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Old 06-30-2005   #21
Gurtie
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>> But the rest of of us can.

no, I don't think you can. I think you can interpret my action in a way that suits your perception of me, but that's not the same thing at all.

Besides which, and with all the respect in the world, what you, anyone here, or the hounds of hell themselves know or don't know about why I obtained a link is absolutely totally irrelevant unless the search engine algo can determine my intent.

It cant. Which was my original point.

Sorry this is now way off topic.
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Old 06-30-2005   #22
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I god I don't want to but I can feel myself being sucked into this.

No.

I'm saying that if SE's cannot tell my intent, by your argument they cannot tell if I'm spamming. I'm attaching no rights or wrongs to that it's simply a statement.

When an entire moral highground is based upon a perception of something which at best can be decided on a balance of probability as to what someone intended thats a dangerous argument.
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Old 06-30-2005   #23
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> The engines want quality content, and natural IBL's. They want ontopic links.<

This is the all-time, absolute, bottom-of-it-all, complete crux of this particular never-ending, circular debate. This is the common perception and it is WRONG.

Conventional wisdom would seem to dictate that the engines, due to their lofty goals of making the entire world a better place becuase they just want quality content with little regard to their own financial well-being, have taken the seat of God by default. The general internet marketing community seems content to give the engines the right to judge and execute without benefit of due process because what they want is quality content and on topic links. I say again, that is WRONG.

What does a search enigne really, REALLY want? What is it's primary motivation? What is it's objective?
TO MAKE MORE MONEY !!!!

All this stuff we all keep going over and over again and again has very little to do with links or content. It has to do with selling crap!! Period. If you believe Google or Yahoo is good because they want quality content and that by you considering yourself "on their side" makes you good by association, I believe you are extremely mistaken. Because with either company, the objective of striving for quality content, (think about that for a minute, how do you define quality?), is for the sole purpose of attracting eyeballs so that the company can sell more crap. Trust me, if crappy content sold more crap, they would be working just as hard trying to provide crappy content. If I need to support my position, just do a search at the hot engine du jour for just about any commercial term and try to convince yourself that is quality according to YOUR definition.

Search engines, (at least successful ones), are not quality content displaying machines. They are ad delivering, MONEY MAKING, machines. If the day ever comes that everyone can accept that, then the perception will change and we can all agree that it is about advertising, marketing and sales and NOT about relevancy, quality content or links of any kind. Those things are all secondary and are merely a means to an end and that end is making a profit.

Do it for the user is a very common catch phrase we all hear and even I agree it sounds pretty good. BUT, think about it, that is not a procedure or a standard or a measuring stick of how dark your hat is. We as marketers, (assuming that most people in this forum consider themselves as such), don't have users, or if we do they are merely incidental. To me, those are not users, (I'm not even sure what the definition of that would be by the very people who choose to use that term), they are potential customers. They are prospects, they are a target market. Publically calling them users and promoting that term is simply a public relations strategy.

I'd like to pose a question based on Basic SEO concept #4.
*******************
SEO'S, (whatever that is), do NOT manipulate search engines. Thinking you are forcing the search engine to do anything is a mistake. Thinking you are hiding anything from a search engine is a mistake. The only answer to top placement is recognizing what a search engine does, accepting that, assessing the potential rewards and risks and working within those confines.

The only person or persons who can manipulate a search engine, are the persons who have access to the admin panel and/or source code of that specific search engine. If you can't get to the admin panel, you can have no effect whatsoever on what that search engines does. All you can do is construct data that you feel is most likely to fall within the parameters of the algorithm. That is NOT manipulating search engines, that is learning how search engines work and then manipulating your page. No matter how vehemently some so-called SEO's, (whatever that is), disagree, that is a fact! No one can "help" a search engine find what they are looking for anymore than anyone can "make" a search engine do what they want. Search engines just do what they do. They are only a machine!
***********************

The question is, "would you agree with the above"?






If you answered yes, then would you also consider Basic SEO Concept #5?
*********************
There is no such thing as search engine spam and why.
if you can agree that you or I can not manipulate search engine results without having access to the source code or at least an admin panel, then there can be no other conclusion but that search engines can not be spammed, tricked, mislead, bribed or coerced. All that can be done is build data that you believe best complies with what it is a specific program does with specific data and then give it that data. You can submit that data to a search service but from there, what that search engine program does with that data is beyond your control. You can control the data you provide but you can not control what the search engine does with that data once it has it. That alone eliminates the entire premise of spamming a search engine.
***************

If you can agree with the possibilty that any of that may just be true, then how is it we are so hell-bent in dividing ourselves into two camps that have never even existed in the first place? That is the thing that amazes me the most.

Last edited by massa : 06-30-2005 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 06-30-2005   #24
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This debate is old and cliche.

Whitehats do their thing and make money, spammer do their thing and make money.

Whitehats you take the people that want squiky clean core sites to rank

spammers you take the people that just care about traffic and know the risks.

In either case if spammers own your white hat sites, you suck move on to another industry. spammers if white hats kick your butt all day, you suck, do something else better with your time than being a loser.
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Old 06-30-2005   #25
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if my goal is to rank high, and my methodology is via quality content, ontopic linking, directories - that's great. in fact, thats what one should be doing. It is influencing the engines, but it's the "right way". It's competing fairly in the marketplace.
Sorry but that is still trying to manipulate the search engine results, and you basically said manipulating is bad. What if there is another site that is better than yours, and you knock it down, is that fair to them? Why is it better than yours? Because I say so. Just like you say your site is better than the site that was able to get a lot more links than you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by promediacorp
A good example. Searching Google US for the query "cell phones" should bring the user to the top few cell phone companies in the US. The only ones on page 1 of this SERP are Verizon and Cingular. What happened to T-mobile, Sprint, Nextel, etc? Where's Motorola, Nokia, LG, etc? Instead, the page is occupied by sites that you've never heard of. A backlink analysis will reveal that those on top "may" have used artificial link building and other black techniques to raise themselves on the SERPs (as many of their IBL's look fishy and spammy).
Why should they be all of those companies? Because YOU say so? You're assuming that everyone who searches for cell phones should be given those sites. Just like you are saying that your site deserves to be #1 because in your mind it is the best and deserves it.

What if they are searching for a company that sells phones at a cheaper price but isn't tied to a provider? What if they are looking for reviews. Maybe someone wants to see a site that talks about how cell phones work. There are still a lot of people who don't fully understand how a search engine works and search using vague terms expecting to find what they want. They don't type in reviews, disount, etc.


[sigh] Always the same with these threads: "My site is the best and I deserve to be #1.

Last edited by msgraph : 06-30-2005 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 06-30-2005   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurtie
When an entire moral highground is based upon a perception of something which at best can be decided on a balance of probability as to what someone intended thats a dangerous argument.
I'm not talking probabilities, I'm talking facts.

Forget, for one moment, the borderline cases - yes, they exist, but they are few.

If a site has used sophisticated methods to deceive the SEs and gain better position, it's spam. Let's not argue about that, please!

Now, whether the SE spots it and penalizes the site or not, it's STILL spam. And someone who engages in that activity (or authorizes another so to do) is a spammer. Now we can split hairs until the cows come home about who knew what and who actually did the dirty deed.

But when I see a site like that, I'm not guessing a probable intention, I'm seeing a deliberate spammer and that's not the same league as someone with a MomnPop Homepage who read this kind of thread and put a bit of white text on a white background, because one of the Mods said that was no different to White Hat.

If you cannot see that distinction, well, I'm sorry for you. I wear my hat with pride. It's white. Strange how few black hatters do the same
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Old 06-30-2005   #27
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>If a site has used sophisticated methods to deceive the SEs and gain better position, it's spam. <

Again, another completely false assumption. No one is using sophisticated methods to decieve a search engine. They may be using methods to attract potential customers but that is EXACTLY the same thing search engines use sophisticated methods for. And that is as it should. Sophisticated methods is what is driving the entire premise of the world wide web. You would not have the job you have now were it not for sophisticated methods.Surely no one actually believes that only search engines should be free to use sophisticated methods?

A search engine can not be deceived. It is not a person it is a machine. It is only going to do what it is programmed to do. You can't lie to a search engine, you can't trick a search engine. You can only do those things to something capable of making a decision based on an emotional response. Search engines can not do that becasuse they can only make dcecisions based on mathmatical responses.

If you could use sophisticated methods to make a hammer drive your nail faster than my nail and then get a group to agree with you that you are spamming the hammer, THEN I could see the remote possibility that you may have a valid point.

If you lose your keys and use a screwdriver to jimmy the lock and get into your house, did you spam the door, the screwdriver or the keys.

Silly comparisions huh?


PS:
>we're both aiming the help the Little Man<

If that is really what you are wanting to do, (I'm taking the liberty to assume you meant you are aiming TO help the little man instead of what you actually said), then stop referring to him as "the Little Man".

Just because you believe you know more about a specific topic than another, does not make the other smaller. Calling any man little is not going to help him. Do you think the man you are trying to help, (even though he has not sought out your help), appreciates being referred to as "little". If you really want to help that man, start by showing him respect.

Calling someone else little, does not make you appear larger. In fact the opposite is closer to the truth.

Last edited by massa : 06-30-2005 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 06-30-2005   #28
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Semantics. You know what I mean, as do all the readers of this thread.

spam is spam; no amount of renaming or linguistic gymnastics will change that.

But if blocking a discussion turns you on, you are welcome. I'd expect no less for daring to call spam spam.

>we're both aiming the help the Little Man<

Never said otherwise. Or meant otherwise.

I used the the term 'little man' because the the poster was 'littleman'. And he asked about helping him.

It was a joke. Sheesh; how sensitive are you?
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Old 06-30-2005   #29
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Quote:
If a site has used sophisticated methods to deceive the SEs and gain better position, it's spam. Let's not argue about that, please!
And if a site has used sophisticated methods to better their positions in the search engines with NO intent to deceive, then they are not spammers, they are well qualified SEO's.

Believe it or not, there are some VERY sophisticated white hats, many of whom are regular, loyal, valued members of SEW Forums.

And there are also some very sophisticated black hats out there who also do some VERY sophisticated white hat SEO work, very successfully and without a shred of deception. They wear both hats, and wear both with pride - because of their ABILITY to serve their clients' needs adequately.

Contrary to the opinions of some of the bible-thumping so-called white hat evangelists out there - some of whom are quite deceptive, BTW - there really are white hats - more accurately grey hats, there is no "pure white" - who are NOT spammers but who are realistic enough to know the difference without the kind of dogmatism or fanaticism that clouds judgement and actually ends up doing far more harm than good for their "cause".

Getting back to the ORIGINAL TOPIC which is whether black hat seo is a form of hacking, it isn't - not even the evil hacking that invades websites without permission. Search engines are not invaded by anyone, the search engines crawl pages through links and fetch pages WITHOUT PERMISSION and not only that, but they save a copy of copyrighted works and store them on their own servers - without written permission to do so.

How about let's get off the morality kick and get back to a realistic assessment of the issue raised in the first post.
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Old 07-01-2005   #30
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Actually, it's a long holiday weekend for a lot of our moderators, and watching over a thread like this that typically can get heated isn't fun. So I'm just closing it down, and we'll open it on Tuesday if anyone feels they need to continue.

In the meantime, we've had this discussion many, many times. I'd encourage everyone to take a look at these past ones. Much of what's been said above has already been said before, debated, countered and so on. I've noted threads I thought particularly relevant or with lots of replies to them.

Spamming Versus Creative / Real World SEO Tactics
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=79

Spam - How Do We Fix The Problem?
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...read.php?t=134

The Great Doorway Debate
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...read.php?t=515

Improving The Reputation Of The SEM Industry
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...read.php?t=566

An SEM Code Of Conduct?
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...read.php?t=596

SEMPO & The SEM Reputation Problem
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=1052

whitehat vs. blackhat, it is all BS (ESPECIALLY SEE THIS)
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=1081

Low, Medium, High Risk SEO tactics
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=1380

when is a page "spam" (ESPECIALLY SEE THIS)
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=1384

Guerilla Marketing & Underhand Tactics - All Fair in Love and War?
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=2045

Cloaking 101 - Questions and Answers
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=2224

Ethical Standards and The Search Engine Marketing Industry
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=2254

Confessions of a White Hat Content Spammer: What I've Learned by Ignoring Google
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=3099

Black Hat, White Hat & Lots of Gray (ESPECIALLY SEE THIS)
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=3302

Ethical Search Engine optimisation Explained (ESPECIALLY SEE THIS)
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=4246

What is Spam? - SES NYC 05 (ESPECIALLY SEE THIS)
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=4436

SEM Industry Biggest Growing Pains
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=5680

Cloaking, load of BS? (ESPECIALLY SEE THIS)
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=5771
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Old 07-05-2005   #31
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Thumbs up Thread reopened!

Thank you Danny for reopening this thread.

I was thrilled to see that the great Rustybrick of the SEO Roundtable expressed his interest in joining the conversation.

Let the debate continue...

Is Black Hat SEO a form of "malicious" hacking? By this I mean using techniques that violate search engine TOS. For example - cloaking, link spamming, and off topic link purchases - to name a few. Are those that engage in this type of activity stealing traffic and conversions from those who play by the rules?

Share your thoughts here.
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Old 07-05-2005   #32
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Share my thoughts. Ok I say shut this thread again. A search engines TOS is between the search engines and sites that SUBMITs to be included.

If a bot follows a link and crawls a site in it's greed for content and deems a cloak, spam or crapppy affiliate job rankable don't you think that's an internal problem for the SE? That's not a hack that's called crappy spam thresholds.

It's like eating those mystery jelly beans. It's white, you don't know what the flavor is, you put it in your mouth, bite down and gag because it's the most horrible crap you ever tasted so you spit it out.

But you see the SEs sugar coat some of those yucky jelly beans with flavors like Adsense and Paid inclusion
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Old 07-05-2005   #33
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I'm not much of a "me too" poster but...

Quote:
A search engines TOS is between the search engines and sites that SUBMITs to be included.
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Old 07-05-2005   #34
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Wow. I did not realize there was so much animosity aimed against the search engines. Of course I agree it's a problem for the SE when they inappropriately rank sites. Does that mean it's alright to exploit their known weaknesses?
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Old 07-05-2005   #35
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Does that mean it's alright to exploit their known weaknesses?
I can put any crappy junk on my own webser (as long as it's legal). If you call that exploiting the algo, then yes, I am perfectly entitled to do so - just as well as the engines are entitled not to include or rank my crap if they don't like it.
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Old 07-05-2005   #36
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Very well said! Thank you for that quality piece of advice.
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