SEO Geek stuff ;)
Why do seo publicly out other seo’s strategies? If it’s not for selfish competitive reasons, they are stupid. I mean, why unrinate in the well we are all drinking from?
I sometimes think Google lets you manipulate some verticals using pretty low quality methods with a view to learning how seo are doing them and preventing the effectiveness of these strategies in others verticals.
Google guidelines tell us what not to do, but the simple fact is ALL of the things Google say not to do WORK in a lot of cases – for a period of time, at least. If buying links were ineffective for instance, Google wouldn’t be telling us not to do it. Same with EVERY guideline in there.
My focus is on getting quality links from real sites – I have never bought a link on a particular website I have identified a want a link on (apart from a directory like Yahoo), but many do. My other main focus is building a good site for the long haul –
but I will, generally, take a link from anywhere, as long as I am not paying for the link. I don’t have a problem paying to syndicate content I create – but I don’t even do that much these days. EDIT – I don’t syndicate articles any more at all.
I prefer defensible strategies and that DOES MEAN I follow Google guidelines a lot – but that’s just smarts, not ethics. I am no white hat shock troop – but I am not into industrial spam these days either.
Ethical SEO is a misnomer (if that’s the right word) – in fact – it’s a non-statement. Google is just an automated top ten list – there’s no *&^%$ ethics involved in getting a site listed in there (if it’s legal).
When I see folks breaking the rules, I don’t complain about it. I learn from them. You can monitor tactics for a while and see if they incur a penalty, or if the site gets away with it. If it gets away with it, you can copy it in a better fashion, too.
I see plenty of stuff on a daily basis that works but shouldn’t – it doesn’t mean I do any of it.
Keep ‘outing’ for companies who might be a consumer scam or supports a listing that actually hurts other sites or injects malware – I have no problems with outing that stuff – but as far as outing seo for strategies (and I see a TON of them) I am firmly in the NO OUTING camp these days.
If you are outing other seo tactics – you’re a collaborator, simple as that, and this is war on a lot of fronts.
Brands will get away with stuff you can’t because Google would look stupid without big brands in their results – so dry your eyes.
(If this is beyond you – White Hats are folks who slavishly follow Google guidelines, Black Hats are those who don’t give a toss about them. What’s white today, could be black tomorrow. Black hat seo is typically thought of as ‘short term’, white hat seo is traditionally thought as as longer term. But that clearly depends on who is doing it!).
My friend Paul Madden has a similar discussion at his