This article was originally published on the Spectrum blog.
A couple weeks ago, we published an article that sought to analyze the ethics of Internet marketing from a purely fundamental perspective. In a mere breath, we explained both black hat and white hat SEO as well as the projected outcome of each strategy. Of course, such a broad and complex topic can only be grazed within the confines of several hundred words; however, the basics are all you really need to know in order to make a decision about what's right for your business.
Being an purely white hat shop, Spectrum only works with companies that are invested in their long-term Internet presence and not just out to make a quick buck. Black hat tactics, after all, will ultimately get your site banned from Google and every other major search engine. These tactics include link farming, keyword stuffing, hidden content, spam-y blog comments and other techniques that cheat Google's algorithm and skew search results for everyone. Sites like Google and Bing aim to organize the world's information, which is 1) no easy task and 2) made even harder by people who abuse obvious loopholes in the system. That's why Google made rules that carry severe and lasting consequences when broken.
Needless to say, people still practice black hat SEO because it can produce short term success. For example, if you created a costume website several months before Halloween and then marketed it with black hat tricks, you could probably secure a good rank for relevant keywords and make some money before the holiday. Nevertheless, pulling it off would still require a great deal of time, effort, knowledge and of course, you would have to be okay with the fact that your website will be banished sooner or later. So, if you own a legitimate business with a steady stream of revenue and long-term goals, black hat SEO just isn't for you.
Conversely, white hat SEO is right for businesses that are investing in their long-term success. That's why at Spectrum, we only employ white hat tactics that will gradually build our clients' Internet presence without the risks associated with cheating the system. Our team creates lead generation websites using awesome content with effective keywords, proper title and meta data, and quality inbound links that Google will consistently reward. At Spectrum, it's white hat SEO or nothing because, frankly, our clients can't afford to lose their Internet presence and we won't stand to perpetuate the unethical behavior that leads to those consequences. Never have. Never will.