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what to do with black hat seo

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  • #740762

    That page doesn’t talk about SEO, spam or marketing techniques at all.

    There it’s talking about “blackhat” in the hacking/cracking term a la security exploits, patch software , cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, code injection and SQL injection bugs and the like.

    None of it seems relevant to SEO / affiliate marketting at all – and seems to be a completely different issue to the one being discussed.

    So again I ask … what takes someone into the realm of SEO Blackhat ?


    @TheGooner 129051 wrote:

    That page doesn’t talk about SEO, spam or marketing techniques at all.

    There it’s talking about “blackhat” in the hacking/cracking term a la security exploits, patch software , cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, code injection and SQL injection bugs and the like.

    None of it seems relevant to SEO / affiliate marketting at all – and seems to be a completely different issue to the one being discussed.

    So again I ask … what takes someone into the realm of SEO Blackhat ?

    With hacking you can compromise a server and drop links, as you do with software (toolbars), cross site scripting (XSS) means you can add links to any site that uses get methods in forms, code and SQL injection allow you to add content to Content Management Systems.

    These are therefore all very relevant to SEO and Affiliate Marketing.


    So – modifying other peoples sites is considered blackhat ..

    Fair enough – an obvious candidate -and directly related to the “standard” mainstream definitions of blackhat activity. If you are doing this then there is little doubt about the classification of activity.

    However, that does not seem to relate to all the discussion so far in this thread – and many others – where people are talking about SEO techniques and the blurring between normal SEO and blackhat ?

    Is this the REALLY only thing considered “blackhat” when people are complaining about SERPS being dominated by “blackhatters” ?

    There is a lot of yap about it – and I got the impression that people were talking about some much more basic SEO stuff within the affiliates own site.

    But frankly I still don’t know exactly what we are talking about …


    In a nutshell, providing content to a search engine that differs from what the user views is considered blackhat…cloaking, doorway pages, javascript redirects,


    A nice white hat with a black stripe is always nice.

    But frankly I still don’t know exactly what we are talking about …

    Thats the problem here. Mak and later BB1 alluded to Blackhat SEO by a member or members of the community. But there was no explanation of what Blackhat methods were being used or on what sites. When we ask for an example Mak just clams up and doesnt add any additional info and BB1 says he cant talk. So we get nowhere.

    For what its worth, I do know that we have three or four Blackhat members here who are NOT active posters, but do cruise through fairly often. As far as I know the active members I see are Grey hats at worst and I would say that makes up about 95% of all of us.


    In my book it’s quite straight forward: Blackhat SEO works at the expense of unsuspecting fellow webmasters.

    I.e. Hacking for SEO purposes, adware/malware, bot networks, content theft (scraping, SERP scraping), cloaking (usually coupled with scraping).


    I think Blackhat is abusing websites, web services and in general cloaking content. That’s what I would describe it as. When I was a software engineering (I used to be a senior web/application developer) I was never taught about these things. I was taught a lot about Unix and Operating Systems so I know how to remotely write to other servers and create eggdrops, and, to be honest, injecting SQL and code, XSS, abusing/taking over other mail sending systems etc.

    It’s not rocket science. As for cloaking of content, that’s not hard. Here’s some pseudo code:

    if (referrer=searchEngine){

    It really is as easy as that… Blackhat is no mystery, there’s not a lot of secret stuff, it’s all about finding niches and opportunities. Don’t do it, Google will catch you. You know their motto : “Don’t be evil” (moderately ironic)


    I think Gooner is thinking of Spamdexing. I put a page together about this, it’s outdated now but still has the basics:

    You will find a series of more specific articles if you scroll down on this page:

    Blackhat is a huge area, and the line between blackhat and white hat is somewhat blurred.

    At its very worst it includes hacking into other people’s sites and adding/changing stuff that will boost the blackhatters profits one way or another.

    It also includes methods to drop a competing site from the serps.

    The grey area is attempting to manipulate the search engine’s view of one’s own site.

    Theoretically, everything not in the google guidelines is black hat.

    That includes some things that many people do:

    Quality guidelines – specific guidelines

    Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
    Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
    Don’t send automated queries to Google.
    Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
    Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
    Don’t create pages that install viruses, trojans, or other badware.
    Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
    If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

    The thing webmasters most commonly complain about is spamdexing. It involves using software to create (literally) tens of thousands of sites. These sites often capitalize on the work of others, scraping, URL hijacking and all sorts of tricks. It’s a vast category on it’s own.

    I draw distinct lines in the way I look at it.

    If it is something you do to your own sites without using the work of others in any way, in my own view (you can argue the point til doomsday but this is where I draw the line) it’s not blackhat. It’s trying to manipulate the engine’s view of your own site with methods that do not capitalize on the work of others. This is usually called grey.

    As soon as it involves using the work of others without permission, in any way, shape or form, I call it Black Hat.

    A site that completely conforms to google’s guidelines at all times is completely white hat.

    One needs to agree at least on some definition, otherwise any discussion of the matter is impossible.

    Blackhatters tend to like to blur the line to justify their own actions by saying that we all do the same. We definitely do NOT all do the same.


    I appreciate you taking the time with that response Dominique – it helps a lot to crystalise what we are discussing.


    Hi all,

    perhaps my source considers grey areas to be black hat. I probably shouldn’t have said what i said .. as I cannot elaborate.

    I apologize for that. But I will say that I am savvy enough to know or recognize that if one person was mentioned that it’s likely they have stepped over any line that would be considered grey.

    as Prof mentioned ……95% fall into the catgory of white or grey .. which stands pretty much in standard of the fact that only one person was pointed out to me.

    I have no knowledge of what is and what isn’t to any degree other than to respect those sources that i respect.

    again I apologize for starting something i knew i couldn’t elaborate about.



    @allfreechips 129071 wrote:

    A nice white hat with a black stripe is always nice.

    I’ll take one plz :P

    According to this thread, I definately cross a line .. or 3 :P or.. 4 .. hehe..

    My own opinion, if you don’t lie, or hijack, or harm others, you’re probably doin’ ok ;) I’m pretty layed back though.


    I agree with Dominique’s definition here – if you use anyone else’s work for whatever reason then it’s black hat.

    At the end of the day the white or grey hat definitions is a moot point. Anyone that wants to make money or monetise a website is aware of search engine rankings and what to do to maximise positions for their chosen keywords. So in essence we all try to manipulate the search engines to believe our websites are worthy of a good placement. We might do link exchanges, directory submissions, paid link placements, social bookmarking etc etc. I’ve also seen one particular gambling group that has spawned many “affiliate” sites recently all with thousands of links on dodgy Eastern European sites (low quality and in a short space of time) and low quality content. It’s certainly spammy, but that’s not black hat.

    However once you start doing that at the expense of other websites (ie hacking, link dumping, cloaking etc etc) then it’s another ball game altogether.


    I have read parts of this post over many days and can’t remember all of it (bad memory) :) Here are my thoughts on the matter:

    1. Black Hat SEO – Unethical Practices

    Using the work of others to gain a foothold in the search engines including:

    a. Stealing of Content – I HATE THIS WITH A PASSION
    b. Google Bowling or using any other method to destroy another person’s hard work
    c. Spamming forums, guest books, tagging, trackback, or any other form of link dropping in order to gain in the search engines
    d. Spamming email accounts using harvested emails
    e. Using automated software to link, spam, harvest, steal.
    f. Scraping Search Engine SERPS and auto-creating sites. (Still Stealing)
    g. Using RSS Feeds without the embedded links or giving the credit to the originating site
    h. Using MySpace, Friendster, or any other social arena by auto-creating friendlists (spamming) and then spamming those ‘friends’

    2. Grey Hat SEO – Manipulative of SE’s, but not unethical

    a. Blog and Ping – Pinging Blogs to let the search engines know that a page has been updated (This can and has been abused)
    b. Link Exchange – This is not seen as acceptable to Google and other SE’s, but we all do it.
    c. Cloaking of content to improve keywords while showing the user a more salesy page (done by many large companies to improve the SERPS for graphical pages)
    d. Submittal (auto or manual) to Digg, Twit This, FeedBurner, Rojo, etc (done on my blogs and forums, also done here at CAP and many other places)
    e. Using Social Networks to ‘Add A Link’ to your website. This is mainly social bookmarking (can be abused)

    Sorry for the long post, but I hadn’t weighed in on this yet :) Had drive issues and have been working feverishly to gain access to my websites, affiliate accounts, and financials.

    Hope that is a good list… I’m sure some will agree and many will disagree – but that is why there is so much controversy!


    Black hat SEO is easily defined. It’s anything that involves deception in an attempt to rank well in the search engines.

    Google has never said not to exchange links. Google has said that excessive link exchanging is bad, many times. If you link to someone else’s site because it’s a good site, and you want to your users to know about it, and that other site also links to you for the same reason, no problem.

    Excessive and deceptive link exchanging is the kind of thing you see when people build massive numbers of link pages that aren’t clearly marked or easily found. Keeping those pages more or less hidden from users is a good sign that you’re trying to be deceptive.

    The difference is intent, and honestly, it’s pretty easily detected. Good quality sites should never be afraid of exchanging links with other good quality sites, because that’s a natural happening on the web. Good sites link back and forth to each other.

    Using someone else’s work isn’t deceptive in every situation either. There is such a thing called “fair use”. I can quote a “reasonable” amount of text from an editorial written on another site if I’m refuting what they’re saying in my own editorial on that subject for example.

    Deceptively using someone else’s content would be taking an article from someone else’s site and using it in its entirety, without permission, and the deceptive part is that the scraper is trying to pass himself off as the original author of the piece.

    My two cents, anyway.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 42 total)