Categorized | Domaining Tips

White Hat SEO = Oxymoron

Posted on 14 October 2010 by Andrei

I’ve received quite a few requests to offer “white hat SEO” advice and before publishing a series of “SEO Tips for Domainers” posts on, I thought I’d make one thing perfectly clear: there’s no such thing as “white hat SEO”, it’s an oxymoron. If you’ve paid for as little as one link, then I’m sorry but your hat is no longer white and here’s why:

White Hat SEO = Honest Cheating = Oxymoron

You guys know I don’t like to turn posts into novels, so I’ll keep it simple:

1) Search engines want ALL links to be editorial (in other words, they want website owners to link to you because they like your content or something about your website and NOT because you asked them to or because you paid for a link).

2) Most people use the term “white hat SEO” when they want to make it clear that they have playing by the rules as their business model.

3) Most people use the term “black hat SEO” when they refer to someone who is (in their opinion) not playing by the rules. In other words people who generate LOTS of links through methods such as commenting on thousands of blogs, forums and so on.

Unfortunately for “white hat” webmasters, they are NOT playing by the rules and search engine representatives have made it clear on more than one occasion that if you’re not relying on editorial links exclusively, your hat is no longer white.

Let’s assume that you own and write some excellent blog posts. Let’s also assume that 50 people land on your website each month via direct navigation and that they like your posts so much that they decide to link to them from their own websites. Congratulations, you can consider yourself a white hat webmaster. Again, I said “webmaster” and not “SEO” because there’s no such thing as a white hat SEO.

Why? Because link building is the most important part of SEO and by building links, you’re automatically breaking the rules. Did you submit a blog post of yours to one social bookmarking site? Did you ask someone to link to you at least once? In that case, I’m sorry I have to break it to you but your are “officially” a black hat SEO!

Now, of course, some link building methods are shadier than others (some are even illegal) but that’s irrelevant to the topic at hand. The bottom line is that unless ALL of your links are editorial, you’re a black hat SEO. So let’s leave hypocrisy aside as of this point, shall we?

18 Comments For This Post

  1. Xdreamer Says:

    This is so true and it’s funny how almost noone is whiteh anymore. Funny but ttrue.

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  3. SEOaluuha Says:

    Black hat SEO will not last long, only to do a white cap gains will be long

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    What about blogging, optimizing images, videos etc. Which social networking and media sharing sites…..

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