Black Hole SEO

Black Hole SEO employs a technique that causes the normal laws of Google Physics to break down. Link juice flows into a massive body, but can never escape. When employed on a massive body, it tends to dominate the SERPs.

A black hole site is created when an tier 1 authority site ceases to link out to other sites. If a reference is needed, the information is rewritten and a reference page is created within the black hole. All (or virtually all) external links on the site are made nofollow.

The first example of a black hole site was the wikipedia. The internal links formed a network that passed link juice from one page to another allowing obscure articles with no external links to rank number 1 in the SERPs. This #1 ranking begets natural links from external links. When a webizen wants a quick reference, they consult Google and link to one of the top results. This causes more link juice to flow into the black hole and the body’s trust becomes more and more massive over time.

1. Link juice flows in, but it can never escape.
2. External Sites lose link juice at the expense of the black hole.
3. The relative link juice mass of the black hole expands exponentially.

Other Google Physicists realize what is happening and are now modeling their sites and networks to become black holes as well. One example of a burgeoning black holes is The New York Times. They will not link out even when relevant to the article. All links in any of their articles will go to a “Times Topics” page.

Business Week is following suit and their practices will soon mirror the New York Time’s. However, because Business Week is not yet massive enough, they cannot yet be classified as a black hole.

For massive sites with a tier one level of Google trust, there is virtually no benefit to linking to any external sites without a link condom. That whole “link out to authority sites” mantra of yesteryear’s SEOs does not apply to black holes.

We could debate how Google could fix this problem, but that’s not the focus of this site. This site is about how to become one of those who dominate in the SERPs regardless of how Google chooses to determine who “deserves” to rank.

The dynamics of Google’s current algorithm tend to create black holes. The homogeneous nature of the SERPs will only become more pervasive over time. In the near future, expect to see the same pool of 40 or so black holes account for ~70% of all top 10 results.

Do you want to have one (or more) of those 40 black holes?

My next post will discuss how to create your own black hole – it’s not quite as easy as you might expect but it can be done. Stay tuned . . .

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15 Responses to “Black Hole SEO”

  1. indigoweb says:

    Interesting article Quads…..this whole physics of google thing is definitely an eye opener. Looking forward to the next post to see what you come up with. Excellent blog post as usual.

  2. I’ve always thought this to of been the case. I wonder when Knol will start to outpace Wikipedia? I mean heck, let’s be realistic – it really isn’t a *if*, but most definitely a when.

    And to digress further; I wonder how long it will be for the Big G to work something else out algo wise, thus scraping the nofollow BS. Ok, ok, pot calling kettle black here, ’cause I use it too, but stilllllllll, IMO, ’tis BS.

    Anyhooo, can’t wait for the next update. I look forward to seeing your views!

  3. renesisx says:

    This is a really great post. I’d never really thought about these sites as “black holes” before, but that is the perfect description of them.

    At least the BBC was told to start linking out more, and they usually do a really good job. Even if the article is about how much some web site sucks, they’ll usually at least link to it anyway.

  4. remi2611 says:

    wow quad ! are you telling that Google is adopting a globalization mentality ? centralizing information to one point of view isn’t it bad for the future of the web ?

  5. [...] Following on from this was a post from Quadzilla over at BlackHatSEO.com examined the possibly of black hole SEO (A phrase I have to be honest I do quite like). According to the blog a ‘black hole site’ is “A black hole site is created when an tier 1 authority site ceases to link out to other sites. If a reference is needed, the information is rewritten and a reference page is created within the black hole. All (or virtually all) external links on the site are made nofollow. [...]

  6. [...] As promised, today we’ll go over some more of the trends in Black holes and what steps you can take to create or take advantage of their growing dominance in the SERPs. « Black Hole SEO [...]

  7. [...] Das Phänomen bezeichnen SEO Black Hat und SEO Book als “Black Hole SEO”, also als Schwarzes SEO-Loch. Das Sinnbild erklärt sich leicht, schlucken doch dermaßen veranlagte Sites wie The New York Times alle von außen kommende Linkpower und geben nichts davon wieder her. Damit werden sie immer größer, bis sie schließlich … doch so weit wollen wir jetzt erst einmal nicht denken. [...]

  8. [...] Este tema no es nuevo, sin embargo parece que es ahora cuando todo el mundo le está haciendo caso, a raíz de este post y de mucho background a lo largo del tiempo. [...]

  9. [...] Some industry types have been talking about a concept called black hole seo, which is basically the process of putting a cap on all outbound links from your site in order to cap all of your link equity. [...]

  10. [...] How do you take advantage of being an online business authority? Either you turn the site into a SEO Black Hole (only for the very biggest brands) or you pump out information – like all the time. On any subject. [...]

  11. [...] Last week I came across an interesting post on the SEO Black Hat blog that talked about black holes. No, not the astronomy ones, but the SEO ones! Quoting the article: Black Hole SEO employs a technique that causes the normal laws of Google Physics to break down. Link juice flows into a massive body, but can never escape. When employed on a massive body, it tends to dominate the SERPs. [...]

  12. arealabs says:

    small object tend to travel towards bigger ones

  13. [...] Increasingly, top-tier sites are becoming cagey about linking out. They are more than happy to be linked to, of course, but often the favor is not reciprocated. Check out this post by SEOBlackhat. [...]

  14. [...] Unfortunately, that’s not the way the ‘nofollow’ attribute or link popularity was intended to work. Link popularity is supposed to reward quality content & the people who create it.  Similarly, the ‘no follow’ attribute was created to prevent blog comment spam. But now combined, these two features are used by the big social networks to create black hole’s of link value. Draw you’re own conclusions here, but either way, the loss of publishing control puts the content creator at a disadvantage. At the whim of a third party, who may delete your account at a moment’s notice, and without recourse. [...]

  15. [...] First, let’s learn about how nofollow inadvertently creates “SEO blackholes” which end up favoring less accurate mega-sites like About.com, Answers.com, and WikiPedia instead of more accurate, more detailed niche sites. From SEO Blackhat: Black Hole SEO employs a technique that causes the normal laws of Google Physics to break down. Link juice flows into a massive body, but can never escape. When employed on a massive body, it tends to dominate the SERPs. [...]