Whitehat SEO is Hard Work Blackhat SEO Not Worth the Risk

White SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is hard work but rewarding nonetheless. SEO done right at least. Done right means employing only ethical SEO tactics, often referred to as “Whitehat” SEO tactics. Risks associated with what is referred to as “Blackhat”  or unethical SEO tactics are not justified by short-term results in our opinion.

Whitehat SEO is Hard Work
Whitehat SEO is Hard Work

Whitehat SEO is hard work. SEO done right at least. Done right means employing only ethical SEO tactics, often referred to as “Whitehat” SEO tactics. While it’s possible to achieve short-terms results using unethical SEO tactics, often referred to as blackhat SEO tactics to deceive search engines, it’s a risky approach.

How does one know if an SEO tactic is blackhat? All unethical SEO tactics are designed to deceive search engines into rating content relevancy to particular keywords higher than it really is. For instance, a blackhat seo tactic commonly used more than a decade ago when search engines were a relatvely new concept, was filling a page with repeating keywords in a font that was the same as the background color of the page, so not viewable by readers. While these blackhat SEO tactics, at the time, were effective in achieving short-term traffic results, once detected and labeled by the search engines as SPAM, the offending sites optimized with blackhat SEO tactics were in some cases temporarily blacklisted by the search engines, some banned from search results altogether.

The contemporary search engines have become more sophisticated in detecting blackhat SEO tactics, driven by maintaining relevant search results for users. To search engines, ensuring website content relevancy to search terms is their Holy Grail for maintaining and growing their search market share. Naturally, users will gravitate to search engines that deliver most relevant search results for the least amount of effort on their part. Wading through SPAM will drive search engine users to find alternative search engines with more relevant results. To search engines, loss of users means loss of search market share, resulting in lost advertising revenue. You can understand why search engines are motivated to find and punish websites that use blackhat SEO tactics.

Implementing whitehat SEO tactics is hard work which involves careful keyword research, website analysis, competitor analysis, comparison of website content to industry benchmarks, obtaining quality links from related websites. If it sounds like ethical SEO is a lot of work, it is. This is not to say that the amount of effort to implement whitehat SEO tactics is too high relative to the reward, but that caution should be used when considering short-cuts or SEO practitioners that employ them. Whitehat SEO tactics, when applied correctly, can deliver a steady stream of qualified traffic to a website for an ongoing period of time without incurring additional cost for each visitor.

In summary, when evaluating SEO practitioners, whether internal or outsourced, understand enough to ensure that Blackhat SEO tactics are not used as a shortcut to results. Evaluate tactics on the basis of whether they are designed in some way to deceive the search engines. When in doubt, great sources of additional information include the Google Webmaster Guidelines and the industry de facto SEO Code of Ethics offered to the industry and available in 19 languages.


Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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