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Common reasons for overlooking aggressive or over the line tactics:
1. Works in Google and MSN
Yah, algorithms are not infallible. Just because the algo hasn't caught it and the algo actually likes it does not mean it will also pass a hand check.
2. My competitors are more aggessive than me
Placing an overweight man besides five obese men does not make the overweight man thin.
3. Many commonly accepted SEO practices are not acceptable
What? Yahoo doesn't like my lack of original content?
There was a time not long ago when white hats commonly believed that reciprocal linking was Google/Yahoo approved. Two years ago I had a Battle Royale in the link dev forum disproving that myth and now it's pretty much common knowledge that reciprocating with more than an X amount of friendly sites won't pass a hand check.
4. It's the SEOs fault
A site owner's SEO participated in link exchange clubs, triangular linking, pointed links from a network of sites under their control, extensive interlinking, went over the top with paid links, created a funky statewide linkmap from the home page, etc. etc. Be sure you know everything that was done to rank your site. Don't accept their explanation. Review your site and it's backlinks well.
5. What, Search Engines Don't Like SEO? Pah!
Yes, search engines are not keen on SEO that goes far beyond making a site spiderable and making sure your keywords are all on the page. As explained above, what passes the algo may not pass a hand check.
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:45 pm (utc) on Oct. 11, 2007]
[edited by: SEOMike at 9:09 pm (utc) on Oct. 11, 2007]
very interesting to hear that... i am ranked #1 in google for the word "<snip>" and also was #1 in yahoo. recently i've noticed that my yahoo ranking is not even in the top 50 pages, like a pentalty...? my index.php page is found nowhere in yahoo.
now that i've read below i know that it's not only my site who out of line.
we await to see what happens.
[edited by: martinibuster at 11:47 pm (utc) on Nov. 26, 2007]
[edit reason] Removed specifics. [/edit]