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Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes

Though I don’t think you can define the true difference between white hat and black hat SEOs, as all of us are trying to manipulate Google’s search terms to put our site (or a client’s site) at the top of the SERPs. Though this doesn’t mean there isn’t a direct difference, I like to define it as 2 different things: white hat being “ethical” and not spamming the web, rather contributing to it than black hat, which is spamming the web to benefit your site. I however, am strictly grey hat.

Now that we’ve cleared that bit up, I’m going to actually go into my post and start of by what it’s all about and it’s “real world purposes” as I like to call things that you can actually use to make your job easier, cost efficient, quicker or all 3.

ScrapeBox-

Matthew Barby (my good friend and colleague) did a post on using ScrapeBox and Buzzstream, I showed Matt a while back how to use ScrapeBox for white hat uses. His first reaction was how it’s so unbelievably fast, saves a fortune on other tools such as rank tracking, image grabbing and a multitude of other purposes (take a look through the full addons list).

ScrapeBox in its early life was meant to be a scraping tool for mass blog commenting, and it still is (sort of). However, there is a ton of other uses that make an SEOs job a hell of a lot easier.

Keyword and Outreach Research

ScrapeBox has a built in keyword scraping tool, put in your target keywords and it’ll pull you back a massive list that you can stick in a spreadsheet and start checking through. Once you have a keyword list, you can then look for a number of different things.

I put in the keyword “SEO Tools” and it came back with over 300 keywords:

scrapebox keyword tool image Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes

You can search for WordPress or BlogEngine sites (in case you wanted to do comment link building or guest posting, this is a great way to find some nice target sites).

You can look for custom footprints (e.g. inurl:/blog “keyword”) which allow you to pull another list of potential blogs to comment on or outreach to for a guest post.

I put together a list of Custom footprints you can use to find guest posting opportunities here.

Bulk URL Shortner –

This isn’t so much great for SEO per se, but if you’ve ever been like me and setting up a pretty big scale Twitter or Facebook campaign and wanted to schedule a ton of links in, it makes it a hell of a lot easier with the ScrapeBox Mass URL Shortner. Just stick those URLs into a text file, drop them into the addon and it’ll shorten all the URLs with a number of sources.

Image Grabber –

This addon lets you insert your list of keywords and pull of (literally) however many image URLs you want, it’s great if you want to build a massive list of images to use in a project or are looking to insert a ton of images into your post with some easy, basic spinning (which we’ll move onto in a bit).

Getting your Links Indexed –

Have you just built a CSV of 50+ backlinks that you’ve just hand made for your client, but none of them are going to get indexed for a while? No problem! The scrapebox Rapid Indexer addon lets you submit all your URLs (with a maximum of 1,000,000 submissions at a time) to all your indexing services.

The Best Spinner –

The best spinner has the spammy black hat side of an automated spinner, but also the white hat beauty of a manual spinner, this means creating high quality but spun articles is beyond belief easy.

“Search Engine Journal said I could do a guest post, so I took up the challenge and even threw in this hilarious meme!”

As a great example, I’ve spun the above paragraph and included some images, to make it a bit bulkier and offer a more “quality” article in Google’s eyes (Using the ScrapeBox image grabber to pull the URLs and spinning them all together, along with Matthew Woodwards image spinning template). Check out Matthew’s tutorial for a super in-depth look.

Spun Sentence after:

{Search Engine|Google Search} {Journal|Diary|Publication} {said|mentioned} {I could|I should|that I could} {do a guest post|write a guest post|be a guest author}, {so I|and so I|therefore I} {took up|began} {the challenge|the process} {and even|as well as|and} {threw|put} {in this|in that} {hilarious|amusing|very funny|funny} {meme|picture}{.|!|-}

For the full spun article, with image HTML included, click here.

As you can see, the article is perfectly readable however you decide on the word formatting, this basically means you could use the same article but in different variations over and over for link building purposes, making one piece of content invaluable.

Private Networks Posts –

This is something I’d recommend for both Tier 1s and Tier 2s, though it tends to be better for Tier 2s as it builds up link juice from your white hat Tier 1 guest posts. It only works with very, VERY few Vendors (link sellers). I’ve built a small list of a few really good network link vendors below, for you to take a look at, that have worked really nicely for me. All the services that are in the list are guest blogging services to networks. In essence, they’ve built a network that comprises of a couple different niches and for a small amount of money, they’ll allow you to either post your own article or they’ll custom write an article for you.

I’m sure if you look hard enough through our link profile you’ll be able to find a few of these dotted around, they’re good quality and no different from you guys paying $100 for a DA 40 site to guest post on, except we get it for $10!

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/seo-link-building/552596-high-quality-guest-post-service-real-guest-blogs-all-niches-available-pa-da-25-a.html

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/seo-link-building/571428-50-discount-all-google-page-ranking-5-high-quality-real-guest-posting-service-40-da-3.html

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/seo-link-building/575318-high-google-page-ranking-quality-guest-blog-posting-service-no-network-real-sites-all-niche-accepted.html

The great thing about all these services I’ve mentioned, is that I’ve used all of them before and the sites they post to generally have 1 post a month on them per month, they have so many niches and so many sites, the site doesn’t actually have that many posts. As well as the DA being awesome!

Open Site Explorer Info Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes

 

 

 

 

-          Example Network Site’s DA/PA

Micro Niche Finder –

This is hands down the best keyword research tool on the market. Black hats use it to find exact match domains, but I’ve been using it for the past few months in conjunction with scrapebox to expand my keywords and find the local/global search count in a lot nicer interface than that of the keyword planner or tool. It also allows exact/phrase/broad match searching. As well as being great with Adwords integration as it finds the CPC, “Commercial Intent”, competition and has a wide variety of settings.

Micro Niche Finder Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes

 

 

 

SEO Presser –

SEOPresser is a WordPress plugin that’s kind of like Yoast SEO, but on some form of super drug. It even automated image alts and edits keyword fonts for you. The main bit I like about SEOPresser is it’s ease of use for “SEO Noobies”, it gives genuinely good suggestions on how to optimize your page, it also calculates a score of your pages onsite SEO, so you know when a page needs to be further optimized.

The main bit for me, is it integrates schema data to allow for rich snippet structured SERP listings, you can easily add in a Recipe or Ratings snippet (that will display for the page on the SERPs) to your OnPage and adds Twitter meta cards to your pages.

I’ve also included an image, with an overview of the SEOPressor interface below -

SEOPresser Dashboard Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes
Ileane from Basic Blog tips did an excellent review of SEO Pressor which goes into some great detail about the plugin!

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for reading my article and I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any tools you use that might be commonly seen as black hat then drop them in the comments section below.

charlesfloate Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes
Charles Floate is an SEO Engineer at WoW Internet and the writer of God of SEO, an Internet & Search Marketing blog specializing in Link Building. Charles has over 5 years experience in the SEO Industry.
charlesfloate Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes
charlesfloate Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes

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13 thoughts on “Using Black Hat Tools for White Hat Purposes

  1. I must say that I am quite suprised to find this on SEJ, but again, I have allways said that tools can be used for both good and evil purposes. White hat/black hat. What I do agree about is that tools that saves you time, is good tools. Google will in the enda (as always) take care of the cheaters by sending them into the dessert.

  2. Nice write up Charles. Good to see someone talking about the alternate usage for some of these tools. Other ones that I would through in there are Zennoposter(ubot sucks) or Jitbit(better then imacros) for macros. Create a social network, setup sites, create a web2.0, all for just a few clicks. Another gem is Sick Network, created by the people at Sick Submitter, great WordPress plugin to handle a blog network.
    Great work Charles

  3. Nice to see an SEO be real and admit he’s gray hat… Unlike some, who kiss Google’s ass and know nothing about real practical SEO. People who think that using tools is evil, and that all you have to do is create “quality content” to “naturally” rank is a complete idiot who lives in fantasy land.. They know nothing about SEO and are probably broke.. Realistically, there is no way you will outrank an SEO who is using tools correctly and investing money into his campaign by doing it manually.. That’s completely absurd! Any true SEO who has been doing this successfully for years, knows this…

  4. Finally, an article on SEJ about REAL life SEO. Anyone who would do SEO for his own sites, would go grey SEO, because that works. What’s white hat SEO? Building links by talking with colleagues on the phone is better than doing it with automated ( almost risk free) tools? Almost any off-site SEO is not white hat, cause you’re manipulating “nature”.
    Great list of tools, wouldn’t call most of them black hat at all ( why would keywords research tools be called black hat?). I’m using many of them and happy with the time saved and the results.
    The Best Spinner is also a great time saver when it comes to creating some short content/paragraph about a topic you’re not completely on top of. You can also get it at 50% off (http://impromocoder.com/the-best-spinner-promo-code-discount-50-off/), so it’s a real bargain.

    1. Why, a true white hat is not supposed to build links at all as that’s already a violation and an attempt to manipulate Google – real white hat is sitting there watching the PageRank grow…

  5. Thanks for your informative article. For those of us who are cash strapped , you might be interested to know that there is a free version of SEO Pressor with very similar functionality. Its called Blogger High , and can be found with a Google search.

  6. Nice article. I really enjoyed reading it. I like the idea behind it. Good tools are always worth their price and it’s good to tell it out laud. It’s also good to show the clients how SEO really look work, not feeding them with Google’a'like advices.

  7. Hi Charles!

    Great write up. I don’t use SB but I hear about it. Anyway, nice tips especially with SEOPressor. I used the trial version for testing and it really makes SEO easy for newbie. All you need to know about SEO is right there!

    *p/s I think you had a few mistyped words on SEOPressor and not SEOPresser (pls remove this once you checked) :)

    Have a great day buddy!

    Reginald

  8. SpyFu is great for checking out exactly what formulas your competitors are using. Search any domain and find out where they have shown up on Google. See every keyword they bought on Adwords, every organic rank and every ad variation in the last six years.

    Social Crawl
    Similar to SpyFu in the way that finding out about competitors content, where it is being shared and promoted is easily discovered. You can analyse their social sharing metrics in one dashboard.