Tip #11 – What Kind of Cowboy are You?

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: April 23rd, 2007

No, this is not a Brokeback Mountain reference. After Tip #10, I thought this might be a good time to introduce the terms white-hat, black-hat and the ever-popular and profitable grey area to those who are not aware of them.

Last month I attended a presentation by the Technorati top 100 blogger Shoemoney in Lincoln, NE. Shoemoney said there are bad people doing bad things in the black-hat area, and just about everyone else falls under the white-hat area. But somewhere in the middle there are a lot of people making a lot of money. This area is known as the grey area.

I would strongly recommend you stay away from the black-hat techniques you can find on the web to promote your blog. 99% of them will get you in a situation you do not want to be in and should be avoided. But the grey area is a different story.

People who operate in the grey area are doing things that are new and relatively undocumented in “the law.” For example, pinging your blog from Technorati’s mirror sites is clearly a manipulation of their system, and will probably be corrected some day. But until the tactic is expressly prohibited, or they fix their statistics bug, why not exploit it?

Grey area tactics can be used to give your blog a temporary edge over other blogs on the web in the form of a slightly higher Technorati ranking. This ranking can be used to leverage blogroll link exchanges with other highly ranked bloggers and create a situation where both your blog and the other blogs you link to benefit. Eventually you will be able to cast off your gray area crutches, but until you are ready to walk, grey area tactics can be just what the doctor ordered.

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