Gray Hat SEO | You should use it or not?

As the name suggests, Grey hat SEO is a hybrid of black hat and white hat SEO. White hat SEO follows Google guidelines, while Black Hat SEO is an unethical practice to rank higher in search engines. Gray hat SEO falls between both.

Websites that rank higher get better clicks, and that’s why many websites with low traffic use gray hat SEO fill this gap. It helps to get more clicks, rank higher, and ultimately bring profit. Now, as a business owner, you may find Gray hat SEO to be a useful technique, but is it worth the risk?

In this blog, we will explore in detail Gray hat SEO And whether you should try or avoid it!

What is Gray Hat SEO?

Gray hat SEO combines SEO methods that align with Google Webmaster Guidelines (white hat SEO) and those that are against them (black hat methods).

For example, as a Gray hat SEO technique, we can say you create quality content for your website but buy backlinks for it. Creating high-quality SEO-optimized content is an example of white-hat SEO, while buying backlinks to improve ranking is an example of black-hat SEO.

Why is Grey Hat SEO Important?

Gray hat SEO is a phenomenon that should be recognized because it may help you rank better without facing penalties. Yet, one should also recognize the risks that this activity entails. Gray hat SEO techniques are not constant, and what is considered white hat today can be black hat tomorrow. A continuous knowledge update on the recent classifications is a must for taking actionable steps in your SEO strategy.

What are some Gray Hat SEO examples?

Here are a few examples of gray hat SEO techniques:

  • Buying Expired Domains: One of the quickest ways to increase your ranking is to buy domains with expiration dates and high authority and redirect them to your website.
  • Link Exchanges: Obtaining links (buying paid links) from other websites through link exchanging to have backlinks. Although those sites may not have direct relevance to your niche.
  • Spinning Articles: Using software to rephrase the existing texts and publish them on your website to target specific keywords.
  • Paid Reviews Providing money to the reviewers in exchange for positive comments on your website in order to create a good reputation and search results page ranking.

5 Grey Hat SEO Tactics to Watch Out For

Several SEO techniques fall under Gray Hat SEO. Well, they cannot directly violate search engine guidelines, but they tend to manipulate them somehow or be unethical. Some common ones are as follows:

#1. Creating Content That Doesn’t Offer Value

Common examples of low-quality content are spun content or keyword-stuffed content. They can be rich in keywords and even rank, but they provide no user value. These contents may boost search engine rankings, but they will not provide any value to the actual readers or searches. Instead, you must offer high-quality SEO, optimized, and user-centric content that solves the user’s problems and answers their interests. Though keywords are important, if you can incorporate them naturally, it is well and good, or else you should focus on quality rather than manipulation.

Instead of only targeting keywords, make sure that your content is:

  • Addresses the user’s intent and gives the necessary information.
  • Uses keywords naturally and in a way that makes sense in the context.
  • Must be original and focused on user problems and interest.
  • Adheres to Google’s guidelines on content and follows EEAT principles.
  • Attracts readers and makes them interested in your site by further browsing.

#2. Using Expired Domains

Many web practitioners buy high-authority backlinks and redirect them to their websites. This is achieved by taking advantage of the existing backlink profile of the domain you’re building on, thus giving your site a quick edge in search rankings. However, this is not a good long-term strategy and can be viewed as manipulative by the search engines.

If you consider using expired domains, keep in mind:

  • The importance of the specific industry to your niche.
  • The backlink profile quality and diversity are two crucial factors.
  • The possible danger of being connected to a history of a spam domain is also a concern.

#3. Buying Links

The most common gray hat SEO practice directly violates search engine guidelines. Instead of earning or gaining high-quality backlinks, many practitioners buy them. This may be a quick, short-term solution to ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, in the long run, this can result in numerous penalties for the website and even legal action, thus damaging your online reputation. Most purchased links are of low quality and come from spammy or expired sites.

To build a strong and genuine backlink profile, focus on:

  • Creating valuable, linkable content.
  • Seek out blogs and sites that share your niche to create links.
  • Participating in social campaigning and collaborating with other website owners.
  • Providing testimonials is another best way to get quality backlinks.
  • Taking part in guest posting and collaborative undertakings.

#4. Using PBN

A private blog network (likewise referred to as PBN) was once a link-building strategy. A PBN is a unique group of websites where you move from one site to another to create a backlink to boost the individual website’s ranking on Google. The main purpose of PBN for grey hat SEO is to link to it to transfer the most equity in a link to a central domain, for example, when you want to increase your authority.

Two of the major methods to use PBN for backlinks and SEO are:

You may find a PBN, where you must pay for the links directed to your website. Statistically, the majority of them are not like what you would imagine – because most of them are just spamming irrelevant links to your website and which worsens your SEO.

Another option that you have is a public blog network. To give you an idea, it is the safest and most efficient of all the procedures, but it may also take minutes or hours for the healing process to complete. If you are on your way to constructing an authoritative website after accessing a good PBN, then you can try this technique out.

#5. Paying for Reviews

Asking for money in exchange for positive reviews or giving out incentives to users for leaving positive feedback is a gray hat method that will make you artificially boost your online reputation. Although having a robust review profile is crucial, the consequences of engaging in such practices may result in a loss of trust and credibility in case unethical conduct is discovered.

To build a genuine and trustworthy review profile:

  • Ask the satisfied customers to leave authentic feedback.
  • Respond to negative reviews professionally and take steps to resolve any problems the customers might be experiencing.
  • Give priority to quality products or services; do not aim at making people write good reviews, let them do it voluntarily.

Should You Use Gray Hat SEO or Not?

While gray hat SEO techniques could be very alluring for speedy wins, it is normally recommended to stick with white hat SEO approaches. Creating a firm base through quality content, real link building, and user experience may take more time and effort, but it’s a more lasting and less risky strategy in the long run.

Gray hat SEO practices may result in a penalty or even the removal of your website from search engines. Before taking this approach, it is important to assess the immediate benefits against the long-term ramifications.


Gray hat SEO may seem easy to improve a website’s search engine ranking; however, risks are involved. We at AlgoSaga are convinced that the best way to build a solid foundation is through white hat SEO techniques that focus on creating quality content, user experience, and real link-building. Hence, use the SEO services from AlgoSaga abiding Google’s ranking algorithm over gray hat SEO.

Although gray hat techniques may bring prompt outcomes, they may also harm your website’s trustworthiness and future accomplishments. By continuously learning about the best SEO practices and emphasizing long-term strategies, you can reach your goals and further improve your online visibility.

About Sujal Negi

A Content Writer with extensive digital marketing experience, Sujal Negi crafts impactful content that resonates. With years in the field, they blend creative finesse with strategic insight for compelling online engagement.

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