The Long Tail of a Black Hat

Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory:

our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.

Kevin Marks looks further down the tail and notes:

A true long tail business is one that copes with the ultimate niches – where there are just one, or even zero customers. You need to be sure that your submission model can cope with these limiting cases and not choke, especially as you do not know a priori which ones are going to garner customers. So, what businesses fit this model?

Answer: Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (AKA Search Engine Spamming).

Many SEO Black Hats create millions of pages over hundreds of domains using some form of automated website creation software. Each page is optimized for an obscure keyword phrase – perhaps one that is only searched for 50 times per month.

Just one of a Search Engine Spammer’s spam sites could have 30,000 pages. This site might receives just one unique visitor on less than 10% of the pages per day. Of those 3,000 visitors if only 2% (60) click on a 10 cent Adsense word, this site would generate $6.00 per day or $180 per month.

So does the smart search engine spammer stop at 1 or 5 site? Of course not. A true SEO Black Hat has hundreds (and in many cases thousands) of these sites operating at once.

As a black hat automates more steps in the site creation process, the time investment decreases dramatically. Recently, I spoke with a Search Engine Spammer who told me that he has automated EVERY step in the process from domain registration to Keyword selection, to new CSS design, to splog indexing. He claimed he can create and index a 50,000+ page website with less than a minute’s worth of incremental keystrokes.

As the cost of page creation, hosting and advertising (production and distribution) approaches zero, the number of customers required for a profitable search engine spamming business drops to much less than one per page (or micro-niche).

Search engine spamming is a business that “copes with the ultimate niches – where there are just one, or even zero customers.” It will therefore be interesting to see if Anderson devotes a few pages to Search Engine Spammers in his upcoming Long Tail Book.

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6 Responses to “The Long Tail of a Black Hat”

  1. dan says:

    I’d like to talk to that person (or someone like him) about those automated page creation tools. Sounds like a good time.

  2. joker says:

    Totally automating a 50,00 page website with a few mouse clicks?
    Damn.
    I’m humbled.
    Master…would you teach this grasshopper??

  3. Just a guy says:

    …automated EVERY step in the process from domain registration to Keyword selection, to new CSS design, to splog indexing.

    Damn… now THAT is automation. Must be one of those dudes making 6 figures a month.

    Vic

  4. Robert.. says:

    I have to ditto everyone’s remarks here..I, too, would like to meet someone who..

    “Create and index a 50,000+ page website with less than a minute’s worth of incremental keystrokes.”

    I wonder if the person that passed that information over to you, could post his techniques here? Maybe an outline of some of the methods and software that is used to automate his/her website creations in a such a small space of time?

    I would love to speed up the process, and get it down to a science as well. I love the concept of grabbing the “low hanging” fruit, in terms of micro-niches.

    This is an area I have been interested in for a long time, but there are “bits and pieces” of information out there that don’t seem to come together in one cohesive strategy.

    Since I am, well, yes, still a newbie, I would like to move away from my webmaster, and start building hundreds of sites, if not thousands, but that seems like dream right now.

    I am also a little “skiddish” about some SEO BH techniques, but I do agree that a combination of white hat sites, and money sites is the way to go.

    My site is only a PR4, and it has been around for two years. I have added a lot of content, a link directory, and RSS Feed, and I am just now getting around 55,000 hits.

    I get a little tired of working so hard for a site that might just be delisted from the Google index. Like with any good business, you need to diversify. SEO is no different..

    Great site..

    Regards..
    Robert..

  5. rotiger says:

    I did a little searching on this subject and I found that for “Traffic Equalizer” to work good you need to “mod the templates heavily”. Can you explain how to do this?

  6. rotiger says:

    So I think everyone needs to know:

    How to modify traffic equalizer templates for optimization or where to find free optimized ones.
    How to automatically get the micro niches.

    or better yet have your pro:
    “50,000+ page website with less than a minute’s worth of incremental keystrokes”

    teach us the ropes too.
    I want to learn this,how can I do it?