Is Black Hat SEO a Sin?

black hat white hat SEOKurt of ChristianSEOGuys.com asked a great question in his blog post yesterday:

Is black hat SEO a sin?

If you’re not familiar with the term “black hat” that is the term used to describe search engine optimization techniques which the search engines have deemed to be against their rules. Like the old cowboy movies, “black hat” = bad, “white hat” = good.

So, is going against what Google, Bing and other search engines want you to do sinful?  Kurt writes:

Google is not God.
Google says they know where you are and they claim to know what you are thinking. Bing says they can make your decisions for you. They both do have a significant amount of economic and social power, but they aren’t God.

Is black hat SEO illegal?
The simple answer is, “No.” These are rules made up by the search engines for the search engines. It’s not illegal to sell links, stuff keywords, cloak pages, or manipulate the search engines in any way. However, there certainly can be consequences, serious ones, but those consequences are from the search engines not the state authorities. (To be clear, I’m not talking about things like data mining which may be illegal)

Head over to Christian SEO Guys to read the rest of the post, and don’t miss my comment about one SEO technique I think definitely crosses a moral line.

What do you think? Do you think certain SEO techniques are sinful or just a matter or risking the wrath of The Goog?

(To be clear, while we think this question about black hat SEO is worthy of debate, OurChurch.Com does not use any questionable or “black hat” SEO techniques when performing our Christian SEO services. We would never put our clients at risk of being penalized by search engines.)

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

9 Responses to “Is Black Hat SEO a Sin?”

  1. I'm Christain so thank you for this post. i've been wondering.

  2. Yeah this is a great niche christian SEO :) I'd say Church seo shuld be more focused on LBM but that's my humble opinino. Yeah I've been curious as to whether or not using SENuke is against God's standards. Gotta clarify my heart/mind. Thanks for just making this discussion

  3. Great information sharing with us thanks for sharing this.
    aywebtech

  4. I'd say Church seo shuld be more focused on LBM but that's my humble opinino. – See more at: #sthash.gMauDEnX.dpuf">http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/12/is-black-hat

  5. seo white label Reply Jun 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    hese are rules made up by the search engines for the search engines. It’s not illegal to sell links, stuff keywords, cloak pages, or manipulate the search engines in any way

    • Correct. It isn't illegal. It is, however, against Google's (and Bing's) guidelines. So, while you aren't going to get into legal trouble, you may find yourself penalized or banned from Google and Bing.

  6. Head over to Christian SEO Guys to peruse whatever is left of the post, and don't miss my remark around one SEO strategy I think certainly crosses an ethical line.

  7. Presently i am learning SEO subject. Black SEO is definitely not Sin as stated in the article but following white hat techniques can definitely give you more good results than the black hat can give you. So go for white hat. Interesting post.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Is black hat SEO a sin: revisited | Christian Web Trends Blog - Jul 8, 2011

    […] Tweet this article 0 ShareBeing a theology student, the discussion as to whether Black Hat SEO is a sin intrigued me academically, especially given some of the reasoning behind it. My suspicion (which I […]

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