When I first met Google engineer Matt Cutts a long time ago it was at SES NYC he was sitting with 2 of the most notorious blackhats there are, daveN and ChrisR. Anyway I walked up and introduced myself but barely got out a Jeremy when Matt said “ohh shoemoney please sit and join us”.
I grabbed a seat and sat down and Matt looks over at me and asks “so what is working for you in the blackhat area”. I was completely shocked lol I didnt know what to say… Anyway all of us talked about stuff (that I will never talk publicly about of course) and I started to realize at that point this whole white hat blackhat whatever bullcrap is all just ridicules. The real deal is that the top notch “blackhats” really get it.
My father in law told me one time – “There are areas defined as wrong and areas that are defined as right. In the middle of those 2 areas there is a whole lot of people making a whole lot of money”. He was and still is totally right.
Honestly how hard is Whitehat SEO ? Its fricking cake is what it is. Its sad that companies actually pay people for whitehat seo advice but whatever. I guess they need something to blow the budget on.
In fact I would go out on a limb to say that I do not know any webmaster making over 7 figures a year that has not dabbled in the “dark arts”.
I guess what I am saying is if you are starting out with seo dont be afraid to experiment and test and dont listen to all these idiots who thing that you just build a great site and do the 10 step seo news letter program and everything will work out….. cause it wont take the bull by the horns and dont be afraid to test.
On the otherhand dont be a retard and wonder why your sites are banned that you were hiding text or cloaking for… or atleast chalk it up to a learning experience of what works and what does not.