“Black Hat” is the term used to described everything from SEO techniques to marketing strategies. While some people swear by it and many others make their living from it, I want to present a few reasons as to why it’s something that you should stay away from.
Before I get started, let me just say that, unlike lots of other people, I’m not going to preach in this post. I’m going to offer a level-headed and logical approach to this post without relying on the argument of morals.
What is Black Hat?
Otherwise, allow me to explain it. Black hat describes marketing techniques, link building strategies and any other activity that uses either the way a system works or takes advantage of people in order to profit. While the methods are usually against the rules of whatever person governs that system, there are only a few situations where they are wholly illegal.
In contrast, “White Hat” describes the business model most people are familiar with. You add quality content and provide services for people in a way that is beneficial for both parties. No one, not advertiser, customer or any other intermediary, feels cheated at the end of the day.
7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Rely on Black Hat Techniques
Without further ado, let’s examine the faults that the black hat ideology provides. As I mentioned earlier, let’s leave morals out of this and examine this with a business-centric way of thinking.
1. Black Hat is Tedious
Black hat techniques rely on cheating the system. This often means simulating the work and activity that most people display by making use of automated solutions, which in turn means defeating deterrants designed to stop them like captchas.
It can often take just as much effort to design these automated solutions as it does to develop an authentic white hat business. That puts black hat marketing and link building on the same level of white hat in terms of effort for all but the largest of operations.
2. Black Hat Tends to be Low Quality
The kind of places and people who tend to be the most vulnerable to black hat practices are generally those with a low amount of value. This means that websites with a miniscule amount of domain authority and people who are less interested in being your customer than the homeless man down the street without a dime to his name is.
By contrast, you can usually acquire high-quality customers and links by filtering out these people and then manually approaching them.
3. Black Hat Can Be Spammy
It was about three or four years ago when the blog commenting craze really began. Automated black hat solutions arose that made commenting on autopilot easier than ever before, which in turn resulted in Google and other search engines seriously devaluing the worth of a blog comment.
The amount of automation needed for black hat solutions tends to make it spammy. This can have adverse effects, like having your website caught by Akismet as a source of spam.
4. Black Hat Tends to be Synonymous with Temporary
Black hat methods tend to be fleeting. Exploits that make them work tend to get patched quickly, and the people who would be taken in by these methods tend to wise up. Affiliates and ad networks tend to catch people who send bad traffic towards offers.
Even black hat links tend to be fleeting. The sites that they do get published on tend to be low-value, which in turn results in many of these websites disappearing in a matter of months.
5. Black Hat Requires Constant Adaptability
Because loopholes get patched and people grow tired of black hat techniques so quickly, people who use them must force themselves to adapt these techniques. They need to alter them, grow them larger and then continue to do so as long as they wish to make a profit from them.
They’re not exactly techniques suited for long-term marketing. You’ll be lucky if they last for even the short term.
6. Black Hat Always Stops Working
For example, consider a method that pivots around spamming a social network with links. If something as little as making these links unclickable occurs, then it’s possible that the black hat method will quickly become unviable.
7. Black Hat Techniques Tend to Bring Bad Publicity
The largest disadvantage of black hat techniques, in my Frank opinion, is that they bring bad publicity to you. While this may not seem like a big idea if you specialize only in black hat marketing, it should be something you’re worried about.
Even if your name isn’t linked to any businesses, it could be linked to something like CPA networks. Similarly to casinos, CPA networks tend to share a list of “people to avoid due to black hat techniques” with one another.
This can result in your name being written down on someone’s blacklist.
Are Black Hat Techniques Worth It?
Personally, I don’t find black hat techniques worth messing with. Just take a look at the 5 Non-Black Hat Ways to Make a Quick Buck Online I posted some time ago. The methods here are simple, require minimal automation and can be done somewhat leisurely.
If you want to start a real business, then you should stay away from using black hat techniques for marketing or link building. There’s plenty of legitimate ways to make money using Facebook and other sources.
At the end of the day, you’ll find that building a busienss rather than making a quick buck will provide more satisfaction.
What do you think about black hat link building and marketing techniques? Should you stay away from them? Do they only work for knowledgeable people? Leave your thoughts below.