Gray hat SEO refers to a set of optimization practices that fall in between “white hat” (ethical and approved by search engines) and “black hat” (unethical and not approved by search engines) SEO. Gray hat SEO techniques are not strictly against search engine guidelines, but they can be considered in a gray area, where they may push the limits of what is acceptable.
Gray hat SEO techniques include:
- Buying and selling links, which is generally considered to be a violation of search engine guidelines but is not always explicitly prohibited
- Creating doorway pages, which are optimized for specific keywords but do not provide much value to the user
- Using hidden text or links on a website
- Creating multiple domains or subdomains with similar content to a main website
- Using automated tools to generate backlinks.
While gray hat SEO techniques can provide short-term benefits, they may put a website at risk of search engine penalties or de-indexing. It’s always advisable to stick to white hat SEO techniques for long-term sustainable growth and to avoid the risk of penalties.