There are different methods for website SEO; A group of solutions are called white hat SEO techniques and another group is called black hat SEO. White and black SEO are actually two ends of the spectrum; But among these, there is also a gray color that is more moderate than the other two categories, and that category is gray hat SEO techniques. Do you think using gray techniques can be harmless? Will it benefit the site at all? Stay with us to find the answers to these questions.

What is gray hat SEO?

As the name suggests, gray hat SEO is somewhere between black hat SEO and white hat SEO. In fact, in gray hat SEO techniques, the SEO specialist combines a part of white hat SEO methods with a part of black hat SEO techniques, and what is finally achieved is a series of techniques that comply with the rules of search engines and of course are user-friendly.

Who is gray hat SEO?

A gray hat SEO is an SEO specialist who neither follows black hat SEO techniques nor works completely in the field of white hat SEO; This person is actually using methods that are generally not illegal to increase the site’s rank. Search engines follow a series of criteria to rank sites, and in contrast, they have considered a series of red lines for sites, the violation of which will lead to site fines; For example, the following are part of Google’s red line:

1-Using content copied from other sites

2-Posting poor quality content on the site

3-More tags than content

4-Unnecessary use of keywords on the page; in a way that damages the meaning of the text

5-Choosing a keyword unrelated to the content of the page

6-Choosing an anchor text unrelated to the content of the link’s target page

7-and many other things

Using these methods, black hat SEOs are able to bring a website to the first page of Google results in a very short period of time. But the important point is that these results are temporary and Google will notice their fraud in a short period of time. This is where the site faces heavy penalties, which can be a sudden and severe drop in the site’s ranking or even the complete removal of the site from the search results pages. On the other hand, gray hat SEOs follow the rules of search engines, and therefore their actions will not result in a penalty and will only accelerate the process of improving the site’s ranking. The only thing that should be mentioned here is that sometimes using gray hat techniques does not lead to an increase in the number of real visitors of the site.

Why is gray hat SEO important?

The thing is, if one wants to use only white hat SEO techniques, one has to compete with similar sites for years to gradually rise on the search results page. Why? Because it will take years to get as many natural backlinks as their competitors. In fact, this work does not seem wise at all from the economic point of view and is not economical. For this reason, SEO specialists help the site a little to get backlinks. Any action taken to attract backlinks will remove you from the followers of white hat SEO. Most people who claim to only be subject to white hat SEO techniques are actually using gray hat SEO techniques.

What are gray hat SEO techniques?

A question will be raised here, and that is, where is the border between gray hat SEO and black hat SEO? In fact, which techniques are considered part of black hat SEO and which techniques can be considered in the gray hat SEO and less dangerous SEO? The following are gray hat SEO methods; This means that you have not directly violated Google’s rules by using them, and as a result, you will not expose your site to the risk of heavy fines from Google. In return, you can help improve your site’s ranking:

1- Ambush to buy old domains

In this technique, we buy an expired domain that matches the keywords we want. Then we add quality pages in that domain and link to our site. In this method, sometimes they find the previous content of that domain and copy it to the new domain. Or they add content close to the previous content. This method is also known as creating valid links.

2- Getting backlinks from social networks

Google is not sensitive to backlinks taken from social networks and none of Google’s algorithms will penalize you for getting backlinks from social networks. In this method, it is enough to share a piece of text and a photo related to it on social networks. Then, in the same text, invite the user to read more on the main site by placing a link. Of course, this method is also included in the white hat SEO techniques, provided that you have created only one page in each social network. But in gray hat SEO, several social pages are created in each social network and pretend that many pages have linked to the destination site.

3- Changing the appearance of the website

Sometimes gray hat SEOs pretend that the site is updated once in a while by changing the codes and text of the website pages. This method is mostly used for sites that do not have the possibility to generate content. Single page sites and single product factories are of this category.

4- Adding the possibility of commenting to all audiences

All SEOs are familiar with sites that allow them to post comments. These sites have one goal and that is to always have updated content. More than 9 million sites around the world allow you to post spam comments on their site. Gray hat SEOs avoid being penalized by Google and other search engines by adding the rel=nofollow attribute to the comment links. This method is very useful for blogs in the field of teaching website design, marketing, programming, etc., because many of the comments received are consistent with the type of blog content.

5- Backlinking

One of the black hat SEO techniques is creating backlinks from forums and comments. In gray hat SEO, you look for topics similar to your site’s topic in forums like, and you answer the existing questions, in which there is also a backlink to your site.

6- Using the share button

You will also see this technique in white hat SEO. Placing a button to share site content on social networks can easily increase the amount of your backlinks on social networks. Adding + buttons for Google and Like for Facebook and Twitter in posts is also one of the gray hat SEO techniques that is shared with white hat SEO techniques.

7- Extortion from rival sites

In this gray hat method, you create pages for your competitors and promote them. And after these pages are ranked, you send a message to the competing companies that they can pay an amount for these pages to be linked to their sites. This technique is sometimes classified as a black hat technique. One way to abuse this method is that you can link to all your competitors on a separate domain and then report to Google that your competitors’ sites have bought links.

8- Buy links in online magazines

Online magazines allow users to avoid seeing advertising links by paying a fee. But still, the number of users who view the advertisements of these sites is high. Buying backlinks is one of the black hat techniques. Instead of paying to buy countless backlinks, gray hat SEOs only provide a few backlinks from highly reputable sites.

9- Production of news

News sites rarely cite an actual source. Therefore, you can easily publish them on your site with a little change of news.

10- Links of charities

If you want to have quality free links. One of the gray hat SEO techniques to get such links is to place a payment button to a charity organization on their site. Then they ask the charity organization to give them a link on their site for confirmation.

With this method, they have a link that Google does not give negative points to.

11- Using some black hat techniques

8 black hat SEO techniques can be used carefully for gray hat SEO. Caution means minimal use of these techniques. In gray hat SEO, these techniques can also be implemented for competitors to increase the negative score of competitors.

Promote unauthorized content. (Introducing sites that copy singers’ songs and the like.)

Google Bowling: In this method, you implement black hat techniques for your competitors and then report their site to Google. This way they will give you their rating.

Infecting the site: Sites that have low security will suffer a drop in rank by exposing them to hacking.

Irrelevant words in the comments of competitors’ sites

Linking to competitors’ sites in forums with unwanted words.

Create copy content

Click fakes

You create a fake link to a page that does not exist on the competitors’ site. For example, you put a link with the title of Golzar remarriage on a social page with a lot of audience, which is linked to a page of a competitor’s site that does not exist. In this way, the number of 404 codes of competing sites increases greatly.

Indexing competitors’ sites with unwanted phrases in social networks

For example, suppose a start-up website design company wants to surpass the rank of an established company, and for this purpose, it creates an advertisement in social networks and writes its advertising word like this: leave black hat SEO to us professionally. . and links to the competitor’s site. In this way, it shows this ad to customers during marketing and says that a certain company uses black hat techniques to SEO the site.

12 – manipulation of keywords

In this method, you manipulate keywords to trick search engines into thinking that the two words are related. Example: replaces car battery sales in a certain city with the keyword car sales in that city by a certain company. And they link to this page with the links that have the word battery sales and company name in them. This method is very time consuming. But the result is that Google suggests the name of the company to the searchers of services related to that company. That is, when you search on Google to sell car batteries. Google suggests you to see the car battery sales of that particular company.

13- The main service description is used to hide irrelevant content

In this technique, they want to put a trend word on a page. But in order not to be penalized, they add an introduction of the main service of their site. And then they put the content related to the trend word. In this way, both the search engine and the user are deceived and there is no penalty. Example: You are advertising for the keyword of Shahrzad serial download. But on your page, you first dedicate a section to the general description of the site. Then you put the serial download link in a separate section. In this way, both the search engine and the user will not have a problem with your work.

14- Abuse of site registration in webmaster

Register a domain in Webmaster or pay a domain to load the HTML file of your site introduction on its host and then create a few pages for that domain that are redirected to your site. This is still not considered a black hat technique. But it should be expected that Google will soon penalize this method as well.

15- Professional copied content

In this method, the copied content is edited so that its vocabulary is different from the original content but it conveys the same concepts. If all the words change. Search engines will not be able to recognize that the content is a copy. In order for this method to be completely safe, gray hat SEOs steal content from several sites and change the text of the content instead of using one site. Adding notes to a copied article can make users and search engines look at your article as a valuable independent article.

16- Write a negative note

People love to read dissenting opinions. Yellow content and negative reviews are welcomed by people much more than useful and positive content. Example: on a movie website, instead of introducing Nyusha Dighmi’s professional history, they write about rumors about her husband’s wealth or rumors about her becoming a mother. Research has shown that these materials are read more. More shared. are discussed more.

17- Link chain

In this method, several sites are linked to each other like a chain and direct the user to refer to other sites. In order not to be fined in this method, each site should have only one site in its link circle.

18- Paying for advertising

Writers receive fees for writing promotional material for your site and content. Invite top bloggers to write an ad for you for a fee.

19- Placing free goods

Many sites offer services for free. One of the ways to increase the feedback of these sites is to put articles and services for free. This method can also be used in white hat SEO; It targets real users and is considered a legitimate marketing technique.

20- Moving the content

Maybe you have not heard of this technique. But this technique is very effective. We all know that Google considers the first internal link to a page in internal pages. And if you link on an internal page, for example, the main page of the site with the keyword HOME in the menu bar. Google will no longer pay attention to the other links you have created in your content for the homepage. Therefore, it is possible to help the ranking of a page by moving the codes of a site. This is also true for the sidebar. It means that most of the site designers don’t pay attention to the issue of placing the content codes first and then the site load codes. While this is very important.

21- Adding the possibility of commenting to all audiences

All SEOs are familiar with sites that allow them to post comments. These sites have one goal and that is to always update their content. More than 9 million sites around the world allow you to post spam comments on their site. Gray hat SEOs avoid being penalized by Google and other search engines by adding the rel=nofollow attribute to the comment links. This method is very useful for blogs in the field of website design, marketing, programming, etc., because in this case, the received comments will match the type of blog content.

22- Publication of advertisement report

One of the most important and common gray hat SEO methods is writing an ad report or news report. This technique is mostly implemented with the aim of getting backlinks from reputable sites; However, in the meantime, your services will also be introduced to customers.


As mentioned, you can’t beat your competition without gray hat SEO techniques. So, every SEO and every site manager should become a gray hat SEO follower in order to achieve results. In fact, without any doubt, this SEO technique is considered the best type of SEO site.

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