Results with Grey Hat Marketing
In the world of Internet marketing, SEO, or search engine optimization, is widely used because customers are more likely to trust and click on the first link that pops up from a search. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing, use programs to crawl the Web to determine which pages are the most popular. You can use legal tactics called “grey hat marketing,” also called “gray hat marketing,” to improve your site’s popularity. However, according to Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc., these tactics “fall in the grey area between legitimate tactics and search engine spam.”
Grey hat marketing is a combination of commonly accepted SEO techniques, such as paying someone to write an article for your website, and banned practices known as “black hat marketing,” such as hiding keywords in a page by making them the same color as the background. One common grey hat marketing technique is to “linkbait.” Linkbaiting occurs when you write a tailor-made article in order for social bookmarking sites to link to your site. You can also pay popular social media sites to link to your site. As more sites link to your site, search engines raise your site’s ranking.
Other Grey Hat Techniques
Some grey hat techniques are almost as old as the Internet itself. For example, you might purchase customer email addresses from a third-party, such as a supermarket or department store, so that you can send unsolicited messages. Another technique is “greenwashing,” such as when your company purchases hybrid vehicles so that you can call your company a green, or environmentally friendly, business.
Using grey hat marketing techniques can cause damage to your company if your competitors or other consumers report your site to a search engine for the use of illegitimate practices. Selling or purchasing email addresses can hurt your brand image if consumers complain about unwanted spam or violations of their privacy.