search marketing

Is Black Hat SEO a Sin?

black hat white hat SEO
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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.)

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

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.

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