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Blackhat Techniques That Died


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9 replies to this topic

#1 jrewi

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:35 PM

I am doing a spot of research to see how blackhat techniques have evolved and when they became irrelevant because Google and friends caught up.  I have compiled a shortlist that is almost certainly not complete.  I would appreciate any help completing the list and building a timeline.

 

Keyword Meta tags (not strictly blackhat but died because it was abused)
Keyword stuffing
Hidden text/links
Cloaking
Doorway pages (I am not sure I fully understand this one so I'd like some comments on just how it worked)
Forum Spam
Comment Spam
Link Farms
Link Pyramids
Link Wheels - like pyramids I assume these are just a more sophisticated form of link farming
Expired/Dropped Domain Grabbing - is this really unethical if the old domain has good links and content that are in the same area as the grabber's domain?
Article Marketing - not sure this was ever blackhat but it certainly got abused. 
Article Spinning
Spammy social media upvotes - I am not sure this is truly dead but recent pronouncements from the like of Matt Cutts lead me to believe that it might be


#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:28 PM

All of these techniques are still in widespread use in one form or another.

 

Re: Doorway Pages.

 

They started out as simple pages that were shown to search engines for indexing, but when real visitors landed on them they were redirected to other, "less optimized" pages.  They evolved into pages were you had to click on a link (because the search engines became suspicious of redirects on large numbers of pages).  The low-quality design of doorway pages eventually led to filters that forced marketers to embed standard Website templates and navigation on them, but still to keep the content to a minimum, thus encouraging visitors to click on a link.

 

Finally, they evolved into "Content Rich Doorways" which contained "fluff" content, but still focused on one or more calls to action associated with a specific keyword or phrase.  The Google Panda algorithm killed a lot of these.

 

Doorway pages MIGHT be dead, as I don't recall seeing any outside of PPC landing pages (which are blocked from crawlers to preserve tracking data integrity) in a long time.  But there may still be doorway pages out there.  It's hard to say.

 

I suppose a lot of the API-driven affiliate sites that just load up their pages with links are a kind of hybrid hallway/doorway design.  A classic hallway page was used to link to a lot of doorway pages so that crawlers would find them.  Marketers either submitted the hallway pages to the search engines or linked to them from prominent Web pages that were frequently crawled.



#3 jrewi

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:23 AM

Thank you for the comprehensive answer.  I guess my subject line was badly phrased.  I realize that many people still use some/all of those techniques.  However, unless I am mistaken, Google and other search engines have become pretty good at detecting most of them.  So any benefits that arise from using them are liable to be transient at best.  At worst the menagerie of Panda et all will penalize the site.

 

The timeline I want to establish is just when it started becoming unsafe to use each of those techniques.  For instance, meta keywords I imagine went out during the 1990s?

 

Also, I suppose that I have missed out on some other questionable SEO "techniques"?



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 04:09 AM

Wow! Thank you for this techniques. I love it

And there is why we prefer NOT to discuss so-called "black hat" tactics, because there is ALWAYS at least one clown that will think such things are a good idea and are being "recommended" as real SEO.


Edited by chrishirst, 27 August 2014 - 04:13 AM.


#5 jrewi

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 04:41 AM

Loud and clear - unless you are nuts or suicidal AVOID the techniques I have listed above.  I posted here with the hope of getting more background information on just when these techniques became dangerous.  If you insist on "thanking me" for posting this list you are simply going to stop me from getting the assistance I need with doing my research!



#6 LizzieThomson

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:55 AM

I'm quite new to this forum, but would like to second your statement there Chris,

not a place for poachers to try and find guides on black hat methods, totally defeats the purpose of this whole thread.

 

And there is why we prefer NOT to discuss so-called "black hat" tactics, because there is ALWAYS at least one clown that will think such things are a good idea and are being "recommended" as real SEO.

 

I would also like to contribute to Jrewi's research, 

other black hat SEO techniques that should also be avoided include, 

 

- Page swapping, getting a web page indexed and ranked then changing the page completely.

- Domain Squatting, registering a domain with a well known or profitable trademark in the domain, with the intention of profiting from that company or association

- URL Hijacking, registering a close and similar misspelled version of a successful and profitable brand, company or competitor



#7 jrewi

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 04:49 AM

Thank you, Lizzie.



#8 chrishirst

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 05:25 AM

 

Page swapping, getting a web page indexed and ranked then changing the page completely.

 

Which is more commonly called ... "Bait and switch".



#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:37 PM

The timeline I want to establish is just when it started becoming unsafe to use each of those techniques.  For instance, meta keywords I imagine went out during the 1990s?

 

Also, I suppose that I have missed out on some other questionable SEO "techniques"?

 

Regarding the timeline, Altavista killed doorway pages for the first time on Black Monday, October 25, 1999.  The rest of that stuff just sort of stopped working here and there quietly.  I don't know if there are any reliable timelines.  I would not trust any you find on the Internet unless they are very well supported with references to official search engine announcements and such.

 

As for other questionable techniques, I think Chris has addressed that.  This is really the wrong forum for such discussions.



#10 1dmf

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 10:21 AM

Altavista killed doorway pages for the first time on Black Monday, October 25, 1999.

Oh the irony that Google is the biggest doorway site in the world!

 

Altavista clearly didn't do a good enough job!

 

Also how does this...

 

URL Hijacking, registering a close and similar misspelled version of a successful and profitable brand, company or competitor

 

..have anything to do with SEO?

 

If I type a URL in my browser's address bar I go to the website, no SE was involved in the transaction. Yes it's unscupulous, just spell Goolge wrong and see where you end up. But this has absolutely nothing to do with SE's or SEO.

 

Or are you seriously saying that two companies with similar names and web addresses are penalised for this fact and one will be given priority over the other and the lesser one is penalised?

 

This would be so totally and utterly outrageously wrong if it was so!

 

Perhaps you are confusing this with real URL hijacking where a website is compromised and a piece of code is injected into the website to redirect the user to another website or as the NSA implement it utilising a 'race condition', to redirect you to their server instead of the real one and display fake content so they can start attacking your computer with viruses and other exploits.

 

The fact someone can't spell or has made a typo and accidently come to my site instead of someone else's doesn't mean I have just hijacked their URL.






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