The Meanings of SEO Hat Colors

This is probably already sounding like the most cliché blog post that will ever be written for the SEO world; however, it will not be (fooled you!), and I promise that there is some degree of knowledge to be obtained by gleaning the following.  You will also be pleasantly surprised at how rich SEO hat culture is, as well as at how different and diverse the color meanings are.

I will have you know that this all started from an innocuous, professional discussion on Facebook that Kristina provoked:

Facebook Slice

White Hat SEO

The good guys in westerns often wear white hats to ensure that their goodness is known and well broadcasted to the townspeople; the good guys in SEO practice ‘white hat’ approaches that the search engines like-or at least do not mind (there is an enormous amount of discussion regarding this, mind you).  In short, SEOs who are associated with white hat techniques are usually working hand and hand with search engines and not in opposition to them (i.e. using strategies that will be met with punishment the moment the search engines discover them, which is bad news for those who need the search engines for their living).

And they do not drink vodka Ms. Kristina-at least, not on the job, maybe.

Black Hat SEO

In short, the bad guys of the SEO community.  Of course, as one would conclude from the previous comment on westerns, the villains are frequently seen wearing black hats.  Black hat SEOs spam and participate in other activities which, as again mentioned above, the search engines will terminate with extreme prejudice. 

Here is the ideal black hatter:

The Black Hatter

Be sure to keep an eye out for any and all entities that resemble this.  Furthermore, the following rule should be useful:  the bigger the beard, the blacker the hat; the blacker the hat, the higher the probability of finding a Stewart’s coffee nearby (ha!).

Gray Hat SEO?

Gray hat SEO represents, more or less, the dynamic nature of the industry and the debates surrounding it, not so much a particular set of practices.  When an SEO begins to wonder about a certain procedure’s ‘essence’-that is, whether it is white hat or black hat-s/he immediately is in the gray hat realm, where this kind of debate dwells.

That’s my take on gray hats, but there are still more to come.  As you saw from our profound Facebook discussion, there are a few more colors that must be mentioned.

Pink Hat SEO

The meaning of the color pink is multifarious, but is generally seen as being loving and sensitive.  Combine these with lattes, and you have an SEO who will be alert, possibly sophisticated, and very affectionate toward keyword research.  Pink hat SEOs are notorious for having thin skins, however, so be careful.

Green Hat SEO

Yes, the color green means nature, life, growth, health, and so forth, but I will stand by my assertion that green hat SEOs take offense to the presence of leprechauns for trying to outdo them.  Green hat SEOs might be environmentally conscious and considerate professionals, but they are also quite competitive, with leprechauns.

Blue Hat SEO

Blue hat SEOs really do eat smurfberries while smurfing the Internet, ’nuff said.  Be careful about recruiting them for your SEO needs:  they already have other obligations that do not include them.

Yellow Hat SEO

Given that the meaning of the color yellow is thought to be either happiness/joy or cowardice/deceit, it is best if you do not trust yellow hat SEOs at all; look, you already have enough to worry about, thus you do not need SEOs who have multiple personalities working on your campaign (the phone calls could get interesting, to be sure).

More SEO Color Meanings Are Welcome

Anyone else have any more SEO colors they would like to cover?  Or have further input concerning the ones already mentioned?  By all means go for it.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009 and is filed under Search Engine Optimization.

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