SEO’s have a responsibility to understand and appreciate how black hat SEO’s operate and why they do what they do. It is just like why one would not do IT consulting without first becoming educated on the dangers that come with hackers and malicious attacks. It is always important to understand the full range of tactics used in our, and your field of work. As with any field of specialized work, if we are to provide our clients with the best service or product it is imperative to know and be able to recommend the right strategies for each unique situation.
Now unless your client or company is comfortable with the high-risk variables that come with black hat SEO then stay clear of these techniques. Often black hat SEO involves obtaining backlinks through paid sources; automated link drops, reciprocal spam, link rings and article spinning. Big search engines like Google and Bing will continually improve their algorithms to solve the problems that these types of techniques create. Luckily, every time these big search engines improve the quality of their algorithms, those who have made it a habit to practice solid, white hat techniques receive a bump in traffic. Spam tactics just aren’t worth the cost, and not just the financial one, but the cost to your business as well.
A few things that I learned from Rand Fishkin, a well respected and well known SEO expert, are that spam never builds value in multiple channels, there is legal danger, and any victory is a hollow one. This philosophy helps in the building of a site that attracts authentic traffic from hundreds of sources, often without any additional work. To spam one’s way to the top ranking may send search traffic, but if the web shifts to Facebook/Twitter or if email marketing becomes the biggest tactic in your niche, and you’ve built nothing of real value, your tactics may backfire. Spam builds a shell-like marketing strategy, people need a +1, tweet, link, email, or a like, to find their way back to you and your website. Not to mention that there are also regulations against the disclosure of interests. Both link buying and link spamming behavior violate these rules. The FTC, the British Government, and the EU have measures to deal with these types of practices.
Last but not least, is the fact that through the use of black hat techniques, you’re not building something real and sustainable. Yes, you may make yourself some money, but money is just money. Still you will have to create more spam for the next day. You risk not fulfilling the requirements necessary for you to create a great work experience for your clients and generating their happiness and respect for not only your business, but our industry as a total.