Most link building by many SEO firms is just not "natural" and is in fact blackhat according to Google. If you need to pay for it, ask for it, comment for it or insert a hyperlink in your article to gain it, in which case you are manipulating Google search results and Google terms that as blackhat. You simply will need to view the countless video's by Matt Cutts to realize that if you do any belonging to the above, then you definitely are creating links manually and violating Google's TOS.
It simply baffles me how many SEO experts will quickly denounce Cloaking as "unethical" or against Google's TOS including label it as spam which manipulates search results but then each day create artificial, manual or software generated backlinks for clients.
If you're distributing countless articles with links or posting on blogs/forums to get backlinks or using automated backlinking software, isn't that also spamming to control google search results?
There is also a silly mindset that whitehat SEO is without risk and blackhat is totally full of risks. Really? How many whitehat sites, that supposedly conformed to all Google's TOS, suddenly lose their ranking and their business when Google decides to complete a major algorithm update? Ha! Where would be the reward for loyalty from Google?
So does "blackhat" or being "unethical" really exist anymore? Isn't this really about traffic, conversions and surviving within an ever tightening monopoly created by Google for which we now are left with few other options, unless to line the pockets of Google shareholders.
The talk on whitehat versus blackhat has become de-emotionalized and fewer religious overtones over the years. When I started off with SEO services back in the nineties, the controversy was all about "ethical" versus "unethical" SEO. Plenty of hard core reactions then to what was, after all, merely a technological, not a theological or moral issue.
Add to of the fact that ever growing domination of Google which marketers are forced to deal with online but it all becomes clear. You can arguably say that online commerce as a whole has matured, as, certainly, has the SEO industry proper.
As of late, once we speak with clients they happily consider the options at any time you ask them whether or not they express a desire to choose a whitehat or perhaps a blackhat approach. Clients will openly inquire about efficacy, the relative risks involved therefore on. So it's a virtually unexcited, hands-on discussion, which explains a good thing as far as we are concerned.
We're experiencing a lot more openness towards cloaking as an SEM strategy when compared to 5 years ago. Generally, corporations aren't as impressed or as easily fooled by the major search engines' (especially Google's) fear, uncertainty and doubt tactics regarding anything they don't like.
The drawn-out argument that blackhat is risky and whitehat is safe is ludicrous to the extreme. There is no agreement by Google that whitehat SEO will bestow you good rankings. Like there is no pledge that if you control good rankings, Google will ensure that you enjoy ranking consistency subsequent to an update.
Ethical or whitehat behavior only makes sense amongst equals. Subsequently, as an online concern, are you in actuality an equal to Google? No, you're not – the odds are stacked sturdily against you.