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
When it comes to the crunch, whether gray hat methods are used is up to the individual. However, if they are going to be used it has to be hoped that the SEO practitioner is very skilled. Even then, there’s risk involved, so in order to be absolutely safe in the knowledge that a site won’t be penalized, it’s best to stick to white hat practices.
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.
While this post is old, I actually know several domain authority 70+ sites where all of these still work. However, they probably wouldn’t do much for a new or a lower authority site.
Like anything in life, taking shortcuts to get you where you want to be right now is often the path to failure. Great SEO, good content and a well-planned out business, that’s what will give your site the competitive edge in the end.
I love the way you write your articles, especially this article explaining the nuances of SEO. I will implement some on my blog Quickprepper and see how this works out. Btw, I was inspired by you and created this blog, Wish me luck
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:
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.
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.
If your target keyword is, “Content Marketing,” and the link reads as Content Marketing, then you are using exact match anchor text. Linking the full article title on the other hand is not.
Huh? That is insulting, isn’t it? Yep, sorry, but if you suck at black hat SEO and you’re using it, I don’t care if your client knows the risk. You are as bad as if they didn’t.
Tapan kumar Useful information and great tricks for SEO, yeah these all are risky to some extent but in myview SEO is a process of new experimentation, and from experimentation might we get some techniques to create reform in SEO process.Great information sir..Reply
A great article indeed, I would like to suggest that, though spun articles still work, but they should have some grammar and should make some sense. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar will harm your visitors and ranking as well.
SEO techniques like black hat, white technique and gray hat have been used by years. All these SEO techniques and trick in any form of SEO hat bring both positive and negative effect for your website sites or blog. We will be describing SEO technique in more detail, so you would know when applying to your website and the possible impact or consequence of it.
Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing all have a singular goal: Return the best result for a user’s search. Therefore, each company constantly seeks better ways to identify the best answer to any given query.
Eitan, As I said above, it really depends on how you do it. If you’re cramming content behind tabs, but the content is strictly keyword focused, that’s not really helping anyone; yet it will still help you rank. -Peter Reply
A great article indeed, I would like to suggest that, though spun articles still work, but they should have some grammar and should make some sense. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar will harm your visitors and ranking as well. Reply
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.
”No. Google likes SEOs who follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines. The updates are directed toward black hat SEO,” Cutts said. “It’s a war on spam. If you go on the black hat forums, there’s a lot of people asking, ‘How do I fake sincerity? How do I fake being awesome?’ Why not just be sincere and be awesome?”
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.
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.
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.
Hey Ray, 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. -Peter Reply
Say goodbye to Google: 14 alternative search engines Say goodbye to Google with these 14 alternative search engines, covering everything from information, images, videos, facts and stats. Oh and Gifs.
There’s a fine line between ‘good’ gray hat practices and bad and as such, it’s always going to be a risk using it. In this age of social, it’s also tempting to use such practices for gaining a following by ‘buying’ likes.
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 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).
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.
Jason, I was primarily referring to if you’re doing it with several hundred or thousand pages. It would be impossible to put them in the navigation in a way that makes sense. If it’s just a few pages, then there’s no real harm. -Peter Reply
It was quite a wake up call, and for awhile it was pretty embarrassing to talk about as an SEO. It’s been almost four years since my first Google slap, and in the weeks, months and years following the first one, I would intermittently lose rankings on other sites that I was playing around with or running tests on. It mostly came down to being new to the field and using techniques that were in the realm of over-optimization. Looking back, and after talking to hundreds of SEOs over the course of the last few years, I’ve discovered that almost every Internet marketer has induced a rankings penalty at one point in their life. It used to just be part of the job. We would test the limits, and then pull back.
Microsites are no secret. They have been abused in every way imaginable. However, I will say that the most benefit I’ve seen gained from them is splitting them up by niche for local services. For example, a law firm having one site for their divorce services and then another for personal injury. This allows you to focus on specific areas for each site.
The ClickMinded SEO Training Course and ClickMinded SEO Certification have become bigger than I ever thought they would. I started fully committing myself to search engine optimization in 2009, while I was living in Taiwan, working on a startup with a friend of mine. I spent about a year teaching myself SEO and SEM. It was one of the geekiest and most fun projects I had ever worked on. Looking back, that time in my life was so fundamentally important to where I am today, because it laid the foundation for everything I know about Internet marketing.