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
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.
Content, content. It’s the kingpin of the internet and all SEO efforts. We mentioned text spinners before and whilst a small proportion of these can be effective, it’s still a very dodgy idea to use them. To illustrate, I’m going to take some of the text from this article and put it into a free, online text spinner to show you the results.
As you can see from the Matt Cutt’s video, cloaking is not something that he or Googlebots approve of. Cloaking can be achieved by altering meta information, so that it doesn’t reflect the content and tampering with the IP address of a site.
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.
Gray hat tactics may get you in trouble, but then again, they might not. And sometimes, that’s a risk that’s worthwhile to take.
This goes hand in hand with the method above. You should uniquely write the content for every page even if it’s several thousands of pages. However, well done merge text and spun content do still work. Yes, even after panda. The thing you need to keep in mind is the more pages your using this type of content on, the bigger risk you’re taking. A bot spitting out a few hundred pages of content has a low risk of duplication. However, when you make that several thousand, the chances increase dramatically.
If you use any of these tactics, use them strategically. Remember, they’re just means to an end. The ultimate goal is to improve your ranking and drive more traffic.
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.
(Even though we’re specifically talking about articles here, you can apply this idea to any page on your website — homepage, about page, contact page, etc. The ranking benefits will be the same.)
Apparently, if you didn’t done something horrible before the update then there would be nothing to worry about. If you have noticed some disturbances in your current ranking keywords do not be one sided and put all the blame to the hummingbird update. There may be minor and major updates aside from Hummingbird which started several months ago that’s now taking its toll. The Hummingbird update, like any other Google update’s purpose, was to give searchers the best results in their questions. Since it’s new for SEO’s, it could be like the ‘sword of Damocles’. While everyone is trying hard to figure out what will the Hummingbird do, the concept of quality content has never been ridden out by specialists. Eventhough SEO’s are submitted to change, several practitioners remain doing what they have been doing while they wait for more physical 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One word of advice: don’t. If you get found out, you will get a penalty, it’s as simple as that and all of the investment you have put into your site will be worth zero. However, you can list your site on relevant industry directories as this is approved of.
Some grey hat techniques are almost as old as the Internet itself. For example, you might purchase customer email addresses from a third-party, such as a supermarket or department store, so that you can send unsolicited messages. Another technique is “greenwashing,” such as when your company purchases hybrid vehicles so that you can call your company a green, or environmentally friendly, business.
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
Bottom of the page humor A man walks into a bar and notices a glass jar filled to the brim with $20 bills. He asks the bartender what the jar is for and he replies “It’s a challenge – it’s twenty bucks to try, and whoever can complete the challenge gets the money in the jar. No one has successfully completed it yet.” “What is the challenge?” the man asks. “First, you have to drink a bottle of fire vodka, and do so without crying. Then, you have to take an infected tooth from a vicious attack dog, and lastly, you have to give the 95 year old ex-nun who lives upstairs the time of her life in bed.” The man thinks about it. After a few drinks he decides to do it. With tears running down his face, he manages to drink the fire vodka. Next, he goes out into the back where the vicious attack dog lives. Everyone in the bar hears growling, moaning, and the dog yelping and simpering. After half an hour, the man stumbles back in, shirt torn and bloody, and slurs “Whereis the95 year old-nun with the sore toooth?” Next One
In the last post, we took an in-depth look at Google’s Panda and Penguin updates and how they have impacted on search rankings for businesses. Whilst we established that using black hat SEO techniques is likely to result in a site becoming penalized, we didn’t look at what’s known as gray hat SEO.
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.
White-hat SEO thrives in creative, social content. White-hat tactics usually comprise content marketing, genuine connections with other sites owners, and a proactive and engaging relationship with your audience/customer base through social media. White-hat SEO also involves technical aspects of your website such as accurate Meta data and tags. White-hat SEO requires time and patience, but it is certainly the safest and most effective strategy.
In this industry, there’s a spectrum. We call good SEO “white hat” and bad SEO “black hat”. White hat SEO would be stuff like making sure your pages are indexing, writing great content and titling your blog posts with keyword query volume factored in. Black hat SEO would be stuff like hacking sites to place links, buying expired domains and redirecting them to your site, or keyword stuffing your content and designing it for search engines rather than users (if you would be embarrassed to read your content out loud to a friend, you’re doing something wrong).
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.
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.
In 2002, however, the Anti-Sec community published use of the term to refer to people who work in the security industry by day, but engage in black hat activities by night. The irony was that for black hats, this interpretation was seen as a derogatory term; whereas amongst white hats it was a term that lent a sense of popular notoriety.