April 24, 2014

Black Hat Technique turned white: Posting to Social Networks

OnlyWireYou always see posts talking about evil black hat methods and automation. You’ve been warned about things like Xrumer, Scrapebox, etc and how the black hats use them to dominate search positions – but has anybody ever thought about using them for white hat techniques?

The technique I want to talk about today is submitting to social sites like Digg, Fark, Delicious, reddit, stumbleupon, etc. Done wrong, this can be a shady black hat technique. Done right however it can be a very valuable form of PR. After all, if you aren’t willing to tell people about your own sites why would anybody else?

One of my old favorite black-hat tools was something called Social Poster. It’s basically a giant list of social media submissions pages that you can use as shortcuts when spamming submitting your site to social media sites. Sure you can use it for spam, but when you’re genuinely submitting quality content to a few sites, it’s not really spam. It’s promotion. The key is to use tools like this in moderation and use them genuinely.

Lately though, I’ve been playing with another tool called OnlyWire. Onlywire works like socialposter above, but it saves you time by doing the submitting for you. You can choose what networks (and you still need an account on each network to tell it) and it does the hard work for you. They even have bookmarklets, wordpress plugins, a blog button for your users, and an API. The features are a bit more robust than social poster. The pro version starts at only $10 per month, but there’s also a free version with limited submissions. For most white hat SEOs not wanting to submit a ton of stuff to a ton of sites, the $10 version is more than sufficient. (Remember, the key to staying white hat is to only submit relevant stuff to relevant sites, not everything to every site.)

So Check out Onlywire – it’s a useful tool that blurs the lines of black hat / white hat SEO to help you increase links and visits. And remember: most black hat tools started as a way to automate white hat ideas, and then quickly turned up the volume. Black hat tools can be super useful for legit SEO – as long as you keep the volume back at a reasonable level and use some common sense.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com