Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

Is Most Seo Software Not Strictly Whitehat?


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 EricGibson

EricGibson

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:10 PM

Hi, I am relatively new to SEO and have purchased Market Samurai, and am evaluating other possible SEO software to purchase such as Internet Business Partner, SEO Powersuite, etc. I came across a thread in an SEO forum in which an (apparent) expert on SEO answers one fellow’s inquiry about the best SEO software to use, by replying that ALL such software such as WebPosition etc is not strictly whitehat. Here is the thread. Any responses to this, or is he indeed, correct that automated page rank inquiries, etc are not strictly white hat?


Here is the The Thread:

…are you saying that you never use search rankings tools at all?

Well, no 'white hat' practitioner of SEO ever can. Use of any software to perform automated searches (to see where you rank) is expressly forbidden in the webmaster guidelines.

Under "Quality guidelines - basic principles" (in Google) we have:

QUOTE (from Google)
Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.


Then under "Quality guidelines - specific guidelines" it says:
QUOTE (from Google)
Don't send automated queries to Google.

#2 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 8995 posts

Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:45 PM

Hi Eric. Welcome to the Forums. :wave:

I think that is a somewhat tight definition of 'white hat', although if you do violate the guidelines by using automated query processes, then you can get penalized.

However white hat/black hat is usually used to define working on website architecture, structure and content in order to increase rankings while not observing the guidelines. Thus it's concerned with website operations rather than website performance measurement.

#3 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 4457 posts

Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:11 PM

It is amusing that the world's greatest scraper dislikes being scraped. :)

'Hats' are an oversimplified shorthand for whether an activity contravenes a SE's ToS and other guidelines. Personally, given their deliberate vagueness I would classify most webdev activities as 'grey' hat. Further most (not pointing specific fingers) SEO tools are not fit for purpose as they tend to mix data sources or derive conclusions about one SE with data from another - a meaningless exercise.

Before worrying about tools - are you really clear about what you want to learn? About why it is important to know? Once you have this data what are you going to do with it? How is that action going to improve competitiveness, conversions, ROI, et al?

When attempting to match available tools with your requirements (answers to previous questions) try to understand the logic of the tool - does it actually acomplish the stated goals and do those goals meet your needs.

Lastly, the majority of what is needed is on your own site(s). It is your site architecture, navigation, internal linking, content, etc. plus your own site(s) logs. Until you've leveraged those basics worrying about externals is counterproductive.

What you need that is not on your own site(s) is marketing generally and linkbuilding specifically. The one drives the other quite nicely. The logic of linkbuilding is where the 'hats' most come into play in our industry. And where the SEs most tend to get upset. Caveat emptor.

#4 EGOL

EGOL

    Professor

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5188 posts

Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:36 PM

It is amusing that the world's greatest scraper dislikes being scraped.

lol... that is true.

#5 Walter

Walter

    Light Speed Member

  • 500 Posts Club
  • 607 posts

Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:22 AM

Nicely Said IamLost

#6 TheManBehindTheCurtain

TheManBehindTheCurtain

    Time Traveler Member

  • 1000 Post Club
  • 1035 posts

Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE (from Google)
Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
Then under "Quality guidelines - specific guidelines" it says:
QUOTE (from Google)
Don't send automated queries to Google.


I've often wondered about this passage myself. I know of some organizations where the execs "check up" on the web site by running these tools continuously -- it makes for an appealing "metric" for corporate performance tracking. Are they running the risk of diminishing the rankings that they are so eager to see improve?

Also: If you *are* being penalized for use of such tools, how would you know? If you're running a tool like this against a competitor, even for purely straightforward competitive tracking, how would Google know?

#7 Ron Carnell

Ron Carnell

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Invited Users For Labs
  • 2062 posts

Posted 19 July 2009 - 02:13 PM

Are they running the risk of diminishing the rankings that they are so eager to see improve?

No, the penalty is on the IP address running the automated queries.

At some point, it will simply start experiencing 403 Forbidden errors when trying to access Google. I've only seen it happen a few times, but there doesn't seem to be any recourse. If you have a permanent IP address, you'll have to call your ISP to get it changed.

The penalty may not be a deal-breaker for many, but it is a hassle.

#8 TheManBehindTheCurtain

TheManBehindTheCurtain

    Time Traveler Member

  • 1000 Post Club
  • 1035 posts

Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:44 AM

Thanks Ron ... much appreciated.

#9 glyn

glyn

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2338 posts

Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:56 AM

How many actual searches does Google serve, less the reporting tools being run on them?

#10 markov

markov

    Whirl Wind Member

  • Members
  • 68 posts

Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:41 AM

If Google restricts these SEO softwares usage, how come IBP lists so many clients in is testimonials page?

#11 glyn

glyn

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2338 posts

Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:38 AM

Basically because search software is clever - to a degree - and there is a kind of unwritten agreement that as long as the queries aren't too heavy, it will be okay. The funny thing is that with a couple of tweaks, Google could completely disable software reporting overnight, but it chooses not to.

That should be a clear indication that there's some symbiotic love between the tools and the deliver of information (how cute!)
G

#12 Michael_Martinez

Michael_Martinez

    Time Traveler Member

  • 1000 Post Club
  • 1354 posts

Posted 28 July 2009 - 05:34 PM

Many scraper tools go through proxy networks to mask their locations and to spread the fetches out across dozens, hundreds, or thousands of IP addresses. Blocking those networks is not so easy, especially as some of them are supposedly set up through suspicious arrangements.

#13 projectphp

projectphp

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 3935 posts

Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:24 PM

...by replying that ALL such software such as WebPosition etc is not strictly whitehat.

Wrong question, because you get into the whole pointless "whitehat" definition debate.

Better question: what are the consequences and do I feel comfortable doing it?

Personally: Google respect my robots.txt, I'm happy to respect theirs :)

Edited by projectphp, 28 July 2009 - 06:26 PM.




RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users