An Argument Against Black Hat SEO (Why I Despise Black Hat)

by admin on January 8, 2009

Black Hat, Grey Hat, Blue Hat, White Hat – it sounds like a Dr. Suess nursery rhyme.  The “dark side” is called the dark side for a reason, however.  I’d like to add my two cents worth to the outcry from legitimate SEOs – the providers, specialists, copywriters, link builders and everyone else who dips their pen into the SEO industry.

Now, there might be comments about the Black Hat/White Hat argument being a futile attempt at beating a dead horse.  If that were true we’d all wear one color of hat, plainly labeled “SEO”.  The hats still exist, though; as long as there’s a dark side, I will adamantly be against it.  Here are two of the reasons: 

Reason #1:  Making SEO Look Bad

As a SEO (the “o” stands for optimizers as well as optimization) providing copywriting, link building, submissions, coding, etc, I completely understand “getting one over the competition”.  Everybody has their tips and tricks of the trade; everybody has their secrets.  Black Hat is more than an edge, however.  Black Hat is the snake-oil salesman of SEO and it makes people like me and my associates look bad.

Shyster companies offer amazing results in a short amount of time, and don’t care what they have to do to produce those results.  For a website owner, it doesn’t sound half-bad, does it?  You’re probably thinking “Finally!  A company willing to risk their necks for our business!”  What you may not understand is it’s not their necks under the guillotine; it’s yours. 

That’s right – yours.  It doesn’t matter what you think of Google, Yahoo!, Live or any other search engine; optimization is like business law.  In case you’re confused, business law says that it doesn’t matter who did the dirty deed, the company is responsible for it. 

Likewise with the search engines.  If you hire a Black Hat company to skyrocket you through the ranks, your site’s punished, not theirs.  Your site loses the Page Rank you paid for, the listing you paid for, all the link building you paid for – you get the final bad results, they get your money.

Reason #2: Ruining the Internet

This could annoy simply because I’m an SEO copywriter.  I take a large amount of pride in the work I provide to my clients and expect my writers to do the same.  While Black Hat may do wonders with your traffic, consider your users.  Keyword stuffing is a minor nuisance to search engines, but what visitor wants to read it?  Why would they want to?

Here is the other irritant for me.  Have you ever gone looking for something on the Web, clicked on a promising link, only to find something like this?

http://www.donut.com/

As an Internet user, I don’t mind surfing for the information I need.  I do mind coming across B.S. links that lead to more B.S. links that lead to MORE B.S. links, ad nauseum.  Then, whenever anyone complains about these bad SEO practices, all the Black Hatters claim that they’re just doing what’s best for the client.  Using their tips and tricks to “help” their clients succeed.

To all the Black Hatters out there: No, no and absolutely not.  You’re screwing otherwise legitimate online businesses out of their money; you’re making SEOs who follow best practices look bad; you’re ruining the Internet. 

Will any of what I’ve said here make a difference?  Probably not – but I’d like just one Black Hatter to admit what they’re really doing, which is thumbing their noses at the system.  That’s it, that’s all – that’s all she wrote.

Thoughts, anyone?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

M7levels January 8, 2009 at 11:30 am

lolol Good post I always wondered who came up with these names? But I have to admit it OI find myself searching those terms just to make sure I am not missing anything, My favorite has to be “black hat SEO” maybe it’s the rebel in me not sure.

admin January 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Maybe whoever “they” are decided on “Black Hat SEO” instead of “The Dark Side” due to Star Wars copywrite infringement? Darth Vader SEO anyone?

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