Why Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO Do Not Work
Hello fellow internet traveler,
Today I have a great educational rant/blueprint/enlightening post for you
As you may or may not know Source Wave and myself were featured on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Blog
It was a purdy big deal and got a huge response
The response however was somewhat mixed
I got responses ranging from huge praise all the way to someone calling me a spamming internet Hitler (okay maybe not that…but that would of been awesome)
Now…Frankly I wasn’t so much peeved about the negativity. People have different ways to run their business….which is cool I get that
What inspired this rant of enlightenment does not really have to do with SPI. It was actually totally awesome to work with one of IM heros (Pat Flynn) and hang out with his audience.
So if you were one of the people who read that, whether your response was good, bad, or indifferent…I love you…I love you oh so much
What peeves me…is how strongly opinionated 99% of SEO community is about black, grey, and white hat SEO when they don’t have a clear idea of what they are(or how to effectively do them)
People either go to Black Hat World, SEOmoz or Matt Cutt’s blog and make DRAMATIC opinions about what they don’t truly understand. (What I liked about Pat is he was totally open to everything, he actually just had a KILLER white hat interview here)
Lets Take A Step Back
I see people on both sides of the coin (black and white SEO) make huge points, while completely missing the advantage of either form of SEO and TOTALLY misunderstanding how SEO works.
White hat SEO works, black hat SEO works….Holy crap batman.. SEO works…
It doesn’t matter what type of SEO you do, it matters how much SEO you understand. SEO is not a practice, or blueprint or good or bad. Its a understanding of what gets your from point a to point b in Google and then knowing what keeps you at point B.
There are safe non horrible black hat ways to rank in Google
There are risky white hat ways to rank in Google as well
Both sides can get penalized, both sides have benefits or cons AND both sides can work (or fail horribly)
SOOOOO….What I want to do is address the real pros of white hat SEO and the real pros of black hat. Then you can do both!
So Shut Up..Sit Down…And Listen
In this post I am going to do a few things
A) Use lots of profanity because it makes writing about making backlinks on webpages more fun..(Shit! Crap! Ass!)
B) Explain the huge cons of White Hat SEO
C) Explain the huge cons of Blackhat SEO
D) Cut through the huge load of BS white hat myths that might poison your brain
E) Explain how to do White Hat SEO the right way
F) Explain how to properly cut the cons of Black and White SEO, combine them, and do SEO the right way
This is going to be a long post…So if you need to update your Facebook status do so now
Why “Mental Masturbation” White Hat SEO Is The Worst Thing Ever
First off…I love white hat SEO…I am actually very good at it. Source Wave gets almost 1k targeted visitors a day and I have built like 3 whole PR links to it. (Totally white hat SEO in the IMPOSSIBLE “SEO” niche)
99% of my links come from epic sources and my content stomps all over most SEO blog (keyword most, no offense to some of my awesome SEO buddies). People love this place.
I’ve also created some massive SUPER helpful authority sites, that are now fueled primarily from white hat SEO
So before you whip out your “Matt Cutt’s said this” speech, understand that I am quite good at this white hat thing.
Now the there are two types of White hat SEO…
There is pure mental masturbation White Hat SEO that makes freebie chasers and hippies feel happy inside.
This is funny little theories like
-Manually building links gets more rewarded by Google
-The secret to great rankings is quality content
-Google loves people that do white hat SEO and you will never get penalized
-A lot more stuff I am about to complain about
(I can factually prove all the statements above are not quite true, which I will do later in this article)
Then there is strategic bad mass mofo white hat SEO
-Finding ways to manipulate great link sources to link to you (this can be nice or evil)
-Networking your butt off
-Fueling your site first with NON-SEO traffic first and getting them to link to you
The difference in the two is one involves you wasting your time and preaching the most obnoxious BS I have ever read on the web. The other involves you being a business person and getting stuff done.
What you have to understand is this:
PURE White Hat SEO Does Not Work As A Results Based Business Model
(Okay if you are a hardcore content creator,networker, and experienced marketer…Yes it does..But 99% of SEOs are not that)
Here is why
-It is unpredictable
-It is extremely slow
-It is VERY time inefficient
-Google does not reward it like they should
Let me put this in perspective though
Once upon a time I worked at a SEO agency. My superior was a pure mental masturbation white hat SEO. He could talk to you for hour about cool white hat tricks. He would come up with all sorts of neat ways to get links in cool places and on relevant sites.
In fact this dude would spend hours just getting maybe 3 links.
Man Matt Cutt’s would touch himself to this guy…
Heres the issue though. We had over 40 clients. One of our clients was sinking and was paying us close to $16,000 a month for SEO.
So what happened? Well my superior had to spend 8 hours a day to get just 5 white hat links to these guys site. Very rarely did he get them on PR pages (which is all that really matters)
This clients competitors had over 50,000 back links and were using powerful link buys. So look at this way. Not only did my superior have to totally ignore our 39 other clients, but he was also not making a dent in this clients search.
When someone is paying you $16,000 a month, telling them its gonna take 6 months for your white hat backlinks to take effect will not fly.
So look at just the highlights. Our highly paid super white hat feel good head SEO could not
-Focus on more than one client
-Get fast results on the BIG client
-Was extremely time inefficient
Guess What Happened?
My highly paid, super white hat boss got fired and in a very pissed off way. You can cite SEOmoz and Mr. Cutt’s all day, but if your clients see a decline sales your still gonna get blasted.
I convinced our big boss to invest 5g in a relevant PR network. We set it up and within a week our big client and MANY of our other clients saw HUGE rank jumps.
The business flourished again.
So Take A Step Back
My superior didn’t get fired because he was a white hat SEO. He got fired because he had no understanding of SEO. Our client needed hardcore high PR relevant links NOW, and the methods he was using (aka all the non effective stuff you see all over white hat blogs) would never of worked in a niche that tough.
MAYBE they would of worked a year from now, MAYBE they would be more long term, but the FACT is that you cannot run a business on MAYBES.
Here is why what he was doing did not work
a) Its super hard to get links on the actual PR pages of sites. A guest post is usually on a PR 0 page
b) He did not have a reusable system to get these links
c) He could not build them fast enough
Preach me all the silly white hat BS you want, those 3 problems will stop your SEO business in your tracks.
In a sec though I will explain White Hat tactics that WOULD of actually worked (so get all giddy)
But First… You are probably thinking Black Hat Is The Only Way To Go Now
Why Straight Black Hat SEO Sucks For Business
Before I get into it, pure evil black hat SEO is the most powerful form of SEO out there. I know a handful of people that literally just hack high PR sites and place links on them. This is nigh unbeatable until Google takes a VERY good look at the site.
With that being said, the black hat SEO I am talking about here suffers from the SAME issue as mental masturbation white hat. Its again, a lack of understanding of SEO.
99% of people do black hat the wrong way. For example, when I started at the agency their ENTIRE strategy was put clients on “Build My Rank” and take their checks.
This is why most agencies are tanking right now, FYI
You will also see people still blasting out links, building at weird rates, or leaving their sites looking like spammy dog doo. They are failing because of black hat SEO, they are failing because they are ignoring common sense.
This results in what I like to call “stupid person black hat SEO”. This is
-Extremely short term
-Will always get caught
-Uneducated as hell
-Unpredictable and uncontrollable
I cannot tell you how many lazy black hat SEO’s I know made 6 figures, and then lost EVERYTHING post panda. Simply because they were lazy and dumb about their linking. Because of this lazy person black hat SEO is only slightly better than mental masturbation white hat SEO.
On top of this if these lazy black hats had JUST made their site quality, built a list, or performed at all like a decent marketer they would
A) Have not gotten hit (more on this in a sec)
B) Still have a massive income
But sadly, most black hat SEOs are just as totally f#$ktarded as their whiny white hat counterparts.
The difference is, instead of looking way to hard at what Googles looking for (White Hat), people are looking WAY to less. Again its all roots back to lack of understanding of Google itself and NOT the type of tactic being used.
-Having a non spammy site
-Not getting quality relevant links
-Assuming Google is an idiot
Will get your site banned ….always. But again, its not the fact that your doing a certain TYPE of SEO…Its missing the understanding OF SEO.
So what I want to do right now is drop the “hats” and instead educate you on what REALLY ranks you in Google long term.
The first thing we got do real quick though is disprove the ginormous load of unproven white hat dog doo doo you may of heard.
White Hat Doo Doo Disproven
Doo Doo #1 : Quality Content Is The Key To High Rankings
Nope…I disprove this here over and over again. (Instead of speaking out of my ass I like to prove things…crazy I know).
It has EVERYTHING to do with keeping rankings though (which I will prove here in a bit as well)
Doo Doo #2 : Its better to work hard for a few manual well placed links, than to make lots of spammy links
No…Manual link building is A) a waste of time B) pointless if there is no PR involved. In fact, you can dominate searches with extremely spammy links, as long as you get them on the pages with PR
This site literally DOMINATES the women health issue niche (very very profitable). It probably gets close to 5k-10k visits a day. Check out its links
This guy has literally just cracked hundreds of high PR Russian sites with PR (TOTALLY unrelated) and hidden his link in them. This site has been ranked for years and crushes big helpful sites like Medicine.net.
So again…Just because your doing feel good manual relevant link building, doesn’t mean your gonna get results. If your gonna manually build links, get them on high PR sites no matter what.
Doo Doo #3: Everything On SEOmoz or Matt Cutt’s blog is fact
First off…as much as I rag on them for SEO advice, I love the brand and the business. Rand is the smartest SEO marketer of all time and SEOmoz is a genius at what it does. It does TWO things
What it DOES is
1. Appeal to large companies, businesses, and professional SEO’s. Then they SELL TOOLS, not rankings
2. Make Google send them tons of traffic
Seriously think about…SEOmoz has clients like Disney, and other huge businesses. Can you imagine how these huge companies would react if there goto SEO tracking company was like “SPAM THE INTERNET AND MAKE MONEY!”
No…SEOmoz’s clients want super professional squeaky clean SEO (even if it doesn’t work) so SEOmoz gives them that. Again they are not SELLING rankings.
2nd…SEOmoz is perhaps the biggest SEO company on Googles radar. Google also sends them HUGE amounts of traffic. Do you think Google would keep them in favor in Rand came dancing on white board friday saying “Today I’m gonna show you how to negative SEO motha f$%ckas!”
SEOmoz would lose their shiny throne at Google overnight.
So put 2 and 2 together. SEOmoz can either
A) Beat around the bush with pointless white hat stuff and make 11 million a year
B) Share grey hat strategies that piss of their customer base and their biggest fan boy
And for Matt Cutt’s. When I hear someone cite his blog, its like citing Kim Jong Il.
“Well Matt Cutts says he cares about the people and has our best interest”
Then 2 days later Google yanks the reviews off a great white hat site, and replaces their spot in Google with ripped content, then tell them they need to pay up if they want to get anymore sales..
“Oh no, thats Google improving search quality”
Look I’m sure Captain Cutts is a nice guy, but Google’s main source of revenue is adwords. His job isn’t to help your SEO, its to improve adwords revenue by making SEO confusing and discouraging anything that works.
When a company cannot rank well it buys ads. Its really that simple.
So with both those points out of the way, please remove your head from thy ass.
Doo Doo #4 : White Hat Sites Do Not Get Penalized
Google does not look at a sites link profile and go…”Is this white hat or black hat”
It puts the sites link profile through a math program.
For example, if you made an awesome post and 1000’s of people linked to it from comments with similar anchor text…Bam your penalized
However, then a black hat SEO links to his post with a variation of links with diverse anchor text…Boom he is ranking
White or black has nothing to do with it it is how the links are built
Doo Doo #5 : Its Unprofessional To Do Black Hat SEO (Not Good For Long Term Business)
http://www.adt.com/home-security – Ranks first for home security…Uses MASSIVE link buys
http://www.finivcredit.com/ – top 5 for credit repair (endless links buys and directory purchases)
http://globerunnerseo.com/ – first for Dallas SEO…Blog network links abound
These multi million dollar businesses do not seem too short term for me.
Case and Point
I have given you a ton of facts that blatant disprove many SEO “theories”.
The secret to a long term successful SEO business is skipping the white or black hat label, and doing good SEO. Pay attention to facts, track what works and you will make a lot of money.
Or stick to theory and well….Be poor
Okay Now Lets Look At Good White Hat SEO
So now I want to play a game. It’s called Matt Cutt’s is your father and you haven’t come out of the closet about being a SEO.
So its time to cover our tracks and make ourselves look super natural/fit in so he doesn’t find out.
How do we do this? I mean you remember my old now fired boss right? What was he missing?
What he was missing was the CORE of SEO. Black hat or white hat if you get enough links from relevant bad mofo sites…You rank. The end.
Now what most white hat SEO’s think is good SEO
-Posting to article sites manually
-Leaving manual comments
-Manually doing everything
Is IDIOTIC in big bold letters
You see the above works in black hat SEO because you can achieve such a huge mass of links (post to 2k article sites at once). These links carry as much weight as an article submitted manually.
Therefor doing this “feel good” manual submission is pointless and a huge waste of your valuable time. The links your making don’t have PR and are not bad mofo sites.
You See…Being a GOOD White Hat SEO Is About Being A Bad Ass…Not Being Nice To Google or Doing “feel good” SEO
To be a good white hat SEO you need
-A telephone and email
-And understanding how people work
Your going to have to get people from BIG sources (fox news, medcine.net. etc) to link to you and convince powerful reputable sources (libraries, colleges, local government sites) to link out to you.
Your going to need to get a collection of writers to owe you, your gonna need to be able to manipulate people (I mean that in a nice way)
First Off…Lets Look at KILLER “Cannot Beat This” White Hat SEO
Do you see that? This site has every local Dallas business, college, airport, etc all linking to it. I am not sure if they caused this, but these links are just unbeatable. They are all natural and just danm…Sorry your not gonna get this search.
In order to beat them you would have to get every newspaper, college, hotel, etc in town to link to you..
That would be impossible…….For a shitty “feel good” SEO. For a truly good white hat, its just part of the job.
Now I do not do to much pure white hat stuff. It takes time and energy I do not have. I do however have some amazing White Hat SEO friends and have worked with them.
When you want to actually succeed at white hat SEO here are a few tactics you can use
Quick Rule Of Thumb
Some links carry just MASSIVE weight, regardless of the PR of the page they are on. The are like
-Local business sites
-Local government sites
-Colleges and education sites
-BIG news sites
-Sites related to the local area
Providing An Answer
One of the easiest ways to get links is to provide an answer or solution to a site somewhat relevant to your.
For example, if you were trying to rank for “Dallas Taxi” you could call places around town that usually use taxis. You could explain that your client has a great taxi service and ask if they could place a link to your site. This would make it easier for their customers or whoever the hell they deal with to get a taxi
On top of this, another form of this is purposefully creating content that is so relevant to someone else’s content that they have to link to it. Say for example an architecture academy/university is doing some study or what not and you have an architect client. You create an article that is a perfect resource or follow up to something on their site.
You then call them up, say “hey I saw your shit” and then explain that they should link their shit to your shit to make the users experience not shitty. Boom you have helped them inform people better and have a amazing link to your architecture clients website.
On another note…You can sometimes just pay these places for a link
Enticing Bloggers/News Writers
What you got to understand is that most professional bloggers and news writers are DESPERATE for content and experts. They literally are on a deadline every day to pump out content non stop, thats tough juju to do constantly.
Lucky for you most of your clients will be experts in something or you can create crazy content they have to link out to.
Example one: a writer on a big site covers health. If you have a dentist as a client you can reach out with some crazy new thing in the dentistry niche and ask them if they might like to right about it.
One white hat SEO I know, goes so far as to create small amounts of traffic for bloggers then uses it as a way to ask for a link every now an then. What he basically does then is take on a client and then ask all his blogger contacts to links to him all at onces. Boom he is basically running a white hat blog network. Get writers as contacts…Case n point.
The next example is a little more ridiculous. If you have a personal site creating insane over the top ridiculous content can get you thousands of links.
Like on one of my old sites, during the way back election I had a writer of mine write about How Obama Used Pick Up Artist Tactics To Push Communism on the US….
See that? You just felt either pissed off or extremely intrigued. I took something that was a big topic, made it stupidly controversial, then related it back to my niches
Long story short we got a ton of shares and links from a ton of places (mostly other dating sites who were like “SEE OBAMA DOES IT”
Oh and on another note again..A lot of writers will link to you if you just pay them.
Okay so say you have a car dealership client.
You make a buffer blog with a local award for car dealership or some local whatever. You then call up other dealership in your area and tell them they won the award or were featured.
Most small businesses will be like “no way! Awesome!”. You then ask them to link to the blog OR if you really sneaky give them a badge/banner that they can embed on their site. The badge then links back to your site.
Sneaky like a cougar!
You now have every car dealership in town inadvertently linking to your client…Who do you think is gonna rank first?
On another note, you can also propose link swaps with other dealerships in other area. Yes this still works..Check out the link profile for this dentist (1st for Dallas Dentist)
See how none of the above focused on wasting your time with BS and focused more on getting a few INSANELY good links.
White hat SEO is not about manually submitting and being squeaky clean. Its not about wasting your time doing pointless bullshit in hopes you rank a year from now. Its about crushing Google with extremely strategic links.
This ^^^ Is Still Bad SEO…Time To Bring It All Together
Okay so the above works great!
One issue…It takes FOREVER to pull off unless you already have a good list of contacts.
Good luck explaining that to a client or making an income any time soon. So how can we get them results NOW and long term as well
BY COMBING WHITE HAT AND BLACK HAT…To make a dirty grey mustard stained hat
So look…Lets subtract the hippie BS from white hat and the spammy laziness of black hat. When you do this something cool happens.
The first thing I have to point out is the law of look the other way
If you go on Google right now you will see a TON of sites that have broken everyone of Googles rules. Yet they still kill it and are SUPER quality sites.
A great example is Pat Flynns security guard site (http://www.securityguardtraininghq.com/). This site broke ALL the rules.
-De indexed blog networks
-Massive amount of “spammy” links (social bookmarks, articles etc)
-Blatantly be cited as a SEO site (Google HAS seen this site)
-Over optimized anchor text
Yet it not only ranks well…It CRUSHES its searches and has for year. Post panda and penguin.
Why? Because the site EFFING rocks if you need security guard training.
Heres a little thing I picked up and it is WHY I almost exclusively make authority sites.
Feel free to quote me. Once your site reaches that authority level and kicks total butt, there is NOTHING that will get it penalized.
Some of my oldest sites that have HORRIBLE SEO but amazing content still crush their searches, because they are the best answer for the search.
Now first off, great content is NOT 1000 word articles. If anything that is horrible content. Great content
-Lowers bounce rate
-Generates return visits
-Has a higher time on site
Create content that does this and you’ll be on the right path
But I Digress…How Can We Use This For Our Sites
Its nigh impossible to get good white hat links to a brand new site. No one wants to link to it.
Its also hard to get good white hat links to fresh client
However, in order for you to eat…They must rank FAST.
So what do we do…Go back to the good ol core of SEO (PR+Relevance)
Use the tactic in my blog network post to create a small amount of high PR relevant sites.
Boom your site is ranking now, like in a week..You and your client are now happy.
These links while black hat, are SUPER controllable, can be made to look 100% natural and can be taken down at anytime. They are also SUPER non spammy.
Welcome to smart safe black hat SEO.
Now that your sort of ranking and getting traffic make your site ROCK.
Lower you bounce rate, increase your return rate, and increase time on site.
Now your black hat site is a site people love. Google likes what people love, you just had to GET it to the people.
Now that people love your site, how easy is it gonna be to get white hat links?
Use some of the tactics above and use your quality site as a way to get links.
What Just Happened
A) I gave you a super simple dumbed down version of THIS STRATEGY
B) You got results FAST without risking your site using safe good black hat SEO
C) You made a quality site that will rank long term because people actively use it
D) You got great white hat links ensuring your sites everlasting prosperity
Holy burrito bowl…Did we just use…Common sense? My goodness.
Yes…You can get the best of both worlds. You can get the quick results of black hat SEO and the long term safeness of white hat SEO.
You can have clients who get results fast and long term
You can make Matt Cutt’s and evil black hat wizards happy
You can be a GOOD SEO, instead of some idealistic idiot who preaches either “Pure white hat” or “Pure black hat”
So there you have it. I have bestowed the gift of being an educated SEO upon you.
You can now run forth to a forums and SEO blogs and preach this to people. You will be the coolest kid on the block now. You will also annoy everyone, like you always have..But at least you will be right this time!
OR…You could go out there…apply this and make an absolute killing…But who wants to do that =)
So with that being said… This has been Becker…Thank thank thank you for reading my SEO rant, and giving me some of your time.
I will see you in the next post =)