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Even White Hats Are Black Hats

Even White Hats Are Black Hats

No, I’m not going to argue that by building a link white hats are black hat or by not following a guideline so deep you have to look at leaked search quality documents just to see them… but I will be arguing a point that a lot of marketers (because, at the end of the day.. You aren’t an SEO, you’re a marketer) miss out on, especially online.

Even if you follow some sort of code of ethics or have an opinion on what is ethical, what isn’t etc.. You’re still a black hat.

What is the Definition of Marketing?

To understand this post, you must first ask how you define marketing.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, “Marketing” is defined as:

the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

So inherently, any form of marketing is promotion of a product or service. It doesn’t matter if you “add value” or follow the rules, your end goal is to still sell and make money from selling. That in its self, is unethical.. because anything you do to accomplish the goal isn’t to better the surroundings, it’s to make profit.

You Think The White Hats Are White Hat?

If you seriously believe that people who promote and showcase white hat strategies are white hat, then you’re very, very wrong.

Want some examples?

Michael King or “MyCool King” is one of the biggest Moz guest posters there is, he even spoke at a MozCon! So why is he then scraping and mass favoriting/unfavoriting any tweets with “SEO” in them? –

mycool king favourties

Oh right, because he gains followers and then profits from building a following.

Rand Fishkin is completely anti-black hat, but you think this kind of linking to his wife’s blog with partial match anchors is within the guidelines?

linking moz

You think he cares? Probably not, as his wife’s blog now ranks on page 4 for “travel blog” and of course #1 for “serendipitous travel blog” 



Not great rankings, but the links provided give massive overall domain authority (DA 53 / TF 27) with the site’s best links coming from the one’s Rand implemented for her. I wonder what’d happen to the site’s overall rankings if those links were removed?

Patrick Coombe has blogged a ton (including associating black hat seo with penalties before getting into anything else) on his companies blog. I don’t doubt Patrick is a good guy and a good marketer, but when he calls out black hat SEO and then has links like these? –

elite-strategies 1

elite-strategies 2

With massively obvious footprints. You can see that his companies link profile isn’t all that legit.

Anyway, that’s enough ousting for today.. It’s purely to prove that even the whitest of white hat is still black hat.

Don’t Listen, Don’t Worry, Don’t Over Think

We’ve been running a series of Ads on my Facebook page for the BH.C Beta and one of the comments we had on an Ad really stuck with me –

facebook convo

I can almost smell the fear dripping of this guy..

How many times have you guys heard that black hat SEO will get you penalized? How many times have you been scared to buy or build links to your site? We even had a few guy in the BH.C Skype Group scared to even look at SAPE outside of it’s usual context.

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.

You think as a newbie coming into SEO/IM with $500 to your name and a 9-5 job taking up 95% of your time, that you’ll ever be able to quit that job using white hat SEO that takes months and months of research, development and a bit of side luck? HELL NO.

White hat is when you have more money to deal with the more problems you’ll get from doing it.

Black hat is a poor man’s game to get rich.

P.S. None of this Matters

For too long now, people have actually cared about ethics and morals and codes.. It simply doesn’t matter.

For every code of ethics, there’s someone out there that purposely breaks them.

For example, in journalism there is supposedly a code of ethics to protect the quality and integrity of journalism.. Yet why then, is the most popular type of journalism to this date yellow journalism?

Break the rules, profit, and never look back.

  • Matthew Heffernan

    I agree Charles. Do what works. Do what brings results. Do what brings revenue and more importantly profit. “Black hat”.. makes it sound so naughty doesn’t it. It is just a big scaremongering tactic by Google or the would be goody two shoes who for some reason put” ethics” before making a sale or profit.. I am writing this on my tablet out in my backyard having a drink, otherwise I would have researched” black hat” in terms of marketing, before IM. For eternity, marketers have used whatever tools and methods available too them to make a sale.. To upsell and maybe sell products to people who don’t really need them. “Call now and you can have this amazing peice of shit that you will surely regret buying within a week for Only 3 EASYpayments of $299”. Marketing.. and “search” for that matter, predate google. They are just trying to influence it for their own gain. Rather than leave it to the savvy, gamesmanship of “black hat” marketers. My only hat is my “profit” hat.

    • http://GodOfSEO.Co/ Charles Floate

      Exactly, there’s a reason why cold calling was invented, why email spam was, why black hat seo is.. because they all make money.

  • Oliver

    What issues were you referring to here Charlie –> “White hat is when you have more money to deal with the more problems you’ll get from doing it.”

    For me, the term ‘white hat’ is just something I use when trying to refer to certain internet marketing activities which some online marketers refer to as falling under the ‘white hat’ category… that’s it. Of course, everything is black hat if you dig into it. I might start using other terms for those IM activities though (such as outreaching, broken link building, guest posting etc) as using the term ‘White Hat’ seems to bring up an argument of ethics… which is not the context I use it in at all.

    • http://GodOfSEO.Co/ Charles Floate

      I was referring to doing white hat.

      Moz has built out this mantra of doing white hat as if every company under the earth as the marketing budget & technical team of Coca Cola..

      There’s a reason why most of the big online companies used black hat online marketing to grab their billion dollar valuations – Have a quick gander at Airbnb, Expedia etc.. and you’ll see they all used some kind of black hat marketing to grow, now they have the budgets.. It’s all white.

      • Oliver

        Yeah – that’s actually been the path I’ve taken (and take still) with my sites. I was just wondering what specific problems you’ve seen from doing the traditional ‘white hat’ techniques, just for my own continued learning. Interesting that the big boys used that path too.

  • Alistair Cochrane

    “That in its self, is unethical.. because anything you do to accomplish the goal isn’t to better the surroundings, it’s to make profit.”

    Next time I hear that guy down the market shout out the price of potatoes I’ll be sure to tell him how downright evil he is 😉

  • Raii

    Nuff said.
    “Make money hat SEO is the only kind that matters.” – Jacob King

  • Ross Mc Guigan

    Charles, coining it in, keep up the good work!!!!

    As an SEO novice can you suggest some reading material for me to bring me up to speed? (I know the very basics)

    Also could you advise as to how i go about automatically favouriting specific hashtags on twitter as displayed by ‘mr strictly white hat king’ in your above example?

    Cheers :)

    • http://GodOfSEO.Co/ Charles Floate

      Check out my blog –, just have a look around and you’ll find tons of stuff.

      If you have any questions, look around on the BH.C Forums & ask away! :)

      Tons of tools out there – TargetPattern, Twitfox etc..

  • YourMum

    *sigh* Seriously? Did Moz bully you as a child or something – it’s kind of old

  • Jay Johnson

    Bigger, Stronger, Faster.

    Punchline: cheat your way to the top.

  • Daniel Neubauer

    Well said and written Charles. Keep them coming my friend.

  • Lol

    Yeah! Way to share more bullshit chuck! How’s jail going for you? I really enjoyed the article about you on BBC that exposes you for the piece of shit you are:

  • Karthik Varadaraj

    For our website till now we tried white hat methods none worked. Our PR still remains the same. Dont know whether to try black hite for PR improvement?