt to bring it to life from the way it once was prior to the domain expiration. This method can immediately amass targeted traffic or your website.

    2. Careful keyword stuffing 

    Stuffing your keywords carelessly and hoping for augmented results is a foul practice that does not reap rewards. Keyword stuffing is bad for SEO. What you can do instead is practice including careful keyword stuffing. Careful keyword stuffing includes providing the right keywords that generate accurate density to produce unrivalled page ranking. 

    Careful keyword stuffing can boost the website’s organic traffic and help businesses obtain the recognition they did not have prior. Keyword density is directly linked to the number of times a keyword should particularly appear on your content.

    3. Many Social Media Accounts

    It’s no secret that all your customers are potentially on social media. A white hat SEO method is when you keep one social media account for your business on every platform to further share links, especially to obtain greater exposure and visibility. On the other hand, when you create several social media accounts to artificially spike the sharing rate and link to your site, the practice is part of grey hat SEO. It is absurd to believe that content can alone boost your rankings, yet the truth is that search engines also equally consider social signals. It is always a good idea to create multiple social media accounts to boost your online, as well as social presence. The practice of opening several different dummy accounts on social media falls under the category of grey hat SEO. However, this tactic should be avoided if you want to become a niche professional.

    4. Using PBN 

    A private blog network (also otherwise known as PBN) was once a strategic link building method. In definition, PBN is a distinct group of websites that you navigate to build backlinks to an individual website in order to boost its ranking on Google. The primary motive of PBN for concerned grey hat SEO practices is to attack a link to one central domain in an attempt to move the most link equity, especially reasons as important as boosting its authority. Two of the major methods to use PBN for backlinks and SEO are: 

    – You can take help from another PBN, wherein you will be asked to bear an expense for the links that direct to your website. In reality, most of them are not as you would expect – since only a handful offers relevant and valuable links that enhance your SEO. 

    – You can also build your own Public Blog Network. Usually, it is extremely safe but can potentially also take time. In case you are on your way to build an authority website after having access to an exceptional PBN, then you can try this tactic out.

    5. Submit site to web directories 

    Web directory submission is one of the most used grey hat SEO strategies. When you add website directories, you can simultaneously get a free backlink to your site. However, when the same is performed, but in pretty small numbers, it is solely a practice of white hat SEO. When this strategy is mainly overused, for instance, to collect roughly more than multiple links to your site, it becomes a practice of grey hat SEO.

    6. Buying Links 

    One of the most popular grey hat SEO techniques used by webmasters is buying and trading links. Since these tactics directly violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines, they can be referred to as black hat SEO. Grey hat SEO includes, but is not limited to 4 forms, 

    – Buying a link already indexed in Google. 

    – Getting a post opportunity that has backlinks to one’s own website. 

    – Trading links with other website owners. 

    – Doing barter, giving service or product in exchange for a backlink in someone else’s site.

    7. Getting Paid Positive Reviews 

    Search engines are known for giving higher ratings to websites that have positive reviews. This holds true especially with local SEO. People generally find ways to trick the search engine’s algorithm by paying individuals to leave positive feedback about the listing. There are many service providers and groups that provide positive reviews for a slight discount or bonus or cash payment. This is grey hat SEO all the way.

    8. Spinning Content 

    Spinning content is another major grey hat SEO practice that can push your Google rankings. However, in most cases, it is an unethical practice, if continued for a long time. The basic mechanism is to produce a somewhat similar replica of the real content. In definition, spinning content is basically when you take a piece of content and rephrase it, word by word, in an attempt that it fails to be recognised by any plagiarism software. After you have spun the content, you can then post the same on your website to acquire a better ranking for a couple of targeted keywords.

    9. Duplicate Content 

    Duplicate content occurs when you copy and paste several content blocks around the same site or elsewhere. Duplicate content is used widely in grey hat SEO, in ways like,

    – In order to target similar search queries without having to construct a new one from scratch. One of the most common instances of an event like this is when businesses construct multiple pages carrying the same content for different city locations. Mainly, every content is duplicated, while only the city name is swapped. 

    – Copying another website’s content and simultaneously uploading it on a comparatively robust domain can often outrank the primary source of the content, gradually steering the traffic toward the stronger domain. 

    – It can be used to output the search engine with multiple copies of the same, duplicated content.

    10. Content Automation 

    Using a specific software to automate the process usually required for creating content is known as content automation. In a nutshell, the primary motive of the same is to reap a constant flow of content in order to gain better opportunities for pushing your rank on Google and simultaneously also earning vital traffic. It can be done twofold, either by scraping content or by means of artificial intelligence.

    11. Cloaking 

    Cloaking is another major grey hat SEO tactic that represents one form of content to human users, while another to search engines. Cloaking is a very illusory grey hat SEO strategy that often helps to fool search engines, much like Google, to obtain vital ranking by using relevant keywords, while still showing varying results when searched by users. 

    Extension of Your Content

    The “extension of your content” is a grey hat SEO technique that involves creating additional content based on an existing content piece to increase its visibility and potential reach. To use this technique, SEO experts can start by identifying a piece of content that has performed well in terms of engagement and visibility, such as a popular blog post or article. They can then create additional content related to the original piece, such as an infographic or video, which can be shared on social media or other platforms to extend the reach of the original content.

    To make this technique effective, it is important to ensure that the additional content created is high-quality and adds value to the original piece. This can involve conducting further research, creating visually appealing graphics, or using other techniques to make the content more engaging and informative.

    Social Bookmarking Site

    Social bookmarking is a grey hat SEO technique that involves submitting website links or pages to social bookmarking sites to generate traffic and increase visibility. This technique includes sharing bookmarks, or links, to a website on various social bookmarking platforms such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit, among others.

    Social bookmarking enables users to share and discover new content easily. When a user bookmarks a website, it boosts the website’s visibility to other users who are searching for related content. In addition, search engines index social bookmarking sites, resulting in improved search engine visibility and rankings.

    However, using social bookmarking sites in moderation and with care is crucial. Overusing social bookmarking sites can result in penalties, as search engines may view excessive bookmarking as a spammy tactic. Furthermore, ensuring that the bookmarked content is of high quality and relevance, is vital since low-quality or irrelevant content can damage a website’s reputation and visibility.

    Link Swapping

    This technique works on the principle of link building, where the quality and quantity of external links to a website are crucial factors in determining its search engine ranking. Link swapping involves identifying other websites willing to exchange links with the target website. Site owners can achieve this by contacting website owners, participating in online forums, or joining link exchange networks. 

    Link swapping involves exchanging links between websites in a reciprocal link format. Though it has the potential to boost website visibility and search engine rankings, it may be viewed as spammy and manipulative by search engines. Overuse of link swapping can result in penalties and decreased visibility.

    To employ link swapping as a grey hat SEO technique, one must ensure the exchanged links are both high-quality and relevant. The process involves researching potential link exchange partners and verifying that the content they are linking to is ideal for the target website’s niche.

    FAQ

    Can you trust grey-hat SEO?

    Grey-hat SEO means using tactics that fall somewhere between white-hat SEO (ethical) and black-hat SEO (unethical). While these tactics may not violate search engine guidelines, they can still be seen as manipulative and may not provide long-term results.

    The decision to trust grey-hat SEO ultimately depends on your goals and values. As grey-hat techniques yield short-term gains, you should avoid them if possible. 

    Ultimately, the best approach to SEO is to focus on creating high-quality content, following ethical practices, and providing a positive user experience. This approach may take longer to see results, but it will build a strong foundation for sustainable success.

    Why is it called a “grey hat”?

    Grey hat SEO tactics are not clearly defined as either white or black hat, making them a “grey area” in terms of SEO ethics. An example of a grey hat SEO tactic could be using an expired domain to build backlinks to a website. While this technique may not be explicitly against search engine guidelines, it can still be considered manipulative and unethical.

    Another example of a grey hat SEO technique is keyword stuffing. While this practice may not necessarily violate search engine guidelines, it can lead to poor user experience and ultimately harm the website’s search engine ranking.

    While some SEO experts may argue that grey hat SEO can provide short-term gains, it is essential to consider the potential long-term risks and consequences.

    Is black hat SEO still in demand?

    Black hat SEO is not in demand traditionally because it is not an accepted or legitimate industry practice. Some individuals and businesses, however, may still use black hat SEO techniques to manipulate search engine rankings and gain an unfair advantage.

    One example of a black hat SEO technique is cloaking, which involves showing different content to search engine crawlers than what is shown to website visitors. This technique clearly violates search engine guidelines and can result in severe penalties, including removal from search engine results.

    Bottom Line

    Grey hat SEO is one of the most integral practices, it is done with caution. It can fetch you unrivalled results and generate organic traffic. It is only a matter of time before every business will start including Grey Hat SEO to both be on the safe side, and still be able to augment their website.

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    Top 11 Grey Hat SEO Techniques