Personally, I think that as such, dark SEO do use some methods or software approaches that might be helpful to us, but I wouldn't call that dark SEO. It's like saying that a vegan, who uses the same knife that a non-vegan uses to cut meat, eats meat. Clearly, that's not the case (though it's a case for separate knives for both of them )
Automation comes from software, which is just a tool. Tools can be used for any work, really.
Thus, in the end, it's still white hat SEO, possibly more automated and comfortable to work with. That being said, I haven't really dived into the realm of darker SEO. My only experience is that of Runet, which until late has been full of automated SEO approaches for buying daily/monthly links. Right now, the same automation approach (with custom software and all) is used to manage PPC campaigns, the process of buying permanent links, etc. I have no doubt that now that Yandex had included usability into one of its factors, SEOs will find a way to automate that as well
Quite possibly, it's better to stick to improving your white hat strategies, rather than delve into the darker areas, since it might help you gaining competitive advantage anyway:
It took me just seconds to spot the spam, and only minutes to inform my clients, who naturally are competitors of the spamming sites and have a vested interest in reporting the stuff with a view to hurting the competitor.
Black Hat SEO is simply more dangerous, and more complex if you don't want to look like a chump as those competitors did. My advice is not to touch 'black hat' techniques until you have mastered the other stuff, and most especially, have learnt to place the customer first. Be that the eCommerce customer, or the SEO service customer.
What do you think about using some methods, strategies, software and/or automation from black hat SEO?
Edited by A.N.Onym, 04 January 2012 - 08:38 PM.