I was in a meeting the other day with a company who was looking to retain our services. As we got deeper into the discussion, I learned that they were comparing us to other companies, some domestic and some off-shore. That’s fine and is an every day occurrence within our business.
What I found surprising was that several of the competitors were recommending techniques that we would unequivocally consider to be black hat SEO and making promises that were unrealistic. Their logic apparently was to take illicit measures that they felt would boost a client’s rankings in Google, even at the expense of damaging the credibility of their domain. Personally, I don’t think these businesses did an adequate job of explaining the risks involved, but rather sold the upside potential that these tactics may deliver.
I do not pretend to personally understand Google’s algorithm, but I am confident that the brainpower behind it is sufficient to continue to weed out techniques that are considered non-best practices, even if it doesn’t always happen overnight.
SEO should be an ongoing initiative within your organization. Shortcuts are not the answer. Don’t allow your site’s viability to be jeopardized by tactics that are very likely to backfire in the long run.