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Aidan
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Guys before making a judgement on your own hat colour you should know that just about all link building is done with the aim of improving a page’s SERPs position and pagerank and it is therefore against Google’s guidelines.

True ‘Black Hats’ would dismiss the stuff Nick talks about as normal practice, not black hat at all, just another form of link building to help improve rankings (though all link building done to improve rankings appears to be outside the guidelines).

The true Black Hats are actually into much scarier stuff: cloaking, header response manipulation, IP hijacking, link bombing, botnets, identity swapping and more…

If you want to go completely white hat then you’ll need to stop thinking about SEO in the first place and remove your signature links from your profiles here at Flying Solo.