"The ends justify the means" arguments make me cringe.

The problem with this attitude in SEO is an issue of responsibility, not effectiveness. We have already seen what happens if you "trust" webmasters to decide whether their site is relevant or not.

I did a search (on webcrawler) for "disney kids games" a couple of years ago and the top ten sites were . I have small children and made a choice to use Google when it came out because now the same search brings up Disney.

By giving the control to the site owners you remove my ability to choose what kind of results I want, and instead replace it with the sites someone else wants. Googles popularity is not based on how many websites like their results, but rather on how many searchers like the results. Like me.

If I found out Google started allowing sites to push their wares without some sort of controls, I'd go elsewhere, as is my right as a consumer. And you can bet there would be some engine out there who would be willing to serve my needs, and others like me.

The problem is that if you (as a search engine) are asking me to trust you, you are also asking me to trust the owners of those sites. Unfortunately, you can see why I don't. Nothing personal.

Googles rules try as much as possible to eliminate the ability of a site owner to unilaterally decide how important and relevant their own site is. Attempts to subvert this process are unlikely to be popular or effective, since it betrays the trust the searchers have in the results. Betrayal of trust is unethical. For many people it is immoral, as well.

Does it matter that a site that uses these techniques may actually be better focused and relevant that those that would have ordinarily shown up. NO. Setting up "rules" based on "exceptions" is a recipe for failure. Webmasters had their chance. They blew it.

Let me ask this. What would happen if "everyone" did this? What would be the result? Would it be an improvement? Assuming that only "ethical and professional" SEO's and webmasters would do this is laughable.

Final Point: Why are people interested in these tactics on Google? Why not one of the Gator corporations FFA link sites? Or a search engine that doesn't check for this? Why make life hard?

The reason is Google is highly successful and popular because of the results it serves. Therefore it is crazy to try to subvert those results. Doing so would remove the reason you wanted to do it in the first place - ie it's popularity and relevence.

If you don't agree with how Google does things, simply start your own SE that follows your own preferences - if it's a good idea, people will start using it. Hey, it worked for Google! But wanting to play a game because it's rules make it popular and then trying to subvert the rules is cheating and unethical, and it ruins it's popularity, which was the whole idea behind playing that game in the first place.

Wanting the advantages of a set of rules without wanting to take the responsibility for obeying the rules is immature and ineffective. Not personal, just food for thought.

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