White Hat Tricks Versus Black Hat Tricks
An introduction to White Hat and Black Hat terms as used in connection with marketing language
By Mikkel Pitzner, Marketing Expert and Serial Entrepreneur, CEO of Amazing Ideas, Inc.
Posted June 8, 2015
Follow up of recent post that promised to tell more about these two terms that are often used when marketers talk online. This is also a follow up to the Marketing Castle Rock series, that we have posted here recently.
A few posts back (in a post from yesterday), I mentioned the words of White Hat tricks and Black Hat tricks. These are words often used when discussing Search Engines Optimization efforts. I promised that I would give you more insights into these areas, but then I got all caught up in my efforts of getting this website here ranked for the keywords of Marketing Castle Rock.
Well, I do wish to live up to my promise, so here goes, let’s look a little at the White Hat versus Black Hat tricks.
Now, the entire series that I have had going on these past 2 or 3 days, which I call Marketing Castle Rock series, has all been about getting the ranking in Google’s search results for the words of Marketing Castle Rock, so that’s why we even encountered the terms White Hat and Black Hat. In short White Hat are true and real measures that you can engage in in order to seek your desired ranking results, while Black Hat take on a more dubious character.
The White Hat elements would be to actually bring real content that has real value for the ones who are looking for what you are bringing. That means you are bringing real posts or articles with really good content from which people will derive a real value. It could be entertainment content that’s really good or it could be for instance educational content, such as content on How To Get Ranked For Your Keywords.
White Hat also means that you are matching the keywords that you are seeking to get ranked for with words that are actually relevant for what people are searching for.
So for instance if I was to search for something on a new song from Taylor Swift and I end up with relevant material on such a song and that such material actually brought me real and preferably valuable content for my interest, then this would be entirely White Hat. If, however, you were a person of lesser integrity and you made use of tricks that could get you ranked for the same new song from Taylor Swift, but all you really wanted to show when I clicked your link was something you wanted to e.g. sell me, that had actually nothing to do with Taylor Swift or her new song, then you would term your use of efforts completely Black Hat.
When Google returns search results to you for whatever words you typed in, Google really wants to match up the results with something useful that will get you to something your wanted to get to. This does not preclude any sales, so pages that sell stuff are totally fine as long as what is being sold there (and provided it’s a legitimate seller) is what you were looking for. I might for instance soon need to go looking for a new bike for my little son who has outgrown his first bike, so if I typed in something like “best bike for a 5 year old”, then I might be perfectly happy about finding a review page that would tell me about the current top 4 or 5 models on the market, include a pro and con list or comparison of each, included the reviewer’s personal choices and reasons for same, along with a buy it here now button. That could still be highly valuable for me and would make up something that would make it easy and relevant for me.
If, however, the result in the same search got me to a page, where the content had little or nothing to do with “best bike for a 5 year old”, but that the person behind the landing page was really just scheming in order to get the traffic (me visiting as well as other searchers using similar search words) and trying to sell me something else (don’t really know what that would be in this case), well, then for sure this site would have implemented Black Hat elements in order to get a ranking for the searched keywords. In effect, such a search result would not have been what Google would have intended for you, but since Google is driven by machines (bots and algorithms), then results like this could potentially slip through if the culprit had employed techniques that made it pass through the net.
In my view there is something sinister about the Black Hat operations. That’s why I illustrated this article with the image of the sinister guy in the rain. Of course he lost his black hat in the image, but you get the point.
Google’s algorithms change and are updated from time to time.
Very often Google make changes to actually close loopholes that schemers have found and are using to pass their websites in front of innocent and unsuspecting people. If you have read a thing or two about such algorithm updates, you might often have heard the whining and crying of marketers who all of a sudden lost ranking and traffic after an update from Google had been implemented.
My personal take on most of such whining that I have encountered via the internet is that their losses were well deserved. Often they were using tricks just to get ranked, instead of actually seeking to provide real value to the end receiver. Perhaps whatever they were selling were good enough, but they hadn’t acquired the traffic in what I would term in appropriate ways.
Perhaps they were buying their ways to thousand of links to the websites from dubious websites all over. Websites that were just set up to provide these so-called backlinks. Or perhaps they utilized an array of scheming plots to get the ranking in place.
I have never studied the Black Tricks myself, so I’m actually not really well familiar with how you would do this or what works. It’s not for me. I find it dubious and scheming. Yes, I wish to get my ranking for whatever is really relevant to what my site or my customer’s site is about. But I wish to do so via the correct ways and most notably via actually providing real value and real content.
Is this hard work? and is it possibly harder work?
I think you can concluded a definite YES to both of these questions. However, the good thing is, that if you build your website and your website’s content up to become an authoritative site and a site that’s well worth visiting because you bring real value, real insights and real (and preferably original) content, then you will never be hurt from a Google algorithm update. That’s why you rarely hear whining from those who really bring you good content rich websites.
Employ good sound strategies which include a deliberate attempt to bring valuable articles, posts, videos, insights and such within the topic area that you are about on your website and you can slowly and steadily bring you up in the right positions with Google. It takes a bit more work and it may take quite a while before people actually become aware of it, but over time you may be able to create a following that like your content and will actually help share it among their friends and peers of own account and thereby help you grow your reach.
Employ Black Hat tricks and you will likely be looking over your shoulder for yet another Google algorithm update that will strip your of your achieved ranking. Heck, who knows, Google may even “bury” your site from searches more or less entirely.
A certain type of marketers have always been trying to scheme their way to get in front of people via the search results. As a business owner, you don’t want to be one of them, nor do you want to hire one of them. Use your efforts and money in a wiser way and know that it will be way worth it and be a solution that bears a whole different longevity with it too.
My current series that we are posting these days also here to our latest news has been all about our wish to get ranked for the words Marketing Castle Rock. While I have mentioned, I probably should have chosen some other words or other combination of words (or possibly more long tail search terms), these are the words we chose and have stuck to while we are providing you with an example. For our business, it would make sense to get in front of people who are interested in marketing. Either wanting to learn about how to do it or even better wanting to hire someone knowledgeable to do it for them (that would be us, Amazing Ideas, Inc. we hope). It also makes sense that we would wish to get in front of the businesses that are in our local area, Castle Rock. Not only because it would be nice to further strengthen our relations with the local community and also because sometimes it is just easier and makes for stronger connections when you can meet in person, but also because as I have mentioned previously in the Marketing Castle Rock series, that a local buyer may be much more likely to actually buy now as opposed to just be an information seeker.
As you may understand, in seeking the desired ranking for Marketing Castle Rock we have implemented some efforts, among which is in fact the article/post series in itself. So while this serve what you would call a self-serving purpose, we have also simultaneously brought real value to the series, by explaining to some degree what we are doing, why we are doing it, how we could do better and not least how you could do this with good results for your business. In other words, we are carrying out efforts that helps our ranking, while also bringing real insights and lessons to you along the way.
We even listed in some of the posts a brief list of the takeaways and points for you to consider. Learning points that for a lot of people may in fact entail real aha moments.
Our website and not least our efforts of bringing us forth as an authoritative site that adds value to the visitors are very new. Over time and when we keep up decent work and keep bringing sound content, lessons, updates etc., our ranking for relevant terms and words will come more naturally. All beginnings require extensive work. If you have ever tried to build a business from scratch, you know exactly what I mean. Lots of work and lots of moving parts. Often days are filled with set backs until you finally reach a point of decent momentum in a positive direction. Such is it with most websites too.
However, as you can see if you review our Marketing Castle Rock series, we managed to get from a page 21 ranking to a page 2 Google result. The last bit getting to a page 1 may require quite a bit more work, if we even ever get there for these particular 3 words.
I mentioned our chosen 3 words of Marketing Castle Rock may not have been particularly good and I have previously given part reasons to this, so I will not repeat to much of this now. But in short the word “Marketing” in itself, is possibly way too vague not being truly specific to us. It might be a great deal easier to add a few extra descriptive words to the search terms to up the relevancy for what really has to do with us and not the several million other search results you find. Marketing is also a word used in too man connections, so not only does it have a huge competition for that word, but it also can take you to too many unrelated results.
Castle Rock is the name of the town in which Amazing Ideas, Inc. is located so that makes a lot of sense. However, when you do not put quotation marks in your search words, then the three words can make up all sorts of combinations, so it may even include things that has nothing to do with the town of its name, but could have to do with the building “Castle” or with a stone or a “Rock”. Judging from the current search results that I see, it may not be so much be that they relate to the building or the stone, but that the town actually has relevance to the search results, so so far so good. There are also a number of marketing business, marketing companies or marketing agencies among the results, so that also makes the results relevant to what I am hoping to find – all of these would just be colleagues or competitors, depending on how you view it or how good you are at your business.
However, in the search results I see a whole lot of listings that are very little relevant to what I was hoping to see.
There’s the notorious first listing that even has a couple of extra listings on Google’s first page and whose business is actually about auctioning of cattle. Their result is however relevant to the search result only because they have chosen to call themselves CastleRockMarketing. They even have that particular URL/domain name and that counts highly with Google. On top of that they have similarly named Facebook fanpage and a twitter account. It makes complete sense for the Google bots can only see what the machine/bots see.
You might question if it makes sense for someone who auctions off cattle to name themselves CastleRockMarketing (even if they are from Castle Rock), but that’s another story. I suspect they might actually get in front of more relevant people to their particular business if their name indeed did include something about cattle, like e.g. CastleRockCattleMarketing. I know that does get a bit long, but ultimately, they will gain no business from all the searchers of marketing related stuff, who are not trying to sell cattle. So as I said, they may not gain anything at all, but in fact actually lose out to those who will be searching for something related to cattle and sale of same (or possibly buying of same).
Among a lot of the other search results, I see positions of Marketing managers and such listed. It may be very well relevant, just not for the intention I had in mind. Going deeper into the following pages of the Google search results and I see a bunch of properties for sale listings. The location may be highly relevant, but perhaps in my objective, the marketing words seems a miss. But these results are as I say poor in terms of what I intended to get ranked for and also for what I intended to search for when choosing and using the words. This is exactly the result of poorly chosen words and that’s my mistake.
The word marketing is too commonly used for too many things that may have little to do with people wishing to gain marketing insights or better yet hiring a marketing agency such as my Amazing Ideas, Inc. That is why my chosen word of marketing is poorly chosen and that’s what you should avoid. Later some day, we may look into specific research on keywords and how you should go about it, but we will leave that for some other day. For now, let me just repeat briefly that you wish to find somethings that may be even more specific to your business and something that narrows it down even further. Combine it further with longer tail search terms, which essentially are longer sentences to get ranked for.
My poorly chosen words, are likely to make it too tricky to get onto a first page search result and also put me in front of people who are in fact not looking for my offered services, but perhaps are looking for how to market their property or may be looking to obtain a marketing position or something else completely unrelated to my business, my website, my content and my aims.
I can do better than this by selecting better keywords to seek to get listed for. You can do better for your business, by making better choices too and avoiding my hasty mistakes.
I know this was a long article. If you have actually made it this far, I thank you kindly for your time and interest. I hope that it brought you value and insights. As you can see, I wish I might have paid a little more attention to my choosing of the keywords for me, but then again, it only helped to illustrates just as valuable a couple of points of what not to do. The full Marketing Castle Rock series hold a lot of insights so I believe it to be worth your while to review it all. I hope that you will and that you will let me know how it helped you in your business and with your marketing.
The entire Marketing Castle Rock series is an important series for you the business owner, who wish to get ranked for relevant keywords for your local marked, so that you can get right in front of the right buying customers.
To follow along the entire series, just bookmark this link Marketing Castle Rock as it will automatically be updated as most future posts and updates are added to this particular story and as it evolves. Or better yet, sign up (that’s right get this free report on 7 Secrets To Websites That Sell and I will get you notice of new information as we post it) to get your automatic update on these and other really awesome marketing insights.
Again the series is using the example of getting my marketing business, Amazing Ideas Inc., ranked for Marketing Castle Rock.
Of course, if you don’t really want to learn how to do this yourself, but rather want to fast track your results, then we would love to help you achieve your desired results, so send us an email or call us at 888-988-2489 and we will get to work!
Amazing Ideas Inc. is a Castle Rock, Colorado based marketing company that focuses on particularly your online marketing and web presence, helping businesses to reach more clients, build more revenues and grow more profits. Amazing Ideas, Inc. is spearheaded by successful serial entrepreneur and marketing expert, Mikkel Pitzner, who runs a number of small and larger businesses and who comes with a vast and experienced background of having run, operated and owned a multitude of businesses of varied and unrelated industries and spanning Countries, States and Continents.
White Hat Tricks Versus Black Hat Tricks by Mikkel Pitzner