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“make sure to release the pages out slowly (a few thousand pages a month) so no spam filters are triggered” I lol’ed hard at this… Realistically all bloggers should be considered greyhat then, if creating pages for each keyword. I know most pages target 10-20 longtails and actually contain useful content (most of the time), but still the same principle. In regards to G+ local, I’ve seen so many duplicate entries about 100 (all pointing at the same address). This was for a window tinting service. Reply
It was quite a wake up call, and for awhile it was pretty embarrassing to talk about as an SEO. It’s been almost four years since my first Google slap, and in the weeks, months and years following the first one, I would intermittently lose rankings on other sites that I was playing around with or running tests on. It mostly came down to being new to the field and using techniques that were in the realm of over-optimization. Looking back, and after talking to hundreds of SEOs over the course of the last few years, I’ve discovered that almost every Internet marketer has induced a rankings penalty at one point in their life. It used to just be part of the job. We would test the limits, and then pull back.
Now, am I advocating that everyone go out and start spamming low quality sites with their links? Of course not. And neither is Wil. In fact, I recently got the chance to hear Wil Reynolds speak at PubCon Las Vegas, and he gave a riveting talk about a project that he worked on at his company, Seer Interactive. It was under the umbrella of what he calls Real Company Sh*t, where he notes that we as an industry need to stop thinking like SEOs and start acting like real companies that provide real value. He showed the audience an example of what he was talking about, which was an awesome web app called “How do our favorite tech companies make money?“. It was created after intelligent keyword research identified significant demand in people wanting to know how popular tech companies generate revenue. He mentioned that this piece of content generated unprecedented engagement for his site. At the time of this writing, the page has received 9.8K Facebook Likes, 7.8k Tweets, 621 Google +1’s and 556 linking root domains with 4.5k backlinks from high authority places like Wired, TechCrunch, Life Hacker and The Next Web.
Over the past 20 years, Google has revolutionized how we source information, how we buy products, and how advertisers sell those products to us. And yet, one fact remains stubbornly true: the shop-front for brands on Google is still the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
A prolific technology writer, Kerry is an authority in her field and produces content for a variety of high profile sites in her niche. Also a published author, Kerry is co-founder of digital content agency markITwrite, adores the written word and all things tech and internet related. More articles by Kerry Butters
Whilst it’s better quality than the free spinner, it still has its problems and is something that I wouldn’t be happy appearing on my site. The paid version allows you to check that the content is unique via a Copyscape API, but that won’t overcome the grammatical errors that Google will pick up.
James WilsonFebruary 2nd, 2016trying to learn everything I can about seo, doing alot of work myself. My question is submission software is it white or black hat seo. Big companies have to use some kind of software for their customers, I know they are not doing it manually?
Remember, Google has a product, the information it serves and if that information is no good then Google has no value. Google wants better websites and gets them from SEO professionals.
Felix Abur Hi Mwema, the use of invisible text used to be a very popular SEO tactic back in the day. Until Google started penalizing it. And it used to work great too, especially when keyword stuffing was still the normReply
Now, since a site can even be removed from the index, if found using these tactics. Does this make these tactics bad? Does this make black hat SEO evil? Not at all, as we discussed it is merely a tactic.
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.
The cause-and-effect of this small test reaffirms why I don’t necessarily believe in “Negative SEO” (the act of pointing low quality links to competitor sites in order to trigger a ranking penalty). I think spammy links can still add value to your rankings, and are more likely to help your competitors rather than hurt them. There’s also the new Google Webmaster Disavow Tool, which you can use to negate the effects of any spammy links if they do actually hurt you.
However, many SEO experts use these techniques as a way to boost client rankings. If done properly, and responsibly, gray hat methods can manipulate search engine rules without actually breaking them.
Grey Hat SEO, on the other hand, is SEO practice that remains “ill-defined” and/or “ill-advised” by search engine published guidelines and which can be disagreeable. In essence, it’s Black masquerading as White. For example, click bait. Click bait refers to a practice where someone posts something like an eye catching link or piece of content that encourages a reader to click and read more.
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.
Kerry Butters (2 years ago) Reply 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.
When it comes to the crunch, whether gray hat methods are used is up to the individual. However, if they are going to be used it has to be hoped that the SEO practitioner is very skilled. Even then, there’s risk involved, so in order to be absolutely safe in the knowledge that a site won’t be penalized, it’s best to stick to white hat practices.
Sometimes, that means ignoring my shoes when they need to be tied. Other times, that means trying risky SEO tactics that just might pay off.
Hi Neil,I want to re-define my site for Health tips in hindi. I had already bought an expired domain, which is around 5 years old, and I wanna 301 redirect it to my new domain. So, will this SEO tactics help me to boost my website’s traffic too?
Anish I love the way you write your articles, especially this article explaining the nuances of SEO. I will implement some on my blog Quickprepper and see how this works out. Btw, I was inspired by you and created this blog, Wish me luck
Following the rise and eventual decline of the full disclosure vs. anti-sec “golden era”—and the subsequent growth of an “ethical hacking” philosophy—the term grey hat began to take on all sorts of diverse meanings. The prosecution in the U.S. of Dmitry Sklyarov for activities which were legal in his home country changed the attitudes of many security researchers. As the Internet became used for more critical functions, and concerns about terrorism grew, the term “white hat” started referring to corporate security experts who did not support full disclosure.
This is similar to above, but with one big difference. The content isn’t visible when you first land on the page. Instead, you can put several tabs or a “more info” button which will show the content when clicked. This way robots will see the content (which is great for rankings), but users have to click to see it; allowing you to optimize for conversion instead. While this does seem like black hat cloaking, since the buttons are functional and the content isn’t fully hidden, it doesn’t break guidelines. However, It’s still a very sneaky and frowned upon tactic.
In August 2013 Khalil Shreateh, an unemployed computer security researcher, hacked the Facebook page of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, in order to force action to correct a bug he discovered which allowed him to post to any user’s page without their consent. He had tried repeatedly to inform Facebook of this bug only to be told by Facebook that the issue was not a bug. After this incident, Facebook corrected this vulnerability which could have been a powerful weapon in the hands of professional spammers. Shreateh was not compensated by Facebook’s White Hat program because he violated their policies making this a grey hat incident.
Gray Hat SEO is all about risk versus reward. Some Gray Hat techniques may be frowned by the search engines, but are not necessarily against their rules, while other techniques may be more risky and should be used only after careful consideration.
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
Kerry Butters Editorial & SEO Director at MarkITWrite A prolific technology writer, Kerry is an authority in her field and produces content for a variety of high profile sites in her niche. Also a published author, Kerry is co-founder of digital content agency markITwrite, adores the written word and all things tech and internet related.
Since answers to queries come in various forms, e.g. pictures, videos, products, articles, etc., websites need to do everything possible to provide these different types of answers. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Properly optimized content can take a regular or plain website and make it into something that gets user and search engine attention.
Hi Mwema, the use of invisible text used to be a very popular SEO tactic back in the day. Until Google started penalizing it. And it used to work great too, especially when keyword stuffing was still the norm
Cloaking is a practice that shows the user a different result than it does the search engine. For Google, it’s considered to be a high-risk practice that is in violation of its rules. Personally, I would put cloaking in the black hat category and many would agree, but the jury’s still out in certain parts of the SEO community where it actually falls.
It is what its name suggests. It’s somewhere in the middle of white and black and if used by a professional, can still be effective. However, it’s safe to say that taking a grey hat approach is playing with fire if you’re not 100% sure of what you’re doing and since we’re predominantly content-led now, it’s not something I would recommend.