Since I started my first online business I have been obsessed with learning about SEO, so that’s why today I’m allowing a fellow internet entrepreneur Mark Sherris to write a post on SEO.
Mark runs a Seo Services business and operates in areas like Seo Manchester and Seo London and he also runs an affiliate marketing business. One of the main reasons I like taking advice from Mark is because he doesn’t make all of his money from selling services, he actually makes the majority from ranking his own websites in Google such as e-commerce stores and affiliate blogs! You can see his latest review of get auto commissions here http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-forum-classified-ads/875070-get-auto-commissions-review-truth.html at the Warror Forum.
I’ll stop talking now, and let Mark begin…
SEO – What’s Working?
Firstly let me say a big thanks to Amir for letting me write an article. I’ve worked with Amir over the past couple of years on a fairly informal basis helping him with his online projects. As he mentioned despite running a seo consulting business the majority of my income comes from my own projects.
I have experience with every form of SEO from the blackest of the black hat to white hat. For me it’s about finding the balance between what works, what is sustainable and what is cost effective. Many argue that white hat seo (see moz’ explanation) is the only way to go. I actually think that white hat certainly has it’s place but it’s not the only way to go. It actually depends on your business and it depends what you are ranking.
For example: you could use white hat seo on your main website, grey hat seo on secondary websites and black hat seo on things like YouTube. This means your main website is sustainable and safe, and you are getting quick results from your secondary sites and extremely quick results from ranking YouTube videos.
I personally believe it all comes down to what the competition is doing. Some might argue that you shouldn’t do what others are doing, just because they do it does not make it right and that is fair enough but at the end of the day a business exists to make money. If black hat seo gives quick results and makes money then it is worth testing.
Methods that are working right now are high page-rank authoritive links. These are links that come from relevant websites to yours and websites that are trusted in the eyes of Google because they already have page-rank and/or many backlinks. You can obtain these links through legitimate white hat methods and you can also get them through grey hat methods such as buying PR domains and creating your own network.
When is it okay to use Black Hat?
I can give you a perfect example of when this is okay. One of my businesses involves reviewing internet marketing products. The competition is fierce and using white hat methods to rank here would be impossible.
100% of the people who are ranking for products in this niche are using grey hat or black hat methods. The white hat methods here are too slow and they would not work. Black hat however works perfectly. Many of the people ranking for products use YouTube videos and they all have 1000′s of spam backlinks to rank them. This is literally the only way to go if you want to rank in this competitive niche.
Also when you are ranking for product launches you are jumping on the hype of a product. This hype will not last therefore what is the point in spending time / money on legitimate white hat, or even grey hat methods to rank your website or YouTube video? You might as well use black hat because even if your website / YouTube video gets penalized it won’t matter as the launch is over.
There are certain circumstances when it makes sense to go the black hat route despite what others might think. At the end of the day, if your website provides the searcher with the relevant and helpful information, then who cares how the website got ranked? Competition is just that… competition and if black hat beats the competition then it can be incorporated into a seo strategy.
When should you avoid Black Hat?
You should avoid black hat SEO on your main website.
If you have a website that you really care about that you want to stick around for the long run and be sustainable then you absolutely must avoid Black Hat.
The only way to go with a website you really care about is white hat and perhaps grey hat.
When should you use White Hat?
White hat seo is something that is confused by many seo’s. For example: creating 100 unique articles and putting them on directories with a link back to your website is NOT white hat seo. This is grey hat seo. You are manipulating your ranking even though your content might be very good, therefore this is GREY HAT.
White hat is basically where you don’t build links yourself. To be a good white hat seo you essentially need to be able to network with people and attract links naturally.
Example: moz.com has probably has a 6-7 figure readership so whenever they publish a new article people read it and they might reference the article on their own websites. This is white hat seo because moz hasn’t manually created the link or even asked for the link. They have created some valuable content that people want to link to naturally.
Where does Grey Hat fit in?
Grey hat (or Gray if you’re American) is what most so called “white hat” seo’s actually do. It’s creating links yourself and even if you write the best possible article in the world if you are creating that link yourself then you are effectively doing grey hat.
This is what I personally recommend you do for the majority of your websites. Networking with other people to get links is fine but it takes time and your results are going to be far better if you utilize a mixture of white hat and grey hat.
One of the methods that is working that fits into the grey hat category is buying up expired domains with page-rank, filling them with relevant content to your website and linking back. You are essentially creating your own network of sites you can get links from. This is method that Google frowns upon because it’s manipulating their search results however it’s working extremely well and has done for years. Plus it’s something that Google would have to work extremely hard at to eliminate because these kind of links look natural and pass as white hat to their algorithmn.
A strategy you can use…
- Main website – mixture of white hat / grey hat
- Secondary websites – grey hat
- Other sites, article directories, forums, YouTube – black hat
This is a fairly safe way to utilize different website properties to get good rankings and traffic.
Big thanks for Mark for putting this together, you can learn more about his business at www.Marksherris.co.uk/ – If you enjoyed this article please leave a comment below.