“SEO standards” are a set of SEO best practices and risk ratings; the idea of having no-seo-copySEO standards is ludicrous and out-dated. Professional SEO services that try to follow these supposed standards are handing their business over to the competition.  If everyone follows these standards, there’d be no way for any clients to reach the top because all clients would be receiving the same set of coding, content, etc as everybody else.  And so on, and so forth ad nauseam.

Oh, and my favorite – black hatters and grey hatters are just those looking for an “extra edge”; white hatters are low risk takers, not willing to put their butts on the line for results.

Recently, I read an article about SEO risk factors vs. SEO standards.  The author’s belief is that professional SEO services that comply with a set of standards will lose their competitive edge.  “If everyone does the same thing, it’s like being the SEO version of an amputee.”  What a wonderful argument supporting black hat tactics.

For those that are new to SEO, let me point out that SEO is a highly competitive business, and it does help to have a “little extra” in your bag.  However, this little extra doesn’t have to include keyword spamming or any number of questionable practices.

Let’s look at risk taking, shall we?  Professional SEO services that follow a set of standards may spend months on one project.  We are as susceptible to mistakes and errors as the next person, and those mistakes can cost us.  There are times when one mistake, by one person, can lose us a client.

So, after several months of working with the client, coding, research, etc, that one mistake could cost us everything.  In other words, being an SEO specialist – especially if you run your own company – is high risk in and of itself.  There is never any guarantee that your client will hit number one, and believe me, most clients hire professional SEO services with just that goal in mind.

Is keyword spamming, link-farming and the like necessary to reach that first page of search engine results?  No.  In my mind, the argument at the beginning of this article against professional SEO services using a set of standards is a way of explaining away laziness.

It is definitely more time consuming to check the links for PR value, run the KEIs and competitor analysis, etc than to build a page full of keywords.  It takes dedication and consistency for a “standardized” long-term campaign than to use white on white keywords or link-farming or other “questionable practices”.

However, while black hat tactics might show more quickly, they put the customer at risk.  White hat tactics are slow to evolve, hence the dedication and consistency, but the customers don’t have to worry about being penalized.

The author ends his rant with “Deal with dirty SEOs like SEOs.  If you don’t like them, outrank them.”

To that I respond – I have.

Black hatters can brag all they want about “high-risk” campaigns, but their clients deal with that risk and receive the consequences, not them.  White hat professional SEO services understand that ultimately, it’s the client who will rise or fall on our merits – it’s a point of pride and our business to give them our best, as well as our privilege.