On the web – no matter what your business – if you have a website, you have been faced with choices related to how you market and promote your site. Once upon a time the choices were pretty simple. To spam or not to spam. Email was the weapon of choice, because it was the only choice. Some people went the spam route with great success, some failed, and others ended up in court.
Years later, my inbox shows that spam is not going away, and marketers are still using email with reckless abandon. While we’ve gotten better as email users at filtering and avoiding the spam, it still finds its way in, doesn’t it? I think most of us would agree that sending unsolicited commercial email is still a black-hat approach to marketing, regardless of the success or failure of the spam campaign itself.
But the “black hat white hat” argument now affects far more than just email; From on-site SEO to link building to social media, the techniques and tactics for web promotion each offer multiple opportunities for promotion, and with that comes opportunities to choose – black hat or white?
The answer to the question “what color is your hat?” has become murkier over the years. What you consider white hat, I might consider black hat, or at least gray hat. And there is the challenge. Everyone has their own definition of what constitutes black, white, and gray hat web marketing.