Offliner Marketers: Is This Considered White Hat?

7 replies
I recently came across a strategy for offline marketing that involves capturing all 10 spots (or as many as possible) for a particular local key phrase (e.g., podunkville italian restaurants), and then building a fake business page or directory to hold each of those spots. Then, you go to local businesses that are relevant to the niche which you now dominate and sell those positions to those businesses. In essence, you've displaced legitimate businesses that were in the top 10 (but didn't know anything about SEO or IM), and now you're basically holding those 10 acquired spots hostage to the companies that would like to sit in those positions.

This doesn't strike me as law-breaking but it also doesn't strike me as being terribly ethical. Am I being a naive boy scout or does this really cross the border into extremly-dark-hat territory?
#considered #hat #marketers #offliner #white #whitehat
  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    It falls under same business model of the rent-a-site plan where you build a "generic website" for...lets say....podunkville dentists...or what ever your niche is....get a good domain like bestpodunkvilledentist . com, get the website ranked 1st page...then pimp it out to a local dentist for a monthly rental or a flat sales price...

    As far as those displaced legitimate businesses that were in the top 10.....well...isn't that what SEO businesses strive to do?......Rank higher than the existing sites on the first page? If you can optimize your website to rank better than or better yet.....snag all 10 spots as you are trying to achieve...then have at it. Nothing BlueFart about it....
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  • Profile picture of the author brucemcc
    Is there any difference between this and the real world where McDonalds buys up property on all 4 corners of an intersection so that they can control the competition?

    What about the sites that are setup for no other reason than to generate leads? These sites have bumped another business off the first page. These sites are NOT in the business type or industry that they are collecting leads for. Sites such as

    I don't see anything wrong with this practice at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    I think you're confused.

    Whitehat just means using legit strategies for SEO purposes, as opposed to Black Hat which is basically asking Google to chase you down with a sharp Axe.

    Has nothing to do with how you actually present things on the internet...that's more of a question of ethics...

    But either way as long as someone searching for the solutions those businesses provide can find them, then such is the life of SEO competition...

    Now if you were taking up the bulk of the first page for Chicago Dentists...and havings site that sent them to a Pornographic you'd have a problem on your hand

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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    You could do that.

    However, I've found it easier and far more profitable to simply help business owners get more of whatever they're looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author digidoodles
    In all reality, there is NO white hat seo.

    The very act of optimizing for a search engine is, by definition, NOT white hat. After all, you SHOULD be optimizing for human user experience NOT search engines, according to google.

    So, whether you build 10 links three times weekly on every month that has a blue moon or you build 50 million links three times daily, it's all artificial and is, by definition, not white hat.

    Same goes with landing pages.

    Having said all of that, I optimize for search engines so that I can give users a better experience (that is, get them to my website because I think it's the best!


    My niche is feeding my family... What's yours?
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    I don't think it's bad to use all of the options available to you to distribute your content. If you do that effectively then page one being covered with lots of results of yours is just a natural side effect. If you're effectively marketing a site then you should end up with multiple top results.

    nothing to see here.

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