Why Risk Your Website with Black Hat SEO Tactics?
Let me start off by saying that I am a strictly white hat SEO practitioner, and that means that I make sure that all the SEO work I do for my clients, as well as for Brick Marketing itself, falls in line with the Google and Bing Webmaster Tools guidelines. That being said, I have seen plenty of sites in my 13 year career that practiced grey and black hat SEO tactics and done just fine—some SEO firms that used black hat SEO tactics to get to the top even out-performed Brick Marketing in the search engines for a very long time. As a business owner, I can understand and commiserate with other site owners who see the competition doing things that should be getting their website in trouble but are actually benefitting from it. After a while you may start to think “Well if they can get away with it maybe I can to. It can’t be that big of a deal if my competition is actually getting results, right?” But here is my response to that:
Are you willing to risk it?
2012 was a big year for SEO and Google pushed out some game-changing algorithm updates designed to go after black hat SEO tactics like exact match domains, building low-quality and irrelevant links, overuse of exact match anchor text and more. Plenty of sites were caught in the cross-fire but I’d still hear about those sites that escaped the wrath of Google and carried on their grey and black hat SEO ways. I’d like site owners to keep in mind that those sites were the exception, not the rule. After the Google Penguin update I got a lot of phone calls from site owners who had been penalized and wanted to know what they had done wrong (sometimes unknowingly so) and how to go about fixing it. Every single site I looked at had some pretty glaring black hat tactics going on somewhere in their SEO and it wasn’t hard to identify what the most likely cause of their trouble was.
Yes, you could try some black hat SEO tactics and you might be one of the lucky few that outsmart Google, their algorithm and their teams of engineers. You might find a way to stay one step ahead of the algorithm and keep your website just out of penalty territory but let me ask you this—how much sleep are you willing to lose at night by playing that game? Every time Google pushes out a new update I go to bed at night knowing my site isn’t about to get obliterated thanks to a penalty. I also know that my clients’ sites will be safe because everything we do for them is strictly white hat. I am not willing to risk the long term success or brand of Brick Marketing or my clients’ sites for a quick trip to the top of the SERPs.
Think about it—for a small business owner your website is your livelihood. That site pays your mortgage, buys groceries, helps prepare for college tuition fees—are you willing to risk all of that on black hat tactics? For a SMB marketing manager that might be thinking about testing out some black hat SEO tactics, it’s your job and reputation on the line. If you make the final call and your company gets penalized for it who do you think is going to be in hot water? Either way you’re gambling with your livelihood and company.
If you really want to try out some black hat SEO tactics I suggest doing it on a pet project or hobby website. Make sure it’s a site that can fall apart and not actually hurt you in the long run. Don’t risk your actual business by hoping you’re the 1 in a million that escapes the updates!
Categorized in: SEO
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