Different Shades of Grey

Published by Papa Whale Webmaster

When it comes to web marketing, there’s various “White hat” & “Black hat” methods, and then different shades of grey somewhere in between. Let’s take a look.

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In the affiliate marketing world, we all know that there are plenty of ways to generate traffic & conversions.

Most of these ways—and the ones that tend to be the most profitable in the long run—are widely accepted, legitimate, and based on the basic principles of White hat web marketing.

White hat methods at their very core represent the very best of web promotion from everything in an SEO sense — to of course every aspect of affiliate marketing.

On the flip side, it should come as no surprise to anyone that there is no shortage of “less than ideal” practices out there. These are the black hat methods and activities you wouldn’t tell your grandmother about…

Yep, these are the Terms of Service-violating, don’t-tell-mom, dad, or especially grandma antics and activities of the web marketing underworld that will get you dirty looks from strangers and glares from loved ones.  

These are also the methods that can unfortunately result in loss of profit for Providers and Advertisers and can cause affiliates to lose their account.  

Certain blatant “black hat” methods are just bad for business and just don’t convert in the long run.

However, there is a WHOLE OTHER WORLD in between these 2 extremes.

Today, we’re going take a look at the different shades of grey that exist, and the techniques concerning these methods that are actually allowed.

The various shades of grey

Beautiful light grey is a good enough starting point as any.

It’s the shade of grey one ought not feel any shame about because the school of thought is, when you’re dealing in shades of grey, you’re dealing in middle ground.

What we mean by that is if it’s classified as grey, you already know it’s not going to be something malicious, overly shady or terrible – because if it was, it would be classified as something else; another color…

Indeed, even if these methods are not ‘always by the book’ according to the purest of White Hat methods—at the end of the day, most grey hat methods are used to drive real traffic with the very real interest of generating valid conversions.

And that’s why many networks, including CrakRevenue, allow them.

Using “Automation” Tools

They can be controversial depending on what they’re being used for, but automation tools definitely serve one obvious purpose: to save precious time and make your life a helluva lot easier!

And isn’t that the secret sauce to maximum efficiency?

“Automation tools” in and of themselves aren’t bad; but they can be used badly.  

As like most things in life, it’s all how you use them.  If you’re using them to spam, then yeah, that’s a major no no.  

But if you’re using them to save time, to grow or increase a social following… it’s harder to make an argument against that.

Spinning Content

To rank higher in search engines and generate more traffic, it’s important to have original content. However, this kind of content needs time and resources to be built, so that’s why a lot Webmasters often turn to content spinning.

Content spinning consists of changing the phrasing of an article, title, or video description in an attempt to create original copy that won’t be penalized by Google or other search engines.

It’s the re-arrangement and sometimes ‘random scrambling’ of the words on a page. Even if this method is not considered 100% legit, many Webmasters and especially tube owners do it.

Beware though, when you’re featuring images & videos as your own: you need to make sure that you’re not infringing any copyrights.

Over-monetizing

Unlike Google Adsense, we at CrakRevenue don’t really care how many banners you display on a web page.

Since we’re a CPA network and dealing with CPL offers, there really isn’t any strict guidelines as far as appropriate “ad zone” placement you must adhere to.

However, It’s always good practice not to annoy your users.  

While we’re pretty flexible with how many banner displays one might want to feature on one’s own site — you certainly don’t want your visitor’s “user experience” to suffer and go in the tank just to make an extra few bucks.

Promoting Adult Content on Certain Social Platforms…

We’ve covered this topic many times: some social platforms (especially the biggest one in existence) just aren’t adult-friendly which makes it really difficult for affiliate marketers to generate traffic from them.

The secret here is to never stop thinking outside the box.

As long as you build a mainstream landing page suited for social media and play by the rules, you can generate adult conversions with social media traffic.

But if you’re careless, blatant, or overly overt… your social pages and accounts won’t survive long.  

Not on Facebook, anyway.

Microsites

Microsites represent just as the name implies:  small … miniscule … sites.

They’re most often created around an existing site, idea or brand — with a new domain name typically being registered for one.

They’re essentially one page sites with very little content.

Microsites are frequently created for SEO purposes and act as a kind of buffer.  It’s not uncommon at all for its creators to “create it” and “leave it”.

Microsites might be viewed as just another link building scheme by some, but we actually think that they can be quite effective at converting targeted traffic into quality leads and sales when executed right.

Redirects

This method is considered the lightest shade of grey imaginable from an affiliate marketing standpoint and a CrakRevenue sense as long as the redirection at hand isn’t, for example, in violation of an Offer’s accepted traffic guidelines or Restrictions.

With that said, domain redirection, such as registering “DomainXXX.com” and redirecting it to “OfferXXX” is definitely allowed and encouraged!  

Be a little mindful though about redirecting traffic that doesn’t make sense or really apply to the offer you want to promote — as that could be considered misleading and that’s against CrakRevenue’s Terms of Service.

Paid Links

Since 2007, Google has been penalizing paid links that they consider to be against Google Webmaster Guidelines.

However, not all paid links should be put in the same basket…

For example, links that are deemed high-quality and relevant can really help your ranking when done right. Maybe they come from paid advertising, a sponsored blog review, or even a “meat and potatoes” relevant link within something full of authority — like a Press Release!

That’s right, some paid links can really help your brand and increase your traffic in a legitimate way.

A Little Advice: Stay in the Light

If your goal is to have a stable and steady relationship with our CPA network, you can’t go wrong stickin’ with anything White hat or in the range of the various shades of what we like to call middle ground, so you’re never at risk of losing your account.

If ever in doubt, simply reach out and ask! We’re always glad to talk with you one on one and answer any questions you might have if there’s ever any uncertainty on your end.

Once again, please ask if you’re not sure.

Our Affiliate Management team is ready to help guide you toward the light!!

Thanks for reading and good luck to all!

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