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Talking About Search Engine Spam

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For our Search Engine Watch members, I've posted a long Talking About Search Engine Spam article that draws comments and observations that came out of two sessions at our recent SES Chicago show.

Are white hatters naive by not being aggressive with SEO? Are black hatters unethical and subverting search quality by going too far with search engines? The answers are never as simple as they'd seem, as the article explores.

Overall, one of the key points I felt that came out was that tactics have to be appropriate to the space you are in. Yes, you could use black hat tactics to get a top ranking for some relatively non-competitive queries. But do that, and you stand out like a sore thumb. As I note in the article, STO -- sore thumb optimization -- is to be avoided.

The article also looks at the myth of the top ten results being the most relevant results out there, as well as the sad state of how spam continues to be defined by particular tactics, rather than intent and end result.

Those seeking more background about spam should see the Search Engine Spamming article available to SEW members, as well as the SEO: Spamming category of Search Topics for an annotated guide to stories on spamming for SEW and around the web over the years.

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