What Is Gray Hat SEO?
Hey, what’s going on everyone, it’s Trent here with another episode of Five Minute SEO. Now today we’re continuing on from the last episode, which was white hat SEO, and today we’re talking about grey hat SEO, what it is, should you be doing it, or spoiler alert there, you shouldn’t be doing it. And we’re just going to cover five kind of areas that gray hat kind of encompasses. So first of all, grey hat is a mixture of white hat and black hat. So to figure out what black hat is, we’ll talk about that in the next episode. So basically, grey hat consists of around five techniques. So one of them is called cloaking. And cloaking is basically being deceitful to the user. So that could mean writing a meta description and a title description that really has nothing to do what the page is about. And this is against Google policies, it is a violation. So you might find that someone is advertising a particular product, say shoes, for example, and you click on the link, and you go there in the advertising, you know, supplements or something like that some dodgy cell phone. So that’s cloaking. It’s just been deceitful, purchasing old domains. So old domains have, most of the time depending on the domain have some type of domain authority behind them. So this actually gives your website a bit of a boost using this domain, they usually have some backlink power, things like that, which in essence isn’t a bad thing, if you can find out where the backlinks are coming from and whether or not they’re relevant to the industry that you’re going to be placing behind this domain name. But most of the time, people buy domain names with some historical authority. And they abuse This generally, with affiliate marketing or, you know, some type of Google Ads campaign where they make money, when Google shows ads on there, Google’s going a little bit smarter with this, now they review things manually rather than automatically, which they used to do. And it’s a little bit harder to do this. Now. I mean, you can still purchase an old domain, but it’s just not going to give you the power it would have given you maybe five, six years ago. The next is duplicate content. So there’s a little bit of a debate about this, however, duplicate content is easily picked up by Google and supposedly word on the SEO street is, is that if it’s 51% different than, say content on your other pages on your website, then it’s not considered duplicate content. Now we’ve run tests behind this. And it works sometimes, and it doesn’t work other times. So it is a little bit of a risk. The next one is link buying. So I’m sure lots of people that have maybe, let’s just give you an example, you’ve gone to some place like Fiverr. And they see an amazing link package. Let’s just say it’s 1000 links for five bucks, well, you’re gonna do about $5,000 worth of damage to your website by spending $5 to buy a whole bunch of crappy, non relevant links. What Google wants is natural link acquisition. And it’s hard. So that’s why people generally go and buy links thinking that they’re going to make a difference to their ranking. And they don’t, most of the time, one or two things will happen. Either it will do absolutely nothing for their website, or Google will D index their website or punish you in the SERPs, based on new buying a whole bunch of crappy backlinks. So the next one, and the last one is social media automation and purchasing followers. Now I know this probably doesn’t seem like a Google SEO type of thing. But it is. So this isn’t referring to things like Hootsuite and buffer where you actually schedule a post. This is more referring to buying tons of followers, which believe it or not, they’re fake. They’re not real followers. You’re not actually buying real followers. I mean, would you got to think about this, would you have someone pay you to go onto someone else’s Facebook page and engage with them? for about one cent every time you did it? Probably not. So well. Having fake followers means you have no engagement. And Google actually looks at this. They look at your Facebook pages, they look at Instagram, they look at, you know, well used to be Google Plus, that really doesn’t exist anymore. Look at all these social signals. They can tell pretty quickly if you’ve got fake followers by the amount of engagement you’ve got. So that pretty much wraps up gray hat SEO. Should you do it? Should you not do it? I don’t do it. That’s up to you. It’s your business. It’s your money, but I would recommend that you don’t do it. See you next time.