Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
Going black hat. It’s so tempting. You put in all this time researching SEO. You know as much about the algorithms as anyone. You watch competitors zip past you and you just know they’re cheating. How else could they zip past you*?
*I dunno… Maybe because they actually do what their SEOs tell them. Or they write original content. Or their site runs slightly better than the bloated, slow-running, visit-repelling Greek tragedy you call a ‘web presence’. But I digress.
Go for it! Here are ten fantastic reasons to throw Google’s Terms of Service into a shredder:
- The search engines are big meanies. You’re gonna show them.
- You have a garage full of Viagra to sell by tomorrow night. If you don’t, the local penis mafia is going to hunt you down, so you’ll be dead anyway.
- You won $30 million in the Lottery. What the heck? Go for it.
- Your SEO agency says they have a special relationship with Google, and they can bail you out. Also, they have special magical, rainbow-farting unicorns.
- You can get away with it, ’cause you’re smarter than all the engineers at Google, Bing, Blekko and every information retrieval genius in the Northern Hemisphere.
- You suck at business. You want to go into a lively career sorting tobacco leaves by size and color.
- You’re entering the FBI witness protection program.
- You just saw the new Thundercats Movie, and it sucked out your will to live.
- You only read the first two paragraphs of this post.
My point: While there’s nothing evil about black hat SEO, and it can even serve a purpose, it is not a long-term business strategy.