After a month or two of failure at internet marketing, hundreds of thousands of newbies choose to go the black hat way. We use this commentary to voice our opinion against black hat practices, and show you why, in the longer run, it is the ones with the white hats who come out on top.
What is Black Hat?
Black hat methods are ones intended to deceive people. A simple example is to get someone to come to your site promising a certain video, asking the visitor to fill in a form to view the video and, once you get the dollar or two for the form, claim that the video has been removed, when in reality it was never put up. Cookie stuffing, comment blasting, mass PMing, forced ad clicks, email spamming, etc all fall under the black hat category.
Methods that do not involve any deceitful means to make money are termed white hat. In nearly all cases, black hat methods are short term, while white hat methods require a longer period for ROI.
Morals and Ethics
When you are sitting on the porch of your house some day when you are old, looking at your kid playing with his expensive toys, do you want to look back at your life and know that everything you ever did was in some way harmful to someone else? Even in the short term, every time you use a black hat method you are causing a loss for someone. Where do you draw the line?
Possibility of jail term
You do not want to watch the world pass you by from behind bars, do you? No matter how unlikely, there is always the possibility of being fined and/or jailed. Even if you deem being jailed as a very unlikely event, remember that it is not uncommon for CPA companies or other sources to withhold your payment if they find you being engaged in unethical activities. In fact, after spamming methods, complaints of withheld payments are the most common on black hat forums.
No long term map
It is never possible to maintain a long term income with black hat methods. Internet policies are always changing to counter black hat tactics. As a result you always have to be on your feet to remain up to date on newer methods. A source of income that used to get you thousands of dollars a day can come crashing down in a matter of minutes, leaving you completely stranded and frantically searching for another means of employment.
Black hat SEO usage will only work for so long, email spamming will be effective only till mail companies introduce better filters, cookie stuffing will only work till e-commerce sites introduce better algorithms. Wouldn’t you rather have an income source that will get you passive income even if you go on vacation for a week? Wouldn’t you prefer not to have your income dry up by the time you return from the trip to Hawaii?
If you have been using black hat methods, it is time you sat back and pondered these points. It might be time to plan a white hat road map for the future.