SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is basically the art (or should that be science) of trying to get your web site or blog ranking high in the search engines.  Unfortunately it is also one of the biggest causes of spam that exists on the internet.  As anyone who has run or owned a website or blogs knows, it won’t be long before you are bombarded with made up comments and posts containing lots of links back to various websites.  In many cases these sites will be adult or pharmacy related.  The reason for these is that the search engines value a link back to a specific website and will rank it more highly based on the number a site has.  In general these dubious web promotion tactics are dubbed – ’black hat SEO’.

But are ’black hat’ SEO practices actually illegal or just unprofessional.  In the majority of cases there are few legal issues involved in SEO practices whether good or bad.  It has been proven however in many courts that repeated spamming of a website could be classed as ’digital trespass’ in that these comments are being submitted without permission and can cause a web site damage or to run more slowly.  In fact if some damage can be proven then there is the possibility to sue under ’trespass to chattels’.  Unfortunately in the vast majority of cases these legal options are fairly pointless.  They are difficult to prove and the culprits could be from anywhere across the world and almost impossible to track down.

If you are trying to practice SEO for your own sites then it’s worth checking out responsible SEO sites  not only will you learn techniques that work but you’ll also be able to stay clear of the various black hat techniques.  There are tools which you can protect yourself when testing and evaluating methods – most SEO professional use tools which allow you to change you IP address online like this.

Google for instance has been targeting highly optimised sites in certain changes to their search algorithm, these are making black hat techniques not only ineffective but in many cases damaging to your website.  Although there are few legal issues to some of the more dubious SEO practices, in reality they are less likely to work.

The only safe places to use these techniques currently, and this may change in the future is on powerful authority sites like Squidoo and Youtube. You can promote these much more aggressively, boosting videos on YouTube