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Is black hat SEO still around?

November 9th, 2010 | | Basic SEO Tips

The hats of SEO are ways to categorize approved or unapproved ways to rank your websites higher on search
engines.
White = approved techniques to properly categorize and maximize your website
Gray = questionable techniques to maximize your website in different categories
Black = unapproved techniques to maximize in any way possible
Old = outdated techniques to do any of the above (I made that one up.)

Black hatters had a great run for years with linking farms, doorway pages, duplicate content, hidden text, and
domain name spoofing (no link provided, because the examples were on nasty places). I’ve tried to keep tabs on two personalities that I’ve known as black hat SEO practitioners. With Google’s ever increasing adjusting of algorithms and   shutting down these guys, I wondered – what are they up to? Did they find the light? Did they pack it in and realize gaming search engines for affiliate marketing was a dying trick?

So I clicked on one of their links from my junk mail. Just like reluctantly knocking on the door of an old acquaintance you didn’t like, I immediately regretted the opening of the door.

At first I was quite impressed. No pop-ups. But the video was long, unpolished, rambling, off-the-cuff, and meant to be intimate. The whole page was blank, save for the video. The domain was spoofed to be youtube.com and the source code contained copious amounts of hidden text.

With promises of fast cash and hidden secrets, I was able to sift through the language to realize that there were no secrets to pass along. The gist was to buy the package for $197 to start your own franchise of black-hattery. Of course, you have to always trace the money. If I pay you $197 for a product, I have to inventory that product sale. That means there’s an inventory. If there’s an inventory, the inventory has to move through sales.
Therefore, the business is to sell a product for $197.

This black hatter turned away from finding clients to rank high, probably because businesses were being put at risk, to getting people to pay for parts of information on how to be a black hatter. So black hat techniques were increasingly becoming more frustrating to pull off. It must be, otherwise why change? If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Well, Google broke it.

I noticed a mistake on the video and contacted him about the error. I got a quick email back saying “Thanks Eric!” and once I exited the website I got a fake notice of a virus attack. On a whim, I type his name and his cohort’s name into Google and found hundreds and hundreds of different websites promoting SEO success. In a previous meeting with a gray hat about duplicate content and he said “you can do it, it takes Google awhile to find it.” If Google takes time to penalize you for duplicate content, then that means you really do need to have hundreds and hundreds of websites, on different servers in order to stay ahead of the coming doom.

This simply astounds me. If they poured that amount of energy into actual white hat techniques, he wouldn’t have to run around, fool people and sell bogus anti-virus software.

Remember, there is a very quick way to make money online and it is the same way as it was in the past. Robbery.

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  • Chee

    There is a reason why people do black hat is becos it works and makes money…