The SEO community has been going through an amazing transformation over the past few years. Black hat methods are being phased out relentlessly and people are starting to really focus on community and content.
I’ve been madly impressed by the content being produced and I wouldn’t want it any other way. However, I’ve noticed some false beliefs sprouting up, especially amongst new SEO’s who take heavy value into what they read.
White Hat is Not Invincible
This is the biggest problem. Just, because you’re completely white hat, does not mean you’re untouchable. Several e-commerce sites took a hit by the panda update for using the same description blurb for products associated with several different categories. This is a very innocent mistake that could’ve happened to anyone.
Whether you’re white hat or not, you need to be aware of every single Google update. You’re not safe just because you “didn’t do anything wrong.”
Preaching White Hat Causes Paranoia
I’ve gotten pretty frustrated with a few SEO’s (and clients) that think one tiny imperfect link is going to cause a ranking apocalypse. It’s ok to let a few imperfections slip through. It’s unnatural for every single link to be perfect.
You need to have a mix of everything. That includes directories, guest posts, links on mediocre sites, non-exact anchors, brand name links, etc. You need it all. This leads me to my next point.
If you’re only getting absolutely perfect, pearly white links, you need an incredible budget. Otherwise, you have to learn to be lenient in your outsourcing. Outsourcing is going to have flaws. Just like I wrote above, it’s ok to have a few imperfections.
Think of it like stock photos. They’re perfectly shot photos with perfect looking people… and no one likes them. They don’t feel real.
Thinking “Black Hat Will Always Fail”
White hat posts always talk about black hat techniques failing or how Google will eventually catch up. There are black hat methods that mimic white hat so well, human eyes couldn’t catch it. You just don’t know about them, because people will never out themselves.
It’s important to be aware these techniques can work, otherwise you’re giving black hats the upper hand.
Ignorance Leaves You Vulnerable
Lastly, if you’re oblivious to “good” black hat techniques, you’re leaving yourself incredibly vulnerable. There are some horrible things your competitors could do if they wanted. For example, misrepresenting your company and asking for your link to be removed.
If you don’t know about these methods, you won’t know what warning signs to look for. Keep that in mind the next time you ignore a black hat post, because you think it’s useless information.
It’s ok to look at the top players in the industry as role models, but you need to give everyone some attention. Read topics about everything, even ones you don’t agree with. From there, you can make your own unique assessments. If you simply follow what everyone else is doing, then you’ll always be behind them.