The latest ‘Site Reference’ newsletter has been released. The featured article is titled “Blackhat SEO: Protect Yourself by Recognizing The Bad Guys” by Bill Platt. [Site Reference Newsletter]

The latest Site Reference newsletter has been released.

‘Blackhat SEO: Protect Yourself by Recognizing The Bad Guys’

by Bill Platt

Over the years, webmasters have been told that they should want to avoid Blackhat SEO techniques in connection with their own websites. In general, I agree with this statement. But, by obtaining a deeper understanding of Blackhat search engine optimization, one could actually learn a bit about how to better his or her own positioning in the search engine results.

White Hat vs. Black Hat Search Optimization

Whitehat and Blackhat SEO is a comparison that is a take-off from the old cowboy westerns, where the good guys always wore white hats and the bad guys always wore black hats. So, in theory, we can assume that Whitehat practitioners are the good guys of SEO, and Blackhat practitioners are the bad guys of the industry.

But, the truth is a little bit more opaque than this. SEO is never a pure “white vs. black” issue. Just as in Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy” series, sometimes the white spy whipped the black spy, and vice versa, sometimes the black spy was victorious.

In theory, Blackhat SEO is the type of search optimization that will eventually get your website banned in the search engines. And sometimes it will.

But, it is truly fascinating to me when I visit a website such as and discover the world-renowned SEO expert Aaron Wall owns the website. In case you were not aware of it, Aaron Wall is the owner of the SEO Book and is recognized as one of the world’s foremost leaders in SEO technique.

Blackhat SEO Is A Learning Opportunity

To me, the study of opposites offers a greater understanding to mankind.

> One cannot know “altruism”, until one learns about “selfishness”.

> One cannot truly appreciate “wealth”, until they have experienced “poverty”.

> One can never declare something “easy”, until they have faced something truly “difficult”.

> A “slow” driver will seldom be noticed, until which time the “fast” driver passes them by.

These are the philosophical ramblings of Bill. 😉

I have always argued that in order to see the light, one must be able to recognize the darkness. And that is why when I am told to avoid something; I go right to it, so that I can see what it looks like, for the sake of being able to recognize it.

So, whenever I am in the mood to learn more about SEO, I search out Black Hat SEO forums and websites to learn how to recognize the dark, when I am in the light.

After all, if you cannot recognize the dark side, how do you expect that can you protect yourself from it?

There Are Always Two Sides To Every Story

Remember when your grandmother always told you that there were always two sides to every story? Well, my grandmother did, and I like to believe that everyone had a wise old grandma to help them find their way in life.

White Hatters teach us how to do things the right way. Black Hatters teach us the wrong way to do things. And as my grandmother used to be fond of saying, “the truth is somewhere in the middle.”

For example, White Hat web programmers teach us how to install Captcha scripts on our websites to keep the spammers at bay. Then the Black Hat web programmers come along and teach the spammers how to break Captcha software ( And as Grandma used to say, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The White Hatters try to teach us good programming technique and to present us with safe protection from spammers. And the Black Hatters teach us how to break the coding. You and I are in the middle, and by seeing the world through two sets of eyes (white and black); we can find better ways to protect our websites. Our websites are only as safe as the intelligence level of the programmers who try to protect us. If the bad guys are smarter, we lose. If the good guys are smarter, we rest safe in our protection schemes.

Some Black Hatters even call what they do Grey Hat SEO. One that I really like is called Slightly Shady SEO. They did a post about the little fun pill and the folks who push it. They referred to it as a keyword that will give a lot of insight into how Google is combating the spammers online: Click here to read the little pill post.

The previously mentioned post spoke at great length about the people who spam forums. We all despise these guys who trash up our favorite forums, and Slightly Shady exposes why our forums are always on the spammer’s target list.

As my grandmother said, “the truth is somewhere in the middle.” The little pill Black Hatters play an expensive game with the Google results, but at $2 commission per little pill, no wonder. But now that we understand what is going on, we know that we need to make sure that we keep our own forums clean of this trash, to protect our Trust Rank. We also know that one slam is not the end of the world for us, if we are quick to clean our own houses. But, if we cannot keep our houses clean, the Google will stop coming by to visit, for the exact same reasons why most girls avoid visiting bachelor pads.

Light Sources Are Always Brighter When We Stand In The Dark

One of my favorite television personalities, Carl Sagan said, “The exploration of the cosmos is a voyage of self discovery.”

This quote reflects the reason for my voyages into the light side and dark side of SEO. I study Whitehat SEO and practice the same. I also study Blackhat SEO to understand what is defined as the opposite of Whitehat SEO practices. By seeing what is dark, I can better see what is in the light.

I am comforted in knowing that I will never be pulled blindly into the dark side with Darth Vader. 😉 To quote from the Bible, “The blind will lead the blind into a ditch.” Now that my eyes have been opened to Blackhat SEO, I will never stumble and fall as I fish for better rankings in Google and the other primary search engines.

About Bill Platt

Bill Platt has written an ebook to share the secrets of his article writing success, after seven years of using article marketing for his own promotion and helping his clients to be successful with their own article marketing at: On his article marketing blog, he talks about how to write better articles, how to use articles for SEO, and even about SEO Contests.

Top Strategies and Intelligence…

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Lots and lots of content makes you more search engine friendly, helpsestablish your knowledge and expertise, explains in detail what youoffer, and justifies that offer with all the explanations, statistics,and rationale you can muster. The problem is nobody reads it.

A Few Words From Our Experts…

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Your sales are reduced when you fall victim to a very common problem.Prospects not getting past your Order Form. WHY they run is simple.Lack of confidence. WHAT to do about it is a bit more involved. You canreduce your prospects vamoosing (is there correct spelling forsynthesized words?) from your Order Form with a few simple adjustmentsand additions to your web sales process. Overall, it’s about addingmarketing copy at the top of your Order Form. The online marketing andecommerce system that I use, allows me to put HTML, audio and video at the top of their secure order forms…

How to Sell to the Rich – Part 2

I received some interesting comments about my last post. It seems thereare a few readers out there who are not marketers, either of the onlineor offline kind. And they didn’t agree with my contention that moneybrings happiness (and that more money brings more happiness). And, thatif you are ever to become a successful direct marketer – specifically,one who markets to the rich – you must first, as a priori, want withall your might – to be rich! One reader went so far as to imply that Iwas a moron (ouch!) Okay, so these dissenters probably either scannedthe post or didn’t fully understand it – and saw only what they wantedto see – an opportunity to disagree. I mean, after all, how couldanyone in their right mind ever disagree with anything I say? Sheesh!

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How to Use Reviews as a Marketing Tool

Looking for a way to write product or service reviews that will generate advertisement for blog or site? Find out what other users are doing to gain traffic through writing or submitting their reviews.

Punctuation… Does It Matter?

Korat wants to know if he’s using keyword phrasing for his websitebuild, and his phrases are incorrectly written, will it cause anyeffect to the site’s ranking on search engines. Read what the pros say and put in your two cents about incorrect grammar in keyword phrases.


Basket Lady says she’s struggling with her web domains. She is havingto rename her business, and consequently she believes she needs torename her online address. She does not want to lose her rankings withsearch engines and needs some advice on URL redirects.

Where to Place Banners on a Website?

While I am selecting a banner ad position for my website, which ofthese positions are the most profitable ones for click generation, oris it the same everywhere? Where would you put your banners?

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