For most people, SEO is a process that is long, tiring and sometimes very difficult to go through with. This is why some will try to use unorthodox means of doing it. For instance, when you think that doing SEO the right way is too difficult, you may resort to using black hat methods of SEO. By definition, black hat SEO refers to a process where one does SEO in such a manner as to trick the search engine crawlers into thinking that the site is high quality, rather than doing things such as getting content that is actually good for the site.
The allure of black hat SEO
The main reason why most people are attracted to black hat SEO is the fact that it seems to be a much simpler way of getting good page ranks. When you compare this kind of SEO to the traditional method (commonly referred to as white hat), you will find that black hat SEO is often much less labor intensive. This means that it's usually the preferred method of doing SEO for those people who do not want to invest the time and effort often required. For instance, when you are thinking of getting a large amount of traffic to your site in a short time, this may seem like the best way to get it.
In addition to that, you will also find that black hat SEO methods are usually much cheaper than their legitimate counterparts. This is because most of the tricks that one can use don't need much in the way of extra help. For instance, if you are thinking of taking advantage of such methods, you would most likely not need the help of a contractor. You would only need to find some guides on how to do it online and then off you go.
Is black hat SEO worth it?
Whether or not black hat SEO is worth it depends on many things, such as why you want to do SEO in the first place. One thing that is very clear is that if you need to get a lot of traffic in the long term (such as when running an online business), black hat methods are less than ideal. This is because with the frequent algorithm changes that search engines make these days, you are bound to be discovered sooner rather than later, and if this happens your site may be heavily penalized for using such methods of SEO.
However, black hat SEO is worth understanding because it's important to learn what is and isn't acceptable so you don't end up accidentally hurting your website's ratings. If you ask me, black hat SEO is not worth trying simply because big search engines like Google have gotten too smart for it.
The legal implications of black hat SEO
In some cases, you will find that one of the black hat methods will demand that you use content from other sites. This is effectively plagiarism, and if you are discovered to be doing this, you will be liable, and could be taken to court. Therefore it's very important that you try to find out what you are exposing yourself to.
In summary, black hat SEO may seem like a good way to quickly and cheaply increase traffic to your site. However, you always need to remember that this method of SEO is entirely unethical. With a small investment of your time, you will find that it’s much less of a hassle to do white hat SEO, even if it will take you longer or cost a bit more. As a learning tool, however, black hat can be a very good way to learn more about the intricacies of SEO and how search engine crawlers work. But as a real-life application tool, I strongly advise you don't use it for your site because you might just lose all that traffic and rankings overnight.
After all, SEO is a reflection of life itself. Those who get rich overnight might not be able to guard their treasures for long!
About the Author
Mike is a tenacious and hard working man who works hard to make things happen. Check out his company - Wisdek SEO here.