Black hat SEO isn’t something you’ll want to boast about on the average resume, but that’s not to say that we shouldn’t have respect for those who indulge in it. Black hat SEO techniques are inherently extremely successful, so there must be something marketing professionals can learn from the dark side of optimisation. In this article, we’ll zone in on four of the key principles that can help marketers improve their skills and career prospects.
1. Making Money
Black hat tactics tend to be fast and furious: find something that works, exploit it and take the money while the going is good. Black hat optimisation is all about using loopholes to their full advantage before Google closes them down, and that inevitably means making a quick buck at breakneck speed.
While marketers need to stay on the ethical side of optimisation, it never hurts to remember that there’s a financial reward for getting it right. And sometimes, you’ll need to speculate to accumulate: success is rarely free. Marketing budgets are best spent on quality content, long-term link building and organic inbound marketing that will stand the test of time.
2. Self-Educating and Self-Improving
Many SEO analysts are self-taught, but there’s obviously no formal manual to black hat SEO, so those on the darker side will almost certainly have had to find the initiative to research their tactics independently.
Marketers can learn a valuable lesson: take the initiative, experiment and figure things out for yourself. If you’re finding it hard to advance in your marketing career, a little time spent on developing your skills could pay dividends when you next apply for marketing jobs.
3. Testing and Responding to Results
Good optimisation results in better rankings, but the time needed to achieve that improvement can vary dramatically depending on the tactics used. Often, black hat techniques involve quick tests that sometimes bear fruit and sometimes don’t. Tests that work may not work for long, and black hat SEO often means keeping a very close eye on tests and analytics so that problems can be nipped in the bud early.
Black hat SEOs keep a close eye on their stats and are happy to dump any site or domain that becomes toxic. While marketers are unlikely to experience any extreme swings, it doesn’t hurt to remember that testing, monitoring and analytics are the key to success.
4. Diversifying Tactics
Black hat SEOs rarely work exclusively in one niche. Often, a black hat specialist will run perfectly credible, white hat SEO campaigns on the side. They almost always have a background in online marketing, affiliate marketing and other disciplines.
By having multiple strings to their bow, black hat SEOs can ensure consistent revenue streams. And in the same way, a marketing specialist that knows how to create fantastic content, interpret analytics or make viral videos is a marketing specialist that no company will want to lose. By diversifying your skills, you can make yourself an asset to any organisation.
Moving Towards Ethical Marketing
Black hat techniques may not be ethical, but they’re almost always creative. That’s the main lesson marketers can take from the black hat community. Rather than following the pack, there’s always an opportunity to break free and do things your own way, and the marketing professionals who have that spark of inspiration are the ones that will advance even more quickly in their career.