Black Hats Going White?

A reporter asked me recently if the black hat and white hat branches of SEO
are getting further apart these days. I replied I thought things were coming
more together.

More white hats seem to feel things they might have deemed wrong in the past
to be more acceptable, while some black hats are deciding some aggressive
tactics might not be worth continuing with. Meanwhile, "bad" techniques like
cloaking suddenly don’t seem so black hat when Google itself
with some sites to allow it. The world of SEO just getting more
gray, to me.

A Whiter Shade of Black
from Gord Hotchkiss over at MediaPost is a good
piece on this, looking both at how white hats can enjoy the "guilty pleasure" to
talking with "these dark magicians" but how his dark hat dinner companion
conversely found things getting harder and wanting to go "legit."

One point of dispute. While Gord feels the
Nov. 2003
Google Florida Update
was the biggest blow to spam and dark hats, I have the
exact opposite view. In the wake of Florida, many, many people I talked with and
read commenting on forums felt like they had been trying to go the good content

When Florida hit and Google stayed quiet about the mystery "signals" in
place, I felt like that made it an open season for some people to feel like
"anything goes" with Google, not less. Just my take.

Want to comment or discuss? Visit our forum thread,
Getting More Gray?

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