McSpike - 7:02 pm on May 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
Then the question is, how did the other little guys become whales in the first place?
Well they started the internet business with way more wisdom than the little guy next to them, more resources, or just plain excellent idea that stuck. Either of the 3 or all of them combined.
OR, they slowly picked crumbs one by one until one day they struck gold that enabled them to accumulate resources. And in 10-15 years in business they gained wisdom as well. Now they have the knowledge and the resources. They can leave crumbs for the others to pick.
so if you are able to spend five times as much on content than the farms spend, maybe there is a different business model out there that will be more effective than SEO?
Actually, you spend five times more on content on white hat part of the biz and spend five times more on black hat techniques as well. You play on both sides. Therefore you are not relying on only white hat SEO.
Black hat enables you quick gains of substantial sums of money, while you are "on the run" all the time, when white hat helps you slowly establish a presence that shouldn't go away overnight, supposedly.
The truth is somewhere in between.
After years of doing this you realize you can get away with same type of black hat for years, while some of your white hat networks suffer loss of ranks (and you can't believe your eyes). Then next time some other white hat stuff may stand still, while your other black hat projects may suffer.
Just do both. It usually takes time to be able to sit on both chairs. Even more so going after other traffic sources as well, not just SEs. If not time, it takes resources.