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White Hat Vs Black Hat SEO August 24, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Internet, Search Engines, SEO, SES 2008, websites , trackback

Which hat do you wear, Black, White, Grey, Red or None?

The question should rather be:

Which kind of head do you carry over your shoulder – Black, White, Grey or Red?

It looks like everyone has been changing/ exchanging hats. If it is the color of head we talk about, it would be more exciting and entertaining :)

Continuing with my series on SES 2008, San Jose, this post incorporates the Gyan acquired during the session – Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty with SEO

Let us define:

Black Hat: You do whatever it takes to be on top of SERPs. Good. Bad. Ugly. Whatever. Period.

White Hat: You do whatever search engine (read Google) guidelines for webmasters tell you to, you don’t try to outsmart search engines.

Grey Hat: You are the border guy, you know the stretch, and you think you know what you would getaway with, you live white, but you know black and you use it on the side.

Red Hat: You know what it takes to hurt your competitor and you know how to getaway with it.

No Hat: If you don’t wear any and you are still an SEO, maybe you an incompetent SEO. Don’t worry, you are not alone 95% of the SEOs within the industry are plain incompetent.

The session was to debate Black Hat vs. White Hat, but the debate didn’t happen. it looked like the whole panel was wearing Grey Hat and tended to remain on the border and just didn’t want to be drawn to the controversy. Important observation were made:

  1. Established sites have much more restrictions, they can’t risk exclusion from SERPs.
  2. Just made for adsense is crap. Content needs to be good. Nobody wants trash, and for sure not the search engines.
  3. Searcher needs good results and most of the top results very close to each other, if Search Engines intermix the top 5 results, it wouldn’t;t matter to the surfer.
  4. Buying excessive links can hurt, it is Red Hat.
  5. Good SEO to me is Knowledge about Search engines and the subject.
  6. Meta Keyword stuffing hurts.
  7. Everything in the title hurts too.
  8. Hidden content is black.
  9. Short and focused titles are good.
  10. Paid unrealted blogging can hurts.
  11. Vague and self promoting descriptions with repeat words hurts
  12. Paid link buying from link farms hurts badly.
  13. Search engines hate doorway or gatway pages, they hate being misled
  14. Serach engines hate carse optimization: They are bound to hate something like this – www.example.com/HOTEL/hotel/googleCityNameHotel.html - Which may go with the title <title>CityName Hotels | Hotels in CityName |Budget CityName Hotels| Luxury CityName Hotel| Cheap CityName Hotel| Discount CityName Hotels</title> This is a live example of carse black hat, “We will do anything even put Google’s name in our URLs, hundreds of them but we need to get on the top, we don’t care what happens to our site if Google doesn’t like it.” I picked up this example as it was succeeding in ranking high up. I have kept the URL intact except removing the site name and substituting it with example.com and substituting the actual city name with CityName.
  15. Great generic domain name helps

More to come…


1. Sanjay - August 25, 2008

A lot of black hats feel that they can get away with something. Not realizing that its only a matter of time, and once the search engine catches up, they will go for a solid toss. Often the SEO work is outsourced and the outsourcing company might have picked up their cheque and gone away, and the client will be left high and dry.

Oh.. by the way, it took very little effort on Google to figure out the example that you have given. I am shocked that a site with so much VC funding, high ad budgets and apparent reputation like example.com (Sorry Sanjay, I have taken out the direct reference) has got into such black hat SEO techniques! Shocking, indeed..!

2. simarprit - August 25, 2008

Thanks Sanjay!
Yes I have seen they are no longer showing in top 10 on most of the key phrases. I am sorry I have edited their name from your comment as our focus is the Black Hat technique and we’ve nothing against the company. Maybe they have outsourced it to some one who has picked up his fees and walked away.

3. Bhushan Gandhi - March 11, 2009

People who dont find time doing Whitehat Seo tends to do Blackhat seo, WHich make the work very easy and fast for them. I prefer Blackhat as the new things on this blogs help me out a lot. I have been reading it for a while and love reading it.

Thanks to the blogger and also BLACKHAT rocks!!!.

4. Craig - May 27, 2009

how have you found linking strategies such as those suggested by some SEo commentators. It is sooooo time consuming that it is nopt funny.

5. black hat learner - August 24, 2009

Well black hatters know that many of their BH techniques might not be able to work as the changing era, but still for a short term success its recommended.

6. Igor Varyvoda - August 26, 2009

“A lot of black hats feel that they can get away with something”
yeah sure, but
“Not realizing that its only a matter of time”
A black hat that does not realize that is either a moron or just a noob.

7. Abbondanzio - May 28, 2010

Thanks for share this really usefull article and nice forum King

8. Markus - September 21, 2010

thanks, good article

9. Pearl - March 9, 2012

Thanks for sharing straight information and i was unaware about red hat so also thankful for that.