Hosting and Internet information

White Hat versus Black Hat

duelThere is an interesting long-term debate going on disputing whats better, black hat or white hat. So here is 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. And Yes, there will be real techniques you can use hidden within the story.

Once 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 among 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 among 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 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 blogs 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. 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.

Interpret 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.

Posted in Internet

Comments are currently closed.