The Parable Of The White Hat & The Black Hat

When linking here, for some reason people keep describing this blog’s content as grey and black hat. I’m flattered but I actually couldn’t disagree more. If anything I’m trying to make some serious noise to the white hats and encouraging them to learn some new tricks, but most seem to be covering their ears with enthusiasm. La la la la I can’t hear you! On that note there’s an interesting long-term debate going on disputing whats better, black hat or white hat? Did I say interesting? I meant boring and completely bullshit. Saying you like black hat better doesn’t make you a black hat. Likewise, showing your disgust for black hats without learning it doesn’t even make you a white hat. In my opinion until you take the time to learn and develop both skills to the fullest extent there’s only one classification for you….Amateur.

So with that I’m going to attempt to make the ultimate white hat post by telling the ever famous parable of The White Hatter and The Black Hatter. You may have already heard it. If you’re not familiar, a parable is a short story, often fictional, told to illustrate a lesson or morale. If that still doesn’t ring any bells then you should read the Bible more you heathen. There are several in there. I’m kidding of course. I respect your religion now matter what it is. and Yes, there will be real techniques you can use hidden within the story.

The Black Hatter And The White Hatter – When Two Pros MeetOnce there was a white hatter. He had a great website that ranked #1 in a competitive niche. He had many fans of his site and it got lots of search engine traffic from his primary keyword. Suddenly one week while checking up on his site he noticed another high quality site in his niche moving up quickly in the ranks. It was also a very nice site with lots of value. The White Hatter didn’t think much of it because of his own solid rankings but knew he better watch this site more closely due to it’s upward momentum. Suddenly one day after a small SERP update the site he was watching moved into the #2 slot right under him. This started to make him nervous because he knew the differences in income between the number one and number two slots. He has gotten very comfortable in the number one position and had no intentions of giving it up.

Once there was a black hatter. He created a few Made For Adsense sites across a couple hundred niches. They were fairly uniform. Some performed well, some performed poorly. By chance of fate one of these sites was in the White Hat’s niche. Since this was a competitive niche his site quickly caught the attention of the lower positioned sites that were still struggling amongst themselves for the #2 slot. The black hatter’s site was doing fairly well in this niche and making a couple bucks a day. It wasn’t ranking for any major terms within the niche, but since the niche was such a good one it was still bringing him some solid residual and he was very happy. The rest of the site owners within the niche, angered by his intrusion, quickly took action against his black hat site. After a few legal threats and a bunch of complaints to everyone possible they were finally successful and got the black hatter’s site taken down and banned. Once entered and realizing the potential of the niche the Black Hatter reluctantly took the site down and built a clean site for competition within the niche. There’s no point in letting such a great niche go he thought. So he built a very clean and high quality site and aimed it directly at the most competitive keyword. He built up the site nicely and quickly. While the other lower sites within the niche fought amongst themselves and spent their time combating the endless supply of spam entering their niche he focused on building the link count required for the number one position. It wasn’t very long before he managed to grab the number 2 slot. Things were going well except that number one site in his way was clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with. He was going to have to pull off something slick.

By this time the site had the full attention of the White Hatter. He started watching the inbound links and site content of the Black Hatter’s site intently. It seemed fairly even. In fact this site even managed to get many of the same link spots he had as well as a few new ones. The site had lost its momentum but still a worthy adversary for the top spot. The White Hatter watched in dismay as his site and the other bounced back and forth between the top two positions. He continued building links and working on his site. Suddenly without notice, the other site took the top position and it stuck. The opponent kept it and wasn’t budging. The White Hatter had to figure out why and quickly. Both sites had a solid number of links at about 45k-50k and almost all were at least relevant. He started investigating all the inbound links and finally one day found something very odd. This other site had about 10,000 new inbound links from random Blogspot accounts.

The Black Hatter knew he wasn’t going to take down this monstrous number one site by playing clean. He had to do something drastic. So he whipped up some scripts and grabbed a list of the top 1,000 or so keywords for the niche and created some Blogspot accounts accordingly. He populated them from a popular RSS Aggregator and made sure each page had a link to his main money site. With the added link popularity he easily took the number one position and wasn’t budging. He didn’t want these Splogs to get quickly banned and knew later on he would need their link age so he did the responsible black hat thing and gave each post credit to the original and left all the ads out. He also knew not to continuously create too many and draw attention. He had to keep his numbers just high enough to gain and maintain his position and stop it there and just consistently update each blog once it’s established. After all the big money was in his big clean money site and he knew it.

The White Hatter definitely received a big blow to his business and had no intentions of taking it lying down. He created a crawler and using the footprints within the Blogspot templates started compiling a list of all the accounts made. He located a large portion of the 10,000 accounts and started investigating where all their content was coming from. They were clearly feed scrapes. So he took all the post titles and scanned common RSS Aggregators. He found it! They were coming from Google Blog Search. The White Hatter was smart. He knew if he started panicking and throwing a fit and trying to get Blogspot and the search engines to delete and ban all these accounts it would do him no good. The other site could easily generate them faster than he could ever get them deleted. It was clearly a futile effort and he knew it. Time for a workable plan. So he had to hit the Blogspot accounts where it hurts. He used his crawler to scrape all the titles of almost all the scraped posts created. The White Hatter then concocted a script to ping Google Blog search with all the same post titles as was in his list. He injected links to his site within the article content as well as put himself as the source. Unfortunately, the scraper was smart enough to remove all the html from the feeds but he still got to keep the original link within each and every post. He knew that if each of these post titles managed to get grabbed by the Black Hatters scraping script than they would surely get snagged again once all the blogs got updated and he fed them into the aggregator. It worked. All the new posts on all the spammy Blogspot accounts now had a link to his site. This evened the playing field. Whenever the Black Hatter’s site got a link, his site got a link. However this wasn’t acceptable, the black hat site still had all the previous post links and was barely beating him. Something had to get done about that. All these links had to be devalued. So the White Hatter opened up his Askimet filter logs and started scanning for domains that were banned in the engines. Once he managed to find a couple hundred so he started slowly feeding them to the Blogspot accounts through the Google Blog Search feed. He kept the same post titles knowing they would get scraped yet again and he made a balanced mixture of putting his site as the source of the post as well as the banned domains that way they would both get links.

By this time the Black Hatter, with his position secure, had already moved on to his next niche. Suddenly one day he noticed a large drop in revenue. His site had lost the number one position and was back in the battle for the first two spots. “What the hell is going on?!” he thought. He looked at his Blogspot scripts to find the source of the problem. He quickly noticed that not only was his accounts giving his main competitor links but they weren’t worth a shit because he was also linking to a bunch of banned pharmaceutical sites, putting every Splog he created into bad neighborhoods. His efforts were worthless and he knew why and more importantly how. It was time to face a tough decision. He could either endlessly combat this guy, who obviously knew his stuff, to keep his current revenue or he could move on and continue to focus on new niches and creating new revenue for himself. He couldn’t help but laugh about it. So he emailed the White Hat and expressed his respect for the competitive exchange. There was no point in furthering it and they both decided to call it quits and just exchange links on the main page to help lock in their positions and let the algorithms decide from there who was better. After considering it a draw they both went their separate ways.

The Moral Of The StoryInterpret it however you want but recognize the fact that the White Hat defended himself. He didn’t just roll over or waste his time throwing a fit trying to get the inevitably endless supply of black hat sites banned or deleted. He knew his opponents tricks and thus was well equipped to combat them. He stood his moral stance and did what he had to, in order to protect his business. No matter where you stand on the issue you can respect that.

If you hear anyone whining and crying about black hats or white hats please politely explain to them that there are no black or white hats. Only amateurs, experts, and people who are willing to learn how to protect and grow their businesses then send them this story.


User Contributed-Making Money With A Video Blog

Mark, a knowledgeable reader and benevolent commenter here has made a separation and started his own blog called Digerati Marketing. It’s pretty new and only has a couple posts so far, but I got to say the material thus far is absolutely fantastic. I think it’s a great representation of the Blue Hat spirit. So I have absolutely no problem plugging it, because I really do think you should add it to your readers in case he keeps up the excellent work. He was kind enough to donate one of his posts here. It’s called Making Money With A Video Blog. I think it’s a great post and if you’ve been paying close attention you’ll know that I also already do this idea and he is absolutely right on all counts. So enjoy.


An Introduction to Video WebsitesThere’s a lot of them about, a lot. Apart from the old-timers like Ebaumsworld, Google’s acquisition of YouTube has really seen them starting to eat up this market. The great thing is, that doesn’t matter, videos are a disposal media – people look at them once, show their mates and then it’s old news. You’re only as good as your last video! What we’re going to look at doing here is setting up a video website with minimal cost & time and maximizing our profit.

Now, I’m not claiming this will make you a millionaire, but you can earn around £500 ($1000 to our American friends) per month without too much trouble. So it’s well worth it for the day or two it will take to set up!

Step #1: Monetization Strategy

Okay, for this site we are going to make our bucks from a couple of different sources. Our main income will be made from Google Adsense. If you haven’t got yourself a Google Adsense Publisher account, click the big button below and sign up. Adsense will display contextual adverts which you can neatly blend in with the design of your website, to make them non-intrusive, yet a natural click away. For this website we are aiming at generating a 25% click-through rate while staying well inside the Adsense Terms Of Service.

An important note: I’m going to give you some tips on optimizing your Adsense placement and layout later, if you want to take the optimization further, you may be pushing the limit on what Google does and doesn’t allow. The Adsense team can be merciless at times if they think you are breaking their TOS, which can be quite “grey

Keyword Real Estate

Hey guys and gals. Incase you didn’t notice I took a short break from posting to catch up on some work. Thanks for hanging out. Let’s review. In my SERP Domination post I spilled the beans about creating a site network by breaking down a larger site to take down the competition in a very efficient manner. This of course works beautifully in reverse, but we’ll save that for another day. In the mean time though I want to touch on a small portion of that post I could of easily divulged a hell of a lot more on. I’m talking about the “secondary network.” Incase you have short term memory loss I’ll refresh ya with a quote from the post.

[quote]Blah blah blah, sexist joke. Blah blah snarky remark. I’ll create a much larger secondary network to help boost my blah blah inbound link authority. Blah blah ramble ramble.[/quote]

In words longer than short I introduced the well proven concept of Keyword Real Estate. Keyword Real Estate isn’t just a concept its a practice. In fact scratch that. Keyword Real Estate is the law of high rankings just as sure as Murphy’s law will make your servers go down between 1-3am instead of 9-5pm. Practicing good keyword real estate snatching will help boost your sites. I will go as far as to say that it is unwise to enter any niche no matter how uncompetitive without grabbing up as much real estate related to your terms as possible. I’ll explain.

Domains, Free Hosting, Blog Networks, Social Networks, Social Bookmarking, URL Shorteners. The list goes on and on. Any where there is an authoritative domain that allows you to own a static page there is no reason why you shouldn’t register it and put up a landing page advertising your site(s), or even a simple link if that’s all that is possible. I’ll explain this in a simplistic white hat way using an analogy because this is in no gray or black hat about it, its just common sense business.

Imagine you live in a big city and you setup a small business. The local phone book directories want you to pay them to put a small business card sized ad in the yellowpages/category/keyword/page/adspot. Okay so it fits within your ROI so you do it. It’s almost manditory for a small business to be found by it’s customers. However, at the same time, all over the city there are these giant sky scrapers with all these blank billboards on them. They are giving them out for free all you got to do is claim them first before your competitors do and you can put up any ad for your business you want within reason(TOS). Also, in other portions of this fictional city are little chunks of land that you can grab and put up a giant sign with a big ass arrow pointing to your business. They may not be in the primo business districts but they at least get drive by traffic. I don’t know about you but I’m too ethical of a business owner to take advantage.

Ya know on second thought, I think I will jump in on this offer. So let’s look at a few examples of these billboards and opportunities for Keyword Real Estate and where to easily find them. They are everywhere.

A few examples might include: <-vbulletin with vbseo installed & your link in the signature.I know it’s simple and not very advanced advice, but it’s solid.  Look at what the experts are doing. A great example of how well this works is of course SEO Contests. How are they won? In the simple sense they are won by Keyword Real Estate. They are also a great resource for finding some awesome opportunities. After all it works damn well. I personally never enter a competitive niche without grabbing as much real estate as possible on that keyword or phrase and using it to boost my sites’ rankings and traffic. It’s common sense, all you got to do is follow through religiously.


Check Mate: Google Images

Perfectly Optimized Google Image Code Keyword


Top Determined Factors1) Keyword in same table cell as image.2) Keyword below or above image in DIV or floating DIV.3) Keyword in ALT tag.4) Keyword in image name and image meta file summary.5) Keyword in same paragraph as image.

Acceptable Code

keyword in more than 4 words and less than 10.

text blah blah

Factors In Order Of Apparent Importance1) Factors 2 and 5 equal2) Factor 13) Factor 44) Factor 3*Factor 3 assumed because it showed no distinguishable results in controlled tests.

Automatically Remove The Google Frameif (parent.frames.length > 0) top.location.replace(document.location);

Perfect SizesSmall: 150×150 or smaller.Medium: Larger than 150 x 150 and smaller than 500 x 500.Large: 500 x 500 and larger.

Google Image Traffic Redirection.HTACCESS FileRewriteEngine onRewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^ [NC]RewriteRule .*.$ cgi-bin/redirect.cgi [R,NC]*If google images is sending you traffic you don’t want, you can use this code to redirect to a targeted advertiser. I have an affiliate site that sells lingerie. It gets tons of porn related traffic from Google images. They usually just realize it’s not a porn site and they quickly leave. So I looked at the most popular keywords used in Google Images traffic they send me and found a related porn sponsor and started redirecting all the users to my affiliate link. What do you know? Conversions!

*Check Mate*

Update: I didn’t even realize this, but there is a great write up by EMP over at Blind Ape SEO. Worth checking out.


SERP Domination

Let’s take a moment and chat. No secrets or techniques this time, I just want to take a post and discuss my own personal strategies for consistently dominating almost every niche I enter. Instead of creating an objective and methodologies I’m just going to casually write and talk some details, because of course my strategies require quite a bit of work and aren’t for everyone. I’m not one of those lazy ass Internet marketers that only works a few hours a week. In fact I work my fuckin ass off and no less than 60-70 hours/week. So feel free to jump in on this discussion with your own thoughts just as long as you take what I say equally as lightly as I write it. I already understand my approach isn’t for everyone. Please don’t remind me.

Anytime I approach a middle to heavy weight niche I try to look at the current SERPS sensibly and take the idealism they present with a grain of salt. The intent is that they rank your sites upon a mixture of their quality and relevancy. When the reality is they rank the sites upon their authoritativeness and subject coverage. Tamato, tomato right? Well….no. That’s like saying a “person with good qualities” is a “good quality person.” Regardless of how many people it fools, it’s still false. It’s these subtle differences that gives those of us without a registered 1998 domain a chance. With that right and the lack of proof that even an algorithm can count to infinity everything becomes part of a nice little scale. I don’t have to be big, I just have to be larger than the rest.

With that new perspective I stand a smaller chance of running uphill in the mud with my work. Sometimes people rush into a niche too eagerly. I’ve done it so many times. I just create a site based on some keywords and keep building and building on it while getting nowhere. The other sites just seem to have too large of a head start and have already had time to build up momentum faster than I can catch up. It seems like an endless cycle which often times has a much easier and quicker path; I am just too bull headed and committed to see it. So now that we got the right mental approach let’s review what we’re up against.

For this fictitious example we’re faced with a top 15 consisting of four or five very large old community sites on the subject. Also, a few informational sites with lots of pages and inbound links(a range of 7k-45k). There also seems to be a couple shithead subpages. By shithead subpages I’m of course affectionately referring to major authoritative sites that have a page on the matter, such as Wikipedia,, and Amazon. Within these results the average domain age is 6 years. The domain age range is 5-10 years. Alright, so I got quite the project ahead of me. Let’s analyze what I’ll need. The presence of subpages in the results tells me that “subject coverage” factors aren’t highly required because in this case Google luckily believes that a single page written by a punk editor is more relevant than an entire site dedicated to the subject due to domain authority. However, I’ll keep the subject coverage factors in my back pocket because they’ll help me deliver the final kill once we catch up. Catching up? Hmm. there’s an interesting dilemma. I got some serious age and authoritative competition to deal with. Even if I create an absolutely huge site and get tons of inbound links quickly I could still get stuck treading water with the sharks for the next 3-4 years. In the interest of getting paid I have to figure out a better way of generating huge amounts of authority.

There’s more than one way to get a job done. Sometimes you got to ask yourself a rhetorical question. Whats the fastest way to move a bunch of dirt, one giant bulldozer or a half dozen or so small bulldozers? A logical person would realize the flaw in the question. The answer doesn’t depend on the bulldozers. It depends on the dirt. In this instance I obviously can’t use one giant site with lots of power, I’d just be fighting muscle with muscle and get nowhere. I need to beat them in sheer numbers. Like a bunch of midgets on a bear. So I got this awesome ideal website in my head that I would love to build for this niche. It would cover just about every aspect of the niche and absolutely rock. Unfortunately after looking at the competition I realize and accept the fact that it’s a bad business model. So I have to break it up and remodel.

Let the destruction begin. First thing I do is break apart the entire site into primary sections. For instance if the site has a forum, that becomes a new site. If the site has a blog, boom another separate site. If I got an articles and informational section or even a shop, same thing. I tear the entire site apart into separate and focused sites and bundle them together as part of a mid-sized network of sites. So for this example I ended up with between 15-20 separate mid to large sites that are all interlinked and cross promoting as part of a tight network within the niche. I build up each site with a different template and fluff it with some extra pages and content. If some of the sites are really lacking I’ll take one section and break up all the content and divide it amongst the sites. I think we’re just about ready to create some authority.

Lets review the dynamics of what we now got. Each site has X amount of authority. So if we have 20 sites we have Xx20 total authority. If we give Site #1 an inbound link it gains a little authority. So Site #1 is X+1 authority. Since Site #1 now has some authority it can call out other sites and as part of it’s recommendation can help them gain authority themselves. So since we gave Site #1 some authority, by proxy, sites 2-19 also gained slight amounts of authority themselves. This creates a nice little leech and donate relationship amongst the network. When one site raises in the SERPS it’ll naturally try to help pull the others up with it. Hey! Bring my buddies to! Each site is working in synergy to raise the other sites within the network’s authority faster and more efficiently. If you are under the initial impression that authority points are strictly an average amongst all the sites on the net than that would mean the total sum of all the pages would equal a relative 0. Therefore there would be sites with negative authority of equal part to sites with positive authority. Naturally that is untrue, sites can and do help build each other’s authority rating. If you’re with me so far you can see where this is headed, and that is straight through the Relevant Link Wall.

You got to love the supposedly nonexistent brick wall of relevant links. Dipshits on newbie forums love telling people, “don’t worry about the rankings, just build some relevant links and they’ll come.” So you do just that, after all they have over 4,000 posts on that forum, it can’t all be complete garbage advice. At first it’s totally working, your gaining a good 50-200 very relevant links a day. You submit to directories and score a bunch of links from your competitors. After a couple weeks you even manage to score some big authority links within your niche. Suddenly it all starts to slow down. The sites that are willing to link already have, and the rest are holding firm. You’ve just hit the Relevant Link Wall. Don’t bother going back for further advice. They don’t have any, and if they did they are too busy trying to rank for Kitty Litter Paw Prints to help. On the plus side with the power of my network I just pushed my proverbial wall back quite a ways. Where it was previously at around 1,700-3,000 links its now around 40k in total. Giving me some huge authority. So now my network is scattered around the 20-50 position range in the SERPS. With the pansy sites out of the way I just need a bit more of an authoritative push to go play with the big boys. So I’ll need to create a second much larger network to make the final shove.

Volume is my key strategy here. I don’t care about building up these other sites or even getting links to them. I just want them indexed and get their links to count. So I create a nice little blog network using free blog hosts on authority domains. I may even do some clean parasite hosting and push for some authoritative small links. Any relevant links I can find to make that last push up the hill and into the top 30 positions. Unfortunately this will be a struggle and take some time I don’t feel like wasting. I got to work double time and get some link power from some preexisting non-relevant sites within my arsenal.

For this I’ll use the rule of three and link to my network from a few other sites of mine that already rank high in the targeted engines. This will help the links on the individual sites within my network have more outbound link weight, so they can give more authority to other sites within the network. By policy I never allow these other sites to join the network, so they only link to one of the sites within the network and never get a link back. Otherwise the other sites within the network would gain less overall authority. It’s better to push all it’s weight to one single site and let that site boost the other sites within the network. So now our network is sitting between the 7-30 positions. They may be a bit scattered and thats okay as long as we break into that top 10 with at least a site or two. If at this point I’m coming close but still can’t quite break through I may have to resort to sabotage. Nothing says successful sabotage like slowly removing the outbound links on that ranking Wikipedia page and labeling them as Spammy links in the edit history. I know it’s a bitch move and the link may just go back up but nothing is greater than when the webmaster notices the traffic loss and checks to see why their Wikilink was gone and is like, “Fuck you Wiki, you think my site is spammy? Fine, there goes your backlink ya bitch.” <– Hehe may be in more words or less. Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you got to do, and if that means doing sneaky underhanded stuff like convincing authors that the page is in the wrong category and should relocate the article to a more suitable one, than so be it. Just don't take it too far and pretend to be the owners of those sites and harass directory editors because you feel like your site should be listed above the competitions', then call them morons when they try to explain alphabetization. Just get that booty into the top 10.

So now, like a girlfriend’s hair dryer, I’m in and under the radar. Time to prove that my sites are the most relevant by expanding the content on the 2-5 sites that made it into the top 15. Now is the perfect time to shake up the industry by releasing a new feature on your site that the others don’t have. The other webmasters and the 3-4 community forums that are already in have taken notice of my sites by now so I need to give them something to talk about. I’ll focus on these primarily top sites and leave the others to push authority of those sites up. Perhaps by organizing my NOFOLLOW tags more efficiently? This is also usually when I’ll steal little portions of content from the few sites that fell through the cracks in the rankings and put them up on my top 5-10 sites. Suddenly my number one site will need a featured blog and the blog site will quit updating so often. I may even spend a little time focusing on some Market Bait. Once I got 4-7 of my sites within my network into the top 10 I’m in like Flint, grab my cash, and move on to the next niche.

All I got to do from here is watch for other Pros attempting to do the same thing to me. They are usually pretty easy to spot when they email you from several different email accounts begging for links in a similar way. If these strategic thoughts are starting to sound familiar, but you’re not sure from where; I can explain. Have you ever had one of those sites that have always ranked well for their keywords? Then suddenly over the course of a week or so your site just deranks like crazy. All these new sites pop in to the top 10 and your left like WTF? First you glance around and wonder if something is wrong with your site. Nothing out of the usual, in fact it’s quite odd for such a consistently ranking site to drop like that. So you assume it must be some engine update. You do some research, but no one reporting anything too strange other than the few usual paranoid one hit wonder eccentrics screaming Damn Big Daddy! So you chalk it up to a possible algorithm change. Sure that must be it.


Free Link

I have a couple posts almost ready to go, but I simply don’t have enough time to finish and make them live yet so I’ll make a quick one just to hold you over.

Here’s How To Get A Free Link on 1) Create an affiliate account.2) Select the aStore option.

3) Fill in the keywords you would like to use and select a product category related to your site.

4) At the bottom of that page while still on step 1, Insert your link and anchor text.

5) Complete the last 3 steps. They are very short.

6) Parse or copy the custom affiliate URL. It’ll be in this format:

7) Run the URL through the QUIT tool.

8) Do it again before they catch on that everyone is starting to do this.


Podcast Elite – Free SEO Help

My buddy Jon Waraas and I will be doing an exclusive podcast tomorrow(Mon. 4/2/07) to chat it up and address people’s SEO questions. We will be talking about the different ways to make money online, SEO tactics, and any other questions you feel like asking. We hope to get tons of callers on the line and just sit and talk about making money online. We will start the podcast at 7 pm with me and Jon on the phone, then whomever wants to call in and talk may do so. I will post up the result the next day. Jon also promised to dispel a very secretive technique on the air, and I gotta say its a doosie! So be sure to call in!

Phone Number: xxx-xxx-xxxxTime: 7 pm mountain time

This podcast will be sponsored by and