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For example, putting your link it guest books can help your overall pr but being unethical it will eventually lead to your sites demise.
Just as an affirmation of my beliefs I was wondering if any other webmasters could share success stories about sites that they ran as upstanding as possible and made good money off of.
What is the "game"?
Who sets the rules of the "game"?
Who decides what's "moral and ethical"?
Without those answers the only thing to do "right" is to succeed. I will never win playing a "game" differently from the way others who are winning play it. If cloaking, spamming, putting links in guestbooks, buying links for money, duplicating sites, etc. make others succeed how can I compete by not doing the same? It's like playing pool where every shot they take is from a position "ball in hand" and every shot I take must be from the position they leave me on the table.
Similarly, honesty etc are also noticed - they will find out and come to you.
In this generally amoral business world it is a recipe for competitive success - and one that the competition is incapable of defeating or copying well.
how can I compete by not doing the same?
Everyone has to make their own call (based on what we know) as to what is ethical and what is not. Playing the game by the rules as set out by the search engines is how I "play the game" and it works for me.
I do not use hidden text, hidden links, sneaky redirects, buy links for money, sign guestbooks, cloak, link anyone to my site which my customers would not have any interest in or use any other methods which are specifically advised "by the search engines" that we don't do.
Ethical, content rich sites can and do win out. I'll stick with what works for me. :)
I just dont have the massive fortune to prove it!
But in saying that I will quite happily resort to what could be construed as being dirty tactics if a competitor gets on my nerves. But that's just my competitive nature! ;)
Lately though, Im getting a bit sick of trying to do the right thing, while others are getting rich by abusing the rules.
I think if people (points at google) want others to play fairly then they should do more to enforce the "rules".
I know it's not as easy as that, but that's just the way I feel about it.
What good are rules set out by search engines if they don't enforce them? We have to police their search results and send them spam reports? Even if I were to to report only those who affect me, there isn't the time in the day to do so. The few I have reported are still there doing the same thing, some using a using a different domain.
>it works for me
It would for me too if I had the luxury of time and few bills to pay.
>honesty and ethical practices
Honesty is an absolute. Ethical practices relate to the standards that are practiced. In Reno one can be a legal prostitute(ethical). In Vegas, however, it's against the law(unethical). Either way, a prostitute can still be honest.
Some search engines however, are the internet versions of both Reno and Vegas.
[edited by: nell at 8:22 pm (utc) on April 9, 2003]
The more honest you get, the more capable you become, I think, because you're required to perform to your hype. If you're dishonest, then it's probably just because you're not as capable.
"I can do it, I just don't feel like it."
That means you're not capable. I hear this one all too often.
If generating a few K pages of auto-junk and cloaking my efforts makes me top, great. If I get banned, that's great too, I'll just do it again, but do it better.
If signing hundreds of guestbooks gets me where I need to be, I'll do that too.
Who cares about the 'rules', I'm not at school and I'm not employed by my peers so, I'll play by my rules thanks ;)
Of course I may not have actually done any of the above but, you see my point right?