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Is Black Hat SEO Waning?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by oldenstylehats, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. oldenstylehats

    oldenstylehats Elite Member Premium Member

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    CNET News posted an article yesterday in which Matt Cutts of Google, as well as others, discussed a waning trend in black hat search engine optimization and an increase in white hat design and techniques. First, a clip from the article:

    While Cutts is certainly not insinuating that the gig is up, we find it odd that CNET, and potentially Google themselves, are interpreting their position as "ahead." Quite frankly, and this has been true since the inception of internet search engines, the black hats, or those who choose to exploit chinks in the armor of search engines will always be ahead; it is the nature of their existence.

    We're not implying that all people who consider themselves to be on the edge of black hat SEO are experts, but certainly the individuals who do consistently seek out and act upon easier ways to gain higher rankings have a certain understanding of the underpinnings and business practices that cannot be obscured by changes in algorithm. To assume otherwise is a foolish and has the potential to be a dangerously arrogant perspective to hold.

    For every fresh-faced college graduate who gets hired at Google to fight spam, new SEO techniques, or any other number of "nefarious" activities, there are hundreds of equally talented young engineers, computer scientists, and enthusiasts who are struggling in an increasingly competitive, modern economy. Many of these individuals find themselves at a critical juncture. They must decide to either take an often low-paying, unsatisfying job in any number of industries or find elegant ways to support their lifestyles. Luckily for the black hat community, many of these individuals are choosing the latter.

    To be a black hat is to be more than an exploiter of computers systems; it is to be an explorer of the unknown. It is to follow the foot steps of previous explorers and to allow one's own personal imagination and intuition to guide them passed the comfort zones of most inhabitants of this dynamic organism we call the internet. Most importantly, it is to have an understanding and a connection to how it is changing in a way that most people will never be cognizant of.

    To say that black hat SEO is waning is to say that the potential for the thrill of financial freedom is coming to end, for what the black hat represents is the most key component of any functional capitalist society, market change. Black hats are some of the most integral agents of change that exist in this marketplace and without them the stagnant conditions that have forced many to the Internet in the first place could just as easily arrive here.

    Is black hat SEO waning? We don't think so, but if a time ever comes that these key members of the Internet community do begin to disappear, we fear that it will mark not the beginning of a Golden Age, but rather the beginning of the spirit of capitalism online resigning.

    This article was also posted on the blackhatzen blog.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  2. Gogeta

    Gogeta Power Member

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    I will take blackhat over white hat any day. I almost tripled my income when I started using blackhat methods.
     
  3. pointbreak

    pointbreak Newbie

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    same here :) im limited to useing blackhat bots since im to young :)

    but how can you combat blackhat techniques? google makes super troopers to search and report blackhat stuff?
     
  4. scubaslick

    scubaslick Regular Member

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    The "wild west" as he puts it, I believe, is coming to a close. That casts no reflection on black hat though. To put it in terms of the parallel he evoked, we're now moving into the beginnings of the industrial era of blackhat. Where the wild west was an individual or small group of bad guys running roughshod over the frontier, the new era of blackhat will be defined by those who understand the rules and within those rules find ways to circumvent the things that slow them down in their pursuits. [edit: or simply amass enough power to write their own rules]

    The lone cowboy just walked into a bank and robbed it at gunpoint; likewise the lone blackhat of even this year finds an exploit in the system, runs in and takes what s/he can get until the hole is discovered and plugged.

    The new breed of blackhat will be the equivalent of the industrial age tycoon, finding co-profitable relationships with the search engines that simply can't be taken down by do-gooder attitudes or knight in shining armor mentalities like the kids at the giggleplex are playing with now. The new breed of blackhat will build a bank and hire giggle to protect it, to stretch this analogy a little further than I probably should. S/he'll find ways to make a profit that look and feel legitimate to the masses to such an extent that regardless of the "ideals" of the search engines, they'll be complicit in the execution, propagation and protection of the method.

    Black hat isn't waning. It's just about to change it's shirt for one with a stiff collar, with no road dust and sweat stains. Maybe put on a tie and some lipstick.

    I for one am glad to be here at this here and now. Making a buck by playing in the basement is getting harder to do, but I believe that building an empire is about to become much easier... for a very very few.

    I intend to be one of them.

    Great post as always oldenstylhats. Much appreciated. I love the ones that make me go "hmmmmm."

    -scuba
     
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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  5. DrJekyll

    DrJekyll Senior Member Premium Member

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    Would it be a better statement to say that more "blackhat" methods are becoming acceptable practice therefore becoming "whitehat" therefore deminishing the ammount of blackhat techniques
     
  6. oldenstylehats

    oldenstylehats Elite Member Premium Member

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    I think this may be an interesting perspective to take. While certain techniques that definitely were frowned upon in the past seem to have been broadly accepted, like all of the crazy rules that used to limit the acceptable number of keywords in an HTML title tag, the line between black hat and white hat might have become a little thin when you get into the territory of, say, acceptable copy writing and link building campaigns.
     
  7. rudyvise

    rudyvise Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Its all in your heads guys - or wishful thinking or something like that. There are many more black hats out here who Matt Cutts doesn't know and they are making plenty of money and intend to keep on doing it.

    It is actually the reverse of what he says. The independent Black Hat is getting stronger. There is more to the Internet than Google. There is plenty of money to make and plenty of people who are going to keep on making it.

    It may be that guys like Cutts are starting to dumb down when they get into a cosy lifestyle or something. But for those who are hungry as hell - there will always be a way to buck the system and make good money.

    Don't be disheartened newbies....just keep working at it. You can make a mill too.

    Rudy
     
  8. Whisker

    Whisker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    Great thread, perhaps we can elicit and reiterate some of the nitty gritty.

    The "wild west" so to speak, is coming to a close in terms of all the absurd things we used to get away with to increase ranks in serps(changing links to the same color as background, keyword densities of 80%, user agent cloaking, etc). Now it is time for the true innovators to shine, as it will take a little more complexity and workaround to really exploit the beast.

    However; the same principles of seo still apply, and if you don't know whitehat and the origins of seo, then success in blackhat will be far from attainable. To be ahead of the curve, you gotta understand everything behind it, and make future predictions to what you need to invest your time reading about.

    Search engines are still dependant on ranking pages based on content and links. Relevancy for link building is becoming a neccesity for a new site to last, but that doesn't mean it can't be automated. A bot can just as easily type in queries as a human can to find links, libraries written, and captchas cracked for manual submission. Semantics and language processing is becoming more intelligent by the day, but if you understand the way those algorithms work to analyze the language and content you can write something to generate it in a way that is valid. This is where the most innovative blackhat appears. Instantly capitalizing on a newly implented systems and killing it until they find the loophole and plug it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  9. matapples01

    matapples01 Regular Member

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    It is changing and I think that a lot of folks see the Internet as the be-all, end-all in making money...which in my mind is kind of short sighted. Another better? option, IMHO, is to use white, gray and black hat methods to get traffic and rankings and then drive that to an "offline" business, as opposed to some affiliate company.

    Basically, work your leads instead of selling your leads. In time, you can create a relatively inexpensive, incredibly efficient and effective sales and marketing arm of whatever business you want to get in to.
     
  10. cokely

    cokely Registered Member

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    That is one of the most well-written posts I have seen here, long live the blackhat! I agree it will never die. and cs majors represent!
     
  11. themagician

    themagician Regular Member

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    In any traditional business, of which I have had several, you must use every marketing trick available in order to get your share of the disposable income customers will spend and to ensure your business survives.

    Now more than ever, just opening the doors to a business in the hope people will stumble upon it and walk in and purchase something, is a recipe for a rapid and spectacular failure.

    The Black Hat techniques, of which there are several with more being invented or discovered all the time, is as much a part of Internet Marketing as Creative Accounting* is to a traditional business.

    In order to ensure business success ALL tools available to you should be exploited.

    As with a traditional business, you must find the level you are comfortable with. Not everyone is happy to risk out-and-out IRS fraud just the same as not everyone is happy to CS eGay.

    These are exciting times and Internet Marketing, black or white, is still relatively new and there are members of this forum who are indeed true pioneers especially with techniques that didn't exist just a few short years ago.

    In the next 12 months, or less, we will see huge changes. Some for the better while others will have us scratching our heads perhaps longing for the 'good old days'.

    The 'Big-boys' are finally realising there are Black Hatters, programmers, coders who are just as clever as they are...maybe cleverer. They are now fully aware that far from being chancers, we are serious, intelligent business people knowledgeable in exploiting loopholes, or have the know-how to bend the rules using the technology they put in place to maximise our profits while still remaining within the law, or at worst simply just having a flair for interpreting their Terms Of Service more creatively...lol.

    They are starting to take Black Hat as a serious threat and a force to be reckoned with. It is a shame they have been alerted to this as it would have been so much better to remain in the background but we now can't stuff the genie back in the bottle as he is out and has outgrown it and is gaining more weight and momentum every day. It was inevitable this would happen sooner or later. As they try to slam the door on CS and other techniques, we will find a way to open a window and we will be relentless.

    As far as Internet marketing in general and Black Hat specifically are concerned...

    "You ain't seen nothing yet!'

    themagician

    *Creative Accounting or earnings management are euphemisms referring to accounting practices that may ?follow the letter of the rules of standard accounting practices, but certainly deviate from the spirit of those rules. They are characterized by excessive complication and the use of novel ways of characterizing income, assets, or liabilities and the intent to influence readers towards the interpretations desired by the authors. The terms "innovative" or "aggressive" are also sometimes used.

    The term as generally understood refers to systematic misrepresentation of the true income and assets of corporations or other organizations. "Creative accounting" is at the root of a number of accounting scandals, and many proposals for accounting reform - usually centering on an updated analysis of capital and factors of production that would correctly reflect how value is added.
     
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