Welcome to the Small Business Ideas Forum! We are a community of over 100,000 small business folks with over 163,000 posts for you to browse. We pride ourselves on being the friendliest forum you will find and we'd love to have you as a member of our community. Please take a moment and register for a free account. If you need any help, please contact Chris Logan.

Small Business Ideas Forum

Small Business Ideas Forum

A friendly place to share small business ideas and knowledge, ask questions, find help and encourage others that are involved in the small business industry. Topics include small business marketing, generating revenue and small business computing.

Go Back   Small Business Ideas Forum > Small Business Marketing - Online > General Search Engine Marketing Information
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 1st February 2006, 04:42 PM   #1
thejenn
Moderator
 
thejenn's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,829
Send a message via AIM to thejenn

Search Engine Guide Blogger

Default Yet Another SEM Contest - So Let's Raise Money for Charity!

Authored by: Jennifer Laycock

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/006686.html

A Snippet:

While I stayed out of the last seo contest, I've decided to go ahead and enter this one in the hopes that I can use carcasherdotcom seocontest as a fundraiser for the milk bank that I highlighted in the 30 day article series.

__________________
Like free stuff? Check out the free e-book Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days.
thejenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Register or log in to remove this ad.
Old 2nd February 2006, 07:03 AM   #2
BKCB
Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 28
Thumbs up A "White Hat" SEO Contest - GREAT!

Jennifer,

I think the idea of helping legitimate charities with these SEO contests is GREAT!

I like just as much (if not more) CarCasher's "White Hat" rules of the contest.

I do, however, have three questions that I am afraid will show my ignorance of "rubber meets the road" SEO. So, forgive me for my curiosity, and please don't think that I am just being a "trouble maker". I'm just hoping there are no "loopholes" for "shades of gray hats" to find and use. I really am wishing Carcasher success, and you all the success in the world with your charitable motives

1st: Is the "# Every website HAS TO HAVE an email address published ON THAT SITE so that nobody else can claim their prizes" rule in place to definitely eliminate the possibility of "impostor" winners only? When they say "an email address" vs. "YOUR email address", does that mean that the rules allow for "anonymous" winners (even though most SEO ego's would want the world to know they won). In other words, could a winner use a friend's e-mail address (or a temporarily set up one) and stay anonymous, but still get the money?

2nd: Since I am ignorant of the "fine lines" that separate "light gray hat", from "medium gray hat", from "dark gray hat" SEO techniques, I am curious if there is general unanimous agreement in the SEO community, and with the three search engines, on what techniques would be considered "dirty" when they say: "# No dirty SEO techniques!"? I'm not sure, but aren't the guidelines amongst the three SE's slightly different? Yet, only Google's Guidelines are mentioned.

3rd: Is there the slightest possibility that the winner could use SEO techniques that are "undetectable", but on the "darker shade of pale (Gray)"?

I like CarCasher's "If there are any disputes as to the validity of the winner declaration, CarCasher.Com will be the sole arbiter." I just hope they or many good "White Hats" would be able to detect any "bending of the rules".

Again, I hope this "White Hat" SEO contest comes off "without a hitch" and promotes hard work and networking vs. "shortcuts" for SEO's. My main concern are the millions of users of online search who, I believe, benefit from all "White Hat" SEO, but not necessarily from all "Black Hat" SEO in the organic listing results on the first search engine results page.

BKCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2006, 08:42 AM   #3
thejenn
Moderator
 
thejenn's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,829
Send a message via AIM to thejenn

Search Engine Guide Blogger

Default

You'd have to ask the people running the contest how they plan to judge and track things, nearly all of the questions that you ask are ones that I don't know the answers to.

In some ways, contests like these police themselves because the "white hats" are going to be keeping an eye out and reporting the "grey hats."

I won't say that they'll report the black hats because to be quite honest with you, most white hats have no idea how or what type of techniques black hats even use, so it's doubtful that they'd spot them.

It doesn't really matter to me either way. I don't have a problem with black hats. My only issue with black hats has ever been that they use full dislcosure with their clients. If a client wants to take a risk in a highly competitive industry, that's their right...I just think black hats need to let the client know of that risk so that long-standing domain names aren't put at risk.

Black hat SEO is neither illegal, nor immoral. It simply breaks the "arbitrary" rules that each of the individual search engines choose to setup. I don't use the techniques myself for two reasons...

1.) I'm just not smart enough. LOL... It takes some true technical skills to come up with the techniques that they use, black hat is more about programming and analytics than old fashioned marketing.

2.) I'm not willing to take the risks. I'm an old fashioned marketing gal that simply applies those concepts to the web in a new way. I'm in it to build long term results, so it makes more sense to go with "white hat" techniques anyway.

__________________
Like free stuff? Check out the free e-book Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days.
thejenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2006, 10:51 AM   #4
BKCB
Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 28
Exclamation Great Reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by thejenn
You'd have to ask the people running the contest how they plan to judge and track things, nearly all of the questions that you ask are ones that I don't know the answers to.

I won't say that they'll report the black hats because to be quite honest with you, most white hats have no idea how or what type of techniques black hats even use, so it's doubtful that they'd spot them.
I think that it is a good idea for as many people as possible to contact CarCasher.com on some, or all, of the points in my questions, IF they feel they are valid and important.

Thanks for your open and honest statement about "..most white hats have no idea how or what type of techniques black hats even use,.." I should have known and realized that evident truth, except for the fact that I keep hearing (will keep sources anonymous) that even some "White Hat" SEO's (I'm not saying you) experiment with "Medium Gray", to "Dark Gray", to maybe even some "Black Hat" techniques for their own sites. They also may experiment because they are forced to compete (asked by their clients to take that risk) with the clients' competitor's sites who are being guided by "Black Hat" SEO's.

I'm told that most "White Hats" do this ONLY to experiment and learn more than to actually use what they learn. Hovever, I hope this is true since I really hope nobody can use "Black Hat" programming and analytics that is TOTALLY UNDETECTABLE by any "White Hats" who are policing the "Gray Hats". If that happened then there is a chance that a "Black Hat" could win the CarCasher.com SEO Contest. In that case, I doubt if the winning contest money would go to a great legitimate charity like yours, IMO.

I know and agree, totally, that "Black hat SEO is neither illegal, nor immoral. It simply breaks the "arbitrary" rules that each of the individual search engines choose to setup." I also don't negatively judge the Black Hat SEO'ers themselves. I guess my bottom line is my concern for the millions of online search users. Since, my premise is that the more all SEO people use, or are forced to use, programming and analytics directed at the search engines only vs. "Doing everything necessary to improve a website's performance for it's target audience." (Stony deGeyter's quote from: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...7&postcount=16 ), the chances of the overall online search user's experience being good most of the time gets reduced, IMO.

BKCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2006, 02:55 PM   #5
thejenn
Moderator
 
thejenn's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,829
Send a message via AIM to thejenn

Search Engine Guide Blogger

Default

See this is where we have to agree to disagree...

You speak of black hats as if they are these evil people that are out to cheat us all and as if they are working evil dark magics to do it. Why are you so worried about a black hat winning an SEO contest? Why does it matter..it's a silly contest...

Now, I might agree with you if black hats were out there trying to rank porn sites for phrases like Barbie doll and "Barney" but the reality is that most black hats are working to rank perfectly legitimate sites for perfectly legitimate phrases. Apart from taking risks with those sites, why is that wrong? It's the old argument of "if you have a car site and I have a car site, who should rank better"...well...it depends on which of us you ask. You’ll say your site and I’ll say mine.

As for your charity comment, what makes you think a black hat wouldn’t donate to a charity? Again, most of the black hats that I know are nice folks. They’ll buy you a beer, hang out and chat and back a good cause. Again, black hat doesn’t mean cold, heartless, greedy and selfish.

Maybe I’m reading into things…but statements like this one:

I should have known and realized that evident truth, except for the fact that I keep hearing (will keep sources anonymous) that even some "White Hat" SEO's (I'm not saying you) experiment with "Medium Gray", to "Dark Gray", to maybe even some "Black Hat" techniques for their own sites.

Sort of read to me like “Oh no! *whisper* *whisper* Some white hats aren’t as innocent as we thought! Oh, but wait…it’s ok, they are just doing it to learn…LOL…It villifies the black hat. That just isn’t how it works.

Some of the best black hats in the business are black hats only on their own sites and are totally white hat on their client sites. Nothing wrong with that. It’s usually black hats that discover the new optimization techniques that work and that ARE legit, because they’re so focused on pushing all the boundaries and testing all the options.

This whole “white” is good and “black” is bad thing is an old argument and one that really needs to be retired. It’s not the good verses the evil here, it’s two different ways of looking at things. Who cares what color your hat is? How are you serving your clients and are you being honest with them? That’s what it boils down to.

/rant

__________________
Like free stuff? Check out the free e-book Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days.
thejenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2006, 08:20 PM   #6
BKCB
Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 28
Default "Agree To Disagree" = Possibly, But Am I Communicating Effectively?

Jenn, thanks for the "rant". Believe it or not I really do see most of your points. I probably am, though, a bit more cynical than you. It's true that "Knowledge is Power", but under pressure many well intentioned people can then believe and resort to the incorrect thinking that "Power is more of a Privilege than it is a Responsibility".

"You speak of black hats as if they are these evil people that are out to cheat us all and as if they are working evil dark magics to do it." = What I said was: "I know and agree, totally, that "Black hat SEO is neither illegal, nor immoral. It simply breaks the "arbitrary" rules that each of the individual search engines choose to setup." I also don't negatively judge the Black Hat SEO'ers themselves." As far as "WORKING EVIL DARK MAGICS" is concerned, if the knowledge/power that can come from "programming and analytics" due to certain people that are "focused on pushing all the boundaries and testing all the options" is able to eliminate any contest money going "to help spread awareness and raise money for human milk banking, a cause very dear to my heart.", then while it may not be "EVIL" per se, there will be a "LACK OF GOOD" that results, IMO.

I then added: "Since, my premise is that the more all SEO people use, or are forced to use, programming and analytics directed at the search engines only vs. "Doing everything necessary to improve a website's performance for it's target audience." (Stony deGeyter's quote from: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com...17&postcount=16 ), the chances of the overall online search user's experience being good most of the time gets reduced, IMO." By that I mean that if what Stoney says is true: "White: Honor SE guidelines; Black: "trick" search engines" and "White: Site marketability is important; Black: Top rankings at any cost", and finally "White: Content driven; Black: Technology driven", then the sometimes "forgotten", but most important part of the whole Search Marketing equation (the online search user) MAY be served something other than the best quality content on the top of the 1st SERP because of programming and analytic techniques.

Even though I've read many forum discussions on the misleading terms "White Hat" and "Black Hat", I must admit I've been recently influenced by Alan Perkins "SEO: Sleepwalking Ever Onwards?" . It was based on his opinions and experience from the last Chicago SES Conference. This article, along with Danny Sullivan saying not too long ago about the reputation of the industry that "Despite gains, many will still see us as the used car salespeople of the Web" means to me (maybe nobody else?) that any "ends justifies the means" behavior on the part of SEO's may further damage an already misunderstood and misperceived industry.

Yes, there are very nice and honorable "Black Hat" SEO's that only work on their own sites. I agree that "black hat doesn’t mean cold, heartless, greedy and selfish." These are all "generalizations" for which exceptions can be found, and it is right and proper for us to be talking in "generalizations". So, thanks for saying "most of the black hats that I know.." as I'm hoping you'll agree that you may not know all of them.

"Why are you so worried about a black hat winning an SEO contest? Why does it matter..it's a silly contest..." = "worried" may be the wrong keyword, as I am "concerned" about anything that positively or negatively affects the healthy and fast growth of the Search Marketing Industry. IT WAS CarCasher.com THAT SET THE STAGE FOR A GOOGLE (ONLY) SET OF GUIDELINES, when prize money is for Yahoo and MSN too. I guess I'm hoping that they are "worried" about all participants following their rules. Plus, I don't think that CarCasher.com thinks that "it's a silly contest". Maybe I'm wrong, but they are putting up a decent amount of prize money compared to other "silly" SEO contests.

"the reality is that most black hats are working to rank perfectly legitimate sites for perfectly legitimate phrases" = I hope you are right, but how do you know for sure? Plus, even if they are, the sites and SEO's that have to compete with their legitimate sites and phrases, may be encouraged to become more "Gray Hat" to compete?

"Maybe I’m reading into things..." regarding "Sort of read to me like “Oh no! *whisper* *whisper* Some white hats aren’t as innocent as we thought!" = How ironic, as a matter of fact the well known SEO who told me this DID lower his (or her) voice when he (or she) said it! I go to some SEM Conferences and speak with many SEO-SEM's.

"It’s usually black hats that discover the new optimization techniques that work and that ARE legit,.." = Agreed, but not about "legit", as that keyword is too "nebulous ("Lacking definite.. limits"). I say this because some of what was "legit" years ago is now "not legit". For example, look at how "linking policy" has evolved over the years.

"This whole “white” is good and “black” is bad thing is an old argument and one that really needs to be retired." = AGREED! However in trying to communicate the concepts involved, those words are what have evolved (for lack of better keywords that describe the situation succinctly). If you have some suggestions for replacement keywords that are succinct, I am "all ears", as I think the "hat" thing can mislead ignorant SEO prospects.

"It’s not the good verses the evil here, it’s two different ways of looking at things." = I understand what you are saying. But "evil" can be in the "eye of the (doer and) beholder", since it is very subjective vs. objective to most people. My take on the "evil" here has more to do with an overview of the current reputation of the industry, along with my concern for a constantly improving "online search user experience".

Jenn, you are a talented and honorable person, IMO, and I'm hoping we don't have to "agree to disagree" on too many things. But, if it winds up that way, then isn't it great to have online communities like forums, etc for people to express their individual opinions!

Lastly, you say: "How are you serving your clients and are you being honest with them? That’s what it boils down to." = For the most part, I agree with that statement. But, I wish some of the seemingly greedly and "ends justifies the means" mentality SEO clients and prospects would be more concerned with a "long term" vs. "short term", quality "value proposition" for their customers. IMO, every marketing priority-focus should be: the end-user-customers come first, the client-advertisers come second, and the SEM Consultant firms come third (but they are just as important overall). That's the best "order of things" to have a long term "win-win-win" situation. These prospects and ene-user-customers are the online search users in a growing number of cases, as broadband gets improved speed (FiOS, for example), and wider usage.

PS = Jenn, I'm hoping you do care if too many "Black Hats" win all the contest money & iPod since you said you want: "to help spread awareness and raise money for human milk banking, a cause very dear to my heart." I wish you success with your unselfish goal!


Last edited by BKCB; 3rd February 2006 at 02:13 PM.
BKCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2006, 06:49 AM   #7
BKCB
Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 28
Default Carcasherdotcom SEOContest Update - Go Jenn!

"The site (Jenn's) is still ranking #1 on MSN and has crept up to #3 on Yahoo and #15 on Google. Right now that keeps the site on track to win the $100 monthly prize for MSN and puts it within reach of the $200 Yahoo prize."

You Go Girl! I am not only rooting for you and your charity, but I have some non-specific "good news" for you.

When you said to me earlier in this thread: "You'd have to ask the people running the contest how they plan to judge and track things,..", I did. My rules of Privacy in personal e-mails won't allow me to tell you any specifics, but Alex at CarCashers.com (who I feel knows SEO to some degree) is very much going to keep to his "No dirty SEO techniques!" rule. Enough said.

My, now, more informed opinion is that your charity stands a better chance of winning more than just $300 than you know.

BKCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2006, 11:04 AM   #8
thejenn
Moderator
 
thejenn's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,829
Send a message via AIM to thejenn

Search Engine Guide Blogger

Default

Well I can hope...that $300 would go a LONG way at the milk bank. They've told me that they are using the donations that I make via the Lactivist to put toward their bereved mother's program.

For those that don't know, here's what it is... (be prepared to get weepy)

Bereved moms are donor moms that have either lost a baby at birth or shortly thereafter. As part of their grieving process, they choose to pump and donate milk for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Basically, taking what was meant for their own child and using it to help other babies so that their parents don't have to go through the same thing.

As a general rule, any bereved mother that calls and wants to donate is accomodated. That sometimes means paying for the shipping of all that donor milk, which gets expensive. They have plenty of local donors now, but because they place so much value on the ability of a mom to grieve by donating, they need the funds to handle all those shipping costs.

I hope I continue to see some good links coming in. It would be awesome to snag those monthly prizes for awhile and to land at least that $1000 from the MSN rank at th end of the year.

__________________
Like free stuff? Check out the free e-book Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days.
thejenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply   

Bookmarks




Thread Tools

Get Updates
RSS Feeds:
RSS Feed for General Search Engine Marketing Information RSS for this Category Only: General Search Engine Marketing Information

RSS Feed for Small Business Ideas Forum RSS for Entire Forum
Forum Rules


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Small Business Ideas Forum


 
At Your Business - Small Business Directory
Free Business Forms - Prewritten Documents
 
Search Engine Guide
Small business guide to search marketing

 
Small Business Brief
Fetching the Best Small Business Info


Free Links - Free Advertising
Free Guide - Online Directory



Advertise your business here
Contact us for more details!


Semantic Juice
Register now to access free Quick SEO service!


Rocket Lawyer
Sign up for free 7 day trial. Boost your biz!


Buy UPC Codes
Get your products listed online!




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2018 - Privacy