You are probably aware of Search Engine Optimization or SEO by now and you have surely heard of White and Black Hat techniques. But, the world of search engines is quite wider, there is also Grey and Brown hat SEO. We will describe all those variations briefly in this post.

Small note before we begin: despite there are multiple methodologies at your disposal White Hat SEO should always be your ultimate choice despite all odds as the only process that delivers value and decent results. It is hard, but entirely worth the effort.

So, the hats!

We are not in the Wild West, nor are we wizards from Hogwarts. No SEO engineer is wearing nay hats literally, those are just common expressions used outside the industry to determine the differences of various approaches. Basically colors go from good to worse, thus determining how pure the practices you are using are. So let us begin the journey into SEO!

White Hat SEO

This is the best possible approach to SEO anybody ever invented. It’s 100% and both site visitors and search engines love and appreciate it. White hat SEO means you are strictly following all rules and regulations of Google (or nay other search engine of your choice).

Going for white hat practices does not mean you are some Goody Two-Shoes scared of even thinking about breaking any rules. It’s just basic common sense. If there is anything Google is great at (perhaps even better than delivering search results) it’s determining when people are trying to play dirty.

You won’t be banned with white techniques, you will get higher rankings that will not be decreased and you will generally be doing better than any competitor that has turned to the dark side. But the process is much slower and much harder. That’s why other hats exist.

Grey Hat SEO

Ok, this one means you have been breaking some rules, but no crimes committed. This is like speeding a bit over the limit. You will achieve faster results and with small odds of receiving a ticket for that. So you may consider several distribution methods to gain links but you will never ever be purchasing them from any link seller. You may be writing loads of content of decent quality that may not be entirely relevant, however you will never turn to a content spinner. This approach is not perfect, but may be applicable sometimes, when speed really matters.

The dark side of the force

And now we are at the point of no return: Black Hat SEO. If you are into this sort of things you know you will be caught. You are buying Facebook likes and links and using other clearly forbidden methods. Surely you will receive lightning fast results, but they will never last. If you are in this for a day, ok, do whatever it takes, because you will be banned tomorrow. Such techniques may never be applied to main sites or anything of value to your brand. Never!

And we are with our finalist – the Brown Hat

If there is anything worse than Black hat SEO its this! Brown stands for the color of, you know, human and animal waste. It is basically Black Hat SEO people suck at. If Black hat techniques may deliver some fast, though never lasting results, this is simply something that causes massive irritation.

One more note worth noticing: if anybody delivers any SEO services that may potentially be of risk to any website and consciously does not deliver the risks to his customer that’s not at all any kind of a SEO Hat that is unethical business, not much more and it happens in many industries. This should not be confused with Black Hat SEO.