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This 169 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 169 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >     
I tattled on my competitor, but is it hurting me now?

 9:36 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's the deal-
My competitor had a small 6 page site, had hidden text everywhere stuffed with keywords, and had a single PR7 backlink. (His only backlink, besides his own pages) He was appearing on the first page for an extremely comepetive key phrase, so I went an acquired a link from the same site he had his single PR7 backlink from.

Prior to emerald or whatever the last update was called, I reported his hidden text site to google and it was penalized immediately. (You can't find his site anywhere now.)

I was hoping that with this new PR7 link I would get to enjoy the benefits my competitor had, but so far this hasn't happened, nor has my pr adjusted yet...and this was done over a month ago.

My question is, since the PR7 site links to my penalized competitor, would that be a red flag to google, causing a devalued interpretation of my backlink from the PR7 site?



 8:31 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

SteveB... I've supported your views very often... but you are SOOO wide of the mark this time. Weren't you bleating a couple of weeks ago that Google had hit your 'innocent' index page? I think so.

The 'rules' are a moving feast (as is your definition of 'spam'). Ethics are with you for life.

Take your choice. I choose ethics.


 8:33 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

bolitto, seek a clue. This is the Google search engine. They can do what they want. THEY are the final judge. get it? Try real hard now.

If you don't want to be involved in their game, then don't play.

The sports analogies are obviously exactly on target no matter how obtuse you want to be about it. Spamming isn't illegal, it's just cheating in the specific game being played. The rules are set by the governing authority. Nobody is forcing you to golf, but if you cheat then it is the responsibility of people who see you cheat to report.

And you need to loook up "ethics" as you don't seem to know what it means.


 8:37 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>If you don't want to be involved in their game, then don't play.

SteveB you need one serious cold beer.

I've been doing this since 1995 buddy, you ain't teachin me the preachin....

Unlike you I know what I'm talking about.

But stick around and chat, your views are amusing to say the least.


 8:37 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Take your choice. I choose ethics."

Then stop spamming.

Why can't you play by the rules? Why must you cheat? Are you unscrupulous in everything you do?

I was concerned that google had a failure because it was making good content pages not rank properly. It's all part of the same thing which you appear to completely oppose.... I LIKE CONTENT. I'm a quality guy. I want to see the deserving rank well, whoever that may be. I want Google to work. Apparently you don't share that. You want to cheat to get anything you can get. That's your life, but creating good content and playing by the rules is much more statisfying. Try it sometime.

<edit... I gotta admit this is cracking me up, cheats pretending that following the rules and being a good citizen is wrong. Amazing what the flat earth society will come up with next.>

[edited by: steveb at 8:41 pm (utc) on July 16, 2003]


 8:38 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Unlike you I know what I'm talking about."

And yet another retreat from someone who knows they have no leg to stand on.

So you've been cheating for years. I'm sure your Mom is proud.


 8:41 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>So you've been cheating for years


What is wrong with you? I live from this....make tons of money, do things I like and I don't snitch on others, thassall.

Lastly let's not get mothers into it ok?


 8:43 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is nothing wrong with me. You can cheat, that is your way. You have to accept the consequences though, and that includes having to accept that you are stealing from people and those people are going to report you to the authorities.

How much shame you have in your cheating is up to you.


 8:46 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

hehe.. this is getting a little out of hand :)

Although I must say that a lot of messages in this thread have a flawed understanding of the implicit agreement we have all made by ENGAGING in the business we are in.

It is much like living in society... just by doing so, we agree to live by its laws. If we don't, we can either lobby to have them changed (but still obey them) or leave, or suffer the consequences. It's like any legal system,

(who cares how Google makes its rules. You have little control over it so put up with it or forget Google)

If people choose to disobey said laws, there is nothing unethical about reporting them. If you think it is, you are delusional. In fact it is in the society's best interests that these perpetrators get caught and punished. And who cares if they do get reported?

too much information

 8:50 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

bolitto, FYI, the 1st ammendment to the constitution of the United States protects American citizens from persicution by the government over their political expressions. It doesn't have anything to do with Google or the SE industry.

Also, the relation of sports to the topic is absolutely relevant. You would be mistaken to think that professional sports is anything other than a business. For that matter, amateur sports is somewhat of a business as well. Take College level sports for example.

And what is this 'Golf governing body' thing? Do they govern ALL of golf, or just their loyal subjects? How about the 'open and accountable' nonsense. Who would a 'Golf governing body' be open and accountable to? Isn't it more of a Club or League requireing membership?

You're getting weird. Next thing you know you are going to hit me up for a 'Golf tax'. ;)


 8:51 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ooooo.... ever heard of civil disobedience? shasan.


 8:59 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

steve, sweetie, your site is one of the best laid out and elaborate internal PR passing schemes I've seen. It's actually very good. Getting a PR 6 on a gambling site ain't easy. I know cuz I've done a few.

But looking at your classic movie links, (that's not spam, lots of gamblers like to find links to classic movies ;)
I can't believe it never crossed your mind that you MIGHT be crossing the line. Whatever you are accusing others of, you are just as guilty of whether you accept it or not.

No problem. I would never turn YOU in. I would damn sure study the site and see what I can learn from you, (now that I have found you I have already bookmarked the site and will go back and see what I can duplicate. I actually like the classic mov


 9:01 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

civil disobedience hurts no-one.

Breaking these rules hurt fellow webmasters.

Difference is clear. It's like civilly disobeying anti-theft laws. Can't be done.


 9:01 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>bolitto, FYI, the 1st ammendment to the constitution of the United States protects American citizens from persicution by the government over their political expressions. It doesn't have anything to do with Google or the SE industry.

obviously you're not following the news in the SE world.

Search King had a lawsuit against Google dismissed because Google claimed it was protected by the 1st amendment on their right to express opinions on what sites should rank higher or lower.

Uh...FYI that was....


 9:04 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I love it! You check your competitors back links and probably paid for a PR7 link. Then you report them for hidden text and likely hurt a nice little family with their income, and now your whining about no PR boost...

I love your ethical high ground. I LOVE IT!


 9:04 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

BTW too much information someone mentioned Golf here and I followed up on the example.

Don't worry I won't club you, I enjoy golfing newbies around....

That's what too much information does to you. Pun intended.


 9:07 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

you're right shasan... I was reaching on that one.


 9:19 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Then stop spamming. Why can't you play by the rules? Why must you cheat? Are you unscrupulous in everything you do? <<

Steveb: You're well out of order mate.

You have NO idea what my sites actually are, and yet you preach that garbage. You throw the word 'cheat' around at me and others with no idea which cards any of us are holding. Yet your own profile displays your own cards.

A lot of more innocent sites than yours have been walloped by those who preach the same perverse gospel.

>> THEY are the final judge. get it? Try real hard now. <<

Hey... that's a totally different tone to the one you adopted when they captured your index file in their recent (ridiculous) filter.

I don't want to make an enemy of you, and won't, but I really think you should step back an judge both search engines, and those who crawl to them with so called 'spam' reports, from a more objective and rational stand point.

As Bolitto says... go and have a beer. And here's another life lesson... keep you're fingers off the the keyboard when you have!


 9:20 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Um, structuring a site well is a good thing. Google has nothing against that. They have set rules. And nobody who doesn't cloak or use hidden text or a few other things needs to be concerned.

Thanks for the motivation though. I just submitted a report. For a search, the first listed site consisted of *nothing* but a link to the second listed site. The second listed site consists of *nothing* but a link to the fourth listed site (which has good content and deserves to be first or in the top three).

Doing this makes the search results better, and anyone who suggests doing this is a bad thing must be literally not sane.


 9:25 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Napolean, there was no freaking filter. I thought you understood that by now.

You see, that's what your attitude gets you. You miss the obvious and grasp for the illogical. I had pages that were lost... they weren't index pages and they had none of the stuff on them that the crazy posts talked about. If you weren't caught up in a web of spam you might see better.

You don't have a site in your profile, so there is nothing to judge except your words, where you preach unethical, cheating behavior. That's your business. My business is building quality content, playing by the rules, and seeing others do to. I don't have enemies, but I do object to crooks stealing from me or from anyone else. If you aren't a crook, it doesn't apply to you. If you don't violate Google's rules, you have nothing to fear. Play fair, and don't be surprised when other people insist that others play fair.


 9:32 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok....everyone ... take two zanex and calm down. There. It actually makes me sick to hear so much complaining and griping. People tattle tailing on one another to google simply b/c the website they have gets beaten. GROW UP and ROLL with the punches. Many sites have beaten the 30 I have and I studied them. Yea, that's right...instead of looking for a free ride from the google god to take out my competition I did it myself. With time I did.

Shut up and go to work! And by the way, to the one who started this thread...I'm glad it hasn't helped you any...I hope it hurts you...I hated tattle tails when I was two and still do at 32.



 9:38 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

mat_bastian sall good. I see where you're coming from though.

re: little family: tsk tsk... so breaking the rules is ok in some cases. If it is ok in some cases, then it logically follows that it CAN be ok in ALL cases. So what do we have the rules for then?

Take a nice little family who happens to deal dope, or launder money, or engages in any other felonious activity.
Three reasons why they would do this:

1. To make money despite the laws.
2. To make money oblivious of the laws.
3. Under duress... "do this for us, or else"

1. They should be locked up.
2. They'll probably be locked up (ignorance is never an excuse... "oops, sorry, didn't know it was illegal to kill people")
3. I seriously DOUBT that duress applies in this case.

So nice little family isn't quite so nice.

Oh, and Google has NO ETHICAL or LEGAL obligation towards the family to provide them with income. Please! it's a business! If you don't play by its rules, don't do business on it!

Reporting a site is A-OK.


 9:39 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have to admit to not reading every post in this thread, but I just wanted to point out one thing--
I keep seeing people say that reporting "spam" to Google means you're playing by Google's rules and Google has no right to set the rules. I have one question to lay against that:

If the "spammers" are simply thinking outside the box of Google's rules, then why are they doing what they're doing?

I had thought that the definition of "spamming" was deliberately attempting to deceive the search engines in order to improve your own ranking in the search results.
If you don't use Google's rules to do that (i.e. to find where to "cheat"), then whose rules are you using?

Google sets the rules either way, whether you choose to follow or break them. That's how it seems to me.
I'm not taking any positions because I don't really understand the whole argument, I just thought I'd point that out to all of the people who were posting that reporting to Google was working for the "man" or whatever.


 9:41 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

google's technology sets the rules. Not the TOS. IMO

If you can beat it, good for you. I ain't gonna like it when it's money out of my pocket, but I'll just have to learn to optimize better.


 9:41 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I support tattle tails in this case.


People that report webmasters that are cheating are helping all of us that don't cheat.

You may not like tattle tails, but they are going to help you anyway, unless of course, you are the one they are tattling on.

If you don't cheat, then you don't have anything to worry about.

If you do cheat, then you are probably pretty upset by this thread.


 9:42 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> I thought you understood that by now.... where you preach unethical, cheating behavior... I do object to crooks stealing from me or from anyone else.. <<

Well I've had a beer.... and I think we should share one.

My moral code excludes crying to Google because the next guy is better at SEO than me. No, I don't dress up a sows ear as a silk purse for my sites - I play by an ethical code. I work out how to beat him/her without conning the surfer.

The crooks are those who can't stomach that fact. Those who can't face reality and need a prop like the so called 'spam reporting' page.

>> If you don't violate Google's rules, you have nothing to fear... <<

Did you not read DG's post. He explains it very well. The Google TOS is a moving feast. Do they actually agree to honor that page themselves? Well? Eh?

I'm waiting?

I thought not. An agreement is a two way process. Tell me when Google agree to honor their half of the bargain and I'll respond happily.

By the way... I more or less honor my side anyway... it didn't save me from the recent index page purge though.

Don't misread again: I'd love an understanding between Google and the webmaster, I really would value it tremendously. I'm just not seeing the evidence though. What I do see is the blind seeing short term gain by acting like a sneaky pathetic unethical school kid.

Maybe this is a good point for GG to step in and reassure everyone.... not heard from him for yonks... and I'm missing it!


 9:42 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Shut up and go to work! And by the way, to the one who started this forum...I'm glad it hasn't helped you any...I hope it hurts you...I hated tattle tails when I was two and still do at 32.

Oh god, playground honour in a place of business. :)

yes.. I see the logic in that. j/k.

Play by the rules. If you do not, then YOU are the free rider, and hence the undoing of our nice little social contract. Come on people.. this is Business Ethics 101.


 9:57 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's right here:


Do the stuff at the top; don't do the stuff at the bottom. Those are the rules. You don't like them, you don't have to play.

Napolean, if your complaint is Google changes the rules, COMPLAIN TO GOOGLE or ABOUT Google. Do not make offensive and wrong-headed posts accusing people who are playing by the rules of doing something that is not even remotely wrong.

You should get this clear in your head, and then decide whatever you want. But those of us who want to act responsibly and honestly are going to do it. Those of us who want to play by the rules, WHATEVER THEY ARE, are going to do it.

Whether you like the designated hitter rule or not is not my business. If you think six men on the floor makes a better basketball game, fine, but anytime I see six I'll say "ref, those guys have too many men on the floor."


 9:58 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

hear hear.


 10:00 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Great post steveb!


 10:02 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Steve, just took a look at your site and well I can see why you consider it 'technically' clean but I kinda of wish you had used some hidden text because it's not exactly pretty, the front page is too long, it has a lot of useless anecdotes which at best add content minus the quality.

You see herein lies the problem. You have created a site which appears to have been built for a highly competitive term but which is more geared towards the search engine than the end user. Maybe I am wrong, but if you really wanted to design a site with your users in mind then you could do a lot better with the design and lose a lot of the crap 'filler' text. However, you have done nothing overtly wrong, played by the rules at face value and as a result acquired a top 5 rank for a highly competitive keyword. While it is admirable that you have not "cheated" I still feel a little cheated if not dissapointed by the end result.

Obviously, when competing for a highly competitive keyword it will not suffice to just add a title tag and the odd anchor text. You have to load your site with multiples of the above and other off site factors. However, if you had hidden a lot of the crap 'filler' text, made it look more aesthetic and most of all succinct then I would have given you top marks for user friendliness. The problem is that you can't do that without using some sort of method which would at best be "unethical" if not outright illegal according to Google law. Nevermind that I as a user would be more satisfied.

What it comes down to is that not all "spam" tactics are bad for the user and not all kosher content is good for the user. But I do agree that you can probably sleep easier at night knowing that you are making money without fear of angering the Google gods or being spited by a competing webmaster. That's great for you but I sure am glad that most sites aren't like yours as the web would be a lot duller place. Nevertheless, I take my hat off to you.

Thankfully I work in an environment that doesn't require such extreme seo measures... phew!


 10:03 pm on Jul 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I reported a competitor a year ago and it looks like he got a lifetime ban.

Best "SEO" I ever did.

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