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Does White Hat SEO even exist?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by general_z, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. general_z

    general_z Junior Member

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    A question i have often wondered about is the existence of actual White Hat SEO. Isn't this other term that we seem to use so often - "black hat seo" something coined by SEO firms that doesn't want to be related to something that is immoral and/or plainly illegal? (note: i'm not talking about the word "black hat" now but "black hat seo" - there is quite a difference)

    And White Hat SEO - does it even exist? Isn't *ANY* type of conscious decision to manipulate the SERPS something that is Black Hat? Where does this white end and where does the black begin? Isn't really any type of manipulation something that does NOT favor the search engines?

    My answer is that both terms just doesn't make any type of sense AT ALL and is only coined as a selling point for clients that doesn't know better or for SEO firms to use to legitimize THEIR way of "white hat seo" as they call it. Even though the same SEO firms often get busted for methods that are considered immoral or way ahead in that so-called "gray area", or what we would call "Black Hat Techniques". Please mention a SEO firm that officially publish how they get those Google#1.

    In my mind there is only two things:

    1. Spam;
    To on a large scale fuck with everything that can be fucked with in order to rank better in the SERPS. Do anything to get that extra link and suck the juice out of it.

    2. Non-spam;
    To have your shit in mind but not take each chance you have of getting that extra link just for the sake of it.


    White Hat = Purely on-page and link-directories? What about the manipulation and how that does not favor the search engines quest for "the best answer to your query"?

    What do you think?
     
  2. bpaw

    bpaw Junior Member

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    White hat - abides by the terms of service of whatever service you are promoting your site through.

    Black hat - when you go against the terms of service to promote your site.
     
  3. general_z

    general_z Junior Member

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    So you read every TOS out there when you're "white hat" and think that everyone does? Of course not.

    The TOS's aren't even relevant because people recognize and know that no one will actually read or care about them anyway. That's why we can see stuff like "If you uninstall this software we will take all your money" in TOS's and that's why a browser like Google Chrome even fucked up theirs with similar idiotic things in the TOS and actually had to change theirs (just imagine how many smaller firms that have TOS's that is equally wrong but doesn't get noticed since it's just small apps and small companies).

    Companies such as Google know this so they don't care much about their TOS either and how often do people get punched in the face for not following it? Oh, never. It's only people that is über abusing the system that fail. And then what? According to Google everything i do is evidently "white" and has been for 10 years now. (hint: it is most probably not according to their TOS)
     
  4. litenup

    litenup Junior Member

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    Good definitions bpaw, here's another

    Grey Hat - Doing a bit of both

    No Hat - Just continues to download stuff from forums

    Quiet Hat - Those are the people to hook up with, they just do their biz and make big $$$

    Drunken Hat - or was that the last Jackie Chan Movie?
     
  5. dirtbag

    dirtbag Senior Member

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    the definitions are loose. i'd like to say that whitehat seo in it's ideal definition does not truly exist, but that would just be silly. one could say that buying backlinks, building feeder networks, and manipulating keyword densities and so forth is theoretically not whitehat, but in my mind that is clean seo, and therefore i personally define it as whitehat.
     
  6. centerpoint

    centerpoint Junior Member

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    SEO regardless of the hat color is about gaming the SE's
    How you game the SE's determines what color hat your wearing

    In my experience the best BH's have as good an understanding of WH techniques
    as many of the leading WH SEO's
     
  7. general_z

    general_z Junior Member

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    @litenup: Yes, those are common things people tend to say but they all lack a true definition which of course is great for those SEO firms that can hide behind the word "White Hat" (if there wasn't any made up definition like White Hat SEO they would have a problem).

    @dirtbag: In your mind, great. However then it's as you say - a loose definition and then it isn't a real definition.

    SEO - Search Engine Optimization is still based on different types of tricks to FOOL search engines and make your site more relevant to a keyword then it really is. This is the core of any type of SEO practice, white hat, grey hat, pink hat or whatever-hat you choose.

    White Hat should be;
    1. Having a compliant and well coded website (which will make it play well with SE's anyway since they actually like well coded websites that has standards in mind).
    2. Nothing more.

    Thus all White Hat tricks should be considered Black Hat and thus leaving the market for White Hat quite non-existent and therefor i argue that White Hat is really just a stupid expression and that "SEO" in its every form should be considered Black Hat and that this "Blackhat" and "Whitehat" should go bury itself and that new, clear definitions should arise from its ashes.

    Not that it would save the world or anything, it just bothers me that these definitions are so extremely loose and abused by especially SEO firms.
     
  8. Niche

    Niche Junior Member

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    Of course white hat exists
    Google has not said that you cannot adjust your content to maximize your possibilities eg have better content, it is just the out of TOS activities that make things blackhat
     
  9. loophole

    loophole Registered Member

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    Hey general, I agree with bpaw.

    Whitehat is when you listen to Google, and Blackhat is when you enter through the backdoor
     
  10. scriptkiddy

    scriptkiddy Junior Member

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    Not true. Google do care about their TOS and do enforce it:

    Google's TOS say you cant access their site via automated means, if you are detected they will block your IP (at least for a while)

    Site banning is not really to do with TOS but webmaster guidelines:

    A site can be banned by Google for simply having too many keywords or messpellings on a page - been there done that

    A site can be banned after a manual review just because they think it doesn't contain enough content but has affiliate links (thin affiliate sites) - been there done that too.
     
  11. zebrahat

    zebrahat Elite Member

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    Yes, White Hat SEO is a myth. WH is a spin control term to keep the IM public compliant with the hypocrisy of the corporate giants. Google is constantly manipulating the SERPS to demote anything it doesn't like at the moment, what about their compliance with organic rankings? When the Amazons and the like of the world cookie stuff regular folks (which is how we all first came to know about cookies in the first place) it's okay, but when the little guys start stuffing back, it's all evil? If something is fraud, stealing, hijacking, spamming etc. it should be such regardless of which side does it, and not merely because a one-way prohibition was listed in one side's terms of service. The real TOS seems to end up being "Do as I say, not as I do." So the large firms aren't even practicing good faith in their promotion of these rules.

    The problem with defining WH/BH in terms of TOS is, most such terms as set up by the big boys defines a B2C (business-to-consumer) instead of B2B (business to business). Those B2C TOS terms treat everybody like a perpetual client, who have no interests of their own---as clearly evident by the 'take-it-or-leave-it' default nature of such terms, requiring a user to accept with no ability to modify them. A true B2B relation would work out custom agreements that respect each others business model, and not mischaracterize the other guy's model as 'black' just because it's different. As smaller IMers, we are in business and have our own requirements in order to make money and protect our position. Repeat, we get to make money too! As I wrote in my very first post:

    From what I can tell, blackhat is not innately unethical, nor is white hat ethical. The two are defined as opposites based on a false positioning of the issue that is self-servingly flattering to the white hats.

    The WH code is basically: 1-Follow the rules. 2-Follow the Gurus. 3-If you don't, you'll get slapped and won't make money. To WHs, it's 'ethical' to dress their monetizing ad-drenched site up as a 'content' or authority site, and 'ethical' to manufacture 'natural' backlinks as if people naturally were drawn to it. What is more artificial, at the end of the day?

    The BH counter code is basically: 1. To heck with the rules. 2. To heck with the Gurus. 3-Slap back, and make more money. Many BHs see 'white hat' as image spin for simply kissing up to Google and being a servile parasite to that single corporation. Spam may be annoying, but the instruction to not do it didn't come down from Mount Sinai, it just came from man. I'd rather have a IM biz that wasn't joined to the hip to the Google elephant in order to keep making its dough. And that's my take.
     
  12. ak2ae

    ak2ae Junior Member

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    I think everyone utilises a bit a blackhat seo whether they no it or not. I was a whitehat for a long time till i found this site and il tell you one thing it did not get me too far for the time I spent
     
  13. seomanifest

    seomanifest Regular Member

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    Whitehat is mainly about onsite optimization (there's also onsite blackhat eg cloaking, cookie stuffing).

    Other whitehat methods include getting links through legitimate, original content and legitimate social networking.

    Blackhat involves scraping, spamming, cloaking, cookie stuffing, dns hijacking, content spinning, seo networks, alexa ranking manipulation, the list goes on and on and probably some of the best methods you will never know about because they are too precious to be told if you do know them.
     
  14. tanya7zhou

    tanya7zhou Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Yep I agree with seomanifest. Blackhat is a kid who do thingz the parents say he shouldn't do. If the parent say, "I am going out, don't watch tv", the blackhat kid will sneak in to the living room when the parents are gone and watch tv. Conversely, Whitehat, is a kid who abides by the rules. If he's told not to do something, or do something, he abides by the rules. Blackhat is a risk taker, sometimes he wins exponentially,sometimes he loses big time. Whitehat listens to every instruction and runs a risk of being controlled too much which is boring sometimes.
     
  15. seomanifest

    seomanifest Regular Member

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    Whitehat can be done and is still done all the time, but you either need lots of cash or you are in a niche market where the competition is low.

    Then again, I firmly believe to become a good SEO you should be a good whitehat and be able to achieve results like that, and if you are good at that Blackhat becomes easy.

    A good SEO should be able to balance between the two depending on the situation, I for one have only used whitehat so far and still have achieved decent results. I am ready to do some blackhat but only one secondary sites and more as an experiment than anything else.

     
  16. matapples01

    matapples01 Regular Member

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    I think it boils down to, like most other questionable practices, your intent. If your intent is to artificially manipulate the search engine results then it can be perceived as black hat. In reality it's just a soapbox term to let the purist stand on and say how righteous they are or the blackhats to stand on and thumb their nose at the whitehats.
     
  17. Banzai

    Banzai Newbie

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    To me, white hat SEO means utilizing solid keyword research to optimize the wording of the content on your pages around the words and phrases that are most used by searchers. The alternative is to just write copy in a vacuum - without any knowledge of the best terminology to use. I have jumped clients to page 1 of the SERPS by ONLY re-writing their content, title tags, and meta tags to use "this way" of saying their targeted keyword phrase instead of "that way." One client in particular was using the singular version of his keyword phrase, but research showed that the plural got much more search traffic. By making a minor change to his wording to utilize the plural, he ranked better for both versions.

    White hat SEO is being smart about the way you craft your content and your site structure in order to maximize your site's relevancy to the target market.

    That said, I do think there are some things that are traditionally thought of as white hat SEO that are probably at least gray when you really think about it.
     
  18. shyntaxx

    shyntaxx Registered Member

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    That is just simple ...

    White Hat Seo: Long Term
    Black Hat Seo: Sort Term .. paff ..
     
  19. liamizdabest

    liamizdabest Registered Member

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    lol good question. When you really think about it, google has made everything against the rules. Correct me if I'm wrong... but I think your not even supposed to do link exchange.
     
  20. Dev-Gank

    Dev-Gank Regular Member

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    I could agree with this statement. I think that WH like he said, is just using traditional backlinks and unique content.