White Hat VS Black Hat: What Color is Your SEO?

Jun 20th

Gray Hat News - Monty Pythonish SEO blog.

Black Hat vs. White Hat Search Spam Debate - Rand debates white hat vs black hat with a successful search spammer. To me the most interesting parts of the interview are that the spammer says what he does, and he also shows the visitor log of a recently launched spam site which made a couple thousand dollars in it's first few weeks.

I do not agree with the example of a New York legal healthcare business as an example of the type of site that would be worth doing aggressive spam for. Heavy spam sites are usually affiliate marketing or generic travel type sites. They also did not mention that if your site has a strong enough brand you can get away with just about anything.

With all the talk of [insert color here] hat seo there is starting to be some decent search volume and type in traffic for the related terms. Black hat is beating white hat by a large margin.

Almost tempting to redesign black hat seo, linking through affiliate links to many decent black hat tools ;)

I think a good name idea for a small SEO company might be something like Orange Hat SEO. Some tagline ideas:

  • While others debate SEO... we are getting your site ranked. (and as you built a brand you could just shorten it to "Busy getting your site ranked", which of course implies that other people don't do that)

  • We're different. We actually rank your site.
  • No hype. Just results.
  • And in the page copy I would also use "If people are SEO experts then why are they wasting so much time debating ethics?"

If your inbound links are completely unrelated, but who links to you is completely outside of your control because you made a contest where people are paid to try to [insert random idea which includes linking to your site] is that a legit SEO technique?

If so, why aren't more companies doing it?

Published: June 20, 2005

Comments

January 9, 2007 - 12:21pm

Rand, if you look how "viagra" like drugs usually sold online, you will agree with the author of the post.

June 21, 2005 - 1:56am

Aaron,

"I do not agree with the example of a New York legal healthcare business as an example of the type of site that would be worth doing aggressive spam for"

I think you misread. I'm advocating that this person should use pure "white hat" techniques to build up a business over many years, rather than using spam to generate a side income using churn and burn with many related domains - legal, healthcare(pills), etc.

June 23, 2005 - 11:58am

Hi Rand

sorry for the delay in replying. I understand what you were trying to say, my point was that that site was way off base of the type of topic or business the average uber shaddy site is trying to promote.

April 23, 2008 - 3:40pm

I'm doing some research on black hat vs white hat and have been asked to find out which technique wired.com employs. I'm completely new to SEO so any pointers will be greatly received.

January 25, 2012 - 11:20pm

I noticed that the white hat/black hat article linked to here now redirects to the recent SEOmoz post about the debate over outing black hats. Why do you think the SEOmoz guys did that?

January 27, 2012 - 7:09pm

...perhaps he felt the more recent conversation was more relevant & more nuanced? SEO has changed quite a bit over the years & we keep learning more every day as it changes.

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