So a friend of mine and I were having a discussion last night about SEO and we got on to the topic of Blackhat versus Whitehat. My friend, being a web developer, had some notion of what SEO is, but he was having trouble articulating precisely the difference between Black and Whitehat. His definition of Blackhat SEO as the process of making less relevant or irrelevant web content appear above more relevant content. It is my feeling that this is too broad a definition of Blackhat, as relevance is completely circumstantial and subjective. My own definition is purposely abusive link and content building operations for the purpose of ranking highly. But this got me thinking...is abusive behavior just arbitrarily defined by some group of engineers? Is it even possible to define Blackhat in the abstract, or rather is it a very particular behavior that depends completely on the circumstances under which it is brought about? Is it merely a legal definition? It's surprising to me how difficult it was (is) for me to articulate what is so obvious when I see it. A site like Ripoff Report, for example, instantly strikes me as Blackhat, but it's tough to say what makes it Blackhat... To those of you out there who consider yourself to be Blackhat -- Why do you consider yourself as such? Is it because of the tactics that you use? Is it your intentions? Your general strategy? Is it something else entirely? So Black Hat World, I pose to you a question: What exactly is Blackhat? Discuss.