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Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:55 PM
If it works, stick with it, Phil!
He just named the un-named SEO.
No surprises, it was Jill.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:58 PM
Hi Mel, that is a grey area worthy of debate. IMO, when someone searches for a service with a local/regional term attached, they're looking for a local/regional company to provide that service. While many businesses are perfectly capable of doing business anywhere (like our businesses) if someone runs a locally targeted search, I believe they're looking for someone who's truly local - thus the local term in the search.
Why do you see this as spammy? So long as the site in question is willing to provide the product or service to the particular area, why should they not target any customers they wish?
Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:07 PM
Not quite true Ian. The forum guidelines say, "We will not badmouth any other...". Saying that a particular person is nice isn't badmouthing anyone - unless it's me that says it, of course . But,as you said, the direction changed so...
[quote name='"Mel"']So long as the users get served relevant (and useful for their purposes) pages for their searches how does it become unethical to deliver those pages by this means or that?
[quote name='"Jill"']Because you are bypassing the proper channels to do so. In effect, cheating.[/quote][/quote]
What "proper channels" would they be? And "cheating" who?
It is well-known that search engines don't come into my reckoning. My clients, myself and surfers come into my reckoning. "Cheating" is a very judgemental word which you should explain, Jill.
[quote name='"Jill"']It's really very simple. Not sure why this is difficult for some to grasp.[/quote]
And yet you seem to be unable to grasp it.
[quote name='"market seeker"']Phil you say it's okay to use any tactic to get your customers to the top of the results and that these techniques do not hurt the engines. It's possible you are using techniques opposed by the search engines to help your customers' readers with loads of good stuff. But what about those folks that aren't as "ethical" as you and use the techniques you describe as "ok" to get useless sites to the top? Would you then say it's hurting the SEs? and the surfers looking for relavent information.[/quote]
It depends what you mean by "useless sites". If you mean poorly designed sites or sites with poor content, then that's a different dicussion. But if you mean sites that are not relevant to the search term, then it would be wrong. I said earlier that all methods are open to abuse. Approving of a method doesn't mean approving of the abuse that it can be used for.
[quote name='"mcanerin"']Why are people interested in these tactics on Google? ....... 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.[/quote]
The methods are ONLY useful in getting high rankings for relevant pages. Google's algos see to that. Using the methods to gain high rankings for relevant pages that redirect to pages of different topics isn't what we are talking about. We all disapprove of that.
The reason that people use the methods is two-fold. (1) Because Google shows the top 10 results by default. If a relevant website isn't in the top 10 then it is right to take steps to remedy the situation. All SEOs agree with that; it's why we are SEOs. (2) Compliant SEO does work but only up to a point. It can't succeed in the face of real competition. That's what my article was all about. If anyone wandered around my site, they will have noticed that I thoroughly recommend compliant SEO, and I only recommend non-compliant SEO if the compliant steps fail.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:13 PM
I am pretty sure that you are not familiar with certain history concerning Jill and me, but that's not your fault. To you, my 'rules' posts may have been useless, but to anyone reading the thread objectively, they may not have been so useless. But we left rules and guidelines behind a while back. It's better if we stick with the thread's topic, I think. The issues cannot be debated in just a few posts, but if you don't care for it, don't post.
Out of all the posts here yours was the most useless talking about flames and moderators and such. Your argument won't hold water that you where ganged up on either.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:22 PM
It fascinates me that you keep bringing this up and then when someone else mentions it you claim that we're not talking about it. It was 6 minutes before you posted that statement that you said
But we left rules and guidelines behind a while back. It's better if we stick with the thread's topic, I think.
And for what it's worth, what you said about that person was not that he was nice, but that he is small. But that doesn't matter. We're not talking about that.
The forum guidelines say, "We will not badmouth any other...". Saying that a particular person is nice isn't badmouthing anyone - unless it's me that says it, of course .
Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:29 PM
If you don't have anything worthwhile to contribute to the thread's topic, why say anything?
Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:48 PM
Phil knows the truth of the discussions we had in the past about SEO techniques.
It's true that I was interested in knowing what exactly spam techniques were all about, because I wanted to understand if or why they could actually make a difference to a clients rankings. Phil talked a lot about his great spam techniques, but never gave any specifics as to what they entailed.
So yes, I asked him to give me some specifics. I wanted to know if there was really anything different between what he did and what I did.
Turns out, there was absolutely no difference, other than the fact that he chooses to hide what he does from the search engines. He simply bombards the search engines with hundreds of pages targeting the keyword phrases, hides links to them, and redirects them to the regular site.
All stuff you can do legitimately with Real Content. What I took away from my email conversation with Phil about his spam techniques is that they work because they make a site appear a lot bigger than it really is. Which makes perfect sense as I had seen how my own RankWrite site with many, many pages of Real Content had ranked so highly for so long.
I had assumed that Phil actually knew something I didn't know, and that his spam techniques were actually something that couldn't be achieved through legitimate content, but I was wrong. It was just as I suspected. Content pages rule the roost when it comes to high rankings. Simply add more content pages to your site and your rankings will go up.
Why Phil chooses to hide his content pages is because he creates them automatically and they are really garbage content pages. Worthless to the users, but nifty enough to fool the search engines. The lazy man's way out, basically.
The particular client I was working with at the time had a smallish site, maybe only 7 pages, and definitely needed more content (as I've stressed to everyone for how many years now). So it was simply a matter of figuring out where to get that content from. Turns out, the client actually had been putting out an email newsletter for well over a year and had all the issues, but had never thought to archive them to the site.
Once we put them up, within a few months their rankings shot to the first page. They waiver between first and second page for the main phrase, and at times have first page rankings for all of the keyword phrases. The way Google currently is working, they are all over the place in any given day (as is generally true right now for competitive phrases).
So once again, good triumphs over evil. Nobody EVER needs to use spam techniques to get ahead. It's the same thing as regular SEO, only it's true and visible, no tricks, no nothing, but making your site be the best it can be.
Okay, you can go home now Phil. Your silly little game is over, and quite frankly, the past 6 months or so without having to argue with you over and over about the same old same old has been quite wonderful. So please go back to your own spam forums, and take a hike.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:55 PM
You appear to be a big believer in the approach that if the rules don't work for you, change or ignore them, as long as everyone else has to obey them.
Your comment to Jill that she should change the rules of the forum because you felt hindered by them, or your position that you should follow the rules unless there is too much competition (why that disclaimer, why not just say everyone should cheat?), or your continual mentioning of a subject followed by a disclaimer that we shouldn't talk about it anymore (in essence an attempt to convince others to give you the last word), all appear to support this.
I can understand the desire to defend against what looks like an attack - it's difficult to spend anytime online without being disagreed with or attacked in one form or another, and by not responding you may leave the impression that the attacker made a valid point and that now you are agreeing with them, which of course you don't, so you need to respond.... ad infinitem.
But that doesn't change the fact that "follow the rules only when advantageous to do so" appears to be part of your personality, rather than a well thought out strategy, hence the lack of a requirment for proof in your writings, since it no doubt appears to be blindingly obvious to you.
You must understand that not everyone has this attitude and they are just as unlikely to accept your beliefs as you are theirs. You can change an opinion, but it's really hard to change a personality - it's too...personal. Remember that if you you base an opinion on a personality trait, it's almost impossible to NOT think that disagreements with that opinion are personal attacks.
By the way, this is not a personal attack, though it talks about personality and therefore is certainly related - I normally avoid ANY discussion of personality unless it is critical to understanding the issues involved, which I believe it is this time. For example, my opinons on this certainly stem in part from my personality, as well
It's clear that further discussion in this vein is likely to degenerate into unprofessionalism, so please feel free to make one rebuttal to this and then I promise I will not respond unless it's about something unrelated.
I do agree that sometimes the rules do need to be changed, but not in this case. After all, if you are using these tactics because of agressive competition, all that is going to happen is that the aforementioned agressive competition will use them too, resulting in a stalemate and results similar to the original rankings, except with a bunch of unethical behavior. Breaking the rules to get ahead only works until everyone else starts doing it, too.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:19 PM
IMHO, building visible content pages is a much better long term strategy than building doorway pages. It takes a little bit more effort, but the results are much more satisfactory. I agree with Jill's last post.
The real danger with Phil's non-compliant SEO approach is that he is placing his clients in a position to be hung out to dry if and when search engines enforce their guidelines whether the techniques were used to promote relevant pages or not.
Things that are worth doing are worth doing right, IMHO.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:28 PM
If I'm the only one that can see that this rule:-
"We will not badmouth any other forum or forum member."
means that it is against the rules of this forum to say "<mod from another forum> is tall, or nice, or pretty or handsome", as Jill said it meant, then it is clear that I'm the only one here who speaks English. But I'm not the only one here who can see that the rule doesn't mean what Jill said it meant. It was just Jill being Jill.
As for Jill's post:-
One of us is lying Jill and it isn't me. I still have your emails so here are a couple of quotes from one of them, after which I'll leave this forum as, apart from a few people, it doesn't seem possible to have a straight debate but, then, that doesn't really surprise me. Of the people who I don't know here, I am impressed with Haystack who discussed/debated this topic properly - in a rational manner. I have a lot of time for people who can discuss like that, regardless of whether we end up agreeing or not. That's how discussions should be. Sorry if my endorsement emabrrasses you, Haystack
Well, apparently Phil strikes again and chose to make up lies and twist the truth.
From one of Jill's emails to me:-
and from the same email about the same client:-
I have one client right now who wants some highly
competitive words, which when I took the job, I didn't realize
were quite so competitive.
I can't stand failing with this site, but as it stands now, I've
done everything I can do for it.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:29 PM
Phil and I butted heads on another forum a few months ago (respectfully, of course), so he might recall my argument that relevance isn't a binary condition. When I click on a link at Google, I don't want to be taken to "a" relevant site. I want to be taken to the MOST relevant site. Doorways and other such tactics rarely give me what I want because, almost by definition, the most relevant site usually doesn't need a doorway. The few exceptions to that rule really aren't within the context of "competitive" SEO, but rather, are the result of poor site design. If what I want to find is on the page, it's a relevant site. If what I want to find is on a doorway, the site is rarely the MOST relevant.
But that argument works both ways, guys.
Ian, you posted some very articulate and well reasoned points, most of which I fully appreciate. But it raises the question as to whether ethics, unlike relevancy, should be considered a binary condition. Or is ethics more accurately described as a continuum? Can you be a little unethical? Mostly ethical?
There are a thousand different ways to hide text. Doorways, gateways, framesets, cloaking. Is any one of those "more" unethical than any other? If our ethical conduct is to be defined by the search engines, is it "mostly ethical" to ask another site to use specific anchor text when linking to us? Wouldn't it be "more ethical" and keeping within the goals of Google to simply trust that the content of our site will determine the appropriate link text? Why should we ever worry at all about relevant keywords, either in links or in on-page content? Isn't that an unethical manipulation of the search engine algorithms, too?
I think your comparison of morality and ethics was on the money, Ian, but I don't think it was enough. We need to introduce a third concept. The doctors, lawyers, and priests that you use as examples in your post have one thing in common that is NOT true of SEO professionals. Their codes of conduct are largely self-imposed and self-regulated. I agree with you that we're not talking about morality, but I think we're also not talking about ethics. The edicts decreed by the search engines, I think, are much closer to laws than to either morality or ethics. And, of course, when one breaks a law, one should be prepared for consequences.
In which case, what we really seem to be talking about is what will get you busted and what won't?
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:43 PM
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:55 PM
doctors, lawyers and priests
As Mr. Smith was on his death bed, he attempted to formulate a plan that would allow him to take at least some of his considerable wealth with him. He called for the three men he trusted most - his lawyer, his doctor, and his clergyman. He told them, 'I'm going to give you each $30,000 in cash before I die. At my funeral, I want you to place the money in my coffin so that I can try to take it with me.' All three agreed to do this and were given the money.
At the funeral, each approached the coffin in turn and placed an envelope inside. While riding in the limousine to the cemetery, the clergyman said 'I have to confess something to you fellows. Brother Smith was a good churchman all his life, and I know he would have wanted me to do this. The church needed a new baptistery very badly, and I took $10,000 of the money he gave me and bought one. I only put $20,000 in the coffin.'
The physician then said, 'Well, since we're confiding in one another, I might as well tell you that I didn't put the full $30,000 in the coffin either. Smith had a disease that could have been diagnosed sooner if I had this very new machine, but the machine cost $20,000 and I couldn't afford it then. I used $20,000 of the money to buy the machine so that I might be able to save another patient. I know that Smith would have wanted me to do that.'
The lawyer then said, 'I'm ashamed of both of you. When I put my envelope into that coffin, it held my personal check for the full $30,000.'
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:59 PM
If I wanted to really get personal, I might say something like. The only one to have your back is Braindead.
Just trying to be funny.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 03:03 PM
I thought it WAS funny!
Don't wanna get in too much hot water for the personal thing so feel free to delete if this is outta line...................
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