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.
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.
To begin with, whilst grey hat techniques can give a site a slight edge over those that utilize white hat only, there’s risk involved. Gray hat SEO breaks the rules and whilst it may not be obvious to Google, there remains a risk that competitor sites may recognize and report the use of it.
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).
In essence, with modern content marketing and SEO, white hat wins out. The web is highly competitive, we all know that and so in order to ‘beat the system’, the best way is to work with it and invest in the future of your site.
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He is a New York Times best selling author. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
If you try any of these, I should say that I’m not responsible for any results. I’m just sharing these tactics, so don’t shoot the messenger. You’ve been officially warned!
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?”
Plus, how much time do your editors take to edit your content and make it perfect for the audience. I mean, one does not want to switch off while reading your post. Quite intriguing! You have definitely hacked the art of attraction through your writing. Kudos!
This is one that can really be beaten to death as long as you have the patience to write the content for it. You can create a new page for each keyword you’re trying to target, keep it off your navigation, but make it crawlable. This way you’re not harming usability, but you can pull in some traffic from long tail keywords. I’ve seen this done with everything from a few thousand pages to a quarter million pages. I would never recommend doing anything like this, but if you do, make sure to release the pages out slowly (a few thousand pages a month) so no spam filters are triggered.
I don’t get Google slapped or induce rankings penalties anymore, and I’ve found that the way I think about link building has evolved significantly from my formative SEO years. With that said, watching what the industry has done in the post-Penguin era has been super interesting, and my thinking is evolving yet again.
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.
I’m referring primarily to grey hat techniques. These are techniques that can give you a slight advantage, but may not follow Google’s guidelines 100%. This means there could be some risk involved, albeit a low one. These are not to be confused with black hat techniques, which can give you an even greater competitive edge, but carry a very large risk.
Anish 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nice work on the post Peter. In your point about not putting keyword pages in the nav, if, for example, you were working on a Phoenix lawyer website would you recommend pages such as “Glendale Lawyer” targeting each of the individual communities around the larger city but don’t put the links to these pages in the nav? Thanks. Reply
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.
Fairly obviously, these are used in an attempt to beat the robots and allow a site to rank higher in the SERPs than it might otherwise. Whilst gray hat may be considered unethical by some, they remain widely used and of course it’s the ‘gray area’ as to the ‘morality’ of these methods that gives it its name.
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
Buying followers may seem like a great idea to make it look like you’re in with the in crowd, but all it actually means is no engagement and the risk of infecting any true followers with malware in some instances. There’s no positives to it and it’s easy to tell those that have, as they have a Twitter following filled with faceless profiles. Organically obtaining a following isn’t necessarily an overnight affair, but it’s worth it in the end.
The term began to be used in the late 1990s, derived from the concepts of “white hat” and “black hat” hackers. When a white hat hacker discovers a vulnerability, they will exploit it only with permission and not divulge its existence until it has been fixed, whereas the black hat will illegally exploit it and/or tell others how to do so. The grey hat will neither illegally exploit it, nor tell others how to do so.
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.