White Hat SEO OR Black Hat SEO?

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T here seems to be the constant debate as to whether white hat SEO or black hat SEO is the best way to go when you’re trying to build an Internet marketing business.

A person can make money in the Internet marketing industry whether they are using white hat SEO or black hat SEO but one is typically more sustainable as a business model and can pay dividends for years. The other could very well put a big chunk of change in your pocket but you’ll need to replicate your campaign over and over again in order to maintain a steady inflow of cash.

Which one is best; white hat SEO or black hat SEO?

That depends largely on what one’s business model is going to be and the way person thinks in general. I’m not going to disparage one or the other but I’d like to give my thoughts as to why I think one is a superior business model over the other. If you follow me and read some of my thoughts about common sense SEO, then you probably know I’m a white hat SEO Internet marketer and service provider. For me, and my thought process, as well as my business model and what I think is best for the industry, that fits me perfectly.

I know people who make a good living providing black hat SEO and who are ranking sites using black hat methods and that works well for them. Their mind can grasp that business model better then a white hat model and they have no problem retooling on a regular basis with new keywords, new sites, and a new backlinking process. To me, that just seems like a lot of extra work and I don’t s

I have done some black hat methods as a means of hit and run revenue but those situations are few and far between. Some of that was actually method testing and some were to grab a quick buck on something that was just plain obvious. The testing is absolutely necessary in order to maintain a proper level of quality SEO for my own sites as well as for the sites of my clients. The hit-and-run revenue opportunities that I took advantage of were strictly greed.

Long-term though I’m not comfortable with the black hat processes that have gained popularity in the Internet marketing industry for a couple of reasons.

One of the reasons I have some issues with ranking processes that are powered by black hat methods is that they give the industry a bit of a black eye. Outsiders that are not involved in the Internet marketing industry typically do not have a grasp on how many people use the Internet to make a legitimate, clean, respectable living. They think that they are all sorts of nefarious things going on and that making money online is all trickery and chicanery. Or they think that the internet marketer spends his entire day facebooking.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of those that are involved in the industry are legitimate businessmen and women that have business models that are designed to provide a good service or product to the consumer and that the internet marketer prides himself on strong business ethics as well. Most internet marketers understand that just because their business is not sitting at 123 Main St., Anytown USA, that does not mean they should not provide the best service or product they possibly can. To those of us that are in the industry long-term, which is the majority of the professionals with whom I interact, providing a good product or service at a fair price in a timely manner with quality customer care is not only a standard but important.

Part of the reason for setting a standard that is clean, professional and sustainable is because we are legitimate businesspeople. The other part, that many of us look at, is that we are concerned for our little corner of the world. If we were to contribute negative things to the Internet marketing industry, the industry as a whole would be affected in some way shape or matter. That does nothing for our businesses and does nothing for the industry as a whole.

Many industries that are brick-and-mortar based have associations with which they participate and share ideas and principles. The Internet marketing world is no different in that there are groups of people who are online business owners who have the same thought process and want to work as a whole to maintain a quality experience for those whom we consider consumers. Many of us look at various black hat business models and do not participate because we do not see them as long-term benefits to the industry, let alone the average Internet marketer.

One of the other reasons I am not a fan of the black hat methods is that it promotes a segment of the industry to those just entering the industry a poor business model and one that can be construed as distasteful to an outsider. The black hat aspect of the internet marketing industry typically crosses a line that many consider unethical and although that line is fine, it is there none the less.

Promoting those kinds of methods gives the impression that you can get rich quick in the internet marketing industry and that it is the accepted and expected way to operate online. That does not usually work offline and the same goes for online… the business principle is the same no matter if your business is a brick and mortar business or if you have an online store/service. The quick grab is usually not a winner.

Promoting a positive long-term business model, through the use of White Hat SEO, is not just good for my own sites or the sites of my clients, but also good for the industry as a whole as others that are entering the industry see that you can make a very healthy living operating in that realm and that is good for the growth of the industry, the industries image and the personal lives of those that are becoming internet marketers.