wheel - 7:30 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: wheel at 8:02 pm (utc) on Nov 7, 2012]
It's not about white hat. It's about risk management. White hat should lower the risk and allow you to keep a site longer. Black hat needs to be scalable. It's not 100% either way though, blackhat can last and white hat can be penalized.
Suggesting white hat is the way to go is as wrong as crowing about being black hat. One should properly be doing both.
The two are not mutually exclusive - in fact if you're only doing one then you are missing the boat - including the 100% spammers. White hats should be dabbling in spamming, and spammers should be able to white hat. If you can't white hat as a spammer, then I'd suggest your days are numbered too.
For example, I bought a defunct blog this year for $500. Left it stand, with two changes:
1) I put up a 'guest blog post' page for the spiders
2) I did some searches on top terms and found some sites that clearly had paid backlinks. And I linked to them for free.
Now when I get guest blog post requests, I just respond with a price. Surprisingly the blog is now active again with regular content - from 100% paid blog posts that aren't as bad as I'd have expected. And people buying links now see my site in the backlink profile of their competitors. So, selling links.
The site turned a profit in six months and is going strong. So what if Google smacks it in six months? In the meantime I make money and learn.
That site times 50 is a living. But frankly I don't have the time to scale that as I spend much more of my time doing traditional link building and working on my business.
>>>But for those of us looking to make $10k/mo. and up.....and have a big enough bankroll to play the cat-and-mouse game with Google.....party on!)
Laying your brass balls on the table in this game is a guaranteed way to look foolish. Who is that supposed to impress? I make more than that on one single white hat site I own and it's not even my main business line - it's a sideline I use to promote my main business line. So it's perhaps less impressive than you may think. And I know my income is dwarfed by many others here. I've sat next to people who make $750/year.
[edited by: wheel at 8:02 pm (utc) on Nov 7, 2012]