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As an individual that works very hard at maintaining relationships and attempts to help anyone at anytime he possibly can, I see some pretty interesting mistakes that people make, DAILY! Sometimes, I have to admit, I’ve made the mistake of burning a bridge or two at past companies, just by the simple fact of not understanding how important it was not to hurt a relationship. But, I now know that there are some things that you should NEVER do…and I mean NEVER.
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from johnandrews 1921 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I had to click three times to register a Sphinn, that's how much I wanted to Sphinn this. Once on Tony's blog Sphinn badge, once here (which prompted me to log in), and then again because the pre-logged-in Sphinn doesn't register.

Given what I know about conversion optimization, the 13 Sphinns I see above is really worth what, 150 Sphinns after accounting for aband onment?

The first article including the words "SEO" and "e thics" that I consider worth Sphinning!




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from johnandrews 1921 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"using bad language, comment arrested". Really?  That's odd.



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Desphinn from crimsongirl 1920 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Mistakes? He doesn't mean mistakes; he means doing things that he thinks is a bad idea. “Never publicly talk about companies paying too much for a service.” I'm pretty sure this happens among plumbers, among management consultants, among dentists, among massage therapists. It's human nature to talk about what people in your industry charge their clients, and to criticize others. Nowadays the interweb facilitates communications and gives everyone a bigger blowhorn, but nothing is particularly new about discussing your industry's price structure. Is it a mistake to do so? Is it wrong? I don't think so. As far as “outing” websites, does he propose people not report crimes to authorities? Child pornography, websites that phish for personal financial info? We're not supposed to report them because we would be depriving their owners of a livelihood? I can't agree with that. Or by “outing” does he mean talking publicly about SEO tactics used by legitimate sites? Because that kind of discussion is what places like forums webmasterworld are all about. What techniques work, why such-and-such site ranks, etc. Public discussion has taught most of us a lot. I don't see how it is possibly a mistake.

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from debram 1920 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I'd sphinn this twice if Michelle would let me ;)



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from tonyadam 1920 Days ago #
Votes: 0

John, thanks for going through all that effort to Sphinn! Definitely appreciated!

Crimsongirl, fair enough on your point of mistakes being bad ideas, but really? is that what we are desphinning this post for? for semantics in a post title? In regards to your point about talking about prices...it's okay to discuss what you are charging, it's okay to talk about it in a closed off setting, but the fact of the matter is, when you publically announce something like...ohh i don't know..."you shouldn't be paying more than $500 for an Audit" is ludicrous...the truth is...you don't know every situation, and, when you have a following that you've built up, announcing things like that, people take notice. The question I have for you is, did you actually READ the post and then desphinn or did u just desphinn because of the post title and skimming through headlines...to me it sounds pretty obvious you didn't because i never talked once about techniques that work, etc...i talked about "outing" other peoples sites that have a possibility of being banned, talked about not sharing secrets, and not burning bridges...at the end of the day, these are "mistakes" in my opinion that could cost you money.



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from MiguelGomez 1919 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I've got to back Crimsongirl on this one.  She made a desphin, and she clearly articulated her reasons, which I happen to agree with for the most part.  But come on tonyadam, she has a different opinion and you come down on her pretty bad.  Isn't social media supposed to encourage dialog and different opinions?   Not once did she attack you, she just left her reasons for disagreeing.  Have we now become a society that can't voice our disagreements.

Like I mentioned before, I agree with a lot that she has to say, I also think in general you make some good points.  What I was sad to see was your response to her legitimate opinion.


Just my 2 cents.



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from MiguelGomez 1919 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I was going to defend Crimsongirl, but alas Sphinn allowing me only the following.


"Using bad language, comment arrested. Proceed to the story."


To Tonyadam, I eill just remind you of Rule 1) Be respectful and polite.



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from Jill 1919 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Miguel, found your inadvertantly deleted comment and reposted it for you.



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from johnandrews 1918 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@MiguelGomez you say you are "defending" @crimsongirl, and reminded Tony Adam to be "respectful and polite". I find that comment disingenuous, since from what i can see of the posts above, Tony's is no less polite nor respectful than CrimsonGirl.

@crimsongirl normally a community benefits from participation like voting (up or down) and commentary (including critical commentary). But launching into hyperbolic analogies (child pornography and phishing? Seriously?) reeks of soapboxing (and or trolling).

I found Tony's post on the money, based on experience but I also know the industry pretty well so I've seen plenty of examples that fit his descriptions. Maybe those aren't super obvious to everyone. I'm more interested in this thread of comments which went off topic and leave a bad impression on Sphinn as a forum. Rather than emphasize why you think it's unworthy, why not genuinely discuss the points made? That's where the value is.. the whole community benefits from such discussions.

Why is outing bad? Obviously there is disagreement...seems to me there's a misunderstanding of the term outing more than anything else. I view outing as "hey look at what Tony's doing on that site. It's killing on Google! Does that mean it's ok? Hey @mattcutts is what Tony's doing on xyz.tld really an valid SEO tactic?"  That's outing, and that's bad.

I also see a HUGE diference between twittering "no one should ever pay more than $500 for an SEO audit or they are getting ripped off" and "discussing the industry's price structure". Not the same. Nope.





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from johnandrews 1918 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hey Jill what's the the supersensitove "bad language" filter? gets me every time and I am so not a potty mouth.



Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 1918 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@johnandrews the site is still in beta as we work out all the bugs with the new platform. this one has been noted and the developers are looking into it. we have a thread over here where you can add to the list any issues you encounter while using sphinn. the developers are checking that regularly.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1918 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@johnandrews...beats me. Maybe cuz you said child prOn? But I think like Michelle said, it's just a bug. A bunch of other's comments were inadvertantly filtered and retreived as well.



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from theGypsy 1918 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Kinda funny that there are sooooo many peeps in this biz (prominent ones even) that are constantly trying to 'out' Google for what they see as unfair practices... That in the mainstream media it is a 'scoop' when people/companies/politicians are caught with their hands in the cookie jar... That MANY SEOs I know lament spammers or crap-hats in their query spaces privately, looking for ways to 'take them down' - but STILL there is this strange 'outing' code among some in the industry still - I didn't get no decoder ring and secret handshake - so I guess I missed a memo...

You say, "could cost someone a loss of income" - well, I say that posts about 'look at this crappy website' could also cost that site owner and so how is that different? Or panning some service with a bad review? So what? Only SEOs need to live up to this? Not... I see crappy SEO techniques, I should be able to write about it. To my mind it is up to the business managers to avoid this kind of bad publicity... not the SEO community to 'keep a secret'.

Many activities in business carry risk and how one performs their SEO on a site is no different... they should know the risk of such approaches. Live by the sword, die my the sword!

Having done consulting work for sites that have been smacked by Google, likely reported by competitors, they are generally pretty good about it for all but the spammiest of sites. If you're still auto-gen'ing sites and auto-link spamming for MFA then you already know how the game goes... I doubt their overly worried about 'outings' either...

If you've found a tactic you don't wanted crushed, pretty simple...don't talk about it to ANYONE. And if you're using tactics that are bannable offences? I'd say to reconsider how you're going about things. I've worked around query spaces from dating to credit cards and finance.. there are still ways to do the job without the risk of getting tanked... No risk of being 'outed' is the best policy IMHO... saves me paying the membership dues for the decoder ring and secret hand shake - ya know?

If the old school (cough cough) 'ethics' are about 'dark' or 'black' tactics that inherently put a client at risk, then maybe we need to rethink that aspect.

Nice post... Sphunn for the discussion value

...and that's my 2c :0)



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from MiguelGomez 1916 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@johnandrews   Maybe you didn't see him write in his post, "The question I have for you is, did you actually READ the post "

My pount was that it seemed to be that @crimsongirl caught a lot of heat because she desphinned the article.  What is the point of this entire medium if we can't feel free to desphinn an article and state why.  She did both.  And she gets called out for it.  That is what I had a problem with.

I think both sides have brought up great points, the comments have been great.  What we could do without is being defensive about a dephinn.



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from johnandrews 1916 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@MiguelGomez let's stick to the facts... it wasn't the desphinn that was controversial, it was the paragraph of explanation. No one is challenging a right to desphinn.  I now understand you consider "did you actually READ the article" to be a disrepsectful comment.

@theGypsy agreed re: nice discussion. As search tacticians, let's be more specific. You uncover a method that seems to be working for someone. It's not known to be "black hat". Perhaps a judgement suggests "possibly gray area" to you. What do you do?

When you blog about it, you highlight it, call attention to it, and probably cause it to be moderated (since it is successful). At worst the blogger gets dropped. At best the blogger gets what, exactly? And you, by blogging it, get a little attention and perhaps noteriety. What good comes from it for everyone else? If it works, and is not moderated by the search engines, it will be used by everyone in proportion to your reach (and thus, no longer give an edge to those who used it). The market that blogger focused on gets attention, increasing competition for him as well.

In short, you sold out someone else for a little attention, and everyone lost a potentially effective method of outranking others in their markets. That's the kindest view IMHO.

On the other hand you could have kept it quiet, studied it until you understood it or discused it with your close confidants in search, in order to better understand it. You could have used the methods yourself, learning from your testing. Had you done that work, you'd find yourself in a position where you could easily blog about the technique and method (if you thought that wise) without ever highlighting that hard-working SEO you learned from.

I find it hard to accept any of these scenarios people suggest as meaningful, democratic, or benevolent reasons for outing other sites for their SEO tactics.

It's really easy to respond to this by framing it as "why not report black hat spammers to Google" so let's not do that.


@theGypsy you say you have experience with effective SEO on sites... so I will assume you have uncovered things which work really well because Google had not considered them yet. For those, is Google's immediate response typically one of protecting stability of the SERPs (e.g. shutting down the opportunity while they work out a way to manage it in the future) or do they leave it alone and if asked, admit that it's not black hat even though they know they can expect the whole SEO world to jump on it (and probably abuse it) as soon as it is exposed?

So in that case, given Google's expected reaction, who gets hurt? For what gain?




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from johnandrews 1916 Days ago #
Votes: 0

reply submitted, and blocked again for bad language despite none.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1916 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yep, they're still working on that bug. I rescued your comment in the meantime.



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from streko 1916 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Is the no cursing allowed thinggy known as the "streko" filter?




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from theGypsy 1913 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Nice convo as always John

For the record, I do tend to keep things to myself and have only ever once publicly mused about a tactic that I thought was crossing the lines (re; Greenpeace post). In that case, they changed the 'contest' - were never smacked nor lost any 'Google Love'. That being said, I think my main issue was the odd reality diversion between most of the world (and media) about holding others to some type of standard. I certainly don't need to be blogging about shady tactics for attention, so it wasn't about that...

NOW.... I am curious...With GreyWolf essentiall 'outing' someone once more... why aren't those that follow the spirit of this post over on that thread giving him a hard time about it? To me this shows how these convos can be troubling because not ALL of us are held to the same standard. Forget the hats and shades therin... to me an 'outing' is nothing more than calling out tactics (not so editorial links in his case) that we don't agree with...

So... those in the 'outing is bad' boat should go and say so here; http://sphinn.com/story/123035/





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