Why Risk Your Website with Black Hat SEO Tactics?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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!

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"Brick Marketing is "solid" when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice"

“I had been impressed for a long time with the content that Brick Marketing was sharing in their informative blog posts and articles. I chatted with Nick Stamoulis a couple times and decided that he was the expert I wanted to work with. I have worked with Brick Marketing for about six months and they have helped us resolve several SEO related issues pertaining to our website. Our account rep is always just an email away with answers to any questions I have and suggestions for how we can improve what we’re doing. Brick Marketing is “solid” when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice. I definitely recommend them if you want to feel more secure about how your website is performing in searches and have the confidence that everything being done to improve your rank is white hat and legit.”

– Paul Rarick, Debbiegrattan.com

"Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation."

“Brick Marketing is extremely valuable for feedback and advice in many aspects of marketing, not just SEO and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the long term to continually improve our business and increase sales. That’s what it’s all about. Just like their name implies, Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation.”

– Jeff Nicholson, President Freely Creative, Inc. / Websticker.com

"Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased"

“The Brick Marketing team, was critical to ensuring that our new Web site is optimized to drive maximum traffic. Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased thanks to her assistance and advice. In addition, they executed a strategic link building program that helped further increase Web traffic.”

– Lauren LaFronz, Director of Marketing, enChoice, Inc.

"superior knowledge of marketing on the internet"

“I have had the good fortune to work with SEO expert Nick Stamoulis and his team at Brick Marketing and it was clear form the get go that Nick had superior knowledge of marketing on the internet. The SEO campaign and technical writing that Brick Marketing provides has been impressive, where in the past we struggled to find the high levels of competence in these two skill sets. Were only just beginning with Brick Marketing and look forward to growing with their expert guidance. Thank you Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team!”

– Craig Raubenheimer, President, Roan Solutions, Inc.

"traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year"

“When we started working with Brick Marketing, we had just been subjected to a Google algorithm update and our websites both took substantial hits to traffic. Within a few months, Brick has taken both of our websites to pre-algorithm traffic and conversion levels, and for the CallFinder site, the traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year. Their expertise in SEO, responsive design, and content marketing helped us turn the situation around, and we could not be happier with the results we’ve seen in just our first four months of working with them. The team we work with at Brick Marketing is always available for off-the-cuff consultations and are at the ready to provide recommendations and suggestions to improve our site’s appearance and performance. They are truly a hands-on partner, which is immensely valuable to our business.​”

– Jeanne Landau, Director of Marketing www.800response.com | www.mycallfinder.com

"went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues"

“We hired Brick Marketing to manage our SEO, but they ended up also managing our company blog, social media marketing, helped us launch a pay per click advertising campaign, migrated our website to a new domain and so much more! Our SEO Specialist is always quick to respond whenever we had a question and went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues.”

– Mory Creighton, CEO, Pinpoint Laser Systems

"Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business"

“Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business. Through their expertise with the ever changing world of SEO, our web presence is as strong as ever. Our working relationship with Nick Stamoulis and Danielle Bachini has been outstanding. In collaboration with web designer Chris Roberts, we were also able to develop the perfect responsive website that truly reflects our business. Thank you Brick Marketing!​”

– Ellen Parlee, Parlee Farms

"dependable, professional SEO company"

“Brick Marketing has been a dependable, professional SEO company that has helped us get results. In the last 6 months of using their services, visits to our website have increased by almost 30%. Our dedicated SEO Specialist was pleasant to deal with. Her suggestions for articles and press releases were industry specific. Brick Marketing always answered our phone calls and emails within an hour which made us feel valued as a client. I would recommend Brick Marketing to all businesses to handle their SEO needs.”

– JoAnne Loftus, Archival Designs, Inc.

"Brick Marketing is levels above all others...an integral part of my team"

“I have formed an invaluable marketing partnership with Brick Marketing. Nick Stamoulis and the rest of the Brick Marketing team are professional, timely, thorough and take time to, not only succeed at the tasks, but also educate myself and my team on the strategies in the process. Since my first encounter working with Brick, I’ve changed organizations and have taken them along with me…they are that good! In my experience in working with many outside agencies who over-promise and under-communicate, I can truly state that Brick Marketing is levels above all others and vested in our relationship. They are not just an SEO consultant, but an integral part of my team. I highly recommend Brick Marketing for any company looking to significantly increase search engine competitiveness and internet presence.​”

– Jodi Murphy, Marketing Director EUXmedia

"highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients"

“After working with many other SEO firms and not being satisfied I finally was introduced to the Brick Marketing President and Founder, Nick Stamoulis. Nick Stamoulis has educated me about SEO and has provided me with a well rounded SEO package, not only does he offer top quality services he also educates his clients and spends the time to explain everything and their SEO pricing is competitive. I will highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients. Brick Marketing is an A+ for SEO services.”

– Mike Cardella, Integrated Computer Services

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