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May 30, 2007

Death Rattle of Black Hat SEO

Yes indeedy! Judgment Day is visited unto the black hat seo brethren with a mighty vengeance that was foretold from the day the first scroll of code was writ in script!

Okay, enough with the pseudo biblical babble and down to business. Just in case you are not conversant with the term black hat seo, here’s a brief explanation:

Black hat seo methods are search engine optimization techniques and strategies that fall outside the guidelines and purview of the major search engines with the intent of manipulating the position of one’s website to a far more strategic location on those search engines’ results index.

The objective of black hat seo is to game the search engines in order to attract a ton of internet traffic in as short a time frame as possible. The opposite of black hat seo is known as white hat seo. Most cream-of-the-crop black hat seo practitioners have cloaking, coding and programming skills and employ(ed) self-designed software to game the search engines.

Black hat seo techniques by their very nature are short-lived and the black hatters are well aware of this. You see black hat seo techniques involve (or at any rate used to) capitalizing on a weakness or loophole in the search engine algorithms or manufacturing such a weakness and then aggressively exploiting that flaw before the search engines caught on. In other words black hat seo has always been a race against the search engines, with the black hat webmasters ever trying to stay one step ahead!

Old School Black Hat SEO Techniques

Being a step ahead of the search engines used to be relatively simple for the sole reason that the search engine algorithms of the day really were rather basic and crude compared to the situation of today. Some of the more pervasive and better known black hat seo techniques were keyword stuffing which quite often went hand in hand with the application of invisible text.

Invisible text is merely text that is the same color as the background color of the web page on which that text is located, thus being invisible to the human eye, but readily accessible to a search engine robot. People who used such techniques would stuff their website homepage (or any page whose position on the SERPs they wished to manipulate) with their most sought after keyword, in some cases inserting that keyword hundreds of times as invisible text.

Of course the search engines got smarter, caught on and quickly fixed such loopholes.

Generally, as a rule, black hat seo webmasters never used their main sites to pursue their shady techniques because they were well aware that the penalty if caught was death; death in the sense that any website found employing such black hat seo methods, was banned and forever removed from the universe of know search! So as mentioned previously, the black hatters never adopted such shady techniques on their main websites but instead used disposable websites with multiple back-links pointing back to their main sites.

Which naturally begs the question, since the search engines were quite capable of crawling those back links, why didn’t they then penalize the destination website huh?

Good question indeed, and here is the answer; because then it would be very simple for a competitor to get rid of their competition by getting that competitors website banned by setting up such a black-hat seo operation with the destination URL being that of the competition and not that of the black hatter’s website!

With that comforting piece of knowledge in mind the black hat seo webmasters were able to conduct their business, traipsing a step ahead of the search engines and making a killing. Besides when the search engines caught on the black hatters didn’t have to close shop right away for that particular black hat op; there was still plenty of money to be made from gullible marketers who believed in overnight success and riches.

All the black hat seo webmaster had to do was provide evidence (screenshots and testimonials) of how much money they were making from their black hat seo system, and before you could say ka-ching, more money was rolling in from that defunct system through sales from people eager to duplicate the black hatter’s success.

The Biggest Names In Black Hat SEO Resigned To White Hat SEO Techniques!

Alas for the black hat seo brethren, soon enough the search engines had closed the one-step-ahead gap to a half-step ahead! Fast forward to today and there is no step-ahead gap! The search engines are way too smart and getting even smarter still, so much so that there really is no profit to be had anymore from black hat seo techniques. Perhaps that explains why so many cream-of-the-crop black hatters have finally conceded to pursuing white hat seo techniques.

But remember what I said about extra-monetization of defunct black hat seo techniques; there are plenty of gullibles out there who are willing to shell out hefty sums in hopes of fast-tracking their internet marketing campaign. And make no mistake black hat seo software usually commands a hefty price sticker on the premise that it is going to make the purchaser a bucket load of money in next to no time at all. But you and I of course know that such will not happen!

Remember to be forewarned is to be forearmed!

So if you stumble upon some advert that makes obviously outrageous claims yet still seems seductively appealing like the following example: “Internet Marketer Gets $67 Million In Google Pay-Per-Click Ads Free” just rein in that raging beast of temptation deep inside you that can barely restrain itself and recite the following: “A Fool And His/Her Money Are Easily Parted!”

Author:  Ba Kiwanuka is the webmaster of