White Hat vs. Black Hat vs. Grey Hat Link Building?

If you are new to SEO and, more specifically, link building, you may have come across references to black hat, grey hat, and black hat tactics.

These need addressing, even though we will look at some of these approaches in more depth further into this guide.

Quite simply, white hat SEO uses tactics that strictly abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and take an ethical approach to earn top-ranking positions. It places a strong focus on optimizing for human audiences and is seen as a long-term approach to earn sustained visibility on the search engines.

On the other hand, black hat SEO uses those that violate these guidelines and try to rank a site higher with manipulative tactics, usually looking to gain quick wins.

Grey hat SEO sits somewhere in the middle, using tactics that could be seen as manipulative and are riskier than white hat tactics, yet aren’t as obvious a violation of Google’s terms than black hat.

Google employs a webspam team whose core focus is to ensure that websites using black hat tactics do not rank.