I once heard from a very well-respected SEO that just launched a product, BTW, that black hat isn’t really wrong. You can’t hurt a search engine. So, it’s OK to be “grey.”
When you think about it, it’s true. Who are you hurting? Well, Google probably won’t get jiggy with that idea. And in fact, has begun a war on spurious ventures on many different levels.
Here’s an article that talks about some of it: http://www.infinitepath.co.uk/20101206/seo/google-algorithm-changes-after-black-hat-seo-hits-new-lows/ (“Google Algorithm Changes After Black Hat SEO Hits New Lows,” December 6, 2010, Infinity Blog)
The article was prompted by a NYTimes article about a black hat guy, who’s really hurting people. Apparently, you don’t want to order eyeglasses or contacts from him! He wants you to complain to give him backlinks! And in fact, will send you to sites to do just that. Unhappy customers are providing better backlinking results for him in search and it’s all free.
And so Google changed the algorithm to make sure this stuff doesn’t work anymore. ‘Bout time.
It seems that Google is on the warpath against more than just black hat SEO, however. They’re also changing the algorithm to weed out purveyors in copyright infringed information, such as videos, for example. And P2P sites that offer copyrighted materials exchange that are now carrying Google AdSense won’t be much longer. And Google says that it’s going to take quicker action on getting the copyrighted material off the Web.
Want to waste more time on black hat shit?
It’s not worth the time and effort.