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SEO Website Audit

Is there such a thing as white hat or black hat social media...?

August 19, 2009
The Twitter question for this week was:
"Is there such a thing as white hat or black hat social media? Why or why not?"

Here are some of the more interesting replies:

@RyanJones: "Of course there's black hat social media. Tons of followers + links posted = tons of clicks."

I wasn't sure what Ryan meant and asked him to clarify how that was black hat. To which he replied, "Auto follow software, plus spamming links. account disabled, start a new one. Drives traffic. Also, myspace 4 cookie stuffing."

@SEOAly: "Don't know about 'black hat,' but fake online personas, multiple accounts promoting same content, etc., are pretty shady."

@Emma_Lee1: "White hat is building genuine networks & relationships; black hat spam, linking for status, many accounts with same content."

@MCIMaui: "With ppl setting up fake accounts, Twit spam and FB pages that are spammy and have no relevance, then I'd say yes."

Then @MCIMaui also added: "Not sure why anyone would think those techniques would work, I find them simply annoying and a waste of space."

Exactly. That's what I don't really understand about what people call black hat social media. With black hat SEO, at least it works, if only temporarily. But what's the point of black hat social media if it doesn't work and only serves to annoy people? Seems sort of like email spam to me.

@t_jones: "There are definitely formal structures set up to manipulate social media. One method is reciprocal "digg"ing, "squidoo"ing, etc."

Ah yes, that's true. And those networks do indeed work in social media.

The issue was summed up nicely by @melaniephung when she wrote: "That's like asking if there's 'black hat dating,' IMO. You can be good, bad or shady, but what do hats have to do with it?"

I dunno...I guess your hat color is your fashion statement? :)

Want to participate in the Twitter Question of the Week? Follow @jillwhalen on Twitter.

Post Comment

 SeoNext said:
To keep the playing field level and clear, a group of webmasters could compile a list of ‘White-Hat-Rules’ & ‘Black -Hat-Rules’ that would be posted into every forum and social-media site. From this point in time onwards, if anyone is caught-out using old techniques that are contrary to the ‘New Rules Defining Such’, their web sites and ISP’s would fall under ‘Automatic Black Listing Properties’ that would follow their every move. They could receive no more than ‘Two Warnings’ resulting thereafter of a complete universal ban by all who follow Black Hat Techniques and have some regulatory group of bodies enforce and report these users to their hosts.Really a nice post.
 Jill said:
@SeoNext do you really think there could be a group of people that would agree on these rules? Cuz I sure don't!