Blogging SEO and The Wolf of Wall Street


Over the Christmas Break I went to see The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leo D-Cap and Jonah Hill. It really struck me as, well, completely insane. Scorsese has a way of turning the outrageous into complete debauchery. If you haven’t heard of it, this trailer should tell you more.

The idea of being annoyed at not quite making $1 million A WEEK is pretty hilarious. Although, personally, I was just $1 million shy of $1 million a year so maybe I can relate after all.

Now you’re wondering what this has to do with blogging, right? Everything relates to blogging, silly. I am just putting these two ends together for you, my dear readers.  This is about “white hat” and “black hat” SEO.

Jordan, the star and gifted salesman, wanted to be rich so he went to Wall Street because he thought if he can get there, get a job and learn the game then his odds were fantastic, but he was impatient. His boss, addicted to cocaine and money, quickly showed our man Jordan the ropes on how to get a fix for that impatience.  Jordan barely gave the legal “white hat” path a second glance after that, especially after a market crash. It’s important to note that he made a choice between the slow and sure method to success and the quick and dirty “black hat” method: stealing wealth from people to achieve corporate success.

White Hat vs Black Hat. In the world of blogging this comes down to building a blog slow and steady with good SEO methods vs paying link farms and over optimizing. When you start off as a blogger you make choices right away, and I will always recommend to a slow, consistent and smart method. In our world Wall Street = Google and they tell you what to do and how to do it.

In the blogging world, the equivalent to a market crash was the Google Penguin update. When this happened last fall, it shot holes in blogs ranked with Black Hat methods overnight. In this situation I tend to think of Google Penguin as the SEC or the FBI agent that was working to figure out if Jordan was doing something illegal or not. If you aren’t trying to cheat the system, then you don’t need to worry about Penguin but if you are doing any of the things listed below then you will will likely get shut down in the end. Here’s an excerpt from an article I love on Search Engine Watch:

“Last year after Google Penguin 1.0 launched, Glenn Gabe at G-Squared Interactive did an analysis of sites that lost traffic and rankings, and covered in “Google Penguin Update: 5 Types of Link Issues Harming Some Affected Websites.” Those link issues were:

  • Paid text links using exact match anchor text.
  • Comment spam.
  • Guest posts on questionable sites.
  • Article marketing sites.
  • Links from dangerous sites.”

via: Search Engine Watch

After the market crashed, Jordan found a new job selling penny stocks to the average American small business owner. Basically this company was selling the idea of hope and wealth to those with less to gamble with, and less stock savvy than the other wolves on Wall Street. Because he was born with a natural gift for sales and had been taught his “black hat” methods, he started making a large fortune. Sure, he was cheating but was it his fault that he knew how to manipulate the system? Morality was a completely different issue in this situation but he did his best to ignore it.

This part of the story made me think about article spinning — a way of taking a successful blog or set of blogs that someone else wrote and then using a piece of software to rewrite it for your blog. This became a popular trend over the last couple of years. It had become obvious that blogging was going to be important and so people started trying to find cheap, quick and easy methods of how to get real success blogging without much labor or effort (I recommend curating content or using inexpensive content creation instead.)  Google, ruler of all, has ways of determining spin and will ban blog from its blog ranking system if caught.



Photo courtesy of Paramount PIctures

This guy had an entire floor jammed with people. Every day he would stand on a small stage with a microphone and motivate them.  I could not help but think “how amazing would it be to have an office that size filled with bloggers!”

Each and every time that I get to write about, talk about or even think about blogging that is how I feel, excited enough to send in a marching band through my office (usually with pants). This party is in everything I share, write and teach. What I could do with that crew of people!

We could change the world, folks.

So that is my dream. I want to inspire crowds of bloggers of all levels, from the beginner to the advanced. I want to encourage all of you to think of the readers first: always go WHITE HAT. Sure, success may take longer than the black hat method but if you hang in there and just keep typing, updating and relating you will add value and more and more people will visit your blog.

How does it end?

SPOILER ALERT: Jordan went to prison for stealing from the people he was supposed to be serving. Think of this like going into Penguin jail like Rap Genius did. Folks, the deal is that blogging is hard and it takes time and passion or at least dedication but it’s not worth cheating the system. Even cheating takes work and effort and heck it may even take more effort than doing it the right way. I am only averaging a few readers a day on this blog right now but that is because I’m just getting started. If I keep sharing my ideas, solid tips and good tactics I believe that this blog audience will grow.

If you’re an advanced blogger reading this with an understanding of how SEO affects your blogging success, I can only encourage you to stay away from the dark side. If you’re just starting out, this may have just been a fun read about the differences between White Hat and Black Hat SEO with a bit of movie trivia thrown in. If you saw the movie, did you like it? Did it seem like risks worth taking? Where are you in your blogging journey?

About the Author

Renee is wild for WordPress and on fire to empower small business owners with the inspiration, tools and strategies for a healthy blog. SMU CAPE instructor, developer, podcaster. Follow @Iteachblogging on Twitter. Get her FREE SEO Guide Here:

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