Last week our resident SEO expert, Jeremy ‘The Bomb.com’ Fagergren, wrote an article on this topic.
The article was well done.
Basically it discussed a disturbing trend that SEOers are seeing: black hat techniques still work. And after Google’s most recent update, they’re actually working better than they have in recent years.
Black hat is working.
The thing that I found interesting has been the deluge of emails and forum discussions the article and the topic have generated. And the overarching theme of this online buzz has been this: there is no such thing as black hat or white hat SEO.
A quote from Jeremy’s article will summarize it well:
“There is NO such thing as black hat or white hat SEO. There is cause and effect. Action and reaction.”
Most marketers have tried to do things the right way. They’ve tried to stay away from spammy links, paying for Facebook shares, and buying Twitter followers. The perception has been that these things are ‘bad.’ They are dirty and sinful. Sites that used ‘black hat’ techniques were considered anathema in the online marketing community. SEOs that employed black hat tactics struggled to find work in legitimate industries.
That seems to be changing.
But, it is increasingly appearing that these things aren’t bad. They’re just tactics. If they work, they are therefore good. And if they don’t work, they are therefore bad.
There is a new and, some would say, alarming state of moral and SEO relativism in the SEO world. There is no right and wrong just effective and ineffective.
Didn’t you think that the whole reason for Google’s recent updates was to get rid of spammers, paid links, and link farms? Isn’t this stuff supposed to be disappearing?
What about all the bluster about Authorship to avoid anonymous content? That must not matter as much as Google led us to believe.
What’s going on?
The only thing we are left to assume is this: there is no such thing has black hat SEO.