Do you know what "Blackhat" really means?

72 replies
It seems that the new marketing trend is to use 'Blackhat' as a keyword... (even for whitehat techniques to confuse people even more)

The justifications I have seen: just don't do it too much or else you will get caught.

So, don't rob the same liquor store twice in a row? Or, wear a different mask if you want to rob the same place twice?

The true meaning of Blackhat is doing something against the rules... or laws. If you are caught, you need to comply with the people who's rules/laws you have broken.

Many newbies don't realize the potential consequences.

Information is very powerful, for both good and evil.

Choose your path wisely.

Jared
#blackhat #means
  • Profile picture of the author tim_buchalka
    Hi Jared,

    Good post, but it's not always that black and white is it (poor joke I know).

    Something can be viewed as blackhat and it does not break a rule or a law. But generally I suspect most people would know that something is blackhat purely based on how they feel about it.

    I too have noticed that some of the guru's are promoting "blackhat" more than they used to (not naming anyone howie, whoops).

    Maybe blackhat sells because it's seen as somehow magical and better than white/grey hat.

    Cheers



    Tim

    Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

    It seems that the new marketing trend is to use 'Blackhat' as a keyword... (even for whitehat techniques to confuse people even more)

    The justifications I have seen: just don't do it too much or else you will get caught.

    So, don't rob the same liquor store twice in a row? Or, wear a different mask if you want to rob the same place twice?

    The true meaning of Blackhat is doing something against the rules... or laws. If you are caught, you need to comply with the people who's rules/laws you have broken.

    Many newbies don't realize the potential consequences.

    Information is very powerful, for both good and evil.

    Choose your path wisely.

    Jared
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543801].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    This is a quote from a good friend of mine:

    White Hat: Sell the best stuff you know, believe in it, and follow the rules.

    Gray Hat: Do White Hat stuff, but throw in some bullshit and if, perchance, you sell some crap, take the money and run.

    Black Hat: Get as much money for as little as you can. Favor quantity crap over quality value.

    Jared
    Signature

    P.S.

    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543809].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

      This is a quote from a good friend of mine:

      White Hat: Sell the best stuff you know, believe in it, and follow the rules.

      Gray Hat: Do White Hat stuff, but throw in some bullshit and if, perchance, you sell some crap, take the money and run.

      Black Hat: Get as much money for as little as you can. Favor quantity crap over quality value.

      Jared
      Jared,

      I thought you said blackhat/whitehat refered to movies and cowboys? Neither you nor your friend mentioned this at all in your descriptions. :confused:
      Signature
      Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
      Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543883].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Roy Carter
      Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

      This is a quote from a good friend of mine:

      White Hat: Sell the best stuff you know, believe in it, and follow the rules.

      Gray Hat: Do White Hat stuff, but throw in some bullshit and if, perchance, you sell some crap, take the money and run.

      Black Hat: Get as much money for as little as you can. Favor quantity crap over quality value.

      Jared
      Those definitions will do for me and i'll continue to do my marketing as described in the White Hat definition above.

      Sure, it could mean that it takes me longer to make my millions, but I can live with that and I can also look myself in the mirror and like what I see (apart from the beer gut of course )
      Signature
      "How To Hang Out On Various Exotic Islands
      Whilst Still Making Shed Loads Of Money...and stuff!"


      Get your FREE ISSUE entitled...'A Quick, Easy $2,000 In Your Pocket By This Weekend!'
      >> ---> http://LettersFromASmallIsland.com/sq1.html <--- < <
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544628].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bert Ritz
    A very timely post, and thank you.

    I was just over at the WSO offerings and it seemed like every third title had the word "blackhat" in it. Is it the hew buzz word?

    Not for me, thank you!
    Signature

    HDTV Convertion...Are You Ready? http://hdtvconversionsolutions.blogspot.com
    Start Cleaning Up! http://incomeinamonth.blogspot.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543837].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      I think the problem arises because blackhat originally refered to SEO that didn't adhere strictly to Google's "rules".

      Since, the term had been adopted and distorted to be used in other methods of marketing, to the point there is no one single, accurate definition.
      Signature
      Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
      Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543849].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        I think the problem arises because blackhat originally refered to SEO that didn't adhere strictly to Google's "rules".

        Since, the term had been adopted and distorted to be used in other methods of marketing, to the point there is no one single, accurate definition.
        Kurt,

        On the contrary, these terms originated way before the Internet... it goes way back to the cowboys in the wild west, in the old movies, the good guys wore white hats, the bad guys wore black hats. :rolleyes:

        Jared
        Signature

        P.S.

        Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543855].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

          Kurt,

          On the contrary, these terms originated way before the Internet... it goes way back to the cowboys in the wild west, in the old movies, the good guys wore white hats, the bad guys wore black hats. :rolleyes:

          Jared
          Yep, but I don't see your polnt. Blackhat, in the context of IM, was folks that didn't obey Google, therefore they were the "bad guys". And, in the context of IM, the term "blackhat" first applied to SEO.

          And the reality is, blackhat really is just a Hollywood creation, not real life.

          And until I know exactly what one's definition of blackhat is, I can't say if it's moral/immoral, illegal/legal.

          I have no problem "gaming" google in the example Brian gave. I pay for my domains and hosting and if I want to spam 1 article I own into 1000 sites, it's google's job to police their own site. If they boot me, fine, it's their site.

          But I do have problems with the other examples Brian gave, and in my own definition, they aren't "blackhat", they are illegal.
          Signature
          Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
          Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543879].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            And the reality is, blackhat really is just a Hollywood creation, not real life.

            And until I know exactly what one's definition of blackhat is, I can't say if it's moral/immoral, illegal/legal.
            Kurt,

            No, it's not a Hollywood creation, there have been people who steal for a living for ages now... it's not a new thing.

            My definition of a true blackhatter is someone who does immoral, unethical, illegal type activities. Not someone who knows how to play the "Google game". There is a huge 'grey' area, which I'm not trying to debate.

            Let's take Pay Per Install spyware/adware/viruses for example... you are paid a buck or so to basically spread a virus around... which kills peoples computers, hijacks affiliate links, you name it... and you get paid for destroying someone's computer, or stealing affiliate sales... sure it's lucrative, but is it ethical?

            Speaking about stealing affiliate sales, what about cookie stuffing? Is that ethical/moral/legal?

            How about phishing schemes that bait people into giving their paypal/credit card/bank account info, and then their accounts are drained?

            That's my definition of true "Blackhat" schemes.

            Jared
            Signature

            P.S.

            Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543952].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author sevenish
              Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

              ...
              No, it's not a Hollywood creation, there have been people who steal for a living for ages now... it's not a new thing.

              My definition of a true blackhatter is someone who does immoral, unethical, illegal type activities. Not someone who knows how to play the "Google game". There is a huge 'grey' area, which I'm not trying to debate.
              YOUR definition, which is outside of the context of the discussion of "blackhat SEO", is immaterial.

              You are unimaginably clue-free here and your holding forth on the subject only continues the confusion of others who are also clue-free.
              Signature

              100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544169].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            Blackhat, in the context of IM, was folks that didn't obey Google, therefore they were the "bad guys". And, in the context of IM, the term "blackhat" first applied to SEO.
            I beg to differ... "blackhat" has been around in the IM field way before google was even around.

            Take a look at this recent news story, so, how is google & SEO involved with this?

            BBC NEWS | Technology | Parking ticket leads to a virus
            Signature

            P.S.

            Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544104].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author GopalG
              If it makes money, it does not matter whether it is blackhat or whitehat as long you are safe. Black hat marketing is how the big players make money and reinvest them back in their whitehat business.
              Signature

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544110].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Warriors - I would really like your thoughts on this possible WSO:


    "New Blackhat Method - Make Thousands Learning How to Steal Credit Card Numbers from the Elderly!!!!

    They're not savvy online users and many times don't have the faculties to know they have been ripped-off. Hit them again and again and again until their bank closes their account from a mountain of overdrafts!

    Only $7 !!!!"



    Would you think this is Blackhat?

    Would you do it?

    --------

    Assuming you answered no to the last question, then why in heck are you buying, promoting, pimping, etc., "blackhat" methods that are just out and out theft and fraud?

    For example, this recently popular con: copy (steal) movie videos, move trailers, video game trailers, etc., put your affiliate link all over them and promise people a free download, but instead give them a CPA offer so you make a $1.15 per signup.

    It's fraud on the CPA company. It's fraud on whoever signed up. It's fraud, copyright theft, trademark infringement, etc., against entertainment industry.

    The amount of work and contortions people go through to try to make a couple pennies, while risking literally everything they own and their relationships with family and friends, is just astounding.

    To make the situation even worse, you should know that fines, penalties, damages, etc., flowing from this sort of thing (fraud and intentional misconduct) are probably not dischargeable in bankruptcy court. Meaning this can haunt you forever.

    ------

    To answer the OP's original question, when I think of Blackhat it's something not necessarily illegal, but something frowned upon, or that Google does not like.

    For instance, a tool that in 3 minutes creates 100 websites with duplicate content from one of your articles, generating links pointing to one domain, to game a search engine listing. Perfectly legal. But Blackhat.

    Stealing YouTube videos, putting up your link, and fraudulently trying to get traffic and CPA signups - flat out illegal. Not just illegal, but stupid, and not Blackhat.

    It would be one thing if you were taking a risk with the opportunity of making a million bucks real quick and retiring. But you're not. These risks are for the chance to maybe make ten bucks.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543856].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sevenish
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      Warriors - I would really like your thoughts on this possible WSO:


      "New Blackhat Method - Make Thousands Learning How to Steal Credit Card Numbers from the Elderly!!!!
      Brian,

      "Blackhat" does not embrace fraudulent or unethical tactics. Many seem to have confusion in that distinction, including the OP of this thread as well as all of the wso sellers I've seen here who use the term for titillation's sake.

      The most successful "blackhat" wso seller here has stolen most of his ideas and scripts from legitimate product developers and owners. Ah, another example of something fraudulent and unethical ... but certainly far beyond the bounds of "blackhat".
      Signature

      100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544149].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
        Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

        Brian,

        "Blackhat" does not embrace fraudulent or unethical tactics. Many seem to have confusion in that distinction, including the OP of this thread as well as all of the wso sellers I've seen here who use the term for titillation's sake.

        The most successful "blackhat" wso seller here has stolen most of his ideas and scripts from legitimate product developers and owners. Ah, another example of something fraudulent and unethical ... but certainly far beyond the bounds of "blackhat".
        ROFLMAO... so sevenish, our views on what blackhat really means is quite different, because the true nature of being blackhat to me DOES embrace fraudulent and unethical tactics.

        I believe you are thinking of grey-hat or white-hat... lol
        Signature

        P.S.

        Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544178].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author sevenish
          Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

          ROFLMAO... so sevenish, our views on what blackhat really means is quite different, because the true nature of being blackhat to me DOES embrace fraudulent and unethical tactics.

          I believe you are thinking of grey-hat or white-hat... lol
          Nope. I'll stand by my original assertion that you haven't a clue. You've proven it all to well here.
          Signature

          100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544197].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
            Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

            Nope. I'll stand by my original assertion that you haven't a clue. You've proven it all to well here.
            So, when is your Blackhat WSO launching?

            P.S. I have a clue which side you are on...
            Signature

            P.S.

            Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544248].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author sevenish
              Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

              So, when is your Blackhat WSO launching?

              P.S. I have a clue which side you are on...
              You can check my signature to ascertain which side I'm on. Whoa, nothing even a clickable link down there!

              WSO? I was thinking to sell some PLR article packs sometime soon. Nothing too scintillating.
              Signature

              100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544284].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
            Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

            Nope. I'll stand by my original assertion that you haven't a clue. You've proven it all to well here.
            Too funny sevenish...you're the one without a clue. Justify it as you may black hat is violating companies terms. But you've disillusioned yourself into thinking it's not unethical. It's like those who have disillusioned themselves into thinking "gifting" is a legal business as well.

            Jared's definition is right on. As much as you want to believe using black hat techniques to violate companies terms of service is not unethical. Wow. Then folks try it and they get banned then come here and rant how evil that company is.

            It is black and white. Either you follow the terms of service established by companies or you don't.
            Signature
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545897].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Everybody should read Michael D's and JayXtreme's replies to this topic.

              Even I realize that so much of what I do that I feel is "white hat" is
              marginally crossing that line.

              Before we start judging others, we need to take a look at our own backyards.

              As John Taylor said, everybody's piece of string is a little different in length.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545945].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
        Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

        "Blackhat" does not embrace fraudulent or unethical tactics.
        Most apparently, you are surely the "clueless" one...
        Signature

        P.S.

        Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544283].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author sevenish
          Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

          Most apparently, you are surely the "clueless" one...
          Are you aware that "link building" is among the strategies variously identified as "blackhat"? Hmmmm? I was just looking at your sig ...
          Signature

          100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544305].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
            Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

            Are you aware that "link building" is among the strategies variously identified as "blackhat"? Hmmmm? I was just looking at your sig ...

            Yup... you caught me... building whitehat backlinks by going by their rules is sooooo evil...

            That's my entire point with this thread... people often confuse whitehat with blackhat.

            In my opinion, the true definition of "blackhat" is illegal activities.

            ROFLMAO... keep digging your hole even deeper why don't you...
            Signature

            P.S.

            Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544320].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author sevenish
              Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

              In my opinion, the true definition of "blackhat" is illegal activities.
              YOUR opinion is immaterial.

              Your ignorance of the fact that link building has been variously considered and attacked as "blackhat" evidences ... um, your ignorance.

              When one wishes to have a coherent discussion, it helps to have similar points of reference. Your insistence upon using "YOUR OPINION" as the point of reference for this discussion means the discussion will remain incoherent.
              Signature

              100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544402].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
                Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

                YOUR opinion is immaterial.

                Your ignorance of the fact that link building has been variously considered and attacked as "blackhat" evidences ... um, your ignorance.

                When one wishes to have a coherent discussion, it helps to have similar points of reference. Your insistence upon using "YOUR OPINION" as the point of reference for this discussion means the discussion will remain incoherent.
                OK... I did not get the memo... since when is it a crime to voice your own opinion on a public discussion forum?

                I don't like to see newbies fall into the "get rich quick through blackhat" schemes that involve illegal activities... that in some cases may lead to prison time... what's wrong with that opinion?

                Jared

                P.S. There is no need for name calling... I never called you ignorant now did I?

                P.P.S. I encourage a coherent discussion... not a defensive/insulting discussion...

                P.P.P.S. I edited this reply, but you can see my original words below quoted by TLTheLiberator

                OK... I did not get the memo... since when is it a crime to voice your own opinion on a public discussion forum?

                So, in turn, you are saying, my "opinion" does not matter when I vote public officials into office?

                P.S. There is no need for name calling... I never called you ignorant now did I?

                P.P.S. I encourage a coherent discussion... not a defensive one...
                Signature

                P.S.

                Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544529].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
                  Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

                  OK... I did not get the memo... since when is it a crime to voice your own opinion on a public discussion forum?

                  So, in turn, you are saying, my "opinion" does not matter when I vote public officials into office?

                  P.S. There is no need for name calling... I never called you ignorant now did I?

                  P.P.S. I encourage a coherent discussion... not a defensive one...

                  Look what dude said to me...

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by sevenish View Post
                  I don't think we're "fellow students" of anything. Don't bother with the salute.

                  Hah?! It's not that deep, really.


                  My response:

                  What did I do to you dude?

                  TL
                  Signature

                  "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544540].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author robd1302
            Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

            Are you aware that "link building" is among the strategies variously identified as "blackhat"? Hmmmm? I was just looking at your sig ...
            Surely it depends on what methods one is using for "link building".

            There's the "blindingly-white-hat" method of actually producing awesome content that everyone wants to link to and the black-hat method of comment spam with 100 links in it - and lots of other methods in between.

            Link building, like may other types of optimization, is the 'ends' to which various techniques are the 'means'. Whether these 'means' are blackhat or whitehat is what makes all the difference.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544329].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    All I know is I stay far away from blackhat. I don't even know what the blackhat techniques are, but it seems to imply "unethical" so I'm not interested.
    Signature

    siggy taking a break...

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543878].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author peteradt
    Now here's a thread that I'd love to comment on because its right up my alley and
    specialty.

    When you have the ability to get 22,000 people to pay you $99 upfront in 181 days
    for a product and charge them $49.50 a month thereafter you got some power and
    you fully understand how to leverage all the hats. Green, black, yellow, purple
    white, Grey,

    What does it really matter?

    Using methods that most would consider black hat couldn't be further from the
    truth. Matter of fact its got nothing to do with classifying it as White, Grey, or
    Black

    If you understand the methodology behind how SEO works you can sit at the
    front of the table and eat like a King, rather than fighting for the scraps under
    the table.

    You see most people haven't the slightest clue what any of the hats are and just
    regurgitate the message and dilute it down.

    for sure I'd love to display some heavy content in here and explain it fully giving
    great content, but the fact of the matter is, lately I've grown a bit discouraged
    at a member moderated forum that is moderated by some people that don't understand when good content is posted to leave it alone.

    Whether it be... well I'm not even going to comment on that.

    Quality content should be left alone period. (if you have no desire to read it then don't)

    So at the risk of taking the time to fully help out the warrior hood and really get
    into the hats and the methods with proven results behind all three, I'll just leave
    this message here and not have to worry about getting the message whacked
    if I was to actually spend the time to get right in depth about the subject and
    leave behind some killer content with proven examples.

    Such is life I guess

    Oh well I'll read up when you guys post because this thread could be dynamite and
    there's so much that everyone could learn from it.

    But again why should I take the chance.

    Yours in success,

    Peter.
    Signature

    I'm just an entrepreneur who's trained thousands of students, worked with hundreds of clients to produce 6 and 7 figure incomes, a world traveler who's been to 4 continents, 102 countries, and 71 cities. Oh and here's one of my websites where I stood on stage and showed hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners who paid $3K each how to generate a six figure income. http://internetmarketing-alchemy.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[543899].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Habitat
    Hey look...somebody teach me some blackhat methods because I don't know any. Seriously send them in a PM
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544127].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lienadla
    I now understand better what "blackhat" means. I do stay away from anything illegal since I know it would come back to haunt me in the future.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544145].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Here's a great tried and true blackhat technique...

    Get a ski-mask, and a gun (you can get away with using your mom's panty-hose, and a candybar in your coat pocket that may look like a gun)... next, go to your local business owners, and demand that they give you all the money in their register.

    Works every time... untill you get caught.

    .jrd
    Signature

    P.S.

    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544189].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
      my analogy is like this...

      Blackhat - is like the athelete at the olympics thats takes steroids, wins a load of medals over a short period of time but as soon as he gets busted gets striped of them all... once the heat dies they start over again...

      Whitehat - is like the athlete who trains for years and finally starts winning medals its a slow process but rewarding...

      Greyhat - is the athlete that trains regularily but chugs 10 cans of energy drink before each race and actually wins a few medals here and there - hes not actually doing anything wrong but his actions might raise a few eyebrows!

      everything in moderation... you can do whitehat tactics, but do them over and over again and that theoretically takes that into unethical practice??? then you automate this and take it to another level??? Is this then Grey hat???

      For me blackhat is duping/misleads people into doing something that rewards the blackhatter

      just my 2cents
      Signature
      Sorry, I am too busy helping people to think of a cool signature!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544231].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    I salute my fellow students of the online business force. (OBF)

    This a conversation that stretches the limits of time and dimension and is worthy of the ancients themselves as it will go down in the annals.

    - I guess cookie stuffing is not a good thing: ( if I understand it correctly )

    - Phishing stuff is going way to far:

    - Totally illegal stuff is really bad:

    - No need to spam link creation anymore:

    - I have no problem "gaming Google"

    I have to go see Confessions with a big bowl of cherry vanilla ice cream....

    actually that was Secret Diary... I just finished watching.


    TL
    Signature

    "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544199].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sevenish
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

      I salute my fellow students of the online business force. (OBF)
      I don't think we're "fellow students" of anything. Don't bother with the salute.
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

      This a conversation that stretches the limits of time and dimension and is worthy of the ancients themselves as it will go down in the annals.
      Hah?! It's not that deep, really.
      Signature

      100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544238].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
        Originally Posted by sevenish View Post

        I don't think we're "fellow students" of anything. Don't bother with the salute.

        Hah?! It's not that deep, really.
        What did I do to you dude?

        TL
        Signature

        "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544304].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author robd1302
    There's no specific definition of 'Blackhat', but it's usually pretty clear when you're dealing with it.

    Those hundreds of spam comments that clog up my Wordpress sites are thanks to blackhat techniques.

    The useless pages that offer no useful content or links, which are primarily made up of stolen content from legitimate sites are thanks to blackhat techniques.

    Sites that mislead a visitor into downloading software (or use scripts to force the browser to download something against the user's will) is a blackhat technique.

    True blackhat techniques are a leech on the internet in the same way that email spam is a leech on email systems. It is marketers that use these techniques that cause the entire industry to be more heavily regulated, and in the end, we all lose.

    I've been away from the forum for a while, and I'm surprised to see how accepted blackhat and "dark-greyhat" techniques seem to be on this board compared to before. A few years ago, any mention of using these type of techniques would have been shot down my most Warriors very quickly. Now, it seems every other thread is about which plugins are best for stealing other people's content and changing a few words.

    If it makes money, it does not matter whether it is blackhat or whitehat as long you are safe. Black hat marketing is how the big players make money and reinvest them back in their whitehat business.
    It certainly matters to me, and I would hope it matters to a lot of people on this board.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544253].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sevenish
      Originally Posted by robd1302 View Post

      It certainly matters to me, and I would hope it matters to a lot of people on this board.
      Yep, it matters to me too. In fact I'm sure that it matters a great deal to others here on this forum as well.
      Signature

      100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544274].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Noel2010
    Many things that seem like it's whitehat is no different from a blackhat method.
    Most newbies will go for a blackhat system first because of the promise of quick money.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544326].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author meisters
    Blackhat is shorterm to make money, scam people with crappy product (usually I think), spamming and other stuff with unethically manner.

    Whitehat is long term to make money, use ethically strategy, sell ebooks with good information and usefull.

    Well I think this is my opinion. DON'T USE ANY BLACKHAT STRATEGY
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544338].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael D
    The true meaning of Blackhat is doing something against the rules... or laws. If you are caught, you need to comply with the people who's rules/laws you have broken.
    There is no "true meaning" of the term blackhat in reference to SEO and internet marketing. Sure, you may be correct in saying that the term originated in western movies and later in the "hacking" world referring to hacking and other illegal activities but you are grossly oversimplifying the term. I am really not sure what lesson you are trying to teach with this post. Don't rob from local business owners? Don't hack or phish?

    That may sound ridiculous, but in the context of your OP you stated blackhat is anything that breaks rules and or laws. This really isn't that simple. I will provide a couple of examples.

    Example 1:
    Link schemes - Webmasters/Site owners Help

    Examples of link schemes can include:
    • Links intended to manipulate PageRank
    • Links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web
    • Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging
    • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank
    This is straight from the Google Webmaster Guidlines. Now, to me, number 2 and 4 are pretty dry and cut. But, the other two just don't seem to be. Number 3 talks about reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging. Just how much is "too excessive"? 5 links? 10 links?

    My favorite is number 1 "Links intended to manipulate PageRank". When you do a "whitehat linkbuilding" campaign isn't this exactly what you are doing? Trying to get as many highly relevant high PR links you can? Wouldn't this be considered manipluation? If not, what exactly is considered manipulation?

    Example 2:
    Automated queries - Webmasters/Site owners Help

    Google's Terms of Service do not allow the sending of automated queries of any sort to our system without express permission in advance from Google. Sending automated queries absorbs resources and includes using any software (such as WebPosition Gold™) to send automated queries to Google to determine how a website or webpage ranks in Google search results for various queries.
    So, if you are using tools for keyword research besides Google's or one's with "express permission" you are could be breaking a rule. Have you determined if all the tools you use that query Google has their permission?

    The line between blackhat and whitehat is definetly a lot harder to draw then most people think...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544472].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CPA
    If you are doing something bad, illegal, scam, spam, mislead, do unwanted stuff and you are not afraid of the consequences then you are surely doing blackhat.

    if you just have a website and a mailing list and you do nothing that involves scamming people, misleading them, installing stuff on their computer, spamming their inboxes, or stealing their stuff then you do whitehat.
    Signature
    Article writing services still available!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544549].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      I think the thing that's being missed here is the differing perceptions resulting from length of exposure to Internet Marketing and people's upbringing.

      When I first started almost everything people were recommending seemed to be blackhat. Now I have a much clearer idea of what I consider to be Blackhat, Greyhat and Whitehat.

      But that's all it is, my opinion.

      If we exclude strategies that are obviously illegal, people will still differ on what constitutes the different hats.

      For instance, I think anything that 'pollutes' the internet is Blackhat, for example, creating hundreds of automated blogs or using article spinners. Other people may laugh at me for being naive, but that is my sincerely held belief.

      Which leads us to another interesting question. If a marketer you respected started promoting a Blackhat product, what would you do?

      Martin
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544582].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author grumpyb
    In the good old days when I was training sales staff we used to talk about who you wanted the deal with
    The man in the white hat the man in the grey hat and the man in the black hat

    The man in the White hat NO because there aint anyone that pure and honest
    The man in the Grey hat NO because he could not make up his mind what he was
    The man in the Black hat YES because we all knew what he was and could deal acordingly

    It s a matter of perspective and what is black hat to one might not be to another
    Personaly I am not sure what exactly it means in SEO terms but I think it must be not flouting the Google guidelines entirely
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544563].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ellehc
    Blackhat is techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner. I think this is not recommended to use, I gotta say it's better to used whitehat to avoid some problems..
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544565].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Step back for a moment and consider..

    Black hat in the context of SEO is not illegal. It's about consciously using a high risk strategy that pushes the boundaries of the search engine's terms and conditions.

    When you accuse an honest and eithical marketer who happens to use black hat SEO strategies of being dishonest by mis-using the term black hat in the context of a marketing forum, don't be surprised if that person gets angry and defensive. You're messing with people's reputations.

    The problem with this thread is that it tackles an emotive topic, there is no accepted definition of black hat and everyone's piece of string is of a different length.

    John
    Signature
    John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544738].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
      Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

      The problem with this thread is that it tackles an emotive topic, there is no accepted definition of black hat and everyone's piece of string is of a different length.
      Well spoken John... so, how long is a piece of string? (in any context)

      After stepping back and thinking about it...

      I guess my motives with this thread is to measure what lengths of string people believe in.
      Signature

      P.S.

      Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544754].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Mornin Peeps... I love these discussions...

    Great stuff from both sides...

    Bear this in mind:


    Each and EVERY time you manually build an article or content intended to rank high in the search engines.. you dirty YOUR hat a little... by participating in manipulation of the SERP's

    Each and every time you write a blog post that is keyword focused.... your hat gets dirty...

    Think about that...

    Read a little of this : Webmaster guidelines - Webmasters/Site owners Help

    Have a great day...

    Peace

    Jay

    p.s. Search engine T.O.S. is a must read for all internet marketers.. I'm not saying you HAVE to stay within them, but I think they really should be read by all...
    Signature

    Bare Murkage.........

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544861].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      I don't know about equating with good or bad, but black hats just look cooler. Look at any of the old Clint Eastwood westerns. I would have puked if Clint had pulled on a white hat (although not as bad as a pink one).

      I equate white hats with golfers who wear pastel colours. You won't catch me dead in one.

      Oh, we're not talking about fashion?

      Bah! Back to whipping my hamsters into shape. BTW, they don't wear white hats either,. They've got these cool black berets. Don't mess with them.
      Signature
      Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[544896].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rafaelapolinario
      This all could be true, its just the way business goes. You do good stuff and comply with the rules. And black hat method could bust your site if big G tracts where all your hefty backlinks coming from.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545529].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
      Lets not get confused with semantics, "blackhat" is just a word.

      Criminal actions- intended to defraud or harm another person (as opposed to search engine tactics) ... obviously are wrong and immoral.

      The word blackhat has been use to denote various SEO activities lately.

      Not that I agree with either, but there's no sense in defending or attacking a word.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545554].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Kurt,
      I think the problem arises because blackhat originally refered to SEO that didn't adhere strictly to Google's "rules".

      Since, the term had been adopted and distorted to be used in other methods of marketing, to the point there is no one single, accurate definition.
      Amen, dude. This business is one of the sloppiest I've ever seen, in terms of how we misuse and distort the language. We can't even keep our own jargon straight.

      We have tons of minimally clued people trying to sound sophisticated. They use words to get attention without knowing what those words really mean, and that confuses other minimally clued folks. Distortion abounds.

      (Going into pedant mode...)

      As Jared mentioned, the term "black hat" comes from early westerns. In those movies, the bad guys almost always wore black hats. That was the visual clue for the viewers. "See this one? That's the villain."

      Many of the bad guys in those movies were characters who would lie, cheat, steal and (sometimes) shoot you in the back. They were totally self-focused.

      There were others, though, who had a sense of honor, but had no use for conventional rules. They lived by their own, and they made (and took) their own chances. They were unrepentant, powerful individuals.

      The perfect archetype.

      (End pedantry.)

      As you say, you can't tell if something is ethical or not based on that word alone. The world doesn't work like those movies, where black and white were more than just the colors available. A lot of what I see called 'blackhat' is just clever technique. A good chunk is, as Brian mentioned, flat out illegal. A lot more is in the grey areas, where it's more a question of application than technique itself.

      The sort of stuff you referred to - not evil, but playing at or over the edges of the rules - is called blackhat because the people doing it see themselves as the "make your own rules" types that made the honorable villains of old westerns so interesting.

      Peter,
      Quality content should be left alone period. (if you have no desire to read it then don't)
      There are limits to what is allowed here, and they exist for very good reasons. They're not going away any time soon.

      The last part of your statement is something that always makes me chuckle. It's so illogical, and yet so many people say it, without a clue of the humor.

      How, sir, do you know if you want to read it without actually reading it?

      Gopal,
      If it makes money, it does not matter whether it is blackhat or whitehat as long you are safe.
      Welcome to my personal blacklist.

      sevenish,
      YOUR definition, which is outside of the context of the discussion of "blackhat SEO", is immaterial.

      You are unimaginably clue-free here and your holding forth on the subject only continues the confusion of others who are also clue-free.
      Read first. Then respond.

      The interjection of SEO is a natural thread drift, but it has nothing to do with Jared's OP, except through that drift. Note that this discussion is NOT - notice that word - about just blackhat SEO.

      Your insistence that it is have led you to be pointlessly rude.

      When someone says "my definition," and makes no effort to force adherence to said definition, you should consider that an opportunity for clarity in communication. Not an excuse to bash them for having a different understanding of the word than you.

      One of my favorite Frank Herbert quotes is, as I recall it, "All definitions should be considered probationary."


      Paul
      Signature
      .
      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545812].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author robd1302
      Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

      Each and EVERY time you manually build an article or content intended to rank high in the search engines.. you dirty YOUR hat a little... by participating in manipulation of the SERP's

      Each and every time you write a blog post that is keyword focused.... your hat gets dirty...
      I don't understand your point. Google doesn't care if people write content that is intended to rank high in the search engines. In fact, one of their guidelines that you linked to says "Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it."

      Google isn't the enemy here - it actually helps them if high-quality sites use SEO methods that help Google find them and rank them accordingly.


      If you are purposefully breaking someone's terms in an effort to promote your website, then you are using gray/blackhat strategies. Simply promoting your site in an effort to get it highly ranked is not a problem. Breaking rules to make it happen is the problem.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546047].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author grumpyb
        Originally Posted by robd1302 View Post

        If you are purposefully breaking someone's terms in an effort to promote your website, then you are using gray/blackhat strategies. Simply promoting your site in an effort to get it highly ranked is not a problem. Breaking rules to make it happen is the problem.
        Yes but the rules are A not clear and B made by Google to protect Googles revenue monopoly on their search engine.

        Having a site that is full of spun gobbly gook rank as number 1 would IMO be in detriment to googles value as a search engine. So if so called Black Hat methods enable this then I can fully understand how and why Google would want to shut this down.

        However having a site that is full of Information relevant to the search or that sells a product highly relevent to the search would IMO enhance Google as a search engine, and there would be no logical reason to stop this.

        I would imagine that its googles worst nightmare that often when you do a search the results are in many occassions very poor in terms of relevance to the search done. This surely must be the main thrust of what they are trying to prevent and stop.

        If you launch a new site today selling a product and you dont activley work on getting links etc then you chances of being seen on google are very remote and from a selling perspective you need page 1 first 6 results to get any sort of good results.

        I have a freind who is not into SEO or the Internet and his site afte 4 year is now number 16 on google with 3 backlinks and no keyword density to speak of in the content. Just enough key words to get him there after 4 years.

        Who can wait 4 years to see aresult in a selling venture ?

        Whilst many have said that some of us are using Black or Grey hat methods simply by getting backlinks and gaming he system I am sure that at the end of the day Google needs good relevant sites to come up in any search.

        So I wonder how much of this is really worked on at google.
        Surely they must have something in place to differentiate between a totaly spun goblygook site and one that actually presents some information or products relevant to the search being made.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546118].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
        Originally Posted by robd1302 View Post

        Simply promoting your site in an effort to get it highly ranked is not a problem. Breaking rules to make it happen is the problem.
        and promoting your site in an effort to get it highly ranked IS breaking the rules.

        here's a copy/paste straight from google.com:

        Examples of link schemes can include:
        • Links intended to manipulate PageRank
        Signature

        -Jason

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546190].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author robd1302
          Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

          and promoting your site in an effort to get it highly ranked IS breaking the rules.
          Maybe we're talking about different things here.

          Writing unique content and posting it online is not 'manipulating' anything. It's simply trying to get traffic to your site.

          Buying or trading links in an effort to get ranked higher in Google could be seen as 'manipulating'. Writing high-quality content with relevant keywords is doing exactly what Google asks you to do.


          Yes but the rules are A not clear and B made by Google to protect Googles revenue monopoly on their search engine.
          I think the rules are fairly clear. There's some gray area, but if you don't even wander into it, it's no problem. Of course the rules are to benefit Google. They own the search engine, and they can make any rules they like. They benefit from having relevant search results though, so that is their primary objective.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546227].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Terry Crim
            I don't follow the various definitions of black hat it seems everyone from dabblers to hard core bend or break rules to find the most powerful results.

            Whether it be SEO manipulation or Social Media Gaming everyone that steers left of the white line is out to test barriers to see one if they truly exist and also to see what additional results they can get. Blackhat is similar for me to hot rod enthusiasts that tweak their cars/trucks to get the most horse power and speed or computer clockers that stretch the hardware of their computer to get the most output without blowing their computers up. Samething to me.

            I know quite a few black hat enthusiasts who on a good day only gets banned from one site. I am often told of why this or that worked or didn't even when they get their accounts shut down they don't consider it a failure. Blackhaters are the most anal at testing and tracking I have EVER seen in my life.

            I don't condone or promote a lot of what is done though I understand why they do it. To go beyond what most consider "the box" and find out if the box does exist and if so how far they can push the limits until it breaks.

            SEO, forums, social media etc etc... doesn't matter it is all the same really. I don't judge and as far as who's string is longer.. I don't care, I stopped playing that game a long time ago.

            I personally don't do the black hat stuff, I have experimented in the past with some things I picked up from here and there though the results for me wasn't worth what I had to go through. I just have no interest in stretching the limits of say facebook or SEO gaming.

            I do know that black hat techniques when used by someone that knows what they are doing can bring in A LOT of money quickly BUT to get to the point of knowing what you are doing to get those results, for most people it isn't worth it.

            Brian Kindsvater brings up some good points in his post so does Taylor and Paul Myers. Though the arguement of what Black Hat is and who does it better than someone else I leave to you to discuss.


            Thanks,

            Terry
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546336].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Jason,
          Examples of link schemes can include:
          • Links intended to manipulate PageRank
          An important word in there: Can.

          Not all links intended to manipulate PR would fit. For example, getting a link from a high PR site that's relevant would be a natural thing. The person doing it might want the link for the PR, but they still have to have content that merits it, or the link will go away.


          Paul
          Signature
          .
          Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546289].message }}
  • Check my avatar pic. That ain't a cowboy hat!
    Signature
    "The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win." -- misquoting Coach Vince Lombardi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545205].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
    Some people selling courses refer to their methods as "blackhat" when in fact they are not blackhat, just whitehat methods in large volume.

    It is called "blackhat" as a marketing ploy.

    A lot of people don't make enough money at IM and they end up looking for a quick fix and hence "blackhat" methods, real or otherwise, appeal to them.

    Build a proper business around things that people want, whether that is information or physical products, or whatever.

    Help enough people with their problems or difficulties etc. and success will follow if you do the right steps.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545334].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Tyler Ellison
    The definition of black hat has been argued so many times that it's really kind of a dead horse with no way to get everybody to agree. Some people say black hat is only illegal activity, others say it's a simple as editing Wikipedia with link spam.

    I see black hat as an attitude: a disregard for rules to obtain an objective. So it doesn't matter that Google says they don't like doorway pages - if they work then a black hatter will build them. It doesn't matter if affiliate networks say you can't stuff cookies. If it works, a black hatter will keep stuffing them. It's usually a short-term solution since you can only get away with breaking the rules for so long, but in many cases it can get results faster because in some ways it's a sort of "cheating"...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545394].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Jared - while I applaud your stand on ethics, you are simply wrong in your definition of black-hat.

    It is sort of like 'hackers' vs 'crackers', in that there is difference in intent that is either lost, or simply unknown, to the general public. The average joe who wakes up one morning and see's his wordpress blog has someone elses affiliate links in it will say that a hacker got to his site.. or, a hacker got into their paypal account and stole their money. but it wasn't a hacker in either scenerio, it was a cracker.

    black hat is simply gaming the search engines.. it has nothing to do with ripping people off.

    I belong to several 'private' blackhat forums, and scammers are not welcome in any of them. I belong to them simply because Black hat is the bleeding edge of seo - what's black hat today may be normal seo in a year - examples:

    social bookmarking for seo purposes, worrying about keyword density, auto-posting to your blogs, building blog farms, long tail keyword optimization, etc.

    True, many people take the blackhat techniques and cross-the-line, stripping bio's and links from articles, scraping others content, etc - and unfortunatley those people are not 'frowned on' in the black hat community the same way the scammers are

    I've got news for a lot of people out there. Building backlinks with the intent on helping your search engine rankings (vs traffic) IS gaming google, against their rules, and is NOT white hat. If you care if the link is 'no-follow', then you are tyring to manipulate the SE and violating google's 'webmaster guidelines'. accept it or not - if you do this, you are not 'white hat'.

    Here's how to know if what you are doing is black hat:
    - assuming that you already understand (and most people don't):
    a) anything you do with the intent of getting google to rank you higher is against their rules and could get you de-indexed (or your pr dropped);
    b) building a site for the purpose of hosting adsense is againt google's TOS

    - then ask yourself this:
    would I be willing to show and explain EVERYTHING I've done involving my websites to a google rep? If you hesitate at all, then you are not 'white hat'.
    Signature

    -Jason

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545628].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Clark
    Google is the biggest blackhatter on the planet.

    They scrape your content without your permission to serve Adwords as their primary monetization strategy in their engine. If you don't want your content scraped, you have to go to their site for exclusion and/or modify your robots.txt file to prevent indexing from the LSI spiders.

    Further to that, if another site illegally possesses your copyrighted material on their site and its indexed in G then you have to take it up with the offending site and not G... but in the meantime, they will serve Adwords/Adsense alongside your stolen works to make money off it. -> Ever wonder why duplicate content still exists?

    Does anyone know if there are openings for content writers for Google News?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545721].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael D
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


    The interjection of SEO is a natural thread drift, but it has nothing to do with Jared's OP, except through that drift. Note that this discussion is NOT - notice that word - about just blackhat SEO.

    Your insistence that it is have led you to be pointlessly rude.

    When someone says "my definition," and makes no effort to force adherence to said definition, you should consider that an opportunity for clarity in communication. Not an excuse to bash them for having a different understanding of the word than you.
    I am honestly confused about the point of the OP. If he wasn't talking about blackhat SEO... What was he talking about? Doing illegal things in general? Doesn't really seem like a topic to start on a making money online board except to draw attention to the post just like the people he is accusing are doing the same thing. I am not saying these were his intentions, but the thread drifted to blackhat seo because that really is what the general term blackhat has come to mean in this industry. This may be our fault, but it has happened. So, naturally a thread is going to go this direction when it is very general.

    Also, when someone writes this:

    The true meaning of Blackhat is doing something against the rules... or laws. If you are caught, you need to comply with the people who's rules/laws you have broken.
    They aren't offering up their definition of the term. They are offering up the "true meaning" of the term. This is a discussion board, but we can't assume everything written is meant for everyone's own interpretation.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545888].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rlnorthcutt
    In researching an SEO strategy for a new ebook and WSO (which I thought was reasonably novel, btw), I found out that this "new" strategy had already been abused and ousted 1-2 years ago!

    Initially, I was a bit deflated thinking that all of the effort and work I had put into product creation just went down the tubes... but, further testing and research showed that the strategy is actually MORE powerful when done "whitehat"....

    As several people have pointed out, there are no hard and fast rules on what constitutes blackhat vs. whitehat. The boundaries seem to fluxuate with the users moral flexibility.

    EASY RULE - If it does violate the TOS of a site or service, then its a violation... Thats pretty clear. If you are playing in someone else's sandbox and you break their rules ON PURPOSE, then you are a "bad guy" in their world

    UNIVERSAL RULE - It comes down to intention. Even if you don't violate the "letter of the law", you can still violate the spirit of the community. So, ask yourself what your intention is...

    Is it to make as much money/traffic/etc. while you can and while the getting is good?

    Is it to serve and help others?

    What I found for my own System was that the scammers and spammers had no illusions that their tricks were only a temporary measure. They just were trying to maximize the time they had to get as much as they could.

    ON THE OTHER HAND - the folks that were truly offering a valuable service were and are doing great. One guy I came across put out a few bits in October and now has almost 50k backlinks coming in thru Yahoo (half that in google)... Its quality traffic and will continue to grow automatically.

    BOTTOM LINE - Black Hat is usually a temporary trick, which I think is very short sighted. Its a credit card solution - results today that you pay for tomorrow. Usually not worth it.

    White hat techniques MIGHT be a little slower out of the gate, but they tend to last and even build up over time. This is building an ASSET that will provide returns for years to come.

    Seems like a no brainer to me...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[545979].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I'll say it again -

    If you are doing anything with the intent of getting google to give some more love then you would otherwise have received (ie, other people link to you naturally because of your great site - not because you pay them to social bookmark you (or do it yourself)), you are violating their guidelines.

    If you are trying to manipulate the search engine you are NOT whitehat.
    Signature

    -Jason

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546183].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Here's the reason I started this thread, it was mainly for the newbies, one in particular that I saw at a 'darker' forum who tried a blackhat technique, and ended up getting banned from their affiliate network. The money they were expecting to pay their rent with this month, is not theirs anymore. This person is flipping out, and they did not realize that what they were doing could get them banned and put in such a tough situation.

    I have seen this time and time again when new people do not actually know what can happen if they cross the line without really knowing what they are doing.

    Newbies: leave the black hats for the cool kids, like Riley's hamsters.
    Signature

    P.S.

    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546405].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Michael D
      Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

      Here's the reason I started this thread, it was mainly for the newbies, one in particular that I saw at a 'darker' forum who tried a blackhat technique, and ended up getting banned from their affiliate network. The money they were expecting to pay their rent with this month, is not theirs anymore. This person is flipping out, and they did not realize that what they were doing could get them banned and put in such a tough situation.

      I have seen this time and time again when new people do not actually know what can happen if they cross the line without really knowing what they are doing.

      Newbies: leave the black hats for the cool kids, like Riley's hamsters.
      Well, you should have just said this in the beginning, LOL! I agree with why someone would be concerned here. If someone tries a method they don't know is blackhat and a situation like this would happen I would feel bad for them.

      But, I think a more important point, which was brought up already, is to follow the TOS of any affiliate site or site you need for your business. It is your responsibility to read what is allowed and what isn't. If you are doing something shady you should probably know. Do your research and due dilligence!

      BTW, I don't want anyone to think I am a blackhatter, or anything and I am not exactly defending it. It just means different things to different people.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[546470].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lavaleekathy
    An interesting thread, so far all I know is I stay far away from blackhat. Some have argued that black hat in relation to search engine optimisation is not illegal. I don't know what the blackhat techniques are, but it seems to suggest an "unethical" behaviour so I'm not interested. My 2 cents!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[547361].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
      this is an interesting thread - i had a similar discussion recently about this with someone else on this board regading my own methods - its evident peoples ideas of blackhat and whitehat methods vary greatly and some will defend their methods and cast their views and opinions passionately...

      if it has to be strictly black or white - any form of gaming google or trying to exploit a known loophole to enhance your rankings has to go down as blackhat... period no ifs or buts.

      and if thats the case then pretty much most people right now dont even realize they are using some form of blackhat techniques...

      for me then i guess im as blackhat as the next person but in all honesty i dont really care... i dont consider myself to be hurting anyone, or conning them in anyway...

      @lavaleekathy - just curious... do you backlink your own websites by bookmarking yourself or using social media websites? do you get links from high page ranking sites? If so would you consider that whitehat and ethical or blackhat and unethical? you do realize in certain circles you may not even realize that you are in fact implementing blackhat methods... just because your not aware of a method being blackhat doesnt mean its whitehat either!
      Signature
      Sorry, I am too busy helping people to think of a cool signature!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[593230].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Lee
    Good thread, and would agree that if your looking to make an honest and profitable income on line "whitehat" is the way to go. "Blackhat" is much more risky, as Jared summized, so its simply guilty conscience, guilty mind! The choice is yours...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[594058].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author misterlmno
    great post, I think people new to IM should find legitimate income streams before going into any "blackhat" techniques.

    I wonder how many people get caught out using them, and how bad the consequences can actually be?
    Signature
    Need Help With Your Keyword Research??

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[594079].message }}

Trending Topics