Since the Wild West days of the late 1990s, SEOs have been grouped into two camps – the “black hats” and the “white hats”. Over time, these distinctions have become little more than caricatures, cartoon villains and heroes that only exist in our individual imaginations, usually embellished to suit our marketing agendas. Even when grounded in specific tactics, “black” vs. “white” is a lot like “conservative” vs. “liberal” – the definition changes with the year and every person you ask, and that definition almost always comes loaded with assumptions and judgments.
Unfortunately, too many business owners still choose their SEOs based on the hat they wear, even when that hat only comes out on sales calls. So, I’d like to ask some better questions. There are real strategic and tactical differences behind what we often think of as “white” and “black” hat SEO, and those differences are what you need to understand to make the right choices for your own business.
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