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The Lure Of Black Hat SEO

Aug 18, 2007
Black hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as often mentioned here are tactics used to trick Search Engines (SEs) into ranking a page or website higher in the Search Engines Rank Pages (SERP) for a particular term or keyword than they really deserve. If a site or a page is identified to be trying to manipulate its algorithm it is either penalized - a phenomena known as "sandbox", or de-indexed i.e. completely removed from the SE's index and made unavailable to the internet.

But even such far reaching consequences have not been able to deter black hats. Developers and purveyors of such techniques are often, above average software developers who are keen to stay a step ahead of the ever evolving and certainly improving SE algorithm. This algo is the complicated server side software developed by SEs to determine a pages relevance to "Beef Jerky", it is this algorithm that determines which web pages are most relevant and in what order in the SERPs. It then serves you this list (SERP) starting with the page it considers most relevant.

Black hats are a stealthy yet smart group of people that use their coding genius to reverse engineer the SEs algo to determine what parameters they use to determine what to rank where. They run thousands of tests using complicated sampling and mathematical formulas to discover manipulate-able loopholes in SEs. They then manipulate those parameters on their website to improve their ranking. From the late nineties keyword stuffing to today's Tag and Ping, all are as a result of the work of black hats.

High position in SERPs is literally equivalent to higher incomes. The irony is that one of the strongest drivers of black hat is a development of the most irritable of SEs ; Adsense by Google. Google abhors black hats the most. They react to them swiftly and decisively, yet their advertising program, Adsense, is more than a significant motivation for black hats.

Adsense is an advertising program that rents websites to display adverts for a commission. For every click on that advert the owner of the website makes some money.

With payments that used to be as high as 50 dollars, the equivalent of Ksh 3,500 per click, you can do the math for a site that gets 30,000 visitors per day and has an Adsense click ratio of just 10%. Such payout have been making black hat lucrative despite the risks.
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