Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on September 11th, 2009

Black Hat Lies

In the world of Search Engine Optimization, just as there are in any industry, you have a wide range of morality and ethics being practiced by firms competing for your dollars. But in the world of SEO, we have terminology that encompasses this spectrum of do-gooders and evil-goers. The SEO firms that follow the rules, mind their P’s and Q’s, and will get your site ranked the legal way, are referred to as “White Hat” SEO firms. Think Gandalf, angel wings and The White Album. SEO firms that are manipulating Google with keyword stuffing, paid links, and invisible text are referred to as “Black Hat” SEO and implement practices that are highly frowned upon by the Google gods. Think Darth Vader, Worm Tongue, and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Why are black hat SEO firms still in business? They are deceptive and use lies to ensnare your budget in their death grip. Here are three lies that black hats will use to win your business.

1. “We Guarantee Immediate Results”

Any promises of instant results will likely provide a short-term boost in rankings and traffic. This is the result of shady practices that will get your site banned from the search rankings for life. Sure, it’s great for the few weeks you are king of the hill. But most businesses are looking for a longer online life cycle and a better reputation.

2. “Your Competition Isn’t Using Search Yet”

There are nearly 5 billion internet searches per month and 133 million unique searchers. This number increases everyday. Most competitors of yours are aware of this phenomenon.

3. “SEO is about fooling search engines”

If your SEO company is even using the term “fooling”, this should not only turn a light on in your brain, but quite possibly set off an atomic bomb in your cerebellum. If you are “fooling” the search engines, you are probably fooling your would-be customers as well.

There are many morally-sound SEO companies out there to employ, but there are tons of people looking for a quick buck from a naive business owner looking for fame, fortune and traffic online. In reality, the most rewarding aspects of SEO are often slowly realized. Building a quality, search engine-friendly website takes time and effort. If you act on black hat techniques, you will suffer the penalties and may be banned from Google forever.