There’s no Such Thing as Advanced White Hat SEO

Lisa Barone had tons of questions after attending SMX

“But at the same time, I couldn’t help but notice that this year’s Advanced show seemed to lean a whole lot more to the grey/black hat side of things. I couldn’t help but wonder: When did advanced search engine optimization get confused with being a black hat?

Right around the time that Google took this stance solidified it:

“Web spam is when somebody tries to cheat or take shortcuts so that their Web site shows up higher [in search results rankings] than it deserves to show up,” – Matt Cutts

If you are not trying to get your client’s websites to rank higher than they “deserve”, why should they hire you?

She continued:

“Here are some of the “advanced search engine optimization” techniques I picked up during my time in Seattle.

* There are lots of old sites lying around on the Interwebz with great link juice. Buy them and capitalize on that. But do it carefully or Google will pick up on it and reset the score.
* Conditional redirects are teh awesome.
* Search marketers don’t need ethics. They’re marketers. Check the ethics at the door.
* You can never have too many .edu links.
* I need to grow some balls, stop fearing Matt Cutts and start buying links.

Where were the white hat advanced search engine optimization techniques in Seattle?”

Hanging out with the Tooth Fairy and the Loch Nes Monster.

“Why was most of the material presented pushing grey and black hat? “

Because black hat seo is the only place where there is any development. White hat can work, but it’s exactly the same stuff that worked 6 years ago. Why do you need to go to a conference to get 6 year old information?

“Are we supposed to believe that that’s what advanced SEO is – spamming? “


“If so, that’s a bunch of crap.”

uh oh, call the wambulance . . .

“Or maybe SMX just thinks there’s no one qualified to teach advanced white hat techniques. I guess those folks were out drinking with all the ladies NOT on the Give It Up panel.”

Is she saying she was out drinking with all the advanced white hats?

“I don’t understand.”


“To me, advanced search engine optimization is about analytics”,

i see . .

“it’s about siloing”

Siloing is not exactly news. The top Google result for SEO Siloing is a Grey Wolf Article from Almost 2 years ago.

“it’s about perfecting your site architecture so that you don’t have to even worry about tactics like cloaking for conditional redirects.”

Google Cloaks. The NY Times Cloaks. But I have an open mind: maybe your head-in-the-sand theory on SEO is the best strategy. . .

“There have to be other white hat advanced search engine optimization techniques out there.”

Sounds like what they said about SETI.

“Why weren’t they covered?”

Because if you cover a white hat technique that works, the technique gets banned and the site gets bitch-slapped. Off-topic Link bait will probably be next on the chopping block.

Google does not want you or your clients sites to rank ANY higher than they “deserve” to. Google defines deserve; they are a for-profit company. That means that just about any intentional manipulation will be, by definition, black hat.

Want to sum up white hat SEO? It boils down to:

1) Site Architecture – Can be learned in 4 hours or less.
2) Analytics – Can you install a javascript and log in?
3) PPC – Even though we used to call that SEM . . .
4) Content – which is better handled by copywriters.

Alas! The Emperor has no clothes. There are no advanced white hat SEO techniques.

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19 Responses to “There’s no Such Thing as Advanced White Hat SEO”

  1. […] Un post fain de la Quadzilla, pentru cei care inca mai viseaza ca optimizarea pentru motoarele de cautare poate fi si white hat in zilele noastre. […]

  2. waraas says:

    Haha, funny.

  3. “uh oh, call the wambulance . . .” … before those pesky wabbits come!

    Funny, I always put white hat down to SEO basics and black hat = the sexy stuff. (=

  4. Bambolero says:

    Ha! wondering why folks at Bruce Clay are picking up a lost battle. Guess is hard to keep up with the boys from the hood? Whitties have no longer space in this world. Oh yeah, the newbies, that’s right….so Google and others can still milk out from them….But main point is that Google is a despicable nasty tight arse trying to keep all the gains for themselves…when do we see a new search engine. how about

  5. easternfade says:

    Hehehhe nice one.. seems like a case of needing to sell SEO and there not being much new out there in the white hat world..

  6. rjonesx says:

    While I sympathize with the argument that the fronteir of SEO knowledge is firmly ensconced in black hat techniques, I think it is false to assume that there are no advanced white hat techniques.

    For example, there is advanced keyword discovery. We use 42 different competitiveness measurements compared against popularity data to determine the Traffic-on-Investment of particular keywords. There is nothing grey-hat or white-hat about these techniques, and it allows clean, authority-sites to focus their content creation energies on keyword-targeted content that will actually rank. And convert.

    Of course, there are better black-hat solutions to keyword discovery.

  7. MORO says:

    “Analytics – Can you install a javascript and log in?” No “LOL” for that one…I laughed out loud.

  8. dedmond29 says:

    You’d be surprised how many people cannot install a javascript and/or login 🙂

  9. […] Alas! The Emperor has no clothes. There are no advanced white hat SEO techniques. […]

  10. […] If you’re offended…STFU already. That’s shut the fuck up already for you idiots who have been living in a cave. It’s an analogy. Or metaphor. Or something, I skipped English a lot. Maybe I should say “Yea, I do a little blackhat, but I can whitehat circles around your ass.” There’s been a week of useless banter about SMX advanced last week. In reality, this sums up my position but I digress. We’ve got there’s no such thing as advanced white hat SEO, advanced SEO doesn’t mean spamming, to blackhat SEO isn’t advanced blah blah yadda yadda. […]

  11. […] There has been quite a bit of talk lately about the resurgence of gray and black-hat panel discussions at the SMX Advanced conference held recently in Seattle. I posted a lengthy comment at the trail end of Matt Cutts’s post regarding the matter, but I felt that it deserved a little more attention. In short, any advanced SEO conference should not shy away from the full gamut of SEO techniques, regardless of the stigma attached. […]

  12. underworld says:

    for 4/10 nooblets logging in is a serious problem, so they google it – only to realise they dont know how to use google…computers are difficult go get a job as a janitor…

  13. copyblogger says:

    Advanced white hat SEO is copywriting. I guess I need to start a conference. 🙂

  14. […] Black hat is a hot topic lately, and this discussion of black hat ethics makes for a compelling read. Speaking of which, Quadzilla says that there’s no such thing as advanced white hat SEO. Even if we don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, the post is still a fun read and an interesting perspective. […]

  15. karthikeyan says:

    WhiteHAT seo is like reading a text book.
    BlackHAT seo is an experience 😉

  16. […] I’ve only been to one SEO Event, as it’s much easier (faster, cheaper…) to do my research online. Recently there’s been a lot of chatter about one of Danny Sullivan’s events that some felt went too far into Black Hat Territory. I found a response that said “Guess what suckas! There is no White Hat!” of course I paraphrase. […]

  17. Stanium says:

    White hat SEO is dead. Viva the Black hat SEO!

  18. […] It is time that someone finally put Quadzilla in his place. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a huge amount of innovation in the black hat and gray hat industries that simply is too risky for white-hatters to discover. Nevertheless, it is simply ridiculous to claim that white hat techniques have become so uniform and ubiquitous in their application that nothing truly “advanced” continues to exist. In today’s post I am going to talk about a technique with which many of you will not be familiar. Here at Virante we call it Second Page Poaching. But, before we begin, let me start with a brief explanation of what I believe to be “advanced white-hat SEO”. […]