Can White Hat SEOs Compete With Black Hat SEOs?

Sep 23, 2010 • 8:32 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A HighRankings Forum thread has a nice black hat verus white hat discussion. These types of discussions were more popular in the old days, so it is nice to see one spring up again.

The thread creator basically said, the problem with white hat SEO is that it can't compete with black hat SEO. Especially on the very competitor keyword phrases.

The issue with this debate is that it is not true. There are plenty of white hat web sites that rank incredibly well for competitive keywords and would out rank any black hat site in the long run. I believe the main issue is semantics or how one defines white hat versus black hat techniques.

What makes an SEO blackhat? Hacking? Spamming? Cloaking? Many black hats would never hack into a site or inject comment spam on a web site. Many black hats would take offense to classifying criminal activity as black hat, it is criminal. But at what point does white hat SEO turn black?

Without defining black vs white, it is hard to answer the above question.

But in my opinion, white hat sites can indeed compete and do better in many cases.

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.

Note this post was written on September 22nd and posted today automatically.

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Kyle Gibson

09/23/2010 07:23 pm

Although I only practice whitehat SEO, I read the blackhat and the whitehat forums. Even the blackhatters concede that their tactics are meant for the short term, not the long haul. In the cat and mouse world of SEO, whitehat is the only way to go for long term success, IMHO.


09/24/2010 07:08 am

As far as BH SEO does not break any law, there is no problem with going beyond Google's guidelines. Now, of course WH SEO can compete with BH SEO. It's just not the same time planning. Usually, BH is quicker to put up pages in top results, but also instant drop is awaiting. WH would take more time, but is supposed to stay up there. Now, real BH know how to compensate the loss by launching now sites all the time. For those, I suppose it's possible to compete with WH stats model (flat or ascending curve).

Harmony M.

10/01/2010 09:41 pm

Hi, I am currently trying to find the difference of white hat and black hat and it seems to me the white hat is better. I guess Black hat seo in most cases is like spamming and it is not natural in the views of search engines. I am sure it works somewhat though, considering people still use black hat methods, but I am guessing the safest way to go is white hat. Thanks for the info!

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