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I don’t get Google slapped or induce rankings penalties anymore, and I’ve found that the way I think about link building has evolved significantly from my formative SEO years. With that said, watching what the industry has done in the post-Penguin era has been super interesting, and my thinking is evolving yet again.
There’s no real definitive line on what is grey hat, black hat, or white hat. However, most grey hat methods are things that can be done in either a white hat or black hat manner. For example, content behind tabs can also be hidden entirely and work or be crammed with keyword focused content. It depends on how exactly you do it. Reply
I think you missunderstood. I was referring to targeting keywords that are similar and should all point to one page. To use your example, having a separate page or “window tinting” and “window tint”. I was referring to a very specific example I’d seen where a national restaurant made a page for each and every zipcode and city, even if there wasn’t a restaurant in that location.
Fairly obviously, these are used in an attempt to beat the robots and allow a site to rank higher in the SERPs than it might otherwise. Whilst gray hat may be considered unethical by some, they remain widely used and of course it’s the ‘gray area’ as to the ‘morality’ of these methods that gives it its name.
We get a clearer look at what is considered white hat, grey hat and even black hat SEO tactics when we consult an infographic called Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO, presented by Cognitive SEO. If you have ever wondered what the differences are, and how you can prevent your site from being blacklisted from search engines, this infographic will tell you exactly what to do and what to stay away from. Staying within white hat SEO tactics is always the best. There is plenty of creativity to utilize when you stay within white hat SEO. Not only that, but you will also find it has way more impact and can sometimes even yield faster results.
Some SEO companies use grey hat tactics, but the best ones don’t. The short-term advantage, much like black hat (and many of these tactics overlap into black hat) don’t make for a long-term business. Whilst grey hat might gain you some traffic initially, it won’t last, especially if you get caught out.
@Alexey – Nice pick up on salesforce.com. I had never even seen that nifty (yeah, I just used the word, “nifty”) little JQuery slider they’re using to hide a crapload of content and keywords. My guess is their “Popular Search Phrases” would get a lesser brand banned/penalized.
Many website owners disagree about what is the best way to perfect their website’s SEO. It all comes down to a strategy decision that could affect your website’s longevity and reputation. Some people believe that in order to succeed, you need to apply grey or even black hat SEO tactics. However, white hat SEO optimizers have a different opinion. White hat SEO tactics are always going to give you the most long term effects, and plenty of studies have shown that.What is the real difference between white hat, grey hat and black hat SEO? It’s quite easy really. White hat is everything that is considered “legal” by search engines. That could be everything from keyword tags to content optimizing. When it comes to black hat and grey hat, it’s a little bit different. Black hat are SEO tactics that involve keyword stuffing, hidden texts and of course link farms and scraping. The latter is a form of content stealing which happens to pretty much every major website or blog.Endeavoring into black hat SEO is dangerous, and it will most likely end with your website being banned from search engines altogether. White hat SEO tactics have a better impact and tell search engines that you mean business in a professional way. What one should also remember is that paid links are also included into search engine’s no-go SEO tactics. If a search engine finds out you have purchased a link, your site could potentially be banned from indexing as well.We get a clearer look at what is considered white hat, grey hat and even black hat SEO tactics when we consult an infographic called Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO, presented by Cognitive SEO. If you have ever wondered what the differences are, and how you can prevent your site from being blacklisted from search engines, this infographic will tell you exactly what to do and what to stay away from. Staying within white hat SEO tactics is always the best. There is plenty of creativity to utilize when you stay within white hat SEO. Not only that, but you will also find it has way more impact and can sometimes even yield faster results.The Difference Between Black, Grey & White Hat SEO Tactics Share46 Share15 Tweet314 Pin319 +1307 WhatsApp Buffer EmailShares 1K
Most search engine optimization experts fall somewhere in the category of “gray hat” SEO. They follow the rules search engines provide as to best SEO practices, but they are continually pushing the envelope and exploring the “gray” areas of SEO. They bend the rules for the benefit of their clients without usually breaking them. Gray hat SEO’s are not black hat, nor are they lily white hat either.
I know all these questions have been addressed in this or that article, like in my discussion with Ken Krogue in his Forbes piece or in the latest letter by Senator John D. Rockefeller to Matt Cutts about SERPs and moving companies. Yet why is there so much confusion about search engine optimization? In an attempt to clear things up, let’s take a basic look at SEO ethics with some terms and definitions.
In hindsight, the most interesting part about that year was the fact that so much of my day was dedicated to very spammy link building. Looking back on it all, it’s pretty funny that my blog comment spamming eventually became the catalyst that launched me into my current role at PayPal, where I manage search engine optimization for a company that did 1.37 billion in Q3 2012.
In this blog, we will explain the best tip, trick, and technique which you can use to optimize your content. Although updating a few meta tags do not guarantee to be a top place in google search but at least it’s the first step you should take.
As you can see, I’ve taken the first paragraph and put it into a spinner and it really doesn’t do the job, does it? In fact, it’s laughable. It’s also something that Google algorithms would recognize and push down the rankings due to grammatical errors.
Nice work on the post Peter. In your point about not putting keyword pages in the nav, if, for example, you were working on a Phoenix lawyer website would you recommend pages such as “Glendale Lawyer” targeting each of the individual communities around the larger city but don’t put the links to these pages in the nav? Thanks. Reply
If you do suck at black hat SEO, or just do it to make money and suck at it, well you’re a very, very special type of SEO. You, my friend, are an asshat SEO. Asshat SEOs aren’t SEOs at all, but they make money using our techniques while making the rest of us look bad.
SEO is a process of obtaining traffic from “free,” “natural” “organic,” or “editorial” search results on search engines. SEO is often about making small modifications to the different parts of your website. These changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when we combined it with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your website’s user performance and experience in basic search results. Search engine optimization affects only basic search results, not on sponsored or paid results such as Google, yahoo or AdWords.
This is another one that could be considered a paid link depending on who you ask. Instead of offering a physical or monetary incentive to bloggers, offer to donate to a charity related to their interest. This works especially well on blogs “with a cause” for example, blogs that raise awareness or eco-friendly blogs.
If you try any of these, I should say that I’m not responsible for any results. I’m just sharing these tactics, so don’t shoot the messenger. You’ve been officially warned!
Now let’s be honest here: a true white hat SEO is as rare as snow in Vegas. Why? Because almost no SEO professionals want to wait for a natural link profile to build (and oddly enough, when I have seen these types of link profiles, they look almost fake).
In addition to that, there seems to be a direct correlation with the content that I spend the most time on, and the number of links it naturally attracts. Matt Cutts would say “well, duh!” to something like that, but I guess I just had to figure it out for myself. The content I’ve created on this site that has naturally garnered the most attention is stuff like my SEO Checklist, my walkthrough on How to Pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Test, and my post on how I generated more than $20,000 in 8 days after running a promotion with AppSumo.
Gray hat SEO is, as the name suggests, somewhere in the middle of black hat and white hat. This means that whilst the practices may be perceived by some as being OK, for the most part they still break search engine rules and may result in losing rankings, or worse.
Hi Brad, thanks for reading. I agree, I think it’s wise to avoid any technique that could be considered grey or black hat, just not worth it.
In essence, with modern content marketing and SEO, white hat wins out. The web is highly competitive, we all know that and so in order to ‘beat the system’, the best way is to work with it and invest in the future of your site.
The term began to be used in the late 1990s, derived from the concepts of “white hat” and “black hat” hackers. When a white hat hacker discovers a vulnerability, they will exploit it only with permission and not divulge its existence until it has been fixed, whereas the black hat will illegally exploit it and/or tell others how to do so. The grey hat will neither illegally exploit it, nor tell others how to do so.
Plus, how much time do your editors take to edit your content and make it perfect for the audience. I mean, one does not want to switch off while reading your post. Quite intriguing! You have definitely hacked the art of attraction through your writing. Kudos!
Once upon a time, tactics were defined by a handful of search engines. Now, SEO tactics are defined and controlled by the big daddy of search: Google. So let’s quickly define what is a hat and what a hat means.
There are two forms of black hat SEO. It can get very confusing because they are never really clearly separated by definition. Also, depending on which space or vertical you work in, both forms of black hat SEO can mean very, very different things.
Doorway pages can also be considered a form of cloaking and are large sets of pages which are each optimised for a keyword or phrase in order to direct the user to one site. Again, they are designed to manipulate bots and trick users into visiting a site they didn’t intend to. These can also be multiple pages on the same site that have keywords such as locations, so that the site can take advantage of as many keywords as possible.