martinibuster - 2:51 am on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)
We'll have to agree to disagree. I firmly believe that Google's guidelines are not a matter of ethics. The only time ethics becomes a part of the discussion is if you are building links for a client in a manner that breaks Google's guidelines and the client is either unaware or does not understand the implications of what you are doing. In a situation like that, link spam is clearly unethical.
If you use a service to your profit, you should abide by their rules also.
They aren't rules. They are not requirements. They are guidelines, suggestions.
Google does not require webmasters to refrain from any activity, unless the web publisher enters into a contract with Google, such as with the AdSense program. But if a web publisher is not bound by contract, there is no obligation to abide by their guidelines. Remember, these are guidelines. Not requirements. And certainly not law. This is why I must insist that violating Google's guidelines are not an issue of ethics, unless there is a client relationship involved.