So I'm new to internet marketing, SEO and all that stuff. Someone told me to check out blackhatworld so here I am. I'm trying to read as much as possible but some of the stuff like special terms and nicknames dont make sense to me. Every other word is something about tier 1 or something, it's a big confusing. But if I am not mistaken, black hat is the "evil" method of using spamming tools and article spinning to make thousands of similar articles to build links and to get the website to rank high on Google SERP right? Whereas white hat is more "clean" using social media, forum postings, guest blogging and posting, etc. and so called "natural" traffic that Google suggests? Am I wrong? I have a lot to learn but I'm not for or against either method. I find it impossible for someone to go purely white hat on their own in their sparetime to build up their website rank, that would take forever. You would have to hire people to somewhat "automate" the process or get people like VAs to do work for you which kind of defeats the purpose of Google's "intent" of having natural viral and popular content that's relevant to rank higher. People and companies are buying traffic in the form of either PPC, Adsense or hiring someone to do SEO whether it's black or white so that's just my personal take on it. That being said, do most black hat seos users believe in short term website philosophy? Like get as many links and ranking as possible, rank high, make money for a few months and expect to get dropped by Google and start over? Or are there effective black hat strategies and tools that are used for long-term success without the risk of getting dropped? I'm talking clients and websites that are branded, important and lots of investment goes into it, not just crappy wordpress sites here and there for affliliate links. good example would be a TRUE ecommerce store, with branding, marketing, manufacturing and or retail trying to make it into the retail industry in a niche. With sites like this, is black hat not recommended? TL;DR Is blackhat SEO okay for long term, important websites or is it more for affiliate and adsense and bad websites that bring in loads of cash for a few months, crash and repeat? May sound like a stupid question but I really have NO idea where to start, very overwhelming would be an understatement. Starting my very first website ever and it's going to be an ecommerce website where I dropship and brand so there's going to be a good amount of investment in both content and overall customer satisfaction. Possible goal to be a big player in the niche (True, valued company) in a few years. Not sure how blackhat seo will affect the site. And on top of that every thread about the technical tools and details are very overwhelming. I'm set on making a very nice website and becoming an authority or big player in a niche as an ecommerce store because it's stable once you succeed, theres value in it and I can pour my heart and soul into something I really care about. But Im not opposed to other forms of making money I just dont know how. Problem is, when gauging if the niche is too big or small, demand and competition, I pull up backlinks and PR that's about it. I dont know much about how "good" the backlinks are, if I can beat my competition, how proofed it is against google, etc. so it's hard to gauge how much time and money it will take. Which methods and tools to use to get to a high rank, etc.