In the world of Internet business, just as in life offline, there are those who are looking to make a fast buck and there are those who want to earn their way to the top in order to create a lasting business venture. When it comes to SEO, these two approaches to the search engine marketing game are known as blackhat and whitehat, respectively. If you’re looking to be a serious player in the Web business game then you’re going to want to know the difference between both of these approaches and why a person or company would choose one over the other.
A quick definition of blackhat SEO is that it tends to be geared towards scoring big amounts quick, short term money. The methods used are intended to trick the search engines by using deceptive techniques and fool Web surfers into clicking links to visit sites that they otherwise might never think about clicking. While it’s not always true, blackhat techniques sometimes go hand in hand with malware, viruses, spam and other criminal or borderline illegal techniques. While the methods and tactics employed vary, the key point to remember about blackhat methods for making money online is that all of them involve some level of trickery for either man or machine and are designed almost exclusively to make cash as quickly as possible.
Many people are attracted to blackhat SEO because it’s said to be easier than whitehat. This can be true, but many times you first need to buy expensive software to perform the methods. These software programs may work for a limited time, but it’s not uncommon to find out that the program you paid a good deal of cash for only ends up working for a few months or maybe even just a few weeks. If you’re looking to pull in massive traffic, a blackhat program may at first look to be the ideal solution to yank visitors into your site and crank them through your Pay Per Click or affiliate sales pages. If we’re completely honest (which is a core component of the whitehat approach) then we have to admit that yes, blackhat can earn big money. However, the method must be changed constantly and using blackhat to turn a website into a cash cow is absolutely a short term venture. Once you’ve earned some money you’ll end up having to shut the site down and build a whole new site to keep your income stream up and even then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pull this off with any level of consistency. Blackhat SEO ends up being very similar to treading water, it’s a lot of work to keep yourself afloat and you still won’t go far.
While whitehat SEO appears to take more work, in reality it pays off better over a longer period of time and your earnings rise, they don’t plummet due to penalties from the same search engines that you need to make a living from. The people who develop and maintain search engines have entire divisions of their companies dedicated to eliminating websites and marketers who pollute the Internet with garbage links and spam style websites. You’ll be going up against an army of folks who are paid to lock blackhat sites out of the upper echelons of Internet commerce and if you’re publicly exposed for your actions you’ll most in the industry completely unwilling to work with you, much less cut lucrative deals that the Web business is famous for.
Besides, let’s face it, having to crank out lame website after lame website ends up getting old, especially after you figure out that you’re doing more work than the whitehat guys in the long run. This and the fact that the future holds more challenges for blackhat, rather than less, makes whitehat appear to be not only more ethical, but a more attractive choice for earning money all around. As the search engines increase in sophistication they will come to resemble the human mind more closely and that’s bad news for those who have build miniature empires based on the ease with which we can trick computer programs right now. It’s an uphill battle for smaller and smaller profits while over on the whitehat side profits continue to rise for everyone rather than only the major players.
If you can provide a genuinely good product or service that people want they’re going to want to see what you have to offer, they’re going to want to do business with you or your company, and most importantly, they’re going to want to repeat that business over and over again. Repeat business is how individuals and companies thrive at the commercial level. A solid reputation continues to become increasingly more crucial for those doing serious business on the web. It’s no longer about bold, colorful text and ‘click here now!’ style advertising. Internet users are becoming more savvy and the more they experience the negative types of marketing thrown at them, the more wary they’re going to become. Building trust online has become the absolute must for anyone seeking to build a business with a Web presence. There’s no real future in scamming, especially since legally, it’s becoming much riskier to trick people online no matter how insignificant that deception may seem to the person hoping to score some easy money.
As you can see, the future is definitely going to be whitehat all the way, not just because it’s the nice guy approach, but because it makes sense. No one wants to feel cheated and everyone wants a great deal. Those who can offer a quality experience are going to thrive as the global Internet population keeps on rising. Make sure you consider which path you want to take before you set out to earn a living from the Internet and keep in mind, you get what you pay for and reap what you sow. If you keep your business clean, valuable to the consumer and run honestly you’ll get the fruits of that labor. Black Hat