Table of Contents

SEO and Types of SEO
Digital Marketing /

What Is SEO and Types Of SEO: An Overview

Table of Contents

White Hat SEOBlack Hat SEOGrey Hat SEONegative SEOOn-Page SEOOff-Page SEO or Off-Site SEOTechnical SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) has institutionalized the online marketing with core idea of optimizing your site for search engines. While the known history of SEO goes behind 20 years, today it mostly revolves around Google.

If you don’t know what is SEO, according to Moz, “SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”.

We have discussed SEO in detail in this beginner’s guide to SEO.

Here, multiple factors determine the SEO success. In this article, we have discussed one of these factors that determines success of your SEO efforts. Let’s discuss types of SEO you can leverage to get more traffic and sales on your site.

Types of SEO in Digital Marketing

There are four primary types of SEO. It includes:

  • White Hat
  • Black Hat
  • Grey Hat
  • Negative SEO

Before we discuss these types in detail, let’s overview quickly the history of hats in context to these types of SEO.

According to Wikipedia, there were lot of western films made in late 1920s and 1940s especially in the US that depicted use of hats. Here, hero use to wear white hats and villain wore black hats. It was an effort of symbolizing the contrast in good versus evil.

Here, it is important to understand that these SEO types are termed white hat (good) or black hat (bad) aligning the terms & guidelines of search engines such as Google.

These guidelines could be helpful to understand which SEO practices could help or hurt your rankings. Furthermore, there are multiple factors based on which you can determine and expect the results from these different SEO techniques.

The primary factors to determine your SEO success following different types include cost, time it takes to show results, value it brings, and what is the risk involved in it.

Now that there are no legal consequences to following one or another SEO type, you may notice these practices could help or hurt your marketing results. Now let’s discuss different types of SEO and what they have to offer you.

White Hat SEO

white hat seo
Source: SEJ


White hat SEO is simply Google-approved SEO strategies. It is long lasting and delivers tremendous results when done correctly. While it takes longer to see results while following White Hat SEO techniques, it usually lasts longer than Black Hat SEO techniques.

White Hat SEO techniques bring value to your SEO efforts and also affect your site performance positively. All major SEO experts follow these techniques to stay ahead of the competition. Few major White Hat SEO techniques include focusing on Mobile First indexing, focus on user experience, extensive keyword research, quality content plan, proper use of Schema, quality link building, and more.

Black Hat SEO

Source: SEJ

Black Hat SEO techniques are planned to game search engine algorithms. They aren’t designed to help users though. Here, these techniques don’t include practices in line with search engine guidelines. Black Hat SEO tactics may help you rank higher in short run, but they end up with penalties from search engines.

Under this technique certain shady techniques are followed by the marketer such as keyword stuffing, using private link networks, cloaking, paid links, spam comments, duplicate content, article spinning, doorway pages, invisible text, and more.

Grey Hat SEO

Source: SEJ

Grey Hat SEO techniques are SEO tactics that aren’t defined clearly in Google’s Guidelines. It falls in between white and black SEO techniques. Following these practices could be riskier than White Hat SEO, but it may not attract penalties from search engines.

Some major Grey Hat SEO techniques include SEO squatting, redesigning site every now and then, comment box to get user generated fresh content, fabricate news, charity links, use keyword association manipulation, and more.

Negative SEO

Source: SEL

In negative SEO techniques, marketers try to implement black or grey hat SEO techniques on someone else’s site. It is done to with the intent to cause harm to other’s sites. Here you cause harm to your competitor’s website with intention to get better rankings for your site.

Some negative SEO techniques include promoting non offending content or “Insulation”, Google Bowling, Tattling, false duplicate content, click fraud, denial of service attacks (DOS), black social bookmarking, and more.

We have found this amazing visual comparison of the different Types of SEO from “b-seenontop”:


On Page and Off-Page SEO

On-page and off-page SEO is referred to your optimization efforts and it could employ to any of the SEO types including White, Black, Grey, or Negative SEO.

On-Page SEO

Source: SEJ

On-Page SEO is directly related to the content on your site. Here, you plan and follow strategies to optimize an individual page on a website to rank high on SERPs. These factors help search engines to understand what your content is about and helps you build site authority. A successful on-page SEO campaign will include (not limited to) keyword research content creation, keyword optimization, and more.

Some major on-page SEO techniques include publishing high quality content, image optimization, internal & external links, URL optimization, headings & content formatting, and more.

Off-Page SEO or Off-Site SEO

Source: digitalmarketingagency

Off-Site SEO is optimization efforts to help improve influence and relationship your site has with other websites over the network. Here, you do extensive link building to improve reputation and authority of your site. It also sends signals to search engines that your site is reliable source of information thus there will be more chances to rank better on SERPs.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO
Source: reachfirst

Next important SEO optimization technique is technical SEO. Here, you need to plan & implement optimization strategies that will help boost your website’s readability by crawlers. It will also improve user experience significantly.

Here, you need to work on site’s code and foundation to make it easy for crawlers to read information while offering seamless user experience at the same time. The important technical SEO factors include indexing, crawling, security, site architecture, site-speed, structure data, mobile friendliness, and more.

So, this was a quick review of major types of SEO and how it impacts your traffic and marketing efforts. Do try these smart SEO techniques to increase traffic and build site authority. If you want to share more about these techniques, then feel free to share in the comments below.


  1. David Williams

    Hey! Hope you are fine. Nice blog about SEO and very helpful for my affordable SEO agency. Thanks for this.

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