Love Letters to Google: Criminal Minds

July 25, 2012

It’s easy to ignore any distinction between hats and their colors. Black Hat SEO isn’t a crime, after all. It simply ignores a code of conduct that was created by some mega-corporation, and that you never agreed to in the first place. Besides, it’s not like you’re stealing from Google, or taking anything away from them by refusing to capitulate with their goody two-shoes Church of the White Hat.

If anything, Google owes you. Everybody knows:


…and Google is turning a fair penny dealing in the market of you.

All that being what it is, it’s easy for people to manufacture fairly convincing “Damn The Man” attitudes in an effort to get what they need, want and deserve in this world. So why on Earth should you adhere to a strict White Hat philosophy if Google is doing just fine and the SEO Police aren’t going to bust down your door? The reasons are two-fold and they double over on themselves.

The first reason is the altruistic notion of community and the overall health of the Internet. Whether or not you read the introduction of this primer, you’re already familiar with the concept of wanting to know something, Googling it, then knowing it; all in the span of minutes or seconds. That kind of thing simply wouldn’t be possible if Google just existed without the concept of White Hat SEO. Instead, every search result would be for Viagra.

Love Letters to Google: Viagra Spam

Thus, a code of conduct and the tacit agreement to adhere to it allows for there to be a worthwhile Google in the first place, which leads us to the second reason to adopt White Hat techniques:

Google knows what’s up. In order for Google to make money, it needs to attract people to In order to do that, people have to be able to trust that Google will serve up the best possible results to the most relevant content. Would you use Google if you had 50/50 odds of ending up on some unrelated coupon farm or endless survey site? No, and neither would anybody else. So, in order to keep the whole concept up and running, Google absolutely must implement and enforce a code of conduct that keeps the Cialis people at bay, ensuring that you will return to Google whenever you wonder about something.

That being said, not only should you embrace White Hat techniques because you’re a great person and you want the Internet to be a healthy and vibrant environment for everybody; you should embrace White Hat SEO to serve your own best interests.
In closing this chapter, I would like to make certain that if you walk away with only one nugget of wisdom, it will be this one:


Google, Inc. does not consist of a few C-average college dropouts banging out code in a dank basement surrounded by piles of empty Mountain Dew cans. Google is made up of legions of geniuses armed with practically unlimited resources, all organized to make sure websites either cooperate with the grand scheme of the Internet or are excluded from it. No matter what clever little SEO trick you might come up with, Google anticipated it ten years ago and built it into their algorithm. Your shenanigans will be discovered in short order, and Google will dispense its own proprietary brand of justice.

Dabbling is the Dark Arts may yield pleasing short-term results, but they will not last and the long-term health of your traffic will suffer.

Of course, on the bright side, there’s always Bing.

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