Writing the book that will help traditional brick and mortar businesses move to a progressive internet marketing plan

Be Careful With Gray Hat SEO Techniques

by Joe Manausa, MBA on May 27, 2011

Gray Hat SEOAs part of your effort to transition your brick and mortar business to one that utilizes a progressive internet marketing campaign, you will (and have) encountered a lot of ideas and potential solutions for search engine optimization (SEO). We have written about the ways you should do this (White Hat SEO) and ways you should not do this (Black Hat SEO), so this article will focus on one potential solution that isn’t purely white-hat, nor is it necessarily a black hat solution either. This solution is purely Gray Hat SEO.

Gray Hat SEO solutions are ones which take more risks than white hat SEO, but most likely won’t get you in trouble with the search engines. They are questionable search engine optimization techniques, but unless they are grossly exploited, will not be seen the same as black hat techniques. A word of caution though, things change! As the search engines grow and “learn” each day, yesterday’s gray hat SEO technique could easily become tomorrow’s black hat SEO poster child.

Gray Hat SEO? Depends On How You Use It

A site that I have been checking out lately is called Twiends and it helps you rapidly grow your social media relationships. When used judiciously, it can help you grow your Facebook Fan page by thousands of fans per day, and/or you can gain twitter followers faster than you ever imagined. Considering that I have over 200,000 followers on my various twitter accounts, and each of these gained over the past few years, this tool could get you to the same numbers in a matter of weeks!

It can be very beneficial to grow a large social media following, even if only for the purpose of “social proofing.” This concept basically represents the “herd behavior” in people, where often times people do things (and consider their decisions to be correct) solely because everybody else is doing it. When people visit your company website and see that thousands of other people are following your social accounts, then they are more likely to do the same.

By growing your social media accounts with an application like Twiends, you are enabling your new visitors to feel at ease in following you as well. This social proofing is a smart way to jump-start your online presence.

Twiends – Grow Your Social Proof

The first two questions that I suspect are on your mind is how does Twiends work and how much does Twiends cost? Well, you will be happy to know that you can try out Twiends for free, though they do have a cheap pay program that will make sense for small businesses who want to gain some immediate social traction.

Twiends

The screen capture above shows the user interface for Twiends, and you can see that it targets Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube as three social media sites that it can help you grow. The site uses a “seeds” system, and trades follows and views for seeds. You gain seeds by following other Twitter accounts (which you can target to your specific niche) and by “liking” Facebook Fan Pages, and by viewing videos on YouTube. The seeds that you gain by doing this are traded in return for others doing the same for you.

Why will it help you? Let’s say you release a new video on Youtube and you want to get the number of “views” up so that it becomes popular (and hopefully goes viral). You could either buy a bunch of seeds and offer your new video on Twiends for viewing, or you can gain seeds by “working” the Twiends site and then offer those seeds to gain views. It is possible to get thousands of views each day from this, and your video would have all the social proofing necessary to gain more views on your own website and from the Youtube site itself.

The same scenario can play out on your company fan page on Facebook, as well as your twitter identities too. In a matter of days, you can have one of the largest social media appearances in your niche, and then your white hat SEO systems can deliver targeted traffic with a higher degree of success. Take your time to investigate Twiends and other gray hat SEO applications, but proceed with caution. Don’t be tempted to get so many followers in a short time that you get your accounts banned.

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