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Posts tagged with Black Hat

Is Facebook doing enough to prevent fraudulent ads?

In recent years, Facebook has grown to be one of the most dominant players in online advertising, but when it comes to policing the ads it displays, is it asleep at the wheel?

An investigation by Justin Seitz, creator of investigation tool Hunchly, raises questions about just how hard Facebook is working to weed out bad ads.

1 comment
image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/martingautron/ under Flickr Creative Commons

A dictionary of SEO words, terms and phrases

Jargon sucks

But there’s so much of it about, especially in our industry.

Whether it’s a buzzword, an abbreviation, a portmanteau, a re-appropriated term stolen from another industry or a good old-fashioned acronym, sometimes even a rudimentary search on Google can’t help cut through the crap.

Within the world of digital marketing, there are few areas with as many complicated and obscure terms as SEO.

Here I’ll be presenting a dictionary of as many SEO terms as I feel are relevant and important to a digital marketers’ understanding of this most vital of skills.

I originally wrote this guide last year and it has become somewhat out of date now, so this is a revised and updated version of that previously published post. 

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Navigating the murky world of black hat and white hat SEO

I’ve been making a point in my journey as a writer for Econsultancy to investigate the many and varied terms in digital that I don’t understand.

As I am a relative newcomer to the digital marketing world, this is like a trial-by-fire. 

In my first few weeks, terms like CRM, CRO, iBeacons, retargeting and PPC all felt like an alien language. 

None more so than the phrases ‘black hat’ and ‘white hat’ in relation to search engine optimisation (SEO).

In this article I'll be investigating what is meant by each of these terms by asking: What are the basic principles of each 'hat'? What is considered best practice? and what should be avoided?

"Boy, have we got a vacation for you"

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Google continues to fight scrapers, turns to public for help

If you're a publisher, one of the most frustrating experiences is to discover that your content is being scraped by a third party that does not have permission to use your content.

Even more frustrating: when that scraper's website is able to outrank yours for searches related to your own content.

For obvious reasons then, Google has engaged in a considerable effort to thwart scrapers. And now it's turning to the public for additional assistance.

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How JC Penney recovered from a Google penalty

Just three months after it was downgraded as a penalty for alleged 'black hat' link-building techniques, US department store J.C. Penney has recovered its organic search visibility on Google. 

How the retailer achieved this provides a good example of how Google penalties work.

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Sneaky ways to top Google's local listings

You don’t have to be an SEO geek to have noticed that over the last six months or so, whenever you search for a phrase with a location in it, Google shows maps with local listings.

What you might not have realised is that these results are sorted and sequenced by a different and far more basic algorithm than the main search index. Not surprisingly given the simplicity of these system and prevalence of the listings, some cheeky beggars have been using some ingenious ways of boosting their rankings on Google Maps.

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Black Hat is back

While carrying out competitor analysis for clients I am increasingly coming across blatant black hat SEO practices that were once banned from the index.

Normally the process on discovery is clear. You report it to the web spam team and it disappears. However, lately the web spam submission form appears to be a black hole.

So is web spam, hidden text and cloaking now okay? Where has the web spam team gone?

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Coming soon to a search near you: Google Apps documents

In the near future, your Google search results might contain something you hadn't noticed before: documents published through Google Apps.

According to The Register, Google sent an email to Google Apps users last Friday indicating that some documents published through Google Apps will soon be indexable by Google's crawler.

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Scribd and SEO: live by the sword, die by the sword

Last Friday, TechCrunch reported that online document sharing service Scribd saw its traffic fall nearly 50% since June of this year. That's pretty much the SEO equivalent of a stock market crash.

According to Trip Adler, Scribd's CEO, the company knowingly made some changes that it expected to decrease traffic. One of them: "reducing the aggressiveness of our SEO".

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A treatise on the ethics of search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) and the online marketing sector as a whole may not present the most ethically challenging jobs in the world but it does offer a few moral predicaments.

We may not need to wrestle with thorny moral debates on the nature of personhood or seek to justify wars, but we are still challenged regularly by everyday small moral queries, which I suppose is true of any role.
 
Here are a few of the routine debates an SEO executive may encounter. Let me know if you think I have missed any and we can furrow our respective brows and thrash it out in the comments page.

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Fail: Mahalo black hat SEO

Jason Calacanis may be one of the most recognizable internet entrepreneurs in the United States but that doesn't mean that is current startup, Mahalo, is above using questionable SEO tactics to boost its SERPs.

Mahalo is a human-edited web directory that some have criticized in the past as being nothing more than a link farm designed to take advantage of search engines. Which is ironic, given that Calacanis has in the past been critical of SEO.

10 comments