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I’m not going to try to explain John’s post in a couple sentences but I will say that by the time you’re done reading it, the strong statement he makes with his post title doesn’t seem that radical any more.
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from lynkb8 2199 Days ago #
Votes: 1

After reading his post title I thought the article was going to be Bullsh*t but he clearly proved his point.

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from crimsongirl 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Google created AdSense at least partly to encourage more content on the Internet.  Even if Google raised their payout to AdSense publishers to 100%, it would still be worth it for them to run the program, because all that content makes the Internet more attractive for users.  The amount of content on the web is almost certainly growing faster than web usage worldwide is.  Which will lead to a deflation in the value of on-line assets, on average.  I think everyone understands this.  Ad prices will fall, other forms of monetizing will be less attractive.  That’s what happens when the number of  websites and webpages grows so fast.  The winners will still do OK, but the large majority of sites will be worth little.  Again, everyone who has thought about the situation understands this. So it’s a tragedy of the commons problem, maybe.  Each of us wants lots of good content, but we don’t want everyone else producing good content.  It’s a race to the bottom.  The blog entry has no answer to the problem, aside from indirectly asking us to act against our own individual interests and stop giving away content for free.  Does he want us all to put a moratorium on new content until the search engines suffer and somehow the competitive situation changes?  Not gonna happen. The blog entry was a good rant, but I wish he wouldn’t write “Black Hat and non-White Hat SEOs execute in that environment, helping users find what they actually want amongst the noise. They are actually helping society.”  Without any example or explanation.

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from Lyndon 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great headline, and I just know I am going to like the article.

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from designmeme 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

A lot of websites aren’t about making content at all - they’re about other things like letting customers buy products, or know about services that are offered.I get the line of reasoning about search engines doing what’s in their own best interests... but I really can’t see where the benefit to a lot of clients (say a not-for-profit or a brick-and-mortar small business) would be to take the black hat path. A crappy (meaning poor skills) Black Hat SEO is going to screw up someone’s site and possibly get them blacklisted. A crappy (again meaning poor skills) White Hat SEO is just going to under-optimize a site.If some small town animal shelter hired a small town SEO to help get their website showing up in Google (because it’s frontpage and all images with no ALT text) would you honestly encourage them to jump all over black hat techniques? 

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from johnandrews 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@crimsongirl: yes, you are correct. It would be better if I gave examples of balck hat being helpful, and some guidelines for moving forward as you say "against our own interests". But I won’t... not for free.  I charge a consulting rate for my work, which I use to feed my kids and pay for their school.Another take-away you may have missed: stop praising the White Hats, stop branding anything non-white as black, stop telling clients to "just make more good content" and, contrary to your finding, act IN your own interests by bothering to seek out a strategy that achieves business goals without riding the Google bandwagon to the cesspool.

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from designmeme 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

When you say "Black Hat SEO" keep in mind this is what most people (including clients) think the term means:"black hat SEO or Spamdexing, use methods such as link farms and keyword stuffing that degrade both the relevance of search results and the user-experience of search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices."  -- Wikipedia If you *don’t* mean that, then I’d suggest you avoid telling clients you do black hat SEO... because if they decide to look it up on Wikipedia you might be out of a gig.

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from mike 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Booo!!!! That makes no sense!  Don’t make good content instead... No answer! The world changes. You can’t predict how effectively, so don’t try. The argument "the world will change therefore" is pointless. "The world IS therefore", however, makes sense!

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from rhcerff 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Good rant.  But the problem remains that we basically have to feed the machine that feeds us.What ever your reason for creating that content (black hat or white hat) it’s to feed that machine.  Until we find a way that we don’t require the machine to feed us we’ll just have to keep on feeding it.

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from sza 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"feed the machine that feeds us"That’s exactly my problem with this post. It tells us not to feed the beast (and get weaned off the search engine "deception" of "create good content"). But black hat also can only be interpreted in the context of search engines.So the whole ecosystem created around search engines is flawed and doomed, but one symbiotic aspect of it is somehow immune from all this, and actually a good thing (?)

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from mjwalshe 2198 Days ago #
Votes: -3

yesssss..... I think there needs to be some sort of quality control on sphinn this is obviously a rant written by some one who doesn’t like the hard work that producing content and marketing takes. We have built a foot ball based site to the point where we kick Nikes ass and they actually pay’s to advertise on our site.What you need is content that is “Good enough for Jazz” not Pulitzer prizewinning stuff...

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from JohnHGohde 2198 Days ago #
Votes: -2

News flash!:  Content alone doesn’t get the job done,  nor does white-hat SEO if Google has declared your site toast!And, how about sites banned by Google for cloaking?

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from hugoguzman 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Though I don’t agree with some of the sentiments, the post is definitely sphinn-worthy because it’s original and though provoking. Ironically, that’s the very definition of "good content."As I mentioned to John and Aaron, the main thing I was interested in was who’s site would rank best for "make good content"(Aaron jokingly said that he just wants to rank for "feed the machine")Thus far, it’s not even close. John ranks first, followed by this Sphinn post. Aaron’s not even in the top 100.Helps reinforce the idea that site-side elements have a major impact on non-competitive phrases (John’s post has the words in the title tag...Aaron’s does not).P.S. Want to know how much Google juice Aaron’s blog has? Go check out how well he ranks for the term "moral authority". It’s probably only a temporal ranking but it’s still impressive.

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from designmeme 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@JohnHGohde Cloaking is black hat, not white hat.

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from jasd2d 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I really can’t agree more. Good article.

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from Chris1 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This article definitely rates a 10 out of 10 on the rant scale!  However, I disagree with nearly everything in it.  Google and the other search engines have not stifled creativity in the least, quite the opposite.  Just take a look around on the Internet (if you filter out the BS blackhat sites, ironically) and you’ll see that creativity is thriving!  Publishers of quality content just need to find a proper business model.  If no one is willing to pay for your content and you can’t figure out how to monetize it, that is not the fault of Google or Yahoo."Black Hat and non-White Hat SEOs execute in that environment, helping users find what they actually want amongst the noise. They are actually helping society." You want to talk about Bullsh*t. Is it really possible to argue that BH SEO is helping people find what they need while at the same time ripping search engines - probably the greatest technology ever invented for helping people find and access information?

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from JohnHGohde 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The point being, content is NOT everything.If you have been banned, recieved a 100 point penality, been filtered out, or are a resident of the supplemental index ... YOU can just forget about the Just Make Good Content advice nonsense.Ergo, it is NOT just about content.

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from designmeme 2198 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@JohnHGohde How is that an argument in favour of not sticking to "White Hat" techniques?  How did you end up getting "banned, recieved a 100 point penality, been filtered out, or are a resident of the supplemental index"?

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from DarkMatter 2197 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Obviously you shouldn’t spend money creating content if it isn’t profitable. But if every SEO starts using black hat, search results are going to look like crap and people will stop using Google.My income is secure, I’m doing fine for myself and I choose to create rather than destroy.John seems to have a great deal of contempt for his fellow seo’s both in his posts and his comments here. There’s a constant implication that anyone who does not agree with him or do as he does is lazy or stupid. Tiresome and immature, imho.

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from iBrian 2197 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I can really appreciate John’s frustrations.A big part of SEO - at least off-site - is risk management, ie, some clients have different risk profiles, and they need working with at the appropriate level - whether zero or minimal. To be honestly blunt, I think discussions about "hats" just shows a lot of immaturity in the industry. I guess that’s a point of John’s rant. "white vs black" isn’t a conversion worth having. We should have grown up past that by now and just be talking about implementing solutions according to client needs.2c.ADDED: Apologies to Jeremy for the slight edit I’d made to my last sentence before he quoted it below.

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from Jeremy 2197 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"We should have grown up past that by now and just be talking about implementing different solutions according to different client needs."Amen. I’m a marketer and I wear a Chicago Cubs hat - it’s blue. It’s about results people. Hats don’t matter.

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from DarkMatter 2197 Days ago #
Votes: 1

When you promote websites with tactics that pollute the web with spammy nonsense, bogus connections and poor content, you’re pissing in your own cornflakes and destroying something valuable that other people worked to create. Whether you want to call it black hat or a risk-asessed strategy, the result is the same: junk search results no one will want to use.

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from Jeremy 2197 Days ago #
Votes: 0

" junk search results no one will want to use."Imo, that’s a search engine issue, not a marketing issue. Hell, as someone who’s spent some time on the paid side of the fence I’d say great, crappy natural results just help the folks playing the paid space.

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from DarkMatter 2197 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Imo, that’s a search engine issue, not a marketing issue. Hell, as someone who’s spent some time on the paid side of the fence I’d say great, crappy natural results just help the folks playing the paid space.If Google’s search results become garbage, no one will be using it, so you won’t make much money in ppc. The irony is that SEOs will be responsible for destroying their own livelihood, and a valuable tool (for everyone) as well.

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from Jill 2197 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@DarkMatter: When you promote websites with tactics that pollute the web with spammy nonsense, bogus connections and poor content, you’re pissing in your own cornflakes and destroying something valuable that other people worked to create. Unfortunately, tons of people think that’s white hat, and I think that’s what John is talking about.

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from JohnHGohde 2196 Days ago #
Votes: 0

First of all, there is more than one John on this sphinn.  Therefore, I will assume that people are talking about a different John.@designmeme Perhaps, if your were to concentrate?If you have been banned, recieved a 100 point penality, been filtered out, or are a resident of the supplemental index ... for what ever reason. YOU can just forget about the Just Make Good Content advice nonsense.  You could write good content till you are blue in the face and the cows come home and it wont help your situation any.Therefore, it positively is NOT just about writing good content.For example, if your blog has been hacked what you need to do is clean up your mess.  Implement better security.  And, get your blog back into Google’s Web index.  Continue to ingore the fact that you are currently spam central becuase you have been hacked, and all the good content in the world wont help your situation.

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from designmeme 2196 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@JohnHGohdeWe’re in agreement that once you screw it up for yourself with methods the engineers at Google are going to penalize you for that "just make good content" won’t help you.But if you focus on "just make good content" from the outset, you won’t screw it up for yourself like that.If you’ve been hacked, of course you need to fix the problem.  That’s not about SEO -- that’s about security, site maintenance, etc. Once your site is back on it’s feet there’s a process to have your site reviewed and taken off the "naughty" list and the badware backwaters of search results:http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=45432&topic=15265I can’t imagine that the best strategy to fix your site once it’s been "hacked" and turned into a spamdex superstar is to try and fight fire with fire and pull out all the blackhat SEO tricks to try and solve the problem.  That’s a recipe for Fail -- Google already has the site on their blacklist.Now, if there’s another way you can get on that banned / penalized list I don’t know about (DMCA take-down notices on your fair use media site -- somehow gets put on Google’s blacklist? Not even sure if that could/would ever happen) that might be worth discussing - but so far I’m not seeing anything like that.

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from johnandrews 2196 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m going to take a risk here and assume that Darkmatter and designmeme are not extremely experienced at SEO. Try and look past the feeling of being offended..it’s not personal. It’s just that your comments don’t ring true with my many years of experience with SEO and,particularly, Google. And it is that demographic of the SEO industry that Google targets with the "hat" campaign. The fact that..shall I say "less experienced" SEOs are willing to publish advice and counsel on SEO helps Google shape the message. Repeating as true what Google says is true (and which appears to be true, until you discover otherwise) helps Google propagate the myths. @designmeme has apparently never experienced an "unfair" Google penalty, or suffered collateral damage. Lucky? @darkmatter finds my writing contemptuous. I can only assume he has never had to really compete, with Google or any other formidable competitor ("I’mdoing fine...". That’s great, but hardly makes a case for assumptions like "if everyone did Black Hat Google wouldn’t be any good" (paraphrased). Markets being what they are, we’d probably advance from where we are now if that happened. @Jill you are correct... if we stopped praising White Hat SEO and labeling BlackHat SEO we’d all do better. With the former, we’re supporting the polluting of the web and making Google’s job too easy. With the latter, we’re enabling Google to keep it that way.

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from JohnHGohde 2196 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@designmemeI just finshed up implementing Breadcrumb Navigation on my Wordpress Blog which Google recommended in their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, this evening.  My custom breadcrumb navigation system actually works for posts, nested categories, and tags.When should I expect Google to let me in the pearly gates of Google heaven, designmeme?

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from Jill 2196 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This paragraph from @johnandrews bears repeating:And it is that demographic of the SEO industry that Google targets with the "hat" campaign. The fact that..shall I say "less experienced" SEOs are willing to publish advice and counsel on SEO helps Google shape the message. Repeating as true what Google says is true (and which appears to be true, until you discover otherwise) helps Google propagate the myths.All who want to be in the SEO industry need to understand that, but few do.

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from Halfdeck 2196 Days ago #
Votes: 0

What is this thread a head-on collision between "content is king" and black hat VS white hat? Another bout of mental gymnastics, entertaining with zero tactical takeaway.

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from AffanLaghari 2196 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Old folks here say that if you are new to a field and don’t get something said by the experienced, then just appreciate the fact that in the real art, there are things which everyone doesn’t understand. Being relatively new to the field myself, I would say that there were a few things I don’t truly understand in JohnAndrews blogpost. I mean I probably didn’t understand them like John wanted to imply. But my lack of understanding comes from my inexperience.I would say some of us need to read old articles from some old folks like Bob Massa and JasonD. Things may have changed now but these articles helped me grasp some of the bigger picture.

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from designmeme 2195 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@johnandrews How many years would be sufficient? :)

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from mjwalshe 1965 Days ago #
Votes: 0

low quality rant by some one that doesnt want to work

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