Isn’t all SEO black hat?

“We only use ethical white hat techniques” and 100 other make believe opinions of people trying to sell you something.

I read and read about the awful evils of black hat tricks. I have a back and forth with the very ethical Sellaholics Anthony about what is sneak and what is right. Just now I finish an article on a somewhat spammy website preaching about the evils of “trying to trick Google” by stuffing keywords into tags. If you read the entire article you’ll see I mean no ill-will, it’s just the loose definition of spammy. Everything seems to be a foul if it happens on a competitors site.

Ok, who exactly gets to define these things? It seems the person trying to make themselves feel good are often the one setting their very own definition.

If I comment on an SEO blog “I agree with this post, I too like white hat SEO techniques” and leave my url in the link (and it happens to be ‘follow’) am I spamming? Am I black hat?

What if I purposely choose blogs that don’t use nofollow? TO make my semi-relevant comments on? Am I “black hat” or just a interested commenter who happens to want a link for other to read about me?

Cookie cutter SEO wannabes preaching “you’ll get banned from Google”, “Google will send you to the bottom of the rankings” or you site will be removed from Google, where exactly do they get this non scientific outcome?

So now I comment on 10 SEO blogs, by hand, and say I think they are right and its a good article? Now I choose 10 that do not use “nofollow”, am I black hat doomed to life of non-listed hell?

Next scenario:
I post on a guestbook on some website a paragraph about my business and link to my site. I must be a spammer and will be taught a lesson by having my site banned forever? (wooooo creepy)
But I write an article for an article site with the sole intention of getting the free links it provides? That’s ethical?

Next scenario:
I put 8 words in all my alt tags with keywords and a description of each? The expert I read from at miamiseo.co < not com, says I am stuffing tags with keywords. But the sight impaired people who rely on Alt tags to hear what the image is of, say I am making the site user friendly for all browsers. Next scenario: I am stuffing my footer with useless information and keywords? Or is it a mission statement say, my company is a service provider and professional etc etc providing etc etc to the cities of etc etc? Now the great irony is that the article I read about this from, and prompted this rant is MIAMISEO.CO (not com) The author said this

Try not to stuff keywords into your tags or attributes, if you do so Google can penalize your site and send you to the bottom of its index. It is considered an unethical practice

The author in this article is the owner of a white hat ethical SEO company he says. He also decided to buy the domain MIAMISEO.CO, so essentially keyword stuffing his domain. Does anyone buy a ‘.CO’ version of a domain for the users? or for the search engines?

He then uses the blogger username Miamiseo, so it says article written by MAIMISEO, is this what a white hat business owner does? or a keyword stuffer? Is there anything constructive as a business owner trying to brand yourself like using the blogging name “miamiseo”?

Now he also uses tags on his blog, as a lot of us do.

Well I had tags on my blogs 10 years ago before it was as widely used. I used MOD REWRITE combined with the search page function of wordpress to create my own tag pages.

I linked myblog.com/tags/keyword to the search page with MOD REWRITE telling it to catch
myblog.com/tags/(.*) --> search.php?s=$1

See when I did it it was to make a lot of pages that didn’t exist, I would get a list of keywords and link them like this and get pages for each keyword exactly like a tag works today. When I did that it was a duplicate content issue and gray hat at best, but now its called tags and they are used on every site.

Continue reading part 2 of this post here.

About author

Todd Kron

of Sellaholics is a veteran of Analytics, PPC, Display, video, UX, conversion optimization, affiliate programs, web design and web programming since 2002. My background includes affiliate sales to 6 figures, director of a web design agency, and currently the digital manager for a leading energy company located in Huntersville, NC. From search to sale 1000 different ways is my background. Sellaholics is a Google Partner Agency.

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