The Different Hats of SEO

Black Hat SEO Gray Hat SEO White Hat SEO Social Media Maven Stephanie Nelson SBN Marketingpost by Stephanie Nelson

If you’re around folks who do SEO, you might hear them chatting about “hats” – particularly white hat, gray hat, and black hat. But what does this mean?

The “hats” are industry jargon describing the tactics for approaching SEO and its implementation. The short and sweet description of each is:

  • White hat refers to tactics that are approved by the search engines and follow the search engines’ best practices.
  • Gray hat refers to tactics that aren’t necessarily approved by the search engines, but they aren’t specifically banned, either.
  • Black hat refers to tactics that search engines have specifically said are against the “rules.”

Each tactic has its pros and cons. White hat is approved, but is harder to gain ranking with at times. Gray hat’s pro and con is the same – it’s not clear where the search engines stand on these tactics, so they may help your rankings…but they may hurt them, too. Black hat is usually easy to gain rankings with, but if you’re caught, your site could be blacklisted from showing in search results altogether. It’s up to you (or your SEO practitioner) how risky you want to be in the name of getting ranked in search results.

At SBN Marketing, we focus on white hat tactics. It may take a little more work. And results may take a little more time. But we’ve never had an issue with any of our SEO work causing trouble for a client with the search engines, and we’ve gotten results repeatedly.

If you need some SEO work done on your site, or if you’re looking to improve your search engine rankings, shoot us an email, and let’s start chatting!

contact SBN Marketing for SEO and social media marketing