Knowing What Tricks Are In The Black Hat Is Good For You White Hats
By Kevin Cheng | Filed under: SEM / SEO Career, In-House, Black Hat SEO
If you have been following the latest buzz in the SEM industry lately, you should have noticed, or even participated in the great black hat vs. white hat vs. your hat vs. my hat debate. If you still haven’t heard, you better start subscribing to a few of the top SEM blogs to enhance your knowledge for your own sake.
Anyways, long story short, the great debate was stemmed from the SMX Advanced Conference that happened in early June (I would love to attend, but unfortunately I live in Toronto and nobody would like to sponsor me or give me days off to attend *wink* *wink*). At the show, there was a section called “Give It Up” that was dedicated to advanced SEO tips including some black hat and grey hat tactics. Many attendees felt that it was inappropriate to offer black hat advices in one of the most organized and important SEO conferences like the SMX.
Well, if you ask me, I wouldn’t mind attending the conference just to learn about the black hat stuff. In fact, I would love to attend the conference just to learn what tactics the black hats are employing these days.
Why? You ask?
Well, for the record, you should never use any black hat SEO tactics if you work in-house. Not that I’m saying it’s ok for you to use them if you work for an agency, but you should never jeopardize your company’s brands and sites jin order to show the results to your boss. To me, that’s an ethic issue, you get paid to optimize your company’s sites, not to risk getting those sites banned.
Back to the question… The reason I would love to learn about those black hat tactics is that it’s always to advantage to be able to identify who, why and how your competitors’ sites rank above yours. If your company competes in one of the most competitive markets, I bet you have asked yourself why certain sites rank where they are despite the fact that their sites look and feel miserable.
I know, it’s frustrating to learn that while your competitors could run wild with their black hat tactics and outrank you for some of the most important keywords, while you have to sit at your own desk wondering how you could beat those damn black hatters, and thinking of how to tell your boss in a comprehensible manner. But at least, you will be able to discuss the situation to them rather than sounding like a clueless amateur with a “no clue” explanation.
By observing and taking note of what the black hats are getting away with, you might be able to figure out or get a better understanding of the search engines’ algorithm and threshold against certain SEO tactics.
Also, if you feel like it, you could always try to report your competitors for their “aggressive” tactics. I know, this is another debate for you people, but still, I think it’s a fair game. We are talking about business, business is competition, competition is war, and we are mercenaries hired to kill… ok, not really, but you get my point.
Anyways, aside from the main topic of this post, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Dev Basu the very best of luck in his new career starting two weeks from now. Dev has been working with me for the past three months and he has been a wonderful, knowledgeable, entertaining, funny… damn too many great attributes… partner/coworker. It has been a wonderful three months working with you, thanks!