The Ethics of Black Hat and White Hat SEO

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Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics and its College of Technology & Computing are presenting “White Hats and Black Hats: An Ethics Conference on Computing, Search Engines and Security.” The two-hour conference, set for March 8 at 11:30 a.m. in UVU Library’s fourth-floor Lakeview room, features a keynote presentation by Ash Buckles, the president of SEO.com.

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The Ethics of Black Hat and White Hat SEO

  1. 1. The Ethics of Black Hat vs. White Hat Search Engine OptimizationAsh Buckles | President
  2. 2. What’s In A Hat Color?• Search engine guidelines – Google: http://goo.gl/EsRmf – Bing: http://binged.it/guadRe – Yahoo: http://yhoo.it/x57zxY• Marketing initiatives• Search engine optimization tactics• Business ethics “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” - Potter StewartSource: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/ethics.html#ixzz1oXU0S5an #SEOethics
  3. 3. What’s In A Hat Color?1. Read the chapter 1. Read the cliff 1. Pay someone to do2. Complete your notes your homework & homework 2. Copy odd answers go skiing3. Turn in your from the book assignment on 3. Turn in your time assignmentSources: White (http://bit.ly/wqhioE), Gray (http://bit.ly/xvaXWs), Black (http://bit.ly/wlZ2ph), Skiing (http://bit.ly/y6d3zL) #SEOethics
  4. 4. Examples of Black Hat SEO• Fake business listings• Keyword stuffing• Hidden content• Cloaking for search engines• Content scraping (plagiarizing)• General deception• Links from link farms• Many more #SEOethics
  5. 5. Examples of Black Hat SEO#SEOethics
  6. 6. Examples of Black Hat SEO#SEOethics
  7. 7. Examples of Black Hat SEO#SEOethics
  8. 8. Examples of Black Hat SEO#SEOethics
  9. 9. Examples of Black Hat SEO#SEOethics
  10. 10. Examples of Black Hat SEO#SEOethics
  11. 11. Examples of Black Hat SEO#SEOethics
  12. 12. Risks of Black Hat SEO• JCPenney – Knocked out of top rankings for about 90 days• Overstock – Dropped for about 60 days• Forbes – Penalized for selling paid links• BMW – Penalized for about 30 days #SEOethics
  13. 13. Examples of White Hat SEO• Business listings matching your company information• Related content, links, and news releases• Unique content produced just for you• 3rd party supported content & links• Social media presence (harder to fake)• Schema.org• Structured markup – Title – H1, H2, H3, etc. – Text – Alt attribute – Internal links – etc.• Many more #SEOethics
  14. 14. Search Engine Experience#SEOethics
  15. 15. Black Hat Activity Detected by Google
  16. 16. Purpose of the Search Engines• Regulate guidelines through algorithm changes• Crawl & index web pages• Build trust among users• Provide the best results• Sell advertising $ #SEOethics
  17. 17. Winning with White Hat SEO• Keyword research• Blogging• Link attraction• Architectural updates• Social media• Infographics• Press releases• Viral articles & videos• Badges & Widgets• Many more #SEOethics
  18. 18. White Hat Content#SEOethics
  19. 19. Keywords & Content 2012 $3.7 billion in revenue IPO Facebook underwriters stock Facebook IPO 2011 credit line estimates Google banks Yahoo Wall Streetlegal dispute filing patents advertising dollars social networkinitial public offering hedge fund 845 million users new credit#SEOethics
  20. 20. Keywords & Content 2012 $3.7 billion in revenue IPO Facebook underwriters stock Facebook IPO 2011 credit line estimates Google banks Yahoo Wall Streetlegal dispute filing patents advertising dollars social networkinitial public offering hedge fund 845 million users new credit#SEOethics
  21. 21. Ranking Like Wikipedia “Wikipedia ranks for 92% of the 100 most searched terms on Google. Imagine if you ranked in the top listings for 92% of your industry terms.” – Matt Tuens#SEOethics
  22. 22. Ranking Like Wikipedia Home Business Marketing Internet Marketing Search Engine Marketing SEO#SEOethics
  23. 23. Ranking Like Wikipedia#SEOethics
  24. 24. Take Aways• Google tells us exactly what they expect• Bing does a pretty good job• Search engines control the guidelines – “The standards of 1997 do not match the standards of 2012. Ideally, a search strategy is established and the work performed thereafter improves visibility without risking your brand through deceptive techniques.”• Businesses have a reputation to protect – Risks associated with tactics• Different algorithms focus on different objectives• Web pages are living documents#SEOethics
  25. 25. The Ethics of Black Hat vs. White HatSearch Engine Optimization Ash Buckles President, SEO.com ash@seo.com @ashbuckles #SEOethics

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