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Manchester SEO firm I-COM Asks Big Questions of the Industry


One of the North West’s most prominent specialists in SEO, Manchester-based firm I-COM, has published a blog post that seeks to ask the big questions of the industry in which it operates.

In industry parlance, the world of SEO can be separated into two camps. ‘Black hat’ companies do whatever it takes to get their clients to number one on Google, regardless of quality guidelines outlined by the search engine itself. By doing this, they offer quick results, yet risk sites they are responsible for being dropped from the listings.

In contrast, ‘white hat’ firms abide by the rules of Google and deliver results in the long-term, without the risk of repercussions.

However, in a recent post on the I-COM blog, the firm’s Head of SEO Mindy Gofton has questioned whether such a definite line exists between ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ SEO strategies, and whether Google effectively upholds its own regulations.

“After examining sites in a particularly competitive niche using the new SEOmoz linking tool, one thing that struck me was the aggressive nature of the link building strategies employed by the highest-ranked sites – even those which purport to use ‘white-hat’ techniques.”

“It would seem that, even though Google tells us that ‘black hat’ SEO doesn’t work, it clearly does, even in the long term. Otherwise, these sites wouldn’t have topped the rankings for competitive keywords for such long periods.”

“At I-COM, we always advise clients against using ‘black-hat’ techniques such as keyword-stuffing and purchasing irrelevant links solely for the purpose of improving rankings, and still believe that ‘white hat’ SEO is the best way to develop a high quality, relevant SERPs.”

“What I would question, is the reason these techniques still work. If these high-ranked, in some cases respected, companies are using ‘black hat’ methods and breaking Webmaster Guidelines, why haven’t they been penalised? The answer may be that in cases where the violations aren’t actually damaging relevancy of the search results, Google turns a blind eye because cleaning things up wouldn’t make much of a difference to user-experience.”

Manchester SEO, web design and development firm I-COM focuses on assigning expert individuals to work closely with UK businesses, helping them to improve their online presence and offering an outstanding ROI. For more information, visit the company’s website at or read the blog at


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