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A while ago I did some interviews with some bloggers friends or online contacts. One of the questions was “Have you ever used any Black Hat technique?”. The questions was intended for those who wanted to make money with their blogs or web sites. None of them answered positively. The answers were “No”, “None” or “I don’t know what Blach Hat is”.

OK, so the next logical question is “Did you earn enough from your online activity as to declare it a full-time job?”. The question was never asked, because, on some extent, it implies that only by using obscure techniques, one can earn lots of money.

And, in the end, aren’t we all using some [Insert Dark Color Here] Hat techniques when commenting just for backlinks, or writing the minimum number of posts on some forum just to be allowed to add a signature? I think we are.

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9 thoughts on “Black Hat Warning

  1. You’re dead right with this post.

    I get sick of hearing people talk about only using white hat, pure as the driven snow SEO techniques.

    There is no such animal.

    As soon as you do ANYTHING to try to improve your ranking, such as blog commenting, article submission etc, you’re trying to rank your site higher than it deserves.

    This is Google’s definition of “gaming” the rankings.


    (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! ;-) )

  2. indeed. there is that attempt to game the system after all.

    that said, some methods cross a line, while others don’t, i feel. it’s one thing to manually comment on do follow blogs for backlinks. it’s quite a different thing to automatically generate comments for a thousand do follow blogs, which comments are unrelated to the posts.

  3. It’s all fun and games until someone gets spammed. I see it as a bunch of people trying to get a head. I have no problems with anything until someone starts spamming blogs or setting up sites with nothing content.

    I love to read about it and find out what people have done. I think its all about the cat and mouse game that I find fun. If people post on blogs and forums just to get a link thats fine with me. Just as long as it’s actuall content and not just “thanks” or “good post”

    basicly anything that doesnt clogg up the internet im cool with.

  4. Hats? Black, White, Grey- There is no such thing, so yes I agree with you!…..

    There is a term used by a very experienced moderator at an seo forum i frequently visit: “Its all about risk versus reward”. What he means is, if you want to push your luck and use shady techniques, or techniques that may be considered border line “ethical” (i dont like this word either!) then its all about risk versus reward. These techniques may see quicker results than building regular, good content, but in the end its a risk you take.

    As an seo you should never jeopordise a clients website, but for a website owner doing their own seo/web promotion it is completely up to them which route they take- as long as they are aware they may face a ban for using shady techniques then it comes back down to “risk vs reward”

    As far as hats; in particular black- where does it stop? Like the example given, is posting a keyword rich name for a link in your blog comments black hat? is searching blogs that do follow? Is creating an artificial link profile?- dir subs, article subs??????

  5. Well Like Kouji said, we all try to game the system at some point.

    but adding signature in a forum or blog is not necessary black hat. It’s a feature in place for that purpose. Maybe over using it can be wrong but still, there’s nothing wrong through 20 post in a blog and commenting in all of them as you see fit.

    Black hat to me is doing what can get you banned, spamming keywords, cloaking, page jacking etc.

  6. What about people who comment on other blogs using their blog’s title or the words in the blog’s url? Let’s say I have a blog and I use abc as the name to comment on other blogs, and say abc is a very rewarding keyword? What do you call it? SPAM or NOT SPAM?

    No one knows for sure how google treats such things. Chip, What do you think is the best practice while commenting on other blogs? Using your name or the blog’s title or as you mentioned earlier black-hatting and using a keyword related to your blog?

  7. I, for one, use “Chip” whenever I comment on other blogs. I don’t think bloggers who use their blogs’ names are using some Black Hat techniques. Sometimes bloggers identify themselves with their blogs.

    Isn’t blog a personal thing, anyway?

  8. Posting comments on blogs isn’t unethical… at least in my opinion. I do post comments because of links (many are nofollow, so damn it), but also because I want to share my experiences, opinions and knowledge.

    If you’re about to create splogs or if you’re going to create a link farm… then it’s spam. Posting comments, counting words… that’s all fine :) .

    Oh… I’m starting 3 new websites these days. Wonder or not, I’m not including links to them as my URL (in this comment, at this blog). Instead, I did enter a link to my primary website. I think that this is a nice proof of spam-free comment. I could use one of these new websites’ URL, but I like it natural.

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