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If Black Hat Equals Cool, Then White Hat Equals Paid

Affiliate marketing is a search industry niche that often gets a bad rap from both the engines and search pros--warranted or not. Chad Frederiksen wonders whether the benefits of being a "black hat" affiliate are worth the time spent evading discovery and the possibility of having all that work nullified. "People seem to associate black hat as the 'cool guys,'" Frederiksen says. "But the ultimate question to me is what is your goal? To be cool or to make money?"

If it's about making money, then white hat is the way to go, Frederiksen says. Both strategy paths take time and effort, but helping your affiliate site flourish through non-spammy tactics is the only way to build sustainability.

And if you're using unscrupulous tactics, you're fighting against a constant stream of programs and people designed to thwart your efforts. "On the other hand, when you are doing WH, you have a whole team of people working with you who want you to make money," Frederiksen says. "Account managers, PPC reps, search engine techs, all want you to succeed if you are following the rules because it makes them more money. I like those odds better."



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