Other Grey Hat Techniques 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.
The ensuing results were really scary. Within a few days, my rankings had dropped. I had made sure not to many any other changes to my site outside of removing the obviously spammy links. Turns out, these low-quality links had been HELPING ME, even though it would have been very clear to even a novice SEO that they were of no value to the user. It wasn’t a huge rankings decrease, and I wasn’t de-indexed or anything like that, but it became very clear to me what was going on. This event made me re-realize three important things that still apply today in my experience:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once my co-founder and I began understanding what it was that Google was looking for, we relentlessly pressed on those levers. This resulted in laying spammy, over-optimized links on unrelated blogs, all day, every day. At first, it worked really well, but like all things it eventually came to an end, and we were Google-slapped. We dropped an average of 50 positions across all keywords, and never really recovered from it.
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.
I ran my site through this tool, and found a bunch of spammy links in my link profile. In the past, I used to outsource some of my link building, but found that it’s just too important to leave to freelancers, so I stopped outsourcing altogether. That doesn’t change the fact that I did it, though, and ended up getting a few dozen bad links that stuck. So after using the Link Detox tool, I found a bunch of low-quality links that were on blog comments, wikis and other types of sites that were accessible by anyone. These links were, in my eyes, very easy to classify as spammy. They were unrelated to the page topic and they were on pages with hundreds of other unrelated links. To the human eye, it was very easy to identify them as low quality links, which made it a no-brainer to try and remove them. I swiftly got rid of as many of them as I could and emailed every webmaster I was able to find. I asked them to please remove the links. I ended up getting rid of about a dozen or so of the bad ones that I had found via Link Detox.
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.
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
Identification Grey hat marketing is a combination of commonly accepted SEO techniques, such as paying someone to write an article for your website, and banned practices known as “black hat marketing,” such as hiding keywords in a page by making them the same color as the background. One common grey hat marketing technique is to “linkbait.” Linkbaiting occurs when you write a tailor-made article in order for social bookmarking sites to link to your site. You can also pay popular social media sites to link to your site. As more sites link to your site, search engines raise your site’s ranking.
Personally, I think if the content isn’t providing useful information to visitors, then it shouldn’t be there. However, if you’re going to hide content behind tabs, make sure it’s as different as possible. You don’t want to put the same content on two pages let alone 20.
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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
John floster 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?Reply
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
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.
So if you were using Google as your police officer, buying links would be considered black hat. If Bing is your police officer, something such as buying Facebook likes would be black hat.
SEO is a process of obtaining traffic from “free,” “natural” “organic,” or “editorial” search results on search engines. SEO is often about making small modifications to the different parts of your website. These changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when we combined it with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your website’s user performance and experience in basic search results. Search engine optimization affects only basic search results, not on sponsored or paid results such as Google, yahoo or AdWords.
This should also be avoided, there are thousands of sites that claim to provide genuine likes for a few dollars, but this is rarely a good idea. Much of the time, the likes are not genuine, but gleaned from lapsed accounts that aren’t used anymore.
Once upon a time, tactics were defined by a handful of search engines. Now, SEO tactics are defined and controlled by the big daddy of search: Google. So let’s quickly define what is a hat and what a hat means.
Garrat, 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. Regarding your “I lol’ed” comment. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be condescending or not, but all the examples above were based on real scenarios. Cheers, -Peter Reply
Recently everyone has been talking primarily about content marketing and pearly white hat techniques. While I do think these methods are the safest route to take, they’re not the only ones that work. It’s important to know about various practices, even ones you don’t intend on ever using. You can gain insight into what your competitors are doing, get a better understanding of how the algorithm works, and learn how to fix issues if someone comes to you from a previous search marketing agency.
This is akin to blowing up the sidewalk outside your competitors real world brick and mortar, but others see it as all part of the search game. Where you stand is all a matter of your ethics, but beware, some of it is highly illegal and could land you in jail if discovered.
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?