search marketing

Is Black Hat SEO a Sin?

black hat white hat SEO
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

black hat white hat SEOKurt of asked a great question in his blog post yesterday:

Is black hat SEO a sin?

If you’re not familiar with the term “black hat” that is the term used to describe search engine optimization techniques which the search engines have deemed to be against their rules. Like the old cowboy movies, “black hat” = bad, “white hat” = good.

So, is going against what Google, Bing and other search engines want you to do sinful?  Kurt writes:

Google is not God.
Google says they know where you are and they claim to know what you are thinking. Bing says they can make your decisions for you. They both do have a significant amount of economic and social power, but they aren’t God.

Is black hat SEO illegal?
The simple answer is, “No.” These are rules made up by the search engines for the search engines. It’s not illegal to sell links, stuff keywords, cloak pages, or manipulate the search engines in any way. However, there certainly can be consequences, serious ones, but those consequences are from the search engines not the state authorities. (To be clear, I’m not talking about things like data mining which may be illegal)

Head over to Christian SEO Guys to read the rest of the post, and don’t miss my comment about one SEO technique I think definitely crosses a moral line.

What do you think? Do you think certain SEO techniques are sinful or just a matter or risking the wrath of The Goog?

(To be clear, while we think this question about black hat SEO is worthy of debate, OurChurch.Com does not use any questionable or “black hat” SEO techniques when performing our Christian SEO services. We would never put our clients at risk of being penalized by search engines.)

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.


  • Yeah this is a great niche christian SEO 🙂 I'd say Church seo shuld be more focused on LBM but that's my humble opinino. Yeah I've been curious as to whether or not using SENuke is against God's standards. Gotta clarify my heart/mind. Thanks for just making this discussion

  • hese are rules made up by the search engines for the search engines. It’s not illegal to sell links, stuff keywords, cloak pages, or manipulate the search engines in any way

    • Correct. It isn't illegal. It is, however, against Google's (and Bing's) guidelines. So, while you aren't going to get into legal trouble, you may find yourself penalized or banned from Google and Bing.

  • Head over to Christian SEO Guys to peruse whatever is left of the post, and don't miss my remark around one SEO strategy I think certainly crosses an ethical line.

  • Presently i am learning SEO subject. Black SEO is definitely not Sin as stated in the article but following white hat techniques can definitely give you more good results than the black hat can give you. So go for white hat. Interesting post.

  • “The not God Google” is trying a lot to minimize the impact of the black hat seo techniques on organic search result. We should focus on quality content. Although a nice reference (link building tactics ) wont harm.

    • Hi, agree with you, but is there any more details of quality content? Since, you know, if we order the contents all by self, that would be a big budge, so is there any way easy and cheaper to get quality contents?

  • Hey Paul
    A very well-developed post on Black Hat SEO.
    The way you explained each point with necessary details and maintained a good balance between theory and practice is really commendable. We should avoid spam and black hat SEO techniques.
    I highly appreciate your hard work for creating this post.
    Thanks a bunch for sharing.

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  • Hey Paul
    Iinteresting information about Black Hat.
    But Black Hat SEO is a bad choice.
    If you are found using Black hat SEO your website may be penalized and even banned from search engines.

  • Hey Paul
    A very well-developed post on Black Hat SEO.
    The means you explained every purpose with necessary details and maintained an honest balance between theory and follow is admittedly commendable. we must always avoid spam and black hat SEO techniques.
    I extremely appreciate your diligence for making this post.
    Thank You So Much

  • Hey, Although Black Hat SEO Technique is against the guidelines of google, but it is taught and used by many. You can remain in the picture only till Google does not come to know. When it comes to selling and buying links , definitely google might not be knowing if your communication is not on Gmail or whatever google products. But if your communication is over google products than you may get into problem.
    Thanks for sharing the post

    • I wouldn’t say the aim of SEO is to “beat algorithm.” I would say it’s to work with the algorithm to get the best rankings possible. A lot of white hat SEO is fixing problems that prevent search engines from reading web pages, helping search engines understand what web pages are about, and improving the authority of a website. Do you think that is morally wrong? If so, why?

  • Thank you for sharing information about black hat technique. We should avoid spam and black hat SEO techniques. Can you please explain about grey hat technique?

    • “grey hat” or “gray hat” would be things that not clearly against search engines’ policies or clearly approved of by search engine policies but somewhere in between white and black hat.

  • Hey Paul,

    They way you have explained make sense, although it’s like hide and seek game. Better, we focus on creating quality content and solve user’s problem, rest will follow with basic and intermediate seo for small scale business.

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