Blackhat SEO: Protect Yourself by Recognizing The Bad GuysOver the years, webmasters have been told that they should want to avoid Blackhat SEO techniques in connection with their own websites. In general, I agree with this statement. But, by obtaining a deeper understanding of Blackhat search engine optimization, one could actually learn a bit about how to better his or her own positioning in the search engine results.
White Hat vs. Black Hat Search Optimization
Whitehat and Blackhat SEO is a comparison that is a take-off from the old cowboy westerns, where the good guys always wore white hats and the bad guys always wore black hats. So, in theory, we can assume that Whitehat practitioners are the good guys of SEO, and Blackhat practitioners are the bad guys of the industry.
But, the truth is a little bit more opaque than this. SEO is never a pure "white vs. black" issue. Just as in Mad Magazine's "Spy vs. Spy" series, sometimes the white spy whipped the black spy, and vice versa, sometimes the black spy was victorious.
In theory, Blackhat SEO is the type of search optimization that will eventually get your website banned in the search engines. And sometimes it will.
But, it is truly fascinating to me when I visit a website such as www.blackhatseo.com/ and discover the world-renowned SEO expert Aaron Wall owns the website. In case you were not aware of it, Aaron Wall is the owner of the SEO Blog at www.seobook.com/ and is recognized as one of the world's foremost leaders in SEO technique.
Blackhat SEO Is A Learning Opportunity
To me, the study of opposites offers a greater understanding to
These are the philosophical ramblings of Bill. ;-)
I have always argued that in order to see the light, one must be able to recognize the darkness. And that is why when I am told to avoid something; I go right to it, so that I can see what it looks like, for the sake of being able to recognize it.
So, whenever I am in the mood to learn more about SEO, I search out Black Hat SEO forums and websites to learn how to recognize the dark, when I am in the light.
After all, if you cannot recognize the dark side, how do you expect that can you protect yourself from it?
There Are Always Two Sides To Every Story
Remember when your grandmother always told you that there were always two sides to every story? Well, my grandmother did, and I like to believe that everyone had a wise old grandma to help them find their way in life.
White Hatters teach us how to do things the right way. Black Hatters teach us the wrong way to do things. And as my grandmother used to be fond of saying, "the truth is somewhere in the middle."
For example, White Hat web programmers teach us how to install Captcha scripts on our websites to keep the spammers at bay. Then the Black Hat web programmers come along and teach the spammers how to break Captcha software (www.blackhat-seo.com/2008/how-to-break-captchas/). And as Grandma used to say, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
The White Hatters try to teach us good programming technique and to present us with safe protection from spammers. And the Black Hatters teach us how to break the coding. You and I are in the middle, and by seeing the world through two sets of eyes (white and black); we can find better ways to protect our websites. Our websites are only as safe as the intelligence level of the programmers who try to protect us. If the bad guys are smarter, we lose. If the good guys are smarter, we rest safe in our protection schemes.
Some Black Hatters even call what they do Grey Hat SEO. One that I really like is called www.SlightlyShadySEO.com They did a post about the little fun pill and the folks who push it. They referred to it as a keyword that will give a lot of insight into how Google is combating the spammers online: www.slightlyshadyseo.com/index.php/some-insights-from-the-buy-viagra-results/
The previously mentioned post spoke at great length about the people who spam forums. We all despise these guys who trash up our favorite forums, and Slightly Shady exposes why our forums are always on the spammer's target list.
As my grandmother said, "the truth is somewhere in the middle." The little pill Black Hatters play an expensive game with the Google results, but at $2 commission per little pill, no wonder. But now that we understand what is going on, we know that we need to make sure that we keep our own forums clean of this trash, to protect our Trust Rank. We also know that one slam is not the end of the world for us, if we are quick to clean our own houses. But, if we cannot keep our houses clean, the Google will stop coming by to visit, for the exact same reasons why most girls avoid visiting bachelor pads.
Light Sources Are Always Brighter When We Stand In The Dark
One of my favorite television personalities, Carl Sagan said, "The exploration of the cosmos is a voyage of self discovery."
This quote reflects the reason for my voyages into the light side and dark side of SEO. I study Whitehat SEO and practice the same. I also study Blackhat SEO to understand what is defined as the opposite of Whitehat SEO practices. By seeing what is dark, I can better see what is in the light.
I am comforted in knowing that I will never be pulled blindly into the dark side with Darth Vader. ;-) To quote from the Bible, "The blind will lead the blind into a ditch." Now that my eyes have been opened to Blackhat SEO, I will never stumble and fall as I fish for better rankings in Google and the other primary search engines.