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Old 07-24-2009   #1
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Is this black hat?

I had a consult with a SEO firm that from all appearances has a good reputation and made some good, clearly white hat suggestions.

That said, one of their biggest suggestions was to pay them to act as a middle man to get "legit" bloggers to blog about my site and put in anchor text links. They went on with the usual schpiel on the the importance of links and said that this is the quickest way to make it happen and that google doesn't know it's paid links b/c it's in a legitimate blog.

Am I missing something? This is black hat, right?
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Old 07-24-2009   #2
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Re: Is this black hat?

definitely gray... but is done... when you submit an article about your industry to an article aggregator that has a link back to you there is little difference... or doing a press release that does the same thing... if it is a legitimate mention then line is blurred... maybe they just have a good resource connection with bloggers
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Old 07-25-2009   #3
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Re: Is this black hat?

Doesnt it depend on how they plan on "getting them to blog" about his business? If there are relevant and highly interesting news about a business, would it not be completely "white hat" to get bloggers to blog about it?

Extreme example: When Aaron wall was sued would it have been gray hat if someone (or himself) would have told bloggers about it (knowing it'll give him links)?

I think if you have interesting/great content to get them to blog about it it's perfectly white hat (whatever that is).

The only thing I'd consider blackhat or grayhat would be the anchor text part.

I'm extremely sleepy - I guess I've missed the part that "get them to blog" means "pay them to blog", right?
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Old 07-27-2009   #4
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Re: Is this black hat?

seriously...
this is nothing. I got an offer from one of the bigger SEO agencies around on a large project I'm involved with...
they have actual pricing they offer you for getting links from within their partnerships/clients...
As in a spreadsheet of pricing for links... now they were all big numbers, so maybe they only offer that to large enough clients.
Keep in mind this is not a small agency they've been awarded all the big agency awards, including FROM Google...

I wouldn't worry what you are doing is blackhat, honestly.
I may be pretty jaded these days tho, lol...
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Old 07-27-2009   #5
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Re: Is this black hat?

Thanks. I feel a tad jaded too. Seems that this is the way people get around Google's link system. Perhaps Google should devalue that a bit.
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Old 07-27-2009   #6
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Re: Is this black hat?

What part would you devalue, the link? if they do it won't be anytime soon... using links as a way to gauge a site's relevance is at the core of Google's algo.

them's the rules.... (for now!)
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Old 07-27-2009   #7
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Re: Is this black hat?

"Paid posts" recently resulted in Google Japan's drop from 9 to 5 in PageRank.

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/pointe...id-post-story/

Pretty sure you'll find info about paid posts passing PageRank and other link schemes at:
http://www.google.com/support/webmas...y?answer=66356
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Old 07-29-2009   #8
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Re: Is this black hat?

If the writing is such that it looks like a good review and therefore a link, then even if paid it may not be considered as black hat. Though it also depends on which site the link is. Page rank 0 or badly reputed sites are a big no no.

Why not you ask them the URLs of the sites/blogs they will put your site's link? Then you can access and decide.
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Old 07-29-2009   #9
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Re: Is this black hat?

the FTC is looking into reviews for pay
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