To Go White Hat or Black Hat SEO is not an ethical decision it’s a business decision
The aim of the white hat seo is to unnaturally manipulate the Google results page in their favour. The aim of the black hat seo is exactly the same.
Where it differs is the white hat keeps within the Google guidelines and the black hat does not.
Therefore it is inaccurate to call the black hat unethical as it is absurd to allow an American Corporation whose legal obligation is to its share holders to define what is ethical and what is not ethical behaviour.
It is not an ethical decision to employ black hat techniques, or white hat. It is a business decision.
Sometimes I use what is erroneously called black hat techniques, sometimes I use white hat. I use what works.
What works is defined by how Google works.
I would have no problem being 100% whitehat if blackhat made little business sense.
When I realised that many seo agencies who publicly said they were whitehat but were ranking by employing blackhat techniques I realised it wasn’t about slavishly following what Matt Cutts told us to do, in fact in some niches if you follow the Google guidelines you will lose.
When well known newspapers sell links for thousands of pounds with impunity you have to ask, what exactly is going on here?
I don’t do paid links as I have other skills which I can use. But I have to compete against sites which do buy links. I have no problem with that per se, but why doesn’t Google level the playing field.
Unload the dice and make the buying of links in line with the Terms of Service. Because right now it’s the big boys which can get away with buying links whilst the small guy is terrified of getting caught.
Now that is what I call unethical.