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SEO Practices in Austin: The Debate Wages On

We’ve already told you about the JC Penney black hat SEO debacle that involved an unscrupulous Austin SEO company. But now, one Forbes blogger is actually defending black hat SEO practices – leaving many in the Web development community to question just what is going on in the field. An excerpt from the article reads:

“Thus Joe Silverman, CEO of New York Computer Help, an IT outsourced service company, found himself several years ago embroiled with a black hat SEO firm that, unbeknownst to him, exchanged links with non-related websites. “There were sports and apparel company websites that had our website link on it, boosting our ranking in a non-Google policy-like fashion,” he tells Selling It. “At the time, we had no clue what the black hat SEO company was doing until one day, our ranking dropped significantly.” Silverman then hired an SEO company that used white hat techniques to untangle the unrelated links and the subsequent damage it caused. The process, he says, took years.”

If you look deeper into it, though, you realize that this writer is actually talking about link exchanges to non-related websites, which is normally an acceptable practice and not necessarily a black hat SEO technique. She is not talking about the practices of the unethical Austin SEO firm that got JC Penney in hot water. So if link exchanges aren’t black hat SEO, what is?

As our Dallas SEO blog told you before, the hallmarks of black hat SEO include “cloaking,” using hidden text, or taking dishonesty to the next level by hacking sites for links or redirecting traffic via hacks.

In fact, one Search Engine Watch expert says there’s a big difference between black hat SEO and what happened with JCPenney, which he calls “just bad SEO.” Link exchanges like those described in the Forbes article are just part and parcel of the Search Engine Optimization game – and, he says, always have been. The key is to avoid what he calls “link schemes,” which are methods of generating one-way links that Google disapproves of. Also not okay? Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. And that’s according to Google, not the writer. Take note: Our Texas SEO company does nothing of the sort! We want your website to appeal to Google, not deceive it.

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