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They have added pages purely for the search engines
It comes up for the term "[snip]" number one spot. However, the page listed in the SERP is stuffed with keywords, and has no content whatsoever. It even reloads another page, without showing the content.
How come Google allows such methods? It makes me very angry that "non-ethical SEO" is still preferred by the Google engine over "ethical methods of SEO". It even makes me wanna consider using methods like these for myself.
By the way, this very same post was sent (including URL's) to Google. Do you think they will take the time to investigate?
[edited by: pageoneresults at 2:00 pm (utc) on Aug. 20, 2004]
[edit reason] Removed Specifics [/edit]
Matter of opinion. There is certainly SEO that falls within google "guidelines" and SEO that does not follow Google's guidelines. (And honestly, the second any of us tweaks a site solely to improve its rankings, we move outside the "guidelines" technically, but I digress.) There is also SEO that breaks the rules blatantly. But the whole question of "ethics" in SEO is, in my opinion, in the eye of the beholder.
Doing SEO outside the guidelines for a client that doesn't understand the risks without explaining to them the risks your taking - that I would probably consider unethical.
But, taking those risks with your own site when you fully understand them - well, I wouldn't call the "unethical" SEO. I would call that risky SEO.
If you're SEO'ing yourself then ethics is an eye of the beholder issue.
If your competitors are spamming - report them. This is the biggest selling point for ethical SEO I feel. Search google for the spamreport page. Use it. If your comps /need/ an spammy tactic to succeed then they're in big trouble when Google or Yahoo (or MSN) adapts. A big perk of ethical/good practise SEO is that you don't need to run around and stay ahead of the bots.
Should you have a <noframe> area which only informs users that they need to have a frame enabled browser to view the site? Or do you have h1 headed, bold tag enriched, and hyperlinked copy about the site?
It's a question of what will let you sleep comfortably at night. Some people could care less if they get banned so long as they're making money now. For others, a ban is the end of the world, hence the varying shades of grey :)
If you figure out a way to rank for "red widgets" so you can drive traffic to your site about "green widgets" then I consider that spam. It's essentially false advertising.
If your competitor is ranked well for keywords related to his or her business, I would never call that unethical.
Aside from that, you have two choices you can make. If you want quick results and intend to 'play the SEO game' then by all means do whatever it takes to beat your competitor.
However, if you want to build long term business, stick to the basics (content, links, etc.) and as search engines get better algorithms you'll only improve.