Let’s start with a tremendous question: Black hat seo still works? I’ll save you a lot of time reading, if you just want the answer — and it is categorically yes.
I had to make it clearly, not to fool around the words for trying to make our businesses too “white” or at least a “Grey” one.
There — I said it. What we’re doing — all of us who are building back links — is black hat. The idea is that there are some guys that does not know how to do it right, and others that make real miracles with it. I am personally a big fan of Sitepenalise.fr, they really know to do the things very well, read the full article about them.
Now I should explain my definition of what black hat is: anything I do to gain a better position in Google than it would otherwise give me. So anything that I do to improve my ranking, really, because it is an attempt to game the system. Some are benign things that actually help your site be better, like improving the readability of your content. But others, like building back links, are only attempts to exploit the weaknesses that exist in Google’s algorithm.
Of course black hat SEO (which is to say really all SEO) is not illegal, unethical, or bad. It just is not following Google’s unrealistic and untenable instructions on how to rank. There’s a saying “When they zig, you have to zag”. Same with advice from Google.
Every time they say something is bad, it means they are trying to scare you into not doing something, because their algorithm can’t catch you fast enough. Eventually their algorithm might catch you, but in the meantime you can rank for quite a while (see below).
So — is black hat unsafe, and are all back links bad for you, because eventually you’ll get caught? No. Google simply can not penalize all back link building, because it actually is becoming much harder for them to distinguish the gaming attempts from natural link building. So if you stick to safe methods practiced by ethical SEOs.
And a word about what you’ll see when you look for SEO help. There are many ethical and completely honest people out there providing SEO information and services. Too long a list to name them, so I won’t try, but it’s really easy to figure out who is honest and who is just out for a quick buck, at your expense (and more dangerously, at the expense of your site’s ranking).
Just see what they are promising and use your own head — are they promising realistic, safe, long term ranking gains? Or are they hyping things up and appealing to your emotions and preying on gullible new IMers?
Here are a few examples:
People that say things about their services like “our back links are Panda safe”, or “Google loves our back links”, or even (as I’ve actually seen on Warrior Forum) “Google Approved back links” — is lying and trying to separate you from your money with false promises and dishonest intent.
The worst kind of lie I’ve seen is “Guaranteed Page 1 Ranking” — how can they promise that when only Google decides who ranks on page one? They can’t.
The guarantee is that you’ll get your money back if they can’t rank you on page one, but in the meantime you wasted your time (time == money, don’t forget) and you may have actually damaged your site’s ranking by letting these lying people build dangerous back links to your site. You know, the kind of back links that negative SEO uses to first boost a site’s ranking but that on second examination lead to a lower ranking.
They’re hoping this second check by Google won’t happen before the guarantee period expires, so they keep your money, and then they can even use your site initial higher ranking as proof that their method works, to snare more victims.
Why am I telling you this? Because, when you’re trying to rank higher in Google, all kinds of scam artists come out to play and they want to take your money w.o providing any of the promised value. So beware and always evaluate who you want to do business with. It’s the scam artists you need to worry about, not Google penalizing you for safe (but of course still black hat) back link building.