White-Hat SEO versus Black-Hat SEO - Search Engine Optimization

There is a fascinating discussion regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques - with an interesting debate between a white-hat SEO and a black-hat SEO - over at SEOmoz.

For those who don't know, the terms "white-hat SEO" and "black-hat SEO" come from the old Western movies, where the good guys had white hats and the bad guys had black hats.  White-hat SEO is doing everything in a way that keeps the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.) happy.  Black-hat SEO may involve any SEO techniques that would spam a search engine or potentially get a web site banned from Google or the other search engines.  Google is especially quick to ban web sites or put them in the "Google sandbox."  The Google sandbox kind of quarantines a web site that they suspect of black-hat SEO until proven different.

The discussion apparently started over in the SEO Chat Forum when a white-hat SEO proponent asked the question (regarding SEO), "Is Conflict a Legitimate Method of Promotion?"  Then the white-hat SEO and black-hat SEO got into an email debate/conversation about the merits of both SEO approaches with interesting insights into the business models and business viewpoints of both sides.  Basically the two views were:  build-a-long-term-stable-business versus grab-the-money-fast-while-you-can-because-who-knows-what-tomorrow-may-bring.

Rather than make any value judgements either way, I'll just say that it is a very interesting discussion that is well worth the read.  Check out the white-hat SEO versus black-hat SEO discussion at SEOmoz...