There’s too many SEO / IM Gurus who tell you that they know the secret. They’ve been there, man, they’ve seen it, they understand. And they’ve absolutely, definitely, conclusively proved the following things:
Blackhat SEO is dead.
Whitehat SEO isn’t really whitehat nowadays.
Whitehat SEO is dead.
PBN’s are great for ranking.
You can’t hide a PBN from Google.
Backlinks don’t work.
Backlinks do work.
Exact match keywords don’t work
If you build a good site, they will come
Backlinks work but others will kill your site.
Content is king (I felt dirty just writing that one).
There are very few absolute truths in this industry and the line between “blackhat” and “whitehat” is getting steadily more blurred. The biggest remaining difference is the mentality required for each.
White hats have to do things by the book. Their bible is Google’s search engine optimization guide and their job is to accept what Google tells them is best practice and stretch that as far as they can. Anything that doesn’t follow this slavishly is no longer “white hat” – it’s just a murky shade of grey.
The black hat mentality is to accept nothing and question everything. Someone says “backlinks are dead” and there’s hundreds of people on the forum that’ll immediately start breaking that down and replying with “What sort of backlinks?” “All backlinks?” “Are you sure?” “You know I’m going to test this and prove you wrong, right?”
It’s all about exploring, testing, debunking and debating the results to find out if there’s any holes or if the theory’s watertight. Or if there are holes – why the holes are there and (most importantly) can they be exploited.